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.