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The Original Nine

April 7, 2021

A Look at Parking Today’s First Partnerships

John Van Horn

When I ran a small country newspaper, one of the merchants came to see me and told me “I never want to see the Fillmore Herald in print without my store’s name in it.” 


If you are not in the publishing business, you may not realize just how important advertising revenue is to companies like ours.


He said it was my responsibility to make that happen. Ads were fine, but stories, quips, and references, they all counted. 


He knew that it wasn’t necessarily the size of the ad that counted, but also fact that his name was in the paper each week.


His business was a drugstore. He specialized in knowing his customers and helping them in any way a pharmacist could. When the big chain drugstore opened up in the new shopping center down on the highway, he never missed a beat. 


His relationships with his customers were strong; they knew him and his reliability. 


They were confident that he would be there for them just as he had over the previous quarter century. 


As Parking Today celebrates 25 years in the publishing business, we need to point out that there were nine companies who where there at the beginning, way back in 1996, who supported us. 


We hope, likewise, that we supported them.


Some of these companies ran full pages, others ran much smaller ads, but they were there. 


And still are. 


History has been kind to some of them, not so much with others, however, they all, in spite of recessions, upheavals, mergers, buyouts, and even the odd pandemic, are still here. 


Their add placement has changed with differing marketing programs, sizes have moved up and down, but they all knew that consistency was the important thing. 


I knew some of the heads of these companies personally and reached out to them when we planned our first issue. 


Others reached out to me, and we were honored by their presence. 


The late John Manno, Sr. was our first advertiser, but only because I asked him first. John Manno drove a hard bargain, but was always fair with us. 


He wanted his ad on “page 3” and there is stayed, unchanged, for more than 20 years. 


His chief competitor came on board a month or so later. Tom Carter at The Toledo Ticket Company wanted the back cover and got it. 


There he stayed for 23 years. Talk about branding. That was world class.


Amano McGann was Amano Cincinnati in those days. Most of the folks who drove that PARCS juggernaut are long retired. 


With the advent of the McGann software group, and the integration of Cincinnati Time into Amano, this was a harbinger of many changes in the PARCS landscape.


POM advertised its world-class parking meters from the beginning. Skeeter Ward piloted his company with new innovations. 


Bobra (Wilbanks) Schultes and Terry Henderson helped me through my first parking shows with the NPA and IPI in those days. They are great friends.


Secom was my home before I started Parking Today. Ted Burton supported our little startup with ads for years. My favorite was a double truck that ran for a few months. It was headed “Innovation” and touted the many software programs that came from this LA-based PARCS company.


Tom Duemling has been a friend since we began. His company, Par-Kut, has been advertising, small ads, for over two decades. 


Tom is a character, and I so enjoy talking to him when we meet up at trade shows. You will find his booths in parking locations big and small around the country.


Scheidt and Bachmann began its push into the U.S. about the time we started PT. 


The German company initially focused on airports, then expanded into non-airport operations. 


It is certainly one of the heavyweights in the PARCS business.


MacKay Meters out of Canada is still selling major parking meter systems throughout North America. 


Jim MacKay and his crew represent the finest of what the folks north of the border have to offer. 


I look forward to our talks, particularly with sales manager, Jim Taylor.


I was surprised, to say the least, when this Italian company called FAAC began advertising with us that first year. They were selling gates and had the most beautiful ad, with a ballerina posed next to a partially open gate. Very Italian. 


Obviously, they have grown what with their purchases of Data Park, and Zeag, forming HUB, and their recent purchase of TIBA making them among the largest PARCs suppliers in the world.


Of course, there are many others who have graced the pages of Parking Today over the past two and a half decades. 


Well over three hundred, as a matter of fact. To each and every one we are most grateful. 


However, these nine have been here since the beginning and it is not possible to express our gratitude enough. 


If you are not in the publishing business, you may not realize just how important advertising revenue is to companies like ours. 


Business-to-business publications seldom rely on subscriptions for their income. We rely almost totally on advertising sales. 


Without these original nine and the hundreds that followed, we would not be here today. 


I commend their success to you and remind you that   in addition to providing stellar products for the parking industry, they also enabled Parking Today to grow and become what it is today. 


Thank You.


John Van Horn is editor and publisher of Parking Today.



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