The 2012 IPI Professional Recognition Awards
It’s always a pleasure to tell someone we work with that they’re doing a great job. It’s great to know that we just brightened up someone’s day by complimenting their professionalism, especially because that professionalism makes our organizations look good.
Being able to recognize parking professionals in front of thousands of their peers is even more rewarding. As an industry, we’ve been focused on professionalism for some time now, and we understand that putting our best foot forward from the front line to the boardroom elevates our individual operations and our profession in the eyes of our customers.
We look forward to the International Parking Institute’s Professional Recognition Awards, formally presented at the IPI Conference & Expo, every year. Watching and learning about each year’s honorees is a delight, both because we recognize and applaud parking’s top professionals and because it’s an opportunity to learn from the best: how do they do what they do, and how can we bring those strategies to our own desks and organizations?
The Professional Recognition awards were created by IPI to honor, recognize, and commend the parking and transportation industry’s most valuable asset: its employees. These are the people who exemplify excellence in the parking industry every day, and who promote positivity through their actions and organizational programs. We are proud to recognize the 2012 IPI Professional Recognition Award winners.
Parking Staff Member of the Year
Texas Tech University
Heather Medley joined University Parking Services at Texas Tech University in 2006, and has continually pursued excellence for herself and the department. Her current job, marketing and training coordinator, didn’t exist when she was hired. She created the marketing department with innovative marking plans, creative communications, and a stellar social media presence.
On campus, she actively participates in organizations such as University Women’s Club, Mentor Tech, and Staff Senate. Most recently, she volunteered to be a judge for the athletics department’s talent show. Proceeds from the show benefited local charities, but her role also let students and the community know that parking is interested in and involved with what they do.
Medley recently served on a team to help the parking services division create a website for sustainability. Never complaining that it wasn’t her job or pointing out others’ shortcomings, she helped create an interactive, user-friendly site that highlighted campus-wide efforts to go green.
When talking to the media about technological advances in the department or writing articles for the department’s blog, Medley is always quick to showcase the efforts of others and give credit where it is due. She also highlights employees in a video blog that showcases the efforts of individuals throughout the department (See p. 40 of the April 2012 issue of The Parking Professional for more about her efforts).
Medley is known for putting in extra effort to provide outstanding customer service. For example, when calling on some customers in the athletics department, one of the new basketball coaches remarked that he needed to take his check for parking fees to the office. Medley got the forms for him to sign and delivered the check to save him the trip.
Parking Supervisor of the Year
Texas A&M University
June Broughton, communications and marketing manager at Texas A&M University’s Transportation Services Department, was recognized this year for her commitment to service excellence.
Broughton is known for going above and beyond merely producing marketing materials; she searches out and learns university guidelines and then works with many groups to ensure alignment between them. This is no small feat, as she’s part of a large department of more than 150 budgeted employees and 300 student workers comprising 14 different units.
In addition to managing the look, feel, and content of all externally-delivered materials and the website, Broughton took it upon herself to identify and secure creative sources of revenue to help offset the costs her team incurs. She suggested and followed through on an advertising program for the racks in the department’s bus fleet, facing opposition from administrators and convincing them to try a pilot program using ads from other on-campus departments only. The pilot convinced campus leaders of her good judgment and management of the process, and the department was given approval to extend the bus advertising program to non-affiliated companies as well, growing the program’s revenue stream from $25,000 to $150,000 per year.
Broughton is known for always assisting others in the parking industry in developing their own marketing and communications programs. She happily supports her colleagues who speak at industry conferences, or anytime budget and time permit. She travels to share her knowledge in alignment with IPI’s mission of providing leadership, training, and professional development.
Parking Organization of the Year
University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Transportation Services
The University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Transportation Services (DOTS) embraced new technology in the last year, instituting a completely permitless parking system (see p. 36 of the February 2012 issue of The Parking Professional for more about this). Through the use of license plate recognition (LPR) technology that operates via truck-mounted cameras, DOTS has eliminated the need for nearly 18,000 plastic hangtags. Enormous benefits include customer convenience and ease of online registration, as well as cost savings of nearly $100,000 per year.
Additionally, areas of consternation such as altered or stolen permits or long registration lines before the first day of class have all been eradicated. Thanks to efforts by the marketing and communications staff of the department and professional design team, messages about the new system were internally crafted, and were creative and well-received.
DOTS is also leading the way in sustainability efforts and eco-friendly advancements for their community, creating the TerpRider Carpool program with premium parking access and reduced cost through its Green Registration program. Customers who register certain hybrid vehicles receive discounts; those who use mass transit enjoy pre-tax transit payroll deductions through the Smart Benefits program. Most recently, DOTS purchased electric vehicle charging stations where registered customers receive no-fee charging and a 50 percent reduction in their parking rates.
Emphasizing customer service, the DOTS main office underwent a massive renovation that involved brightening the space, removing barriers for personal communication, and adding a customer waiting and reception area staffed with undergraduate students. Parking staff members are all FISH! Philosophy trained to ensure engaging and positive customer interactions.
The virtual office was also completely redesigned to incorporate a bilingual interactive phone menu and the launch of nearly all in-person services in an online format. Students and staff can work with the department 24 hours per day.
DOTS has also differentiated itself through its involvement in the community. All front-line student supervisors are trained by the university counseling center to identify students in distress, recognize when their co-workers or customers may need help with non-parking-related issues, and refer them to appropriate professionals.
Parking Professional of the Year
Rachel Yoka, LEED AP BD+C,
Timothy Haahs & Associates, Inc.
Rachel Yoka is vice president of strategic business planning and sustainability for TimHaahs. She heads the company’s marketing department, where she is credited with transforming the TimHaahs brand. In addition, she guides TimHaahs’ efforts in sustainability, leading an in-house educational program on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® that has resulted in more than 25 percent of the firm’s employees becoming LEED® Accredited Professionals.
Yoka serves as co-chair of IPI’s Sustainability Committee and works with IPI and other organizations to help promote the idea of sustainability through parking planning, design, construction, and operations. She is also serving as editor of the upcoming joint publication between the International Parking Institute and the National Parking Association on sustainability. Additionally, she is treasurer of the Pennsylvania Parking Association (PPA); on the advisory board for the Philadelphia Chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), where in 2010 she served as co-chair of its Urban Marketplace forum and is currently programming co-chair for the inaugural Philadelphia ULI Global Marketplace event; and, president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS). She also holds leadership roles with other parking and sustainability organizations.
At TimHaahs, she has served on numerous project teams; some of her recent projects include:
Gangdong Gu District Master Plan, Seoul, Korea.
Abington Transit Revitalization District and Supportive Infrastructure Study, Abington, Pa.
Temple University 11th & Montgomery Mixed-Use Parking Structure, Philadelphia, Pa.
Sharjah Comprehensive Parking Planning and Study, Sharjah, UAE.
SEPTA 69th Street Terminal Garage, Upper Darby, Pa.
Yoka has proven her compassion and dedication to a number of charitable and community organizations. She consistently leads TimHaahs’ efforts in advancing the firm’s mission of “We exist to help those in need,” working with such efforts as the American Heart Association Heart Walk, American Heart Association Go Red for Women, Philabundance “CANstruction” competition (charity committed to collecting food for those in need), and Norristown Ministries Hospitality Center (a local organization serving the poor and homeless).
Gary Means, CAPP, is the executive director, Lexington Parking Authority and co-chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee. He can be reached at email@example.com or 859.233.7275.
Kim Jackson, CAPP, is the director, Parking and Transportation, Princeton University and co-chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.258.7855.