What’s happening in WIP?
Laura Longsworth, Colleen M. Niese
What was once just another classic JVH moment of creativity – “Hey, let’s dedicate an entire issue of Parking Today to Women in Parking!” – has now become a well-known annual tradition that both PT readers and WIP members alike look forward to.
Most of the magazine’s articles are written by Women in Parking members. You’ll notice advertisements that are in step with the WIP mission, right along with this issue’s topic of Safety and Security. And John Van Horn himself has stepped aside to allow us to take over this month’s Point of View.
The evolution of this annual issue is symbolic of how Women in Parking, the association itself, has grown over the past four years. We find ourselves spending much less time and energy in explaining that we’re not a girls-only club, and much more of our effort going toward how to continue to build an association with member value that contributes to defining, building and retaining gender balance in the workplace through mentoring, networking and education.
Our mentorship program kicked off its third year last month, and as in past years, participation grew at a double-digit pace. This program connects emerging leaders with tenured professionals to discuss career objectives, and to share parking industry institutional knowledge and best practices.
The feedback from mentor and mentee is consistently favorable in terms of both receiving valuable insights and lessons learned that each can put to practice back at the workplace. We have Amber Cunha from Digital Printing Systems to thank for taking charge and ensuring another successful program kickoff.
Board members Andi Campbell from LAZ Parking and Kelsey Owens from Passport Parking have changed the quarterly webinar series for the better by establishing a three-quarter series focused on professional development that started last month with a lively discussion on “Secrets to Success,” which Campbell facilitated.
On Sept. 2, the series continues with an interactive exchange to learn from industry executives on gender communications trends,
and concludes Dec. 7 with Colleen Niese
leading a session on how to grow your career on your terms.
These webinars are free to WIP members and continue to deliver on the promises of high value and practical tips that can immediately be put to practice.
In partnership with the National Parking Association – its Convention & Expo 2016 is Sept. 19-22 in Atlanta – WIP will host its annual conference Sept. 22-23 at the same Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel. As in previous years, this event promises to bring the best in both networking and education to all attendees.
Based on member feedback, we’ve included a networking event the evening of Sept. 22 that will serve as the perfect opportunity for all to catch up with colleagues, build professional relationships and identify potential business opportunities to meet both individual and corporate objectives.
Our Keynote Speaker, Nadia Bilchik, President of Greater Impact Communications, will offer tips and techniques to build rapport every time one communicates. An international news anchor and TV personality, Bilchik will share clips of her interviews with celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman to show participants the art of communicating with anyone, anywhere, at any time.
WIP Conference attendees will take away key lessons on how to improve professional and personal relationships by creating opportunities to maximize existing relationships and capitalize on unexplored options. It’s a session that will be a game changer for all who are interested in learning how to improve conversations, listen more attentively and be heard regardless of the forum.
Laura Longsworth is going to round out the third annual WIP conference by heading up a panel discussion with industry executives on the current trends that will impact future success. The event will start with two break-out sessions that will discuss both enhancing personal brand and driving results through team and partner collaboration.
The conference committee – led by Leadership Board Member Stan Bochniak, a Marketing Manager with ABM Industries – is committed to delivering on this year’s theme: “Creating Connections and Building Success.”
Committee members, along with the WIP Board, will ensure once again that all attendees enjoy and gain value from this experience, where parking professionals from across the industry gather to celebrate and learn about gender diversity.
To learn more about the WIP conference and to register, go to womeninparking.com/member-center/annual-conference.
The Women in Parking organization continues to increase in both membership and value solely through the generosity and volunteerism of its members, sponsors and leaders. From our inception – and thanks to the support of now-Executive Director Ruth Beaman and another JVH moment (“Organize a group of women and get the hell out of the way”), we started at 12 members and now have grown to 200 and counting.
Now more than ever, WIP delivers on our mission to be the premier association dedicated to promoting the advancement and achievement of professional women by providing networking, leadership, career outreach opportunities and support to its members.
Our values serve as the road map as we continue to evolve with the industry: leadership, collaboration, integrity and excellence. In addition to providing the membership benefits mentioned above, we also foster an opportunity for any member to get involved, using her or his talents in a meaningful way, while making new connections and promoting respective organizations.
If you want to get involved, just reach out to any member of the WIP Board or contact us directly at womeninparking.com. We promise you’ll gain as much as you give with your time and effort, and the association as a whole will be that much richer because or your contribution!
Laura Longsworth, VP at Brookfield Properties and
chairperson of Women in Parking, can be reached at
email@example.com. Contact Colleen M. Niese, a Principal at The Marlyn Group and Associate Director of Women In Parking, at firstname.lastname@example.org