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The Parking Professional: What is your current position with the Hartford Parking Authority? How long have you been there? What do you like most about your job?
Carey Redd: I am currently the Associate Director for the Authority and have been here for eight years. First off, I do not consider my position to be a job. I am allowed to work with a team of gifted individuals that provide solutions to the parking and transportation challenges presented in the City of Hartford, Region, and State of Connecticut. I have been called upon to assist numerous municipalities in the selection of Executive Directors for parking services and provide solutions to the issues they are presented. I like to see myself as a problem solver. It does not get better than that.
TPP: Briefly describe Hartford Parking Authority's operations.
CR: Our organization is comprised of a Chief Executive Officer and six full time employees that are responsible for the Authority's day-to-day operations including but not limited to Finance, Revenue Control, and Property Management. We have moved the Authority's On-Street parking program into the 21st Century with the introduction of Pay & Display Parking Meters. We continue to increase the useful life of the Church Street Garage, one of the oldest parking structures in the nation.
TPP: Everyone has a unique story about how they really got into parking. What's yours?
CR: The Authority needed an Account Manager (salesperson). I applied for the position along with twenty-seven other applicants and was selected. I do not think this is so unique because whether you are selling mainframe computers, insurance products, or parking spaces the key is to understand customers' requirements and to satisfy them with a viable solution while building a long-term positive business relationship.
TPP: What's your biggest challenge right now in your day-to-day operations?
CR: Understanding what creative solutions are required in a depressed economy.
TPP: What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
CR: I do not believe the citizenry I serve has any misconception about what I (we) do. The Authority's goal is to compliment the economic development of our city and provide affordable parking for the consumer.
TPP: What's the most interesting parking story you can share?
CR: During the infancy stages of my tenure in the parking industry, I requested oversight of a restoration project. The best decision I made in restoring the parking structure was to go to an IPI Conference. I met a vast number of resources that I sat around with and played twenty questions with. Because of the assistance I received, the Authority completed the restoration under budget and ahead of schedule. I will be forever indebted to the many people that I called upon to guide me through the project.
TPP: What advice would you have for someone just getting into or looking to get into the parking profession?
CR: It is a wonderful innovative industry that you would be fortunate to become part of.
TPP: You recently graduated from the CAPP program, what does the CAPP designation mean to you?
CR: Unfortunately, the meaning of the CAPP designation cannot be put in simple terms. I am not so much concerned about what the CAPP designation means to me but what it means to my peers and my city. The industry is ever evolving and the CAPP Program provides an individual with the tools to construct viable solutions for the parking challenges any municipality, education institution, business, airport, etc. is presented with. I was simply given the privilege of working with a GREAT Commission that embraces the value of the CAPP Program and allowed me to participate.
TPP: How has IPI benefitted you in your career?
CR: IPI is not about my career, it is about an integral educational and support system striving for perfection. I am just blessed to be writing history in the present.
TPP: Who is your biggest influence in life? In your work?
CR: John Milton and Henry David Thoreau for their gift of the written word; Robert Crawford, one of the greatest Sales Managers God created and Nat Turner, who would lay down his life against oppression. In my professional carrer: Paddi LeShane, a very, very smart person. I have often said to our Chair, if I could be two steps behind her thinking, I would be comfortable. Alas, I have never gotten there but we arrive at so many conclusions at the same time. I would be remiss not to mention Sam Wiggins, Dorothy Harris, Allen Corry, Kim Jackson, William Kirkpatrick, and Lilianna Rambo, and my fellow CAPP graduates Class of 2010.