University of Georgia Parking Services Named 2011 Parking Organization of the Year by International Parking Institute

Award recognizes University of Georgia's exemplary customer service and sustainability programs

Media Contact:
Helen Sullivan
703.847.9702 office
703.606.7622 mobile
sullivan@parking.org

(FREDERICKSBURG, VA - May 23, 2011) In recognition that the University of Georgia Parking Services, Athens, Ga. has exceeded expectations and meets extremely high standards for customer service, the International Parking Institute (IPI) awarded the department the 2011 Parking Organization of the Year Award at the 2011 International Parking Institute Conference & Expo in Pittsburgh, Pa., May 22-25.

In announcing the award, IPI's Executive Director, Shawn Conrad, CAE, said, "The University of Georgia Parking Services' tagline, 'beyond expectation,' highlights the importance of customer service to the department's mission and exemplifies all that is best in the parking profession."

The University of Georgia Parking Services department has initiated a number of projects to improve customer service. These included infusing technology throughout its programs; instituting programs to boost safety, security and physical appearance at its parking facilities; developing more customer-driven solutions to parking challenges; maintaining fiscal responsibility and accountability; and enhancing staff training and morale.

The department has made robust sustainability a key part of its customer service initiatives. The department rewards drivers of high-efficiency vehicles by offering carpool ride matching, positions recycling bins in parking decks, and provides incentives to use alternative transportation. Safety is another focus, with Operation Safe Drive, a free vehicle maintenance inspection program before holidays to help students drive home safely, and new safety features in parking decks, including white ceilings and additional lighting.

As a large, rural parking organization, the University of Georgia Parking Services currently serves 10,053 faculty and staff as well as 34,885 students. The department employs 87 parking professionals and has an annual budget of $11,255,400. With 10 parking garages and 150 surface lots, the department oversees 20,089 spaces.

Previously, the University of Georgia Parking Services department was honored with the 2008 Georgia Governor's Award: Customer Service for Team Excellence, and the 2008 Chancellor's Customer Service Excellence Award.

"We salute the University of Georgia Parking Services for excellence in customer service. In the end, the needs of our customers come first, and this award demonstrates the kinds of initiatives that enhance the customer parking experience," said Conrad.

About the organization:
International Parking Institute is the largest and leading trade association representing parking professionals and the parking industry worldwide. The organization publishes The Parking Professional monthly magazine, dubbed the "bible of the parking industry" and each year hosts the IPI Conference & Expo, the largest gathering of parking professionals and exhibitors in the world. www.parking.org

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