The Association has indeed made many strides over the past thirty years. FPA was established in 1979 by a small group of parking professionals from Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. The group of parking professionals met on parking issues and decided that a professional organization in parking would be beneficial throughout the state.
With the growth in Florida and Technology on the horizon, they formed the Florida Parking Association. The First Conference was held in Lake Buena Vista on the outskirts of Orlando in 1980 with an attendance of less than 20, with no vendor participation. Dan Brame from the City of Orlando was the residing president from 1980 to 1981 with Art Brawn from Miami Parking Systems taking the leadership role in 1981. The conference was held in the same location at the Dutch Inn in Lake Buena Vista with growing attendance. As word continued to spread the association continued to grow and moved the annual meeting to the Hyatt Regency in Tampa.
During those years, FPA partnered with IPI and NPA to provide relevant training programs such as the prestigious Certified Administrator of Public Parking. In addition, FPA started an annual education conference in 2006 in various locations throughout the state to target the front-line employees who don’t have the opportunity to attend the annual conference and trade show.
FPA has seen tremendous growth from those early years with increased vendor participation and growth in membership. Today FPA has over 300 members and growing with conference attendee participation continually exceeding the 200 mark with as many as 60 vendors demonstrating a wide range of products at the trade show.