Culture Is Action: Mary Ruberry of The Parking Spot on Corporate Culture

The Parking Spot has taken the worry, headache, and general unpleasantness of finding a parking spot at major airports and turned it into a comfortable and affordable experience for travelers. Since 1998, The Parking Spot has offered a friendly airport parking shuttle service to travelers and continues to innovate and improve their service 20 years later.

The Parking Spot boasts 38 near airport parking locations, serving 22 airports in the United States. Guests enjoy a quick and easy check-in and check-out process, complimentary chilled water, and in some locations, a valet service, car washes, and even oil changes. This level of commitment to their customers can only be a product of a strong corporate culture.

Beneplace is fortunate to have The Parking Spot as a client. We sat down with Mary Ruberry, a 25-year veteran in human resources and the chief people officer at The Parking Spot, to find out what makes their corporate culture resonate with their employees and radiate down to their exceptional customer experience.

BP: How do you and your organization think about culture? Priority, role in the company, impact on employees, etc?
MR: Our business is 20 years old this year! We pride ourselves on putting people first. From our perspective, people includes employees and guests. We have 2,000 employees across the nation who make up the TPS family. Culture is embedded in our onboarding of new hires and in all of our company-wide initiatives. We started this business with the #1 priority being, “It’s all about the PEOPLE”. We’ve continued to support that and foster that priority. Our teams across the portfolio are made up of parking-guest attendants, drivers, valets, and dispatchers. These hourly employees are the face of our company, and they wear it proudly. We are very connected from afar as we have 38 locations, but we always have the success and well-being of the team top of mind.

BP: What is unique about your organization’s culture, at least in your experience?
MR: In our case we not only believe our people are our top priority and asset, but we also live by it.  We will always put the employee first when making decisions and outlining strategic objectives.  Many times you hear companies say, “Our people are our top asset, our people are the priority,” but they don’t live it. At The Parking Spot, our employees and our guest are always the priority.

BP: How did the culture come to be what it is? Did it evolve organically over time, or were there specific steps and actions taken to craft it?
MR: Our culture grew over 20 years, and it did evolve, but it did so with very specific goals and initiatives. It is always top of mind. We will always make our employees feel part of something bigger. We always put the team first. We will always do the RIGHT thing. We will always treat each other as family and support our own in times of need.

Culture is not words spoken. Culture is action.

We host annual meetings and trainings at every location every year and discuss our goals and mission. There’s always a big focus on hospitality and service, which is what our culture was built around. Our incentive programs were built to foster our culture of caring and service.  Our team is rewarded for being nice, thoughtful, and caring.

BP: What lessons have you learned about culture that you can share with other leaders?
MR: Culture is not words spoken. Culture is action. You can’t talk about having or building a good culture without working hard at defining it and embracing it. Culture is also very precious.  It’s built over time and can be lost quickly if it’s not preserved.

To see some of the great work Mary Ruberry and her team at The Parking Spot, take a look at their video to celebrate their 20th anniversary and the sizzle reel from their latest annual corporate meeting.