This is an installment of Ocra’s “Parking Origin Stories” series that shares the personal stories of passionate parking professionals about how they entered the industry.
Today’s Story: David Hoyt, Chief Revenue Officer & Managing Director, North America @ Parkmobile
Through conversations with parking industry luminaries for this series, Parking Origin Stories, a few themes have begun to emerge.
One, of course, is for the love of the game.
We all arrive in parking via various routes, personally and professionally, and fill our cups to the brim with the work we do to make parking friendlier and more accessible for the millions of people who experience it every day.
And the other theme, one that is truly embodied by the executive featured today, is for the love of the team.
Indulge my mixed metaphors:
In parking, if success is a pie that everybody wants a piece of, then the best, most motivating, most inspirational leaders aren’t the ones wielding the knife.
They’re not weighing, measuring, and slicing something finite and then doling it out.
Rather, they’re the ones with flour up to their elbows – kneading the dough, mixing the filling, and investing in industrial-grade ovens to make more, bigger pies at scale, ensuring that nobody’s ever left scrounging for crumbs.
Today’s origin story is a three-Michelin star tale of one of parking’s best-known, highest-regarded “pastry chefs”: David Hoyt, Chief Revenue Officer & Managing Director, North America at Parkmobile.
“It’s been a pretty rapid trajectory.”
Before diving in, let’s review David’s deep parking roots.
After all, it’s his wealth and diversity of experiences – whisked in with his soft-spoken, people-first leadership mentality – that’s helped propel him to where he is today.
David’s parking journey kicked off in 1997, when he joined Standard Parking (now SP+).
This period was formative for David, as it’s where he laid the foundation for his career and cemented bonds that hold strong to this day.
By the end of his tenure at SP+, David was a Vice President of Operations and running Florida – and completely head over heels for parking.
“That was it. I was hooked.”
As a next step, he decided to move from human capital operations to technology with Parkeon, focusing on building business through equipment sales and client satisfaction in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean.
He continued his tech trajectory with his next role at T2 Systems.
He joined in mid-2012 as a National Sales Manager, which allowed him to leverage existing relationships to win-win outcomes.
According to David, spending 5+ years at T2 Systems was a great time to be an operator transitioning to technology because the industry was moving from antiquated manual operations to more digitized parking.
During this period, he kept refining his understanding of tech and how it transforms the parking ecosystem for consumers and operators alike, and kept one eagle eye trained on the new companies and solutions entering the marketplace.
His next move was an organic one. T2 Systems was an integration partner of ParkMobile.
ParkMobile was looking to commercialize their online reservations program, which fell smack dab into David’s wheelhouse.
Over the next three years, he expanded the scope of his responsibilities through sales and partnerships, eventually taking on zone parking. All of this ultimately resulted in his promotion to Chief Revenue Officer in April 2021.
In June 2021, EasyPark Group, the global parking technology company, acquired the entire ParkNow Group including ParkMobile. This strategic acquisition was perfect for all parties.
The EasyPark Group entered the North America market with the largest mobile parking payments provider and ParkMobile employees were welcomed with growth potential and focused commitment on growing the region.
He took over as Managing Director of North America the next year, running one of the four regions where EasyPark focuses.
David really jives with EasyPark’s global vision of creating change in the parking and mobility space that immediately, meaningfully benefits people in cities.
“The company focused on making cities more liveable, and our values align with that. It’s more than just a tagline. After all, you gotta believe in who you work for.”
“I feel like I’m on a rocketship.”
Recently, David rang in his eighth year at ParkMobile.
Such significant tenure is an achievement in and of itself, and especially in parking, where the landscape shifts so quickly and new technologies are always taking off.
In David’s own words:
“Ultimately for me, it’s about the people, the product, and the process. I love the people I work with, I love the product we offer, and I love how we touch all areas of mobility. There’s never a dull moment. ParkMobile is truly a rocketship.”
As CRO, he operates at the intersection of sales, partnerships, and corporate development.
And when asked how he’s able to knock it out of the park in such a high-pressure position, David’s response is immediate:
“I’m not a traditional salesperson,” he says, “and I don’t try to hire those folks. Parking is a relationship business and we believe in being long-term problem-solvers who help people. I want to do right by everybody involved, always.”
One of David’s core tenets is that ten out of ten times, he’d rather find a solution that makes sense for everybody than walk away from a deal because it doesn’t fit the rigid model of what a deal should look like.
“We look at how we can grow each others’ pies together,” says David. It’s a Michelin-star approach, and one that leaves everyone satisfied.
“I’ve had the ultimate coaches.”
When asked about his vision as a leader and mentor to other parking professionals, David cites his own as top-tier role models.
Going back to one of the first individuals with whom he worked at Standard Parking, years ago, he shares this memory:
“We sat down together after a bunch of things happened and we started seeing what the future could look like. And we were like, okay, this is either gonna be really big or really small, but no matter what, we’re going to do it right. And within a few years, we were dominating the market, because we did it right.”
His advice to his people he works with today (not just the ones in the nascent stages of their careers, but the seasoned pros, too) is to never be fooled by a quick win.
The quick win will never be worth more than the long-term relationship. Period.
“You can get so much done without raising your voice.”
In David’s eyes, the difference between a manager and a leader is that being aggressive with directives and pushing things down from a managerial level doesn’t foster confidence and respect, two things that true leaders inspire.
People who know David know him as someone who’s soft-spoken, direct, and carries himself with integrity.
He’s categorically not the type of person who needs to yell to make himself heard or cause a ruckus in order to create change.
“Well, I hate to lose,” David says with a grin, “but I’d much rather be a good loser than a bad winner.”
Carrying yourself with grace and treating people with respect isn’t just the icing on the cake; it’s a fundamental ingredient for success.
“These people really mean a lot to me.”
David says that one of the great joys of his career has been having so many amazing people around him who mean a great deal to him personally.
He recalls that when he was first coming up, things were sometimes “nasty” between operators. He heard horror stories during transitions about bad things happening and people attempting sabotage.
But today, he notes that the industry has become “much more asset-driven and professional”.
“There’s just no place for that nonsense anymore,” David says. “People started coming up who just didn’t have the patience for it, and who understood how important it is to prioritize relationships in order to drive change.”
David’s vision for the future of parking, and one that his partners share, is one of connected mobility. And open, honest conversations between partners and the proliferation of tech that connects systems is what will enable it.
“Each and every day, it’s getting better.”
With the industry moving from analog to digital over the past few decades, parking has become easier, better, and more accessible for individuals across the board.
Though David’s the first to admit that he, like everyone else, can’t predict exactly what the future will hold, his voice swells with optimism and excitement:
“For so long, the general social thought was that parking is inconvenient, clunky, messy, and an overall negative experience. But with technology and a commitment to change, we will flip the script for a broader audience.”
At ParkMobile, the organization-wide goal is to take the friction out of parking, making it easier for people to access and simpler for them to get around.
They believe that partnerships between best-in-brand businesses that share this vision is what’s propelling us collectively towards this goal.
“It all comes back to growing that pie.”
“What’s key is that we continue to work together to solve these issues around parking and mobility,” David says. It’s not an ‘us vs. them’ situation for any one of us.”
He continues: “Having a common goal and working together is how we develop an understanding of how that pie can grow, and what it’ll take to make it happen.”
Want to learn more about David’s parking journey? Connect with him on LinkedIn or reach out directly at [email]. And if you have a parking story of your own to tell, contact Sarah Becherer, VP of Marketing at Ocra, at email@example.com.