Business services senior specialist stayed ahead of the COVID-19 curve, working to ensure the safety of Parking and Transportation staff and customers before the pandemic began.
The Champions of Excellence campaign is a multiyear branding campaign at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) in which we highlight individuals and teams that exemplify extraordinary accomplishment and represent excellence at the University. This year, UMB is highlighting the employees who've done exemplary work during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the next few months, The Elm will be featuring these UMB Champions, who are making Baltimore, our region, and in some cases the world a better place.
Today: Stacy Holmes, Business Services Senior Specialist, Parking and Transportation Services
As early as January 2020, business services senior specialist Stacy Holmes was making decisions to help the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Holmes, whose main responsibilities are to ensure that daily operations run smoothly at the University’s seven garages and to oversee the subcontractor, Penn Parking, had everyone’s safety in mind.
“Stacy needed to make quick decisions to protect our garage staff, our UMB community, and visiting guests,” said Robert Milner, MS, executive director, Auxiliary Services. “At the start of the COVID-19 situation, he started working with the contractor to set up the proper procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of staff and customers. His proactive thinking in January when the virus first hit the media resulted in PTS receiving 500 masks before the mass ordering and shortages began.”
Collaboration, one of UMB’s core values, is critical in Holmes’ efforts to protect staff and customers and provide exemplary customer service, as he works closely with all areas of PTS and Penn Parking’s 80 employees.
“Right before the pandemic forced things to close, my department had anticipated some operational issues and began planning for scenarios such as complete closure, partial closure, different variations of staff working on campus and remotely, and what functions were critical to maintain operations,” Holmes said. “This was a fluid plan due to the uncertainty of the situation, but we were always up for the challenge.”
With the pandemic forcing many employees to telework and students’ classes to move online, Holmes was involved in deciding when to close — and eventually reopen — the garages.
“PTS had to make some difficult decisions as staff lessened on campus and cleaning requirements increased,” Milner said. “Stacy gathered statistics on the various garages and parkers in conjunction with costs to operate the facilities, then worked with our PTS team so PTS could make effective decisions in a timely manner to benefit the University community.”
Holmes oversees the garage cashier operations, so he and the Penn Parking employees are in direct contact with parkers as they enter and leave the garages. They also aid customers in emergency roadside service and finding their vehicle when they’ve forgotten where they’ve parked.
Holmes goes above and beyond in these interactions, according to Milner.
“His customer service skills surpass what is expected of most employees,” Milner wrote in nominating Holmes for the UMB Champions of Excellence honor. “From car accidents to garage robberies and verbal disputes, Stacy remains calm, kind, and treats each person with the utmost respect. Stacy is always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Holmes also was instrumental in working on a parking and traffic alert notification system to inform the UMB community of issues via cellphones and social media.
“Stacy understood the importance of pushing onward to offer this service during the new normal of COVID. He kept the team progressing in the necessary direction as he juggled his usual operational duties,” Milner said.
Holmes, who misses “the hustle and bustle” of campus, is thankful for his co-workers in PTS.
“PTS will always rise to the challenges that we face without having a drop-off in service,” he said. “I am always proud and thankful for the leadership within our department and the staff that I work with every day.”