Point of View: Parking Today Media Gets New CEO and Publisher


Point of View: Parking Today Media Gets New CEO and Publisher

I opened PIE 2024 with the announcement of sale of Parking Today Media to Kevin Uhlenhaker.  I will let you read it here:


I have been asked to talk a bit about PT’s history.


Started with my father – a true renaissance man. He was a printer and taught me the trade, using tools not that much different than Gutenberg used centuries ago. I wasn’t very good at it. My father became editor of a small town weekly and I eventually inherited the paper and the job. I made plenty of mistakes but learned one thing – once you are in the publishing business, you bleed black for the rest of your life


After I sold the paper seconds before bankruptcy I came to the big city to find a job. I eventually went to work for a PARCS company, Secom, and ran its marketing department for nearly 20 years. I wanted to grow the company and began to look for places to advertise. I found there were none. Seemed like an opportunity and after giving my boss a year’s notice, I started Parking Today.


I was told that I wouldn’t last 3 issues…that there simply wasn’t enough information about parking to fill a magazine every month. And here we stand, 28 years later.


There are many stories I could tell, but the one that affected me the most was when I visited Skidata and had a meeting with Tom Rollo.  He walked into the room and said “I hate you.” Tom was always soft spoken.


I said why. He said I had cost him a fortune.  I had forced him to advertise, to hire an agency and create art that truly represented his company and that was expensive. He didn’t like it. He said that PT had forced a little back street industry to grow up. He then started to laugh and offered me a cup of coffee.


If we have been some small force in parking, then we have been a success. The NPA gave us an award. Few know his, but Women in Parking was our idea. We have spoken before parking groups on every continent (except Antarctica), and in most major cities here in the U.S. We have been called names, been attacked (not physically), and threatened. If you are going to make a difference, you can’t be thin-skinned.


I’m here today to announce that I have sold Parking Today, effective last Friday, and will give up the editing and publishing tasks and become editor Emeritus. I’ll still be around and keep my toe in the pond, but a new sheriff has taken over.


As I look back on nearly 3 decades I realize that although my name is on the masthead, there are many others that are, and have been there, too. I cannot name them all, and those I miss please forgive me. Some gave support. I could not have done this without the support of my wife Robyn, my former boss Ted Burton, my first advertiser John Manno, and those in the industry who offered articles and advice. Some you know, some you may not. But thanks must go out to Barbara, Clyde, Michael, Dale, Bob, Julie, Declan, Sarah, a whole bunch of Johns, Brandy, and an endless list of contributors, and wags who tried to keep me honest.


I started with Sheila selling and a mixed bag of an art department. When Sheila got sick Marcy came on board and quite frankly saved the day. I can’t say enough about her. She just did the job that needed to be done. It took a few years but I talked my friend Shelly into taking over the art department and she has been stalwart for the Lord knows how long.


Kelley came into the fold and quite frankly is the lynch-pin that holds our operation together. If you look around at PIE, if you receive PT in the mail, if you use our website, you see the work that Kelley puts in every day. Yael is new, but her magic put this week together. Joyce has taken over the selling task and brings her experience to bear on a difficult marketplace.


I was concerned that we weren’t current, stories that affected the parking world would appear in PT six weeks after they occurred so we came up with Parknews.biz. Astrid came on to find all those stories about parking and edit and put them on line daily. She has been a godsend, and when I got sick last year Robyn made a phone call and told her she was putting out PT for a while. She took on that task and we never looked back. Astrid is the ying to my yang. Thank you friend.


I mustn’t forget Melissa, our copy editor, Jordan, who keeps the office humming, and Sue, our senior employee, who keeps the books and keeps me honest. She is simply wonderful and makes the best chocolate chip cookies.


There have been many along the way who have brought their skills to PT. Eric who ran PIE, my son Andy who showed me how to lead and be nice, too, and so many others who came, although briefly under our umbrella. I cannot end  this list without remembering Joyce Newman. She passed away much too soon, but left an indelible imprint on all who knew her.


Why now? Why sell? Frankly, it’s time. Newer, younger blood is needed. PT has been on stasis since Covid and no matter what ones says, age slows you down. I have been asked to stay on and give advice (I’m good at that) and write a story or two. I will keep blogging, and attend an event now and then.


The new leader  brings two decades of parking experience, a background in technology, certainly a business sense I never had, plus, he’s a good guy,  I’ve known him for years, and it was an easy decision. This is my baby and its going to a great new parent.


As I introduce the new publisher, remember my credo – All change is good. So join me in welcoming Kevin Uhlenhaker the CEO and Publisher of Parking Today.

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn, Editor Emeritus
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