Professional Perfection

TPP-2014-07-Professional PerfectionBy Larry Cohen, CAPP, and Gary Means, CAPP

Nearly every office has one: that single person who shines nearly every day. Whether it’s a winning smile that gets everyone happy or the person who always lends a hand, these individuals are stand-out professionals who boost their colleagues, customers, and the parking industry as a whole.

Each year, IPI recognizes the best of the best with its Professional Recognition Program awards. Nominated by their supervisors and peers, these are the people and programs who stand as examples to their colleagues around the country.

We say the competition is tough every year, but this year seemed especially competitive, with many distinguished and dedicated professionals and programs nominated for awards.

These are truly the cream of the crop. They received their awards at the 2014 IPI Conference & Expo in Dallas to lots of well-deserved applause.

Staff Memberof the Year
Wendy Glenn
University of Georgia

Wendy Glenn does a seemingly ordinary job extraordinarily well. As a parking monitor in the University of Georgia South Deck, she has had an exceptionally positive effect on customer service. Her standards of conduct and delightful interactions with visitors have also enhanced the professional reputation of her department and the industry.

Glenn has made significant contributions to her department’s 43 award wins in recent years, including IPI’s Parking Organization of the Year in 2011. She was named the Parking Association of Georgia’s 2014 Staff Member of the Year as well.

Known for displaying an exceptional attitude in her interactions with customers, Glenn has a reputation for always smiling and presenting herself in a professional manner in her appearance, enthusiasm, and general positive outlook. Parking is often the first and last impression a visitor has of the university, and Glenn leaves a positive impression on thousands of visitors, some of whom have commented that she’s friendly, charming, and attentive and offers terrific customer service, going above and beyond to ensure that everyone who visits the deck leaves with a smile.

Many visitors to the Georgia Center are elderly, and Glenn goes out of her way to assist them, helping carry items to their cars as part of her routine. She is a key member of the organization’s integrated processes improvement team, which seeks to make department-wide improvements. She also serves as co-leader of the Integrated Program teams, a competency-aligned organization essential to the university’s Parking Services department. Additionally, she is involved in Operation Safe-Drive, an award-winning program that provides free vehicle inspections for faculty, staff, and students.

Great customer service can only happen when employees demonstrate positive attitudes, and Glenn exemplifies this commitment. She is a consummate professional, leader, and role model for her peers and a bright spot in the days of thousands of university visitors.

Supervisor of the Year
Joseph Wlostowski
Binghamton University

Joe Wlostowski has dedicated himself to the parking industry for more than 22 years. He is passionate, ambitious, resourceful, knowledgeable, and generous and known on the Binghamton University campus as a true professional and credit to his industry.

Wlostowski arrives at work every morning with a smile and a can-do attitude, offering his talents and skills to solve whatever challenges arise. Knowing other departments are stretched thin during busy times, he volunteers to help, either directly or by contacting the right people elsewhere. His positive attitude is contagious and quickly spreads to anyone he encounters.

Not afraid of hard work, he works well under pressure. When President Barack Obama visited campus in 2013, Wlostowski grabbed a post-hole digger and got to work with his staff, pounding 800 posts into the ground to restrict pedestrians from entering the motorcade route, getting the job done in less than 48 hours. His energy and creativity readied the campus for a once-in-a-lifetime event. He’s also known as the guy who can fix anything; when a pay station recently jammed, he calmly took it to his office, disassembled it, and saved $1,400 fixing it himself. Best of all, the meters were only out of service for a day. He’s known for meeting those sorts of challenges in a professional manner, offering suggestions and feedback that help both his and other departments.

He’s also a key part of the surrounding neighborhood, recently spending an entire weekend painting the exterior of an elderly neighbor’s home. He never asked for anything in return; in fact, he never does. He’s also organized building repair for the Broome County Humane Society, gathering up staff and friends to get the job done, and a nice side benefit was positive press for the parking department. Every February, he orchestrates a Have a Heart campaign to collect food and supplies for the Humane Society as well.

Wlostowski is known for his generosity, knowledge, and willingness to get in and get the job done, which makes him a top-rate supervisor.

James M. Hunnicutt, CAPP,
Parking Professional of the Year

Joshua Kavanagh, CAPP
University of Washington

In more than a decade working in parking and transportation, Joshua Kavanagh, CAPP, has taken leadership roles in program management, education, association leadership, industry advocacy, and the larger community.
Kavanagh stepped into some big shoes when he took over management of the University of Washington Parking and Transportation Department. Rather than being daunted by a great legacy, however, he quickly set about tackling some tall finance hurdles. He began by reassessing departmental staff and resources and beginning the difficult task of rebuilding the program’s financial stability. In four years, he established a truly first-rate team and took the program to a new level. This included:

  • Implementing a new business model and building a $16 million reserve in four years and allowing strategic reinvestment.
  • Serving as primary contributor to all reserve allocation and funding strategy that saved 600,000 hours of transit service per year in King County.
  • Securing $3.2 million in federal funding for campus cycling infrastructure.
  • Instituting a behavior-change strategy that allowed for the loss of 600 spaces without forcing relocations.
  • Achieving LEED Platinum certification for a new transportation services center and winning multiple awards.
  • Being selected to participate in the iSustain research mission to learn about urban sustainability in Denmark and Sweden.

Kavanagh was instrumental in changes to IPI’s education programs that will make them valuable for years to come. He was the primary author of IPI’s Professional Development Framework; led IPI’s efforts to create a strategic alliance with the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT); and served as president of the Pacific and Inter-Mountain Parking and Transportation Association.

Currently president of ACT, Kavanagh continues to work to promote a broader vision of the industry and the integration of parking and transportation into a broader set of inter-related access management strategies.

Parking Organization of the Year
University of Washington Transportation Services

Lean management has been key to success for the University of Washington Transportation Services department. This complex organization serves the needs of a large metropolitan university campus and major regional medical center.

A frequent award winner, the department has previously been recognized with an ACT Marketing & Outreach Award and a Diamond Ring Award for Outstanding Leadership, along with Zipcar’s Wheels of Change award and being named a Bicycle-Friendly University (Silver) by the League of American Bicyclists. The campus was also named a Best Workplace for Commuters and recognized as one of the country’s 100 Best Fleets.

Transportation Services delivers customer-focused resources to a community of 65,000 people, many of whom commute to the campus for school or work. More than 80 percent of trips to campus are made by modes other than driving alone, and an estimated 2,500 visitors park on campus every day.

UW Transportation Services and its individual departments are responsible for everything from representation on federal, state, and local transportation issues to planning, financing, and developing a multi-modal transportation infrastructure. The department also maintains parking resources for 12,000 vehicles and 6,000 bicycles, manages parking for events that host up to 72,000 people, manages a fleet of 650 vehicles, and operates shuttle programs throughout campus.

During the last two years, UW Transportation Services migrated nearly 90,000 customers across five campuses to smartcard technology to align the U-PASS campus transportation program with regional transportation systems. It also reorganized operations to better reflect services offered and streamline service delivery, and took action to achieve LEED Platinum recognition for its new University Transportation Center—the first LEED Platinum rating for the Seattle campus and the first LEED-CI (commercial interiors) rating for the entire university.

The department implemented its First and Last Impressions initiative that brought national leaders to campus to teach staff to play key roles in providing exceptional customer experiences. And it implemented Lean principles to every aspect of the organization, allowing each individual to play a role in identifying common strategic goals that eliminate duplication and minimize waste. They give every employee responsibility for recognizing where change is needed to reach goals and empower them to make those changes.

UW Transportation Services stands as a model for other departments, going far beyond simple parking to improve overall quality of life for everyone on campus.

Larry Cohen, CAPP, is executive director of the Lancaster Parking Authority and co-chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee. He can be reached at lcohen@lancasterparkingauthority.com or 717.299.0907.


Gary Means, CAPP, is executive director of the Lexington & Fayette County Parking Authority and co-chair of IPI’s Professional Recognition Committee. He can be reached at gmeans@lexingtonky.gov or 859.233.7275.

TPP-2014-07-Professional Perfection