Leadership Luncheon: Parking Restructured
The parking industry today is plagued by a lack of transparency, with respect to both availability and pricing, often creating consumer frustration and considerable economic costs. Americans on average spend 17 hours per year searching for parking, resulting in a cost of $345 per user in wasted time, fuel and emissions. Overall, The United States has as many as two billion parking spots for about 250 million cars, a ratio that many describe as overbuilt.
To tackle these issues, cities and real estate developers alike are developing solutions to further streamline the parking process as well as efficiently allocate real estate to parking needs. Join our panelists as they discuss the state of parking today and where it may head, as well as how the diversification of mobility options will be able to create greater efficiencies in the parking industry going forward.
Mary Smith, PE
Senior Director of Parking Consulting
Mary Smith is a Senior Vice President and Senior Director of Parking Consulting for Walker. Having recently celebrated her 40th anniversary with Walker, Mary has been actively involved in all phases of parking planning and design for parking projects throughout the world. Since 2010, she consulted on projects in Abu Dhabi, China, Dubai, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Russia, and Turkey. Among her particular areas of expertise are pedestrian and vehicular circulation, wayfinding and flow capacity in mega-structures, and the integration of parking management, operations and functional design. Mary is widely acknowledged as one of the leading parking planners and functional designers in the world and is generally considered the parking industry’s “go to” person on vehicle sizes and parking dimensions, parking under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and more recently compliance with the Manual On Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
Senior Vice President
Ric Guenther serves as senior vice president of Patrinely Group and leads design, development and project management activities for the company’s multifamily investments as well as selected commercial and mixed-use projects.
Mr. Guenther has over 35 years of experience in design and project management. His experience includes more than 15,000 multifamily units throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Guenther also has extensive experience in the planning and development of large-scale mixed-use developments and corporate office facilities.
Mr. Guenther studied at Texas A&M University before earning a Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree at the University of Texas at Arlington. He went on to receive an Urban Design Certificate and his Masters of Architecture at Rice University.
City of Houston’s Park Houston
Maria Irshad, CAPP, MPA is the Assistant Director for ParkHouston, the agency responsible for on-street parking in the City of Houston. ParkHouston manages about 9,500 paid parking spaces and 19 off-street surface lots; the enforcement of all parking codes and the administration of various permits. In her role as Assistant Director, Maria leads a team of 75 and provides parking policy recommendations to the Mayor’s Office.
Maria is a Certified Administrator of Public Parking and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration. She serves on various IPI committees and is a past president of Women Professionals in Government. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) recognized Maria with a “Spotlight Award” in 2014 for her contributions toward solving public sector problems.
Mr. Levine co-founded Easy Park LLC dba Verde Communities. Mr. Levine has been a real estate principal since 1991. Mr. Levine also is the lead manager for Verde’s development activities, including a focus in Houston’s Inner Loop and in Chicago’s West Loop. Prior Chicago West Loop projects included a program to redevelop a 210,000 square foot ten story historic industrial building into residential use, and the planned development of a 31 story retail, parking and residential tower on West Randolph Street just east of Halsted.
In Texas, Verde completed more than ten (10) property purchases and two loan re-financings in the past three years. Verde entered the Texas market in late 2013 when it purchased the Savannah Apartments property across the street from Houston’s Hobby Airport. Verde currently owns and operates approximately 4.5 million square feet of land in Texas, including nearly 3,000 apartments, and several hundred thousand square feet of rent-producing retail, commercial mixed use, and office space.
Mr. Levine originated the equipment related discussions which led to the development in 2009 of a 228 space fully automated parking garage in Philadelphia. At the time, the garage was the largest transient-only principal use automated garage in the country located on a 59’ by 100’ site several blocks from Philadelphia City Hall. Mr. Levine co-founded the holding company of this affiliate in 1994, served as its chief executive from 2009 to 2016, and now serves as Chairman.
Everett Weiler is the Regional General Manager for the Southern US and Mexico at Bird, where he is focused on building and scaling local operations. Prior to Bird, Everett spent four years at Uber as the fifth employee in Texas where he focused on launching and scaling Uber products across the state. After Uber, Everett was the General Manager of Texas for ofo where he oversaw the largest bicycle fleet operation in the United States. Everett holds a BA in Public Policy and a MA in Applied Economics from Southern Methodist University, and is passionate about making Texas cities more livable.
11:30 am – Networking
12:00 am – Program Starts
1:15 pm – Program Concludes