The parking association of Australia hosted a number of international visitors including speakers Zhu Hao from China, George Hazel from Scotland, Dave Hill and Sandra Smith from Canada, Nadav Levy from Israel Kevin Warwood from New Zealand and Rachel Yoka from the US. Like most non US organizations, the Australians feel they have a lot to learn from their counterparts from other countries.
I also met old friends including Greg Parzych from TCS, Thomas Dibbern from Scheidt and Bachmann, Robert Weiskoff from Skidata, and Thomas Waibel from Designa. Waibel was in Australia to support his company’s recent purchase of Australian distributor Sabar, which just completed a major PARCS installation at Sydney Airport. Greg is here to support his new distributor, TMA.
We spent an hour on a boat with over 300 delegates and were able to network and smooze (read that gossip) all about parking, renew old friends and make new ones. Its great how salt air and a little alcohol can loosen tongues and make old issues go away. A view of an iconic building and a famous bridge:
You, not me, can hike up on the top of the bridge and get some of the most famous views on the planet. here are some stalwarts moving across the span:
Leyon Parker was honored at the group’s closing dinner. He has been extremely active in the PAA over the past 20 years having served many as the president. He is retiring and plans to spend the next few months touring Australia in a four wheel drive and trailer. He was one of only three in the history of the organization to receive a lifetime membership. Here sly Leyon snaps my picture as I…well you know:
That’s Sandra Smith in the foreground.
Last night I spent a beautiful evening with PAA president Larry Schneider, Leyon and his wife. We ate at a marvelous restaurant and told wonderful stories about parking, and about the interesting lives of those around the table.
The 2012 Parking Association of Australia is over, and all the expats are heading home. The next event will be in 2014 in Brisbane.