In 1982, a group of parking professionals from around the state of Michigan felt there needed to be a low-cost, local organization where parking professionals from across the state could get together to disseminate information and give individuals an avenue to get together. Their basic goal was to create an organization that would provide information, education, professional development, and opportunities for interaction of its membership. Thus the Michigan Parking Association (MPA) was formed.
Since its creation, the MPA expanded the opportunities for its members to learn and share ideas. The main objectives of the Michigan Parking Association as stated in the bylaws are:
The MPA, now MIPA, has a lot to offer. Throughout the years many training sessions and workshops have been held. Some years are set up for front-line employees while other years are for managers and supervisors. Over time we’ve done training for all our members, and their employees, to have an opportunity for advancement. Training includes everything from maintaining a sweeper, a parking lot or structure, to the many human resource issues we all encounter and extensive types of revenue controls. We look forward to continuing these training efforts with your input as to subject matter and sources.
Our annual golf outing (scrambles format), which is our big fundraiser for the year, use to be a standalone event. However, due to individual’s tighter schedules, is now typically tied into the annual conference and business meeting. Funds generated from the golf outing go back toward MIPA members and the community with different perks such as, a low or no-cost training and our scholarship program which we look forward to restructuring soon. The golf outing is a great way to enjoy your fellow parking colleagues with fun golf, fantastic networking, terrific food, fabulous prizes. If you would like to be a golf sponsor, please contact any one of the MIPA board members for more details. We can always use additional sponsors to help support our events and continue MIPA’s success.
At the annual conference, there are vendors that share with us the latest technologies as well as speakers that are local and from around the world. The conference is a venue to learn, connect and keep you and your employees up to date with what is happening locally and abroad. The social events cover the full spectrum of what Michigan has to offer. Paddleboat rides, winery tours, casino trips, fall color tours, and different museums, to name a few.
There was even a social event that took place in Frankenmuth, MI, at the Zehnder’s indoor water park, where there were over 20 parking professionals playing water basketball. The camaraderie is incredible and they are many fantastic speaker sessions and training seminars. The conference is wrapped up with the annual business meeting. The board election results are announced and there is an open discussion regarding what is happening around the state and within the organization itself.
MIPA would like everyone to know how important we feel it is to be involved with your local, regional, and national associations and organizations. Here is a little excerpt from the President’s space (Ron Soltis) of the MPA’s quarterly newsletter from June 1986 that held true to the MPA then and now as MIPA.
“The MPA affords all of their members the opportunity to meet other parking professionals from around our state at a fairly low cost. It is in our best interest to take the time to associate with these other professionals. Some serve as directors, clerks, managers, parking enforcers, presidents, supervisors, assistants, vice-presidents, coordinators, technicians, superintendents, and specialists. Regardless of the person’s work level, we experience a common bond through our parking endeavors. Meeting people is an experience and their experiences assist us to mature professionally. We actually grow through the knowledge of others. We not only learn through the formal gathering, but also by brainstorming ideas, visiting different organizations, rubbing elbows with others, reading the MPA newsletter, and receiving free advice and information through the guest speakers. Most of us evolved into our present jobs. We were not formally trained through an existing career path system. Instead of continuous learning through the school of hard knocks, we can learn more quickly through our association with other members from the airports, colleges/universities, hospitals, municipalities, private operators, and vendors. The Michigan Parking Association is an ASSOCIATION (of professional people) concerned about PARKING (methods) throughout MICHIGAN (which covers 58,216 square miles).”
MIPA is a “not” for-profit organization with many members over the years. We are proud to be affiliated with the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI).