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!