Ana Hengist is a Training Specialist for the International Parking and Mobility Institute (IPMI) for South America and Mexico, offering the most up-to-date training programs from the association, and presented in Portuguese and Spanish, helping with the professional development in companies related to parking, transportation and mobility. IPMI is the world’s largest association of professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility, working to advance the parking and mobility profession through professional development, research and data collection, advocacy and outreach.
What is the IPMI?
What is the relevance of the work carried out by the IPMI?
What is IPMI's goal in Latin America?
What is Ana Hengist’s background in these sectors?
What are the main challenges in professional development for parking, transportation and mobility in South America?
The International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI), formerly the International Parking Institute (IPI) is the world’s largest association of professionals in parking, transportation, and mobility — professionals who keep all of us moving. Members include everyone from garage owners and operators to architects to city managers to government agencies, health care centers, universities, airports, and convention centers.
From its beginnings in 1962 to today's organization that connects parking professionals around the world, IPMI's story parallels the increasingly important role of cars and other vehicles in our daily lives.
If you own a car, use public transportation, go to work or school, use health care, shop or dine out, or are part of a community, parking affects you, probably in more ways than you’ve thought about.
Even though parking has been improving in our area, Latin America is still behind when it comes to investments in technology, facilities and professional development, compared to North America. IPMI can make a significant contribution by sharing its expertise and implementing programs that will help other countries make an important progress. The first step is definitely to prepare parking professionals towards the future because the parking industry is changing quite fast, as the world gets more connected than ever and seeks alternative solutions for mobility and transportation.
Since 2013 I have been a consultant for the Brazilian Parking Association (Abrapark), acting in the relationship with the market and with similar associations like the IPMI.
Through this job, I am working closely with parking and mobility companies, as well as their operational teams, attending Abrapark board meetings, working in national and international events, and contributing to several projects, such as the TOP Abrapark - the only award in Brazil for outstanding projects in parking lots - of which I am the coordinator since its first edition.
Despite the immense importance in people's daily lives, professionals in these sectors do not receive a proper recognition from the public for their jobs. In general, working as drivers, valets and operational supervisors do not require a higher level of education and offer low salaries, which limit their level of qualification. In addition to preparing them to perform the tasks, companies often need to help them fill in the gaps left in their formal education.
There is also no culture of hiring people to become future “parking professionals” or “transportation professionals”, but simply workers. Without career planning or a long-term vision, employees themselves often find it difficult to understand the importance of investing in sector-specific skills.