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The Parking Professional: How did you become involved in the family business?
Roy Carter: ReevesGrant-Northrup and I took command of the company in 1959. Reeves Northrup-Grant's grandson and myself (as husband of Robin Northrup,Grant's granddaughter), co-managed the companywithme in sales and Reeves in operations. Unfortunately illness prevented Reeves from continuing work, so I was assigned the task of running the entire operation.
TPP: In your time at the company, how has the industry changed? What has Toledo Ticket done to adapt to that change?
RC: The company was the first to provide bar-coded parking tickets to the industry and was keeping busymanufacturing high-quality machine-tickets (spitters). Ticket counterfeiting became a new struggle as entertainment prices became more expensive, making precise house counts necessary. Toledo Ticket installed a new press with computer capabilities to remember the venue size and accommodations to meet that need. As of 1977, Toledo Ticket was one of only a handful of firms in the entire United States that printed nothing but tickets. In 1999, parking garages, bridges, subways and carnivals were still the ticket to success for Toledo Ticket, despite more competition. By then, the fourth-generation family company was printing tickets in over 30 countries worldwide. We had expanded and now had three rooms of presses and two shifts.
TPP: As the company celebrates its 100th anniversary, what do you think has been its greatest accomplishment?
RC: Presently, Toledo Ticket has 100+ employees, partners and reps, four manufacturing facilities, and 18 sales offices strategically positioned nationwide.We provide ticket product solutions tomore than 6,500 parking customers, and 2,000 sports and entertainment clients in over 30 countries worldwide.We are certified by most parking equipment manufacturers and custom software designers in all 50 states and 30+ countries. Our customer following is strong, and very loyal.Many of our customers have been with us for over 20 years, and can't seemto find any good reason tomake a change!
TPP: Toledo Ticket truly is a family business - tell us a little about the other members of the family at the company.
RC: Tom Carter, one of my sons and vice-president of sales, joined the firm in 1997. Working side-by-side with his brother Roy-Grant, plant manager, and me, Tom was able to upgrade all internal computer design and manufacturing, and expand tickets and ticket products. Developing warehousing and fulfillment programs, as well as increasing the sales department and adding partner companies, Tom's helped increase revenues and company stability. Grant's great-great-grandson Trevor Carter has now begun training into the fifth generation family business.
TPP: What's the biggest challenge Toledo Ticket is facing in its day-to-day operations?
RC: Throughout the years, it seemed that the companywas immune to any downturns in the economywith the exception of one year during theGreatDepression. The decline in theater ticket sales with the advent of television was offset by the demand of amusement parks tickets for admission and rides. As Americans took to the road, more tickets were needed for parking and higher gas prices forced consumers to buy smaller cars, increasing the number able to fit in lots and boosting ticket sales. Today, keeping ahead of advancing technical needs for the parking industry is one of our challenges.
TPP: You have had tens of thousands of customers over the years, are there any that you are especially proud of?
RC: We are proud of all of our customers and their accomplishments; no one customer is more important than another.
TPP: How has your affiliation and membership in IPI benefited you and your company over the years?
RC: Our affiliation with the IPI has given us access to thousands of our customers and the show, in particular, allows us face time with many customers we don't get a chance to see throughout the year.
TPP: The 2010 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas is a couple weeks away, what can attendees expect to find at the Toledo Ticket booth?
RC: The newest and latest in ticket technologies and ticket products.
TPP: What do you enjoy doing outside of the day-to-day operations of the company?
RC: I like to golf and travel; Tom raises Belgian draft horses and collects classic trading cards.
TPP: What do you see for the future of Toledo Ticket?
RC: Keeping this five-generation family business moving ahead with new technology and expanding our product line.