During the pandemic, director worked to refund students, address cashier needs, and help make important decisions affecting parkers.
As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic caused the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus to reduce operations, Angela Hall, MBA, shifted into high gear.
Hall, who at the time was an assistant director in the Office of Parking and Transportation Services (PTS), worked to refund students’ fees, address cashier needs, and help make important decisions such as which parking garages to close and open and when, among her numerous other responsibilities.
“She has taken on each role in the PTS department during this crisis to meet the needs of the community and assure that all essential personnel from UMB, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and others have the necessary parking,” said her supervisor, Robert Milner, MS, executive director, Auxiliary Services.
“PTS has excelled during this crisis due to her exemplary work,” Milner added of Hall, who was named UMB’s June Employee of the Month for her efforts.
“You have some wonderful testimonials,” UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, told Hall during a Zoom video conference to surprise her with the honor Sept. 24. “Everybody talked about how you have taken on an extra load during these COVID months, and you have gone the extra mile.”
Hall, who thought she was attending a parking meeting, expressed her shock and gratitude.
“Representing parking is not only representing the department, it is in essence representing the University as part of the customer service that is exemplified in the core values we provide to each employee, student, visitor, and patient,” she said.
Hall was recently named director of PTS, and she manages customer service, auditing, and the cashier’s office as well as the parking contractor and the managers who oversee that contract.
Milner praised her dedication.
“During the COVID pandemic, she has addressed the high demand for student refunds in the parking and transportation areas with a quick response and has continued to follow up with the students regarding their refunds,” he said.
“She redeveloped the Parking and Transportation Services cashier area to accommodate the various onboarding schedules during the pandemic, while limiting the number of staff on campus. This included her working with the staff at home and performing the onboarding processes herself.”
Hall, who worked five days a week on campus throughout the pandemic, had to respond to swift changes, including a move away from using paper and embracing more technology.
“COVID has changed the parking industry as a whole. It actually has changed our jobs immensely,” she says. “As soon as COVID hit, we had to look at our department and say, ‘What is the emergency need? What is something that we have to do right now that can’t wait? What are items that can wait for later? And what processes can we change looking at it for now and what don’t we need in the future?’
“And it really was a wake-up call in a good way and a bad way.”
Hall has worked with Scott Bitner, MBA, senior associate vice president and deputy chief financial officer, Office of Finance and Auxiliary Services, and Kevin Donegan, MBA, strategic financial analyst, Office of Budget and Financial Analysis, during the pandemic, providing them with multiple reports.
“I have found Angela to be very receptive, accurate, timely, and efficient in responding to the many requests for information we have had to make to all schools and units. The quality of her work has been excellent, and she continues to be a reliable and dependable source of information for the budget office,” Donegan said.
Hall, who says her favorite part of her job is that “it’s never the same on a daily basis,” goes out of her way to get to know her customers.
“We can get a customer who’s forgotten where they parked, they’re very upset, and they will call us and we’ll go out in the field to help them retrace their steps,” she said, describing the variety of customer service issues she and her team address. “Or we’ll get a dental patient who needs to sit down for a couple of minutes because they’ve just had a procedure, and we’ll talk to them. Or we’ll see the graduating students walking around and we’ll congratulate them.
“It’s not just someone parking in the parking garage and coming back out. It’s about the customers and their experiences and getting to know people through parking.”
Hall, who as Employee of the Month will receive a plaque, a letter of commendation, and an extra $250 in her next paycheck, thanked her team.
“It’s nice to be recognized for what you do because so many people think of parking as a hassle. People don’t think of parking as something someone does for a living. This is a good thing not just for me but for my department to say that we’re being recognized,” she said.
“And I want my department to know that I recognize them as well, that I appreciate them. Because without them and without their knowledge, there’s no way we could keep up and running. They give me the guidance and information and the backup to do my job.”