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Member Profile - Paul Stresow, City of El Paso

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Our next TPTA Member Profile blog features Paul Stresow from the City of El Paso! Check out Paul’s experience as a TPTA member below!

How long has your organization been a member of TPTA?

More than 5 years.

How did you learn about TPTA?

We learned about TPTA through a regional event from the International Parking & Mobility Institute.

What value has your TPTA membership provided you for your career?

TPTA has provided me with invaluable resources from fellow members on a variety of topics and situations, as well as contacts throughout the industry, and life-long friendships.

What value has your TPTA membership provided your institution?

TPTA membership has kept our organization up to date on the latest trends in parking and transportation, as well as provided municipal contacts throughout the state that face the same problems and issues and legislative mandates.

What would be your advice to those organizations who are not yet a TPTA member?

TPTA membership is vital to the educational of the organizations staff and provides invaluable resources that isn’t available anywhere else for the price.

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Introducing the New Look of TPTA!

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We’re excited to announce the creation of a new look for TPTA, highlighting the extension of our brand. Check out the new TPTA logo, developed with the goal of representing the TPTA as we continue to be a leader in the parking, transportation, and mobility industry into the future.

In addition to offering an updated, modern look, our new logo highlights our association’s focus moving forward with the tagline: “parking. mobility. connected”. This simple line, outlines our extensive mission:

  • Parking – TPTA always has, and will continue, to be a leader in providing the latest updates, solutions, and education on the parking industry throughout Texas and beyond. The parking industry is changing rapidly, but will play a critical role in the future of transportation, development, technology, and more.

  • Mobility – As the parking and transportation industry transforms, it is growing to encompass a wide range of mobility technologies, solutions, and approaches. The TPTA recognizes the importance that mobility will continue to play in our industry. We also understand our responsibility to bring our members the latest updates on this important extension of our industry, so that they can effectively implement these concepts into their operations.

  • Connected – Staying “connected” has a number of meanings, each of which are vital to the success of our industry and the TPTA. First, our industry must provide the resources to keep people connected as they move from place to place through the numerous combinations of parking, transportation, and mobility solutions. Further, TPTA understands our role in keeping industry professionals from throughout Texas and beyond connected, serving as a platform for thought leadership, as well as the exchanging of ideas, best practices, and lessons learned. Staying “connected” is vital.

Be on the lookout for the new TPTA logo! We are thrilled for the opportunity to continue to be a resource for the industry, and to continue to provide our members and industry professionals with news, events, and educational and professional development opportunities to enhance your organizations, as well as expand your careers.

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Fall Roundtable - Register Now!

FALL 2019 ROUNDTABLE - ARLINGTON, TX 
Free event for Parking & Transportation Professionals!
WHO:      All parking & transportation professionals
WHAT:    Join TPTA for a free networking mixer on November 4, 2019 at Texas Live - Choctow VIP Lounge, 6:30 pm and then join us the following day for a free informative Roundtable where Campus Mobility will be the topic of the day.
WHY:      Meet colleagues, share knowledge and get plugged into the parking/transportation community!
WHEN:  November 4-5, 2019
WHERE:  University of Texas - Arlington, The Commons - Nueces Room
HOW:       Easy! Register NOW!
Hotel details and agenda are available online.

Limited Capacity - Register today!

Networking event will feature free drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Roundtable event will feature a continental breakfast and lunch.

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Member Profile - Maria Irshad, CAPP, ParkHouston

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Our next TPTA Member Profile blog belongs to Maria Irshad, CAPP! Not only is Maria TPTA’s President, but she also serves as Assistant Director for ParkHouston. Learn more about Maria’s experience as a TPTA member below!

How long has your organization been a member of TPTA?

ParkHouston has been involved with TPTA going back to the late 90’s. I have colleagues who were involved with the organization at that time – they even organized a conference one year.

How did you learn about TPTA?

I attended my first TPTA conference here in in Houston in 2006 when it was held at the Westin Hotel in the Galleria. I was still relatively new to parking and I was honestly a bit surprised at the size of the group and the expo hall. For some reason, I was not expecting that at all. It really opened my eyes to the industry.

What value has your TPTA membership provided you for your career?

TPTA has brought value not only to my career, but some of my closest friends are people I met through TPTA. I have learned so much from my colleagues and of course, I’ve also stolen some of their project ideas to implement here at home.

What value has your TPTA membership provided your institution?

 Not only does TPTA provide opportunities for networking, but through the TPTA Roundtable program, we are able to provide education to front line staff who may not be able to attend conferences. The Roundtables are one day sessions held in a different location. Our organization has 75 full time employees – when they are able to attend a roundtable and bring back something to our operation – it benefits both the organization and the team member.

What would be your advice to those organizations who are not yet a TPTA member?

Joining TPTA means having a network of colleagues who can offer advice and solutions for a myriad of challenges you might be facing. Our line of work is unique in that we generally don’t compete with each other – which means we are that much more generous in sharing ideas with absolute honesty in regard to hurdles and pitfalls.  Also, I like to think that we are a fun bunch!

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Member Profile - Mary Mabry, CAPP, Cardinal Tracking

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Our next TPTA Member Profile blog belongs to Mary Mabry, CAPP! Mary serves as Product Manager-Parking Solutions for Cardinal Tracking. She is also Vice President of TPTA! Learn more about Mary’s experience as a TPTA member below!

How long has your organization been a member of TPTA?

Cardinal Tracking, Inc. as a vendor has been a member of TPTA since 1990 (TPA) and I have been a member since 1991 when I worked for UT Arlington.

 How did you learn about TPTA?

In 1990, I had just been appointed to a new position as Manager of Parking Services at UT Arlington when we were installing a University software program that UT Austin had initiated. I had gone with my Lt. to visit the Director at that time, Dave Kalpalko. He was an active member and on the board so he enticed both of us to attend. Our first conference was 1991 and I have attended every one of the conferences and been a member since that time. From that point, I made it part of my contract to allow my attendance and membership at each University I have worked for over the following years. The company I work for now, Cardinal Tracking, Inc. has been members since 1990. They are extremely supportive of my membership and role as a Board member.

What value has your TPTA membership provided you for your career?

From day one, TPTA provided educational and networking value that made each day of my assigned responsibilities in parking and transportation a little easier to navigate. Through the TPTA association membership, I was able to reach out to other Universities in Texas on their policies, procedures and best practices. Through the vast amount of networking within our association, it allowed me to meet the needs of my peers, campus community and administration. An example of this is while preparing information for a presentation for the UT Systems Board of Regents, I was able to obtain solid information for garage operations for my Vice President at the time. The amazing connections through TPTA, the quick responses from the members contacted and their reliable sources gave me an edge to go above the expectations of my peers and administration. These resources added to my knowledge which later translated to additional opportunities in my industry field.

What value has your TPTA membership provided your institution?

The value that TPTA has provided my institutions are the resources plus gained knowledge through education, networking and industry opportunities. In being a part of TPTA, this association has allowed me as a member to network with more industry related professionals that have been in the field, having best practices plus lessons learned knowledge. In many cases, I did not have to reinvent a policy or procedure but reach out to others in my position to inquire what theirs were. Many times, we would make a few tweaks and have a new policy or steps in a procedure that might have taken weeks if trying to reach out to Universities or individuals who I did not have direct contacts for or who would not take the call if they did not know me. Meeting people in the same industry is a big part of doing business whether you are on the user side or the vendor side. Now as a Product Manager/Client Advocate on the vendor side TPTA holds a greater value in expanding my knowledge and skills so I can provide a better service to our clients.

What would be your advice to those organizations who are not yet a TPTA member?

Since I have been a member for almost three decades (28 years), I do not want to imagine how difficult my positions would have been without the support and benefits of TPTA. If you are not a member, you are not only missing out on the networking opportunities but the chance to advance your knowledge and skills. It is so much easier to make calls to people you know than it is when you are just another voice or email received within a busy hectic day. To be honest, some of my best and dearest friends are professionals I met through my membership and association of TPTA. I just can’t imagine my career or life without these friends as many of them have assisted me with job opportunities, development options and management assistance. Without this valuable resource that I have enjoyed over the last 28 years, I would not have stayed in the Parking and Transportation industry after my state retirement and I would not have the dream job I have today on the vendor side.

 

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TPTA Hosts Successful Summer Roundtable and Awards Inaugural Mark Denson Scholarship

On July 30, 2019, TPTA held the latest in our series of parking and networking roundtables in Austin, TX. The program included sessions on event parking and smart cities integration, as well as opportunities for networking with other Texas parking and transportation professionals. The event also included the and the award of our first Marc Denson Memorial Scholarship.

TPTA roundtable programs are a valuable opportunity for our members throughout the state and the region. These free events serve as a complement to our Annual Conference, providing numerous benefits including:

  • Continuing education and training for TPTA members

  • Exposure to current parking, transportation, and mobility industry trends and innovations

  • Professional growth and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of industry experts

  • A network of colleagues that can be an invaluable resource in addressing future operation challenges

  • Access to parking industry professionals with valuable information on products, services and solutions

  • Research assistance in identifying specifications and available vendors for request for proposals

At this event, we were thrilled to also recognize our first Marc Denson Scholarship winner – Dakota Lopez. A recent graduate of the University of North Texas, Dakota serves as a Graduate Research Assistant within the University’s Transportation Services Department. In this role, he has led the Department’s efforts in data analysis, trend comparisons, customer surveys and behavior studies, while implementing strategic goals of the department. Dakota also leads the campus volunteer campus bicycle group, I Bike UNT.

Dakota exemplifies leadership across numerous transportation and mobility initiatives. We are so thrilled to award him with the first TPTA Marc Denson Scholarship, and look forward to seeing the difference he will continue to make on his campus and throughout the UNT community!

Stay tuned for news on our next TPTA Roundtable, as well as the 2020 TPTA Conference! In addition, for more information on the Marc Denson Scholarship, click here.

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Brand Recognition - But Do They Trust You?

As a City government and a provider of public parking, we have a love-hate relationship with our target audience. Seeing the City Logo gives people a level of confidence. On the other hand, when that customer receives a parking citation…. You know the story. This same scenario applies to all brands offering public parking. If the public feels safe that you consistently provide a convenient and reliable parking experience, you will gain their trust. If they return and find their car booted or towed…

 Maximizing the trust of your target audience and building their confidence in using your product is critical to your long-term success. Before you begin an extensive marketing campaign, you must first establish a strong foundation. That foundation is comprised of the systems, staff and service.  

 The rapid change in parking management systems continues to gain momentum. Adopting the correct system for your operations is a challenging process that includes many key players. Do you have the resources to maintain the system? Can the manufacturer provide adequate training and support? Is it the right scale for your operations? Don’t forget about your customers. Does this technology improve their parking experience? Is the new system easy to use? Do they feel confident that their privacy is protected?

 The next level of the foundation is your staff. Are they prepared for the change? Have they been adequately trained? Do they have confidence in the new system? If not, why? Have you thoroughly tested the system before going live? Your staff must have confidence in using the system and confidence in that the system is reliable. They will then be prepared to service the needs of your customers.

 How does your service differentiate you from your competitors? How would your customers describe your service? Does your service make your brand unique? Why should they trust your brand? Is your staff trained to provide customer service or to get the job done? Consistently providing a positive customer experience builds trust and leads to growth in your customer base.

 Our industry deals with many different types of customers. From those that use our services and products daily and to those who may only use it once a year when they attend a concert or travel. It is our challenge that each customer segment has a parking experience that is convenient, easy and ultimately builds their trust in our brand.

Melonie Curry joined ParkHouston in 2006, She oversees customer engagement, marketing, social media, and neighborhood outreach. She is a member of the City of Houston’s Social Media Advisory and Research Taskforce (SMART). Curry also serves on the TPTA’s Host Committee and the IPMI Membership Committee. Melonie was selected as the 2019 IPMI Staff Person of the Year.

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Member Profile - Melonie Curry, ParkHouston

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Our next TPTA Member Profile blog features Melonie Curry. Melonie serves as a Staff Analyst for the City of Houston. Learn more about Melonie’s experience as a TPTA member below!

How long has your organization been a member of TPTA?

10 years

How did you learn about TPTA?

From our Director.

What value has your TPTA membership provided you for your career?

·         Numerous educational opportunities

·         Meet other parking professionals and share our experiences and expertise.

·         Allowed me to establish a strong network of professionals that I can reach out to help us tackle some of the challenges our organization may face.

·         Keeps me updated on the newest technologies and practices for our industry

What value has your TPTA membership provided your institution?

 ·         Allows us to network and identify peers to share and gain institutional knowledge

·         Great training opportunities

·         Opens our eyes to innovations that will improve the service we provide to our citizens

What would be your advice to those organizations who are not yet a TPTA member?

Industry specific training is very valuable in parking. Our technologies are unique. The exposure provided by TPTA will allow your team to maximize the value of your parking resources and help you promote economic development.

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IPMI Honors TPTA Organizations and Members for Excellence

Earlier this month, the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI) recognized a number of TPTA members at its annual awards program! Each year, IPMI recognizes parking, transportation, and mobility organizations and professionals worldwide for excellence in a wide range of categories.

IPMI’s Awards of Excellence recognizes outstanding parking and transportation projects for design, innovation, and restoration. Its Professional Recognition Program highlights organizations and individuals for their achievements, and the Marketing Awards recognizes outstanding marketing, public relations, and communications programs. In addition, IPMI also recognized a number of individuals and organizations for achieving industry certifications and accreditations.

We are thrilled to highlight the number of TPTA Members honored by IPMI this year. Awards and professional recognition achievements included:

  • Maria Irshad, CAPP
    Assistant Director, City of Houston/ParkHouston
    (and TPTA President)
    IPMI Chair Award

  • Melonie Curry, MBA
    Staff Analyst, City of Houston
    Parking Staff Member of the Year

  • Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
    Parking Organization of the Year

  • Texas A&M Transportation Services
    Game Day/Class Day Playbook for Success
    Best of 2019 Marketing Program for Excellence

Also honored this year for receiving their CAPP certifications were:

  • Norman Holt CAPP
    Collections Supervisor, City of Houston/ParkHouston

  • Kenneth Kimball, CAPP
    Director, Texas A&M University Transportation Services

Congratulations again to all of the TPTA members honored this year at the IPMI Conference & Expo! We are so thrilled to have so many fantastic leaders involved in our association!

Check out photos of these great folks below!

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Member Profile - Christophe Malsang, Houston First Corporation

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The next feature in our TPTA Member Profile blog series is Christophe Malsang! Christophe serves as Director of Parking Houston First Parking. Learn more about Christophe’s experience as a TPTA member below!

How long has your organization been a member of TPTA?

My organization has been a TPTA member for a very long time. I have been with my organization for 4 years and a part of the TPTA for the last 3 years.

How did you learn about TPTA?

From parking professionals I work with at the City of Houston.

What value has your TPTA membership provided you for your career?

The main thing to me is the opportunity to meet my peers and exchange experiences, technologies, practices, and trends within the industry.

What value has your TPTA membership provided your institution?

I am managing the parking in my district with more knowledge and direction thanks to TPTA. It has helped me make the most educated choices for my department.

What would be your advice to those organizations who are not yet a TPTA member?

The more we will share, the more our industry knowledge increases. By sharing different backgrounds and experiences, we will elevate the level of standards and practice within the industry,

The hospitality of Texas is already famous, even the parking ‘folks’ know how to make someone feel at home.  The challenges of the Great State are unique as well.  TPTA brings the best people and ideas across the state together and everyone benefits. 

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TPTA members Featured for Innovative Solutions

We love to see our members recognized on a national level for implementing innovative parking, transportation, and mobility solutions. A recent issue of the International Parking & Mobility Institute’s The Parking Professional featured both the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M University and the ways that these two institutions are implementing unique solutions in their parking and transportation programs.

The article “All Aboard” highlights how the University of Texas at Arlington developed a plan to address mobility challenges on its campus and revive its transportation system via a public-private partnership. This plan included reallocating financial resources, enhanced technology solutions, improving equipment, expanding service, and increasing customer service efforts.

The article “Making the Numbers Work” discusses the efforts of the Texas A&M University transportation services team to develop and implement a sound, long-term financial strategy. These efforts have made it possible for the University to implement new processes, infrastructure, and technological innovations.

TPTA members are on the cutting edge of leading our industry into the future. We are always thrilled to see their efforts showcased! Be sure to read these two great articles!

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