She’s a Jolly Good Fellow
May 11, 2023
As I work on Parking Today’s editorial content, I get a front-row seat to the parking industry’s constant evolution. Success is achieved and progress is made in many areas – technology, communication, infrastructure, sustainability, and so on. One change I watch closely is the increasing presence and influence of women in the industry.
The magazine’s Industry News section is chock full of good news from all over parking including acquisitions, mergers, inventions, patents, expansion, and my favorite – achievements, promotions, and hiring.
I wish I could share every picture of every recent hire or exciting promotion and congratulate these lucky people whose companies care enough to take a good headshot, write a press release, and announce to the world that THIS person is now a member of the team.
What I noticed among this issue’s news items was a larger than usual number of mentions of women taking on greater responsibility at corporate and management levels.
I would never want to diminish the contributions men have made to parking – they are immeasurable. I think the increased numbers of women reaching higher positions in the industry is a new and positive development that is worth noting.
There’s Michele Perras, recently promoted to Vice President of Finance at Denison Parking. She works with internal and external clients to support the company’s growth and strategies. She has over 20 years of accounting experience in many industries, including transportation, legal, and national entertainment. Michele graduated from Ball State University and received her Master of Business Administration in Finance and Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
Emily Kwatinetz is the newest Principal at Dixon. Emily’s impact in the industry has been recognized by several awards including the Southwest Parking & Transportation Association Emerging Leader award in October 2022, and she received the “40 under 40” award from the National Parking Association in 2018. Emily is an elected board member of the Pacific Intermountain Parking and Transportation Association. Emily frequently presents at industry conferences sharing her experience supporting municipal programs including paid parking, revenue collection and reconciliation, maintenance, employee and residential permits, wayfinding, and shared parking. She also volunteers for the International Parking and Mobility Institute and the Washington State pedestrian advocacy nonprofit, Feet First.
Parking Control Service has promoted Jazmin Witrago to the role of General Manager. Jazmin has been with the company for 15 years and has worked in many positions in the company, including Patrol Specialist, Office Manager and Marketing and Sales. Commenting on Jazmin’s promotion, her predecessor, David Davenport said, “Jazmin has been an exceptional employee and her promotion is well deserved. She has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the company, our team, and her work.”
Katherine Beaty is the new Executive Vice President of Client Success at TEZ. Katherine has more than 20 years of experience in operations, compliance, cybersecurity, and more. In this new role, Katherine will lead the company’s efforts to ensure TEZ solutions meet each client’s unique needs. Katherine will be head a team of implementation and support specialists.
At FrogParking, CEO Shareena Sandbrook has been named CEO of the Year – New Zealand by CEO Monthly magazine. CEO Monthly recognized Sandbrook for her leadership in growing FrogParking into a Deloitte 50 company. “This is a tremendous honor for both me and FrogParking,” said Sandbrook. CEO Monthly recognized Sandbrook’s commitment to supporting other women in business and her encouragement of “like-minded females to push past the industry barriers that are all too often placed in their way.” “I’m gratified that CEO Monthly recognized me as a mentor for other women in and outside the parking industry,” said Sandbrook. “Running a successful international business requires a delicate balance between the needs of the company and taking care of my family, and it hasn’t always been easy. That’s why it’s so important to me to continue to encourage other women to always advance in their own careers, no matter what the challenges at hand may be.”
There are many other women in parking who deserve recognition. This is just a sample of one month’s worth of press releases that are delivered to Parking Today Media’s inbox. While some may feel it’s an inequity for a column such as this to focus only on women, there are many positives in acknowledging the contributions of women in any industry, but especially an industry that is typically and predominately staffed at every level by men.
For one, it encourages increased engagement of female personnel, costumers, and clientele. In addition, every sector, every area of expertise, every business, and every brand of service benefits from the involvement of both men and women. If an industry serves women, it needs women in its workforce at a comparable proportion.