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Morgan Freeman –

Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman came out swinging in an interview this week. He lambasted the terms “African American” and “Black History Month.”

He commented that it was an insult to relegate his history to a month, and that African American was simply inaccurate.

“I don’t subscribe to that title. Black people have had different titles all the way back to the N-word and I do not know how these things get such a grip, but everyone uses ‘African American’.

“What does it really mean? Most Black people in this part of the world are mongrels. And you say Africa as if it’s a country when it’s a continent, like Europe.”

The actor had previously spoken out against both terms to the Guardian in 2012, saying he didn’t like “African American” “because ‘Black’ is beautiful. One syllable versus seven”.

As for Black History Month, he said he objected to the ghettoisation implicit in devoting February to this topic.

“Black history is American history; they’re completely intertwined.”

Asked by the Times whether he concurred with Denzel Washington’s statement that he was “very proud to be Black, but Black is not all I am.” Freeman said: “Yes, exactly. I’m in total agreement. You can’t define me that way.”

When asked what should be done about prejudice he said “Stop talking about it.”


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It’s the People that Make PIE a Success

Mounting an event like PIE 2023 is a gargantuan task. I cannot say enough about the stellar work done by Marcy and her team. The coordination of over 100 vendors, just under 1000 people, hotels, food, events and the rest is incredible. And Marcy makes it look easy.

The best to Marcy, Kelley, Lindsay, Shelly, Astrid and the rest of the crew. The success of PIE 2023 is due to your wonderful efforts.


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Seminars at PIE Sparked Arguments and Discussion — Right On!

“After the first two seminars at PIE 2023, people were standing in the halls in deep discussion, sometimes arguing over what was said….”

I got this comment along with similar ones from PIE 2023 attendees. To that I say “Right on.” It was  exactly what we were looking for as we planned the seminars. Our goal was to stimulate and provoke thinking about our industry. It seems we succeeded at that.

We had presentations from senior members of the industry, and from those who were deep in a start up mode. Sometimes they agreed, sometimes they did not. That’s how things work in the real world and how new ideas are born.

I was particularly impressed with two presentations I attended.

One had to do with EV Charging. We were fortunate enough to have presenters from a major airport, one large and one small city, and a developer of parking garages. These folks pulled no punches. They told of their real world experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly. A data collection company told of the concerns about charging stations that were not well supported, and a supplier of charging stations told his side of the story. They all agreed that this was a very new industry and needed to mature.

The other was the “World Parking Council”. Nine CEOs of organizations that supply and use parking technology told of their concerns about what was coming down the pike or as I put it, ‘what kept them awake at night.’ They then discussed their vision of what the next decade will bring for our industry. This was a group that spoke with indepth knowledge and candor. Their wisdom permeated the room and carried on with discussion afterwards.

The majority of the seminars were originated and supervised by Astrid and she tells me that she already has ideas for PIE 2024. Frankly this year’s group will be hard to top. Thanks to Astrid for her hard work and diligence.



The Movie Titles Connected with the Seminars at PIE. What do they mean?

When  Astrid and I came up with the movie titles, we had some idea in the back of our minds how they fit the subject of the seminars. However, some of the seminar presenters had entirely different ideas about the titles. Creativity knows no limit, so we leave it up to you.

Think about it – Into the Spiderverse, the Ins and outs of EV Charging, for instance. Let’s face it, the web slinger leads a most complex life, and what could be more complex that EV Charging, unless one thinks of just how much we need to learn about the teenage crime fighter. Who knows when a radioactive spider might take a nip out of you?

So, its up to you just what the relationship is between the movie titles and the seminars. Have a blast.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Schaumburg in a week or so.



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They are Liars and Thieves

I get an email every day or so from someone wanting to sell me an ‘attendee list’ for the Parking Industry Expo 2023, or in fact for the IPMI 2023, or periodically, for the NPA event. The source of these lists is unknown, but people still respond to such requests. It couldn’t be more fake if it had originated in Nigeria, and perhaps it did.

If you get such a request there is only one thing to do: “DELETE.”

The only legitimate lists of attendees at PIE and the others mentioned above come from the organizers. PERIOD. In our case if you want a list before the event, you should have been an exhibitor. It will be sent out free of charge shortly. Sorry, that’s how it works.

Or, you could show up at the event week after next and meet the attendees in person. See you soon.


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Parking Industry Expo Slated for March 28-30  – Don’t Miss World Parking Forum

The Parking Industry is heading to Schaumburg, Il, at the end of March to attend the Parking Industry Expo 2023. According to the event organizer Marcy Sparrow, close to 1000 people from the parking industry will fill the exhibit halls and seminar rooms for the three day event.

Two seminars this year will highlight the movement toward EV Charging with one featuring cities, airports, and private developers who have installed these charging stations and the pluses and minuses in dealing with the purchases and installation. Questions will be answered not only by parking managers but also by vendors who supply the equipment. A second seminar will highlight the numbers and the up front and long term costs of EV charging.

The event will be kicked off on Tuesday Morning with a “World Parking Forum” featuring CEOs from major equipment suppliers and parking organizations who supervise parking operations world wide. The first day will be rounded out with “Park Tank” a take off on the popular “Shark Tank,” a seminar on ethical leadership, and PIE’s traditional “Speed Networking.”

Day two will see the afternoon filled with the opening of the exhibit hall. The day will be rounded out  with seminars on the digitization of on street parking, a panel of seniors, a presentation on how to build an RFP, and the ins and outs of License Plate Recognition.

Thursday will be led off with a seminar featuring a panel from cities large and small, security in garages, and a panel from local universities, put on by “Big 10 and Friends” parking organization which is holding its events collocated with PIE.

The afternoon will round out the event with a “tail gate” party on the Exhibit hall floor.

The Parking Industry Expo 2023 will be held March 28-30 at the Schaumburg Renaissance Convention Center located 20 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The event will feature multiple seminars covering all aspects of parking, plus an exhibition hall with over 100 booths featuring the latest in parking technology. The event is sponsored by Parking Today Magazine. For complete schedule, details about all the seminars and a listing of exhibiting companies, log on to pieshow.parkingtoday.com.

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Parking Industry Expo Focuses On EV Charging

The purchase of EV charging stations can be difficult for parking owners and operators. PIE 2023 has two seminars that will focus like a laser beam on these issues. First, a panel made up of parking managers from a small and large city, an airport, a developer,  will discuss the pluses and minuses. This is where reality kicks in. Then at the same seminar, a panel of EV charging suppliers will answer your questions about this most interesting subject.

The second seminar, the following day, will discuss what kind of issue does the prospect of EV (electric vehicle) adoption in the transportation economy represent for the Parking Industry? Is it a novel challenge or even a game changer?  Many questions are raised by EV adoption, but are they creating their own narrative echo chamber distracting from known facts and issues? What do we know now about the facts and the numbers?

These two seminars are the place to ask your questions and get answers. For full information about PIE 2023 log on here.

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Yes, You can get to PIE 2023 from O’Hare

The Parking Industry Expo will be held March 28-30 at the Schaumburg Renaissance Convention center. It is located 14 miles North of O’Hare International Airport. To reach the hotel and convention center you can:

  • Take a taxi
  • Take Uber or Lyft
  • Rent a Car.

The Taxi and Uber/Lyft cost between $45 and $60 and takes about half an hour.

PIE organizers picked the Schaumburg Convention Center due to its proximity to O’Hare. O’Hare is one of the most convenient airports in the country located virtually in the center of the US land mass and is served by 44 airlines with over 800 daily flights direct from 150 US cities. It is so convenient, some attendees from the east coast fly in the morning, attend a day’s events, and are home in time for a late dinner.

The transportation choices from O’Hare depend on your plans at the Expo. If you have no plans to travel away from the hotel, Uber or Lyft might be best, however if you plan to go out to dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area, a car rental may be more convenient.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Schaumburg.

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Something Different in the Exhibit Hall at PIE 2023

“The last day in the exhibit hall is always slow,” says Marcy Sparrow, Director of the Parking Industry Expo, “ but this year we are taking care of that problem. PIE is holding a ‘tailgate’ party in the expo hall.”

This themed event works with the fact that PIE 2023 is collocated this year with the Big 10 and Friends parking association. The Big 10 group will be holding its seminars and events at the Renaissance Schaumburg hotel and convention center, located eight miles from O’Hare international Airport.

“We are excited to have the Big 10 as a part of our event this year,” said Sparrow. “ It will give both organizations the opportunity to learn about each other and assist in mounting their respective events.”

PIE 2023 promises to be the largest expo held by the organization since before the pandemic. More than 40 million people live within driving distance of Schaumburg and parking professionals from both the public and private sectors have been invited to attend not only the more than 20 seminars but also view the technology on display in the exhibit hall. Check the details at PIE 2023.

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Patton – Security is an Issue – Our PR is Suffering

Bob Harkins and Brandy Stanley are heading this seminar at the Parking Industry Expo 2023 to describe the problem and then give you some answers as to how to make your facility and your customers more secure in a difficult world. Bob brings a career in the military plus his sojourn as VP at the University of Texas to bear on just how to make your facility more welcoming and secure. Brandy has spent her time in parking running cities, small and large. These two know their stuff. Don’t miss this seminar.

It will be held Thursday March 30th, at 8:00 AM.

But what does “Patton” have to do with it. The titles of PIE 2023 seminars are connected with movie titles. In this case, the famous WWII general had little concern about his public relations, however, those of us in the parking business know the importance of our PR. And good security and a welcoming facility makes all the difference. Join us at the Schaumburg Convention Center March 28 – 30 and participate in more than 25 seminars, a huge parking technology exhibit hall, and various networking events. Check it out online at PIE 2023.





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