The NPA – 55 Years of Service
Martin Stein, NPA Executive Director
The National Parking Association, which represents parking professionals from all sectors of the industry, was founded in 1951 by a group of private-sector entrepreneurs. The NPA has grown over the years and acts as the advocate representative and voice of the parking industry.
As such, we welcome all stakeholders of the industry, including private operators of all sizes and focus (commercial, valet, municipal, health care, for example); members of the governmental, municipal and not-for-profit sector; owners of parking assets; parking consultants; vendors; and service providers.
The NPA seeks to:
• Create opportunities for its members to continuously learn and stay abreast of industry best practices and to be exposed to state-of-the-art technology and equipment;
• Protect the interests of its members by monitoring and impacting local, state and federal laws and regulations;
• Carefully steward the association’s rich history of enabling members to interact with one another in settings that stress friendship and genuine care for one another and the sharing of best practices for the good of the entire industry;
• Maintain a valuable and valued set of membership benefits that create a measurable return on a member’s investment in dues;
• Establish the NPA as the visible, knowledgeable and available voice of the parking industry and advance the position of the entire industry.
Although the future of the parking industry is ever-changing, I feel it is important for the NPA to continue to provide educational, networking and business-development opportunities to assist our members in achieving both their personal and professional goals.
Our new President, Andrew Blair, has always believed that, as a group, we should strive to “raise the water level, allowing all boats to float higher!” This concept clearly lends itself to the spirit of cooperation that allows competitors to help one another improve the image of the industry without divulging competitive secrets.
Associations serve two masters: the members and the industry as a whole. The beauty is that in giving members the opportunity to improve their practices, the entire industry benefits. It is one of the premises on which the NPA was founded 55 years ago, and has proven valuable over time.
Our accomplishments include the completion of a “white paper” on parking taxes, produced in conjunction with the George Mason School of Public Policy; the addition of affinity programs whose “partnerships” with NPA provide enhanced service and preferred pricing on items such as credit card processing, legal services, health care plans, equipment leasing, and insurance programs for NPA members.
Our Parking Consultants Council (PCC) continues to create new and update existing publications to disseminate current information to our members. Additionally, we are very proud of our Certified Parking Professional (CPP) program, which has served to validate the training programs of our members and elevate the stature of those individuals in the field representing our industry.
The NPA will seek to develop and structure programs that target and tailor its benefits, learning and networking opportunities, and access to the best and brightest of the purveyors of goods and services to fit the specific needs of its various categories of members so as to build upon its position as the parking association that brings together and advocates for all stakeholders of the industry. We also will seek to strengthen connections between members and technology and service providers to create opportunities for enhanced product development and advancement.
I firmly believe in the concept that “associations do not make members; members make associations.” The NPA provides the structure, opportunity and support, but it truly is the participation and commitment by its members that drives the success. Those who choose to join and actively participate from within have reaped great reward. Commitment may come in many forms – from paying dues and attending functions, to actively participating in one of the many committees that further both the association and the industry at large.
There is great truth to the adage that the more you invest yourself in a positive way, the greater the return on investment!
The NPA has always been focused on building relationships with other parking organizations, whether they are national, regional, state, local or overseas. We have shared ideas with many of them, which I believe have been mutually beneficial.
With regard to the NPA and IPI ever combining trade shows, I would say that perhaps there is an argument to be made that such a combination could work to the benefit of our members who buy and sell goods/services. But with a track record of progressively more successful expositions and with conventions that provide rich and varied content for all in attendance, it does not make sense, on its face, for the NPA to “mess with a good thing.”
Article Abstract from December, 2006