A Great Reason To Go Golfing!

 It’s time to break out the golf clubs for The 6th Annual “Friends of the Forgotten Heroes” golf tournament held at Elmcrest Country Club on Saturday, June 15, 2013! Registration is at 12:30 PM and the shotgun start is at 1:30 PM. The USO, a nonprofit that supports our troops, runs this event. Proceeds goes to the families, children, and our service men and women to help provide clothing, food, books, and basic necessities.
Joe Chakaus, Tim Duval, Joe Gree, and Mike Bishop stopped to take a photo at last year's tournament.

Joe Chakaus, Tim Duval, Joe Gree, and Mike Bishop stopped to take a photo at last year’s tournament.

If you would like to help out there are many ways to make a donation. You may sponsor a tee, provide raffle prizes, or make a cash donation. Credit card payments are accepted for registration, sponsorship, and donations by contacting Joe Green at 413-827-8916. It is $440 per team, this includes dinner and a 4-some. A single golfer and dinner is $110. A t-box sponsorship is $100 per t-box. Just dinner is $25/person. Registration is due by June 1st.

The tournament is a great value! The $110 registration fee includes the following:
• Cart and golf at Elmcrest Country Club (Private Course)
• Hamburger and Hot Dog Lunch
• Pig Roast Dinner
• A Ball Marker
• An extra round of golf at Elmcrest courtesy of Elmcrest management
Jon Clark, Jeff Sosnowich, Joe Belanger, and Paul Makowski at last year’s USO Golf Tournament

Jon Clark, Jeff Sosnowich, Joe Belanger, and Paul Makowski at last year’s USO Golf Tournament

Flag sponsorship is also available.
• Red Stripe Sponsorship is $5,000 and it includes a 3’X10’, 12 golfers and dinner, 6 dinner only tickets and a special gift.
• White Stripe Sponsorship is $3,500 and it includes a 3’X6 banner, 8 golfers and dinner, 3 dinner only tickets, and a special gift.
• Blue Stripe Sponsorship is $2,500 and it includes a 3’6’ banner, 4 golfers and dinner, 2 dinner only tickets and a special gift.
The tournament is always a fun time, we hope to see you all there!

Check out the following link for more info.  http://friendsofforgotten.com/.

 

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A Summer On Nantucket Island

As spring winds down and the days get warmer, VPA prepares for the beginning of another great season on Nantucket Island, “The Faraway Island”. Between the long history, beautiful beaches, luxurious dining, and the quaint streets, this New England treasure is the place to be in the summer. We will be setting up our valet station downtown starting on June-September. To maintain the charming and picturesque feel that makes Nantucket so special, there aren’t many parking lots and there are no garages on the island. With thousands of visitors in the summer, parking becomes an issue. VPA’s valet service, conveniently located on Broad Street across from the Whaling Museum, provides an easy solution for visitors to enjoy their evening without the hassle of looking for parking.

Dan Caron, President Ted Changon, Jeff Belanger, and VP of Operations, Tim Graney at our downtown valet station

Rich Caron, President Ted Changon, Jeff Belanger, and VP of Operations, Tim Graney at our downtown valet station

Last year was our first year operating the town’s valet service. We sent over some of our senior employees to work this new account. Employees enjoyed the change of pace and scenery. Beach, sun, and waves; can’t beat a work location like that! Our employees came from all over our regions for the opportunity to stay in company-provided housing and work at Nantucket for summer.

Jeff Belanger and Henry Putnam at Galley Beach

Jeff Belanger and Henry Putnam at Galley Beach

We also provided valet service at one of the top restaurants on the island, Galley Beach. Restaurant guests enjoy the warm evenings overlooking the ocean while having their dinner. Providing valet service made it an even more pleasurable experience for the restaurant’s high-end clientele. Nantucket also makes for a luxurious wedding destination. Our private party valet service adds that extra measure of elegance for a Nantucket wedding.

We asked one of our employees, Henry Putnam, about his experience living on the island for a summer.

“Working on the island of Nantucket is a great summer experience, the work day starts at 5 and is usually done by midnight. The shifts are consistently busy so it goes by quickly.  In daytime there is plenty to do! Lots of nice beaches to visit and the days are beautiful, rarely humid or hotter than 85 degrees, most days are sunny and high 70s. The island has a vibrant young crowd with lots of fun people to meet, be it vacationers or other people working the summer on island. There is a live music venue, disc golf, bike trails and lots more. Absolutely take a bike, it’s a small island and a bike ride downtown is only 10 minutes, that said there are so many places to go! Lots of amazing scenery and best of all, no mosquitos!”

Some of our crew last year enjoying some downtime at the beach with President Ted Chagnon

Some of our crew last year enjoying some downtime at the beach with President Ted Chagnon

Johnny Inthaphiou, our Hartford Training Manager, spent some time last year working on the Island.  He shared with us his experience.

“My time in Nantucket was memorable to say the least. Being afforded the opportunity to work abroad as an ambassador for the company I wasn’t really sure what to expect. After a very short scenic ferry ride we arrived to the hustle and bustle of mid day activity in down town Nantucket. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and excitement while the air held scents of the surrounding saltwater and freshly prepared food.

The duration of my trip was filled with pleasant surprises. I was completely unaware of Nantucket’s rich history being at one point the whaling capital of the world. The cobblestone streets and the uniform construction of the houses with the cedar shingles almost takes you back to that point in time. The beaches were like that out of a pamphlet for an exclusive island getaway thousands of miles away. Sunsets had to be the island’s bread and butter, I’ve traveled to many corners of the world and would rate Nantucket high up on my list of beautifully preserved natural experiences.

The people are friendly, inviting strangers to sit and drink or play a game of sand bag toss or Frisbee. The food although has its pricey spots can be budgeted out to be fairly close to what you would expect to pay in a downtown area of any bigger city on the mainland.”

Whether you are visiting, living on the island, or working on Nantucket, it makes for a great and memorable summer. We are all excited for the 2013 season and can’t wait to see what is in store!

nantucket

We are currently hiring for our Nantucket account. If working at the beach for the summer, meeting new people, enjoying the outdoors, and earning some great extra cash interests you, apply at the following link. www.ValetParkofAmerica.com/employment.

Earth Day: VPA Office Staff Finds a Way to Give Back

Today is Earth Day, a day to celebrate earth, our environment, and all it does for us. As a way to give back, HR Specialist, Kelly Broderick and Marketing Manager, Ally Montemagni decided to arrange a dress down day to raise money to buy some flowers, pots, and soil. Office employees donated towards this cause in exchange for the privilege of dressing down on the Friday before Earth Day. Together Kelly, Ally, HR Manager, Mark Macero, and Administrative Assistant, Tina Courchesne, planted the flowers outside of our main office.

Kelly and Olivia digging a spot for the pot.

Kelly and Olivia arrange the flower pots along our Main Office walkway.

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Some of the nice bright flowers that we planted today- spring has sprung!

“Kelly and I wanted to give back. Working in a corporate office, going through paper is inevitable. We decided to give back for Earth Day by planting some flowers outside of our office.  It was a beautiful day outside! It is a good day to reflect and remember the importance of caring for our earth.” stated Ally.

HR Manager, Mark Macero, making a spot to put his flower pot

HR Manager, Mark Macero, making a spot to put his flower pot.

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The organizers of our Earth Day project, Kelly and Ally!

We wanted to take the opportunity to bring our office staff together while giving back to the environment, so we also organized a pot luck lunch. Members of our office brought in various dishes, including meatballs, pasta salad, tossed salad, home-made cookies, and fruit smoothies. The food was great! The office employees were able to enjoy a few moments away from their desks, enjoying the nice weather and great food, all while contributing to the environment and improving the appearance of our corporate headquarters. It was a wonderful way to bring in the Spring season!

Tina and Mark adding some color to our front walkway.

Tina and Mark adding some color to our front walkway.

Thank you to all of our office staff who made this celebration possible. The flowers we were able to purchase with your donations make a beautiful addition to our office’s landscape and the city’s environment.

Do you have an Earth Day story to tell? Comment below and let us know!

Happy Earth Day!

 

A Succesful Benefit for Tony D’Amico!

Tony D’Amico has been a VPA employee since 2007. If you are from the Worcester, MA area you may know him as the Honey Farms Lot Attendant. Tony is welcoming and always has a smile on his face as he waves in the cars at the lot. He has a strong work ethic and is always ready to go beyond his daily responsibilities.

The one and only Tony D'Amico with his girlfriend Kelly Goodwin

The one and only Tony D’Amico with his girlfriend Kelly Goodwin.

Recently Tony was diagnosed with Oral Cancer. He continued to work while undergoing treatment so he could keep up with his medical bills. Despite this you never hear him complain. When management found out about the battle Tony was now facing they were eager to help. Joyce Cote, Memorial Hospital Valet Manager, and Pattie Bartoli, Memorial Hospital Administrative Support, were quick to respond. To help ease the financial stress due to his medical debt, the two decided to throw a benefit for Tony. VPA shuttle driver, Curly Blevins, who also manages at Rivalry’s Sports Bar and Pub in Worcester, MA donated Rivarly’s to hold the benefit. Joyce and Pattie cooked up all of the food for the event. Local restaurants, friends, and families donated prizes for the Chinese raffle. Neil Langevin, a VPA employee and DJ of Royal Prestige Music Service, donated his DJ service for the night. (Check out his DJ company here http://royalprestigemusicservice.com/.)

Tony Benefit

What a nice photo of Tony, his family, and organizer of the event, Joyce Cote!
Left to Right: Tony’s son, Matt D’Amico, Tony’s sister, Adele Martel, (behind) Adele’s husband, Roland Martel, Tony D’Amico, Tony’s girlfriend, Kelly Goodwin, Tony’s step-mom, Gloria D’Amico, and Memorial Valet Manager, Joyce Cote

Thank you to all who came to the benefit to show your support of Tony!

Thank you to all who came to the benefit to show your support for Tony!

There was also a raffle held before the benefit raffling Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox tickets. Kevin Black, Valet Manager of Hartford Hospital won the first prize, Patriots tickets. Kwabena Osafu, a Worcester Valet Attendant won second place, Celtics tickets. Chris Goodwin of Worcester, MA won Red Sox tickets.

Pattie Bartoli, and Joyce Cote at the benefit. Great job putting it together!

Pattie Bartoli, Tony’s son Matt, and Joyce Cote at the benefit. Great job putting it together!

The raffle and benefit was a success, raising over $2,000 to help take some financial stress away from our amazing lot attendant, Tony D’Amico. Tony and his family were very appreciative for the management team taking the initiative to help him out during this difficult time. The following was left on VPA’s Facebook page from Tony the day after the event, “A very special thank you to all who attended the benefit for me Sunday afternoon.  It was great to see everyone.  Joyce and Patti, what can I say!  Great job I really appreciate all you both did.  To the DJ, a great job and great mix of music enjoyed by all.  Curley Blevins, thank you for the use of your establishment and your donations to the raffle.  Jeff and Paul thank you for working with me on my schedule.  A great week to all!”

Thank you to all of those involved in planning the night and organizing the raffle, a special thanks to Joyce and Pattie. It was a fun night to raise money and celebrate a great employee!

Great job on the food!

Great job on the food!

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Tony’s step-mom, Gloria, with Tony’s son, Matt, at the benefit.

Terry Rood Announced As March Employee of the Month

Terry Rood, Rochester General Hospital Concierge

Rochester General Hospital Concierge, Terry Rood

Congratulations to Terry Rood, Rochester General Hospital Concierge, our March Employee of the Month. Terry has been a VPA employee since December of 2011. Throughout his time at VPA, Terry continuously goes above and beyond his job duties. We get compliments from patients, family members, visitors, and hospital employees on a monthly basis. Dave Maxim, Valet Manager of RGH, said that “Terry is always willing to wheel a patient to their appointment, escort a visitor to a room, and is always opening doors and greeting customers when not performing one of his many duties as concierge.”

In the past month we received two compliments forwarded from our client, one from an appreciative customer and another from a hospital nurse.  The nurse was thanking Terry for wheeling all of her patients outside on a snowy day and was grateful for the help on a cold day. The customer called Terry a gem and said that he “carefully, respectfully helps me get to my destination.” Great job Terry! You are very deserving of this award and are a positive ambassador for VPA and RGH!

Through the Ranks: Dustin Hildebrant

dustin hildebrant

Dustin recently came to our main office for some hands-on training.

Dustin Hildebrant has been with VPA since 2006.  Since the start of his employment, Dustin has played an instrumental role in many areas of the company. He assisted with the start up of a new account in the Bronx, NY and helped out in Rochester, NY. In 2009 Dustin was promoted and relocated to manage Vernon Downs. During his time at Vernon he continously scored 100% on his shop audits, he never had an at-fault accident at his account and often drove two hours to help out another account. In 2012 Dustin was promoted to also manage Tioga Downs.

We sat down with Dustin to ask him a few questions on his experience with VPA.

What has it been like transitioning from a small account to managing a much larger account?

Since transitioning to Tioga there has been a lot more scheduling, more cars to move and it is more challenging. I like the challenge and am learning more.  Every day it gets smoother. I am from Tioga so I get to be with my family and watch my nieces grow up. I am happy to be back home.

L to R: Security/EMT officer, Chris Hannan, with Dustin Hildebrant

L to R: Security/EMT officer, Chris Hannan, with Dustin Hildebrant

What has been the most memorable moment for you since working at VPA?

Winning employee of the month in September was a great acomplishment for me.

Dustin won this award for helping out during a more stressful situation. While managing, he was the first response to a man going through cardiac arrest.  When the Security/ EMT Officer arrived it was clear he was going to need help giving the man CPR.  Dustin was quick to offer his assistance. The Security Officer was more than grateful for Dustin’s help.  He wrote a letter to our President and Western NY Regional Manager to express his appreciation.  “I wanted you to know that Dustin’s help that day was invaluable and appreciated beyond words.” 

Right: HR Manager Mark Macero presenting Dustin with his Employee of the Month Award

Right: HR Manager Mark Macero presenting Dustin with his Employee of the Month Award

What do you like about working for VPA?

It’s a great company to work for, there is a lot of room for advancement whether you’re the bottom guy or the top guy. I love to be out outdoors. I am a people person, I love to talk to the older customers, they have good stories. Overall there are a lot of incentives in the company. There is a lot VPA does outside of just work. Many of the events we’ve gone to – boxing events, golf tournaments, concerts – are a blast.  The chance to do these things you don’t see from a lot of companies. That is one huge thing that this company does that separates us from other companies.

What have you learned since starting with VPA?

Dedication and hard work will move you through the ranks. I started as a valet attendant and then moved away and now am back managing two accounts. I am working towards advancing in the company. I am young so I have a lot of room to grow.

What advice would you give to new employees who are looking to be promoted within the company?

Keep your head up and smile constantly and you will be recognized.  Hard work stands out and they’re the ones that will be promoted and will have a strong future with VPA. If you work hard you won’t be stuck as a valet attendant or feel trapped.  The more we grow, the more accounts we get, the more managers and captains we can promote.

Year End Review

This past year brought on a lot of positive changes and growth for VPA! Join us as we reflect on some of our top 2012 moments!

VPA Implements Employee of the Month Program

employee of the month

2012 Winners:

February: Ryan Weser, Rochester NY, March: Matt Dell’Olio, UMass Medical Center, April: John Delago, Capital Region, May: Ricky Knorring, UMass Medical Center ER, June: Jon Clark, Lowell General Hospital, July: Mike Klinger, Albany Medical Center, September: Dustin Hildebrant, Vernon Downs, October: Yuriy Syromyatnk, Hartford Hospital and CCMC, November: Steve McGuinness, UMass Medical Center

To read their full stories check out our Facebook page!

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     VPA Featured in Business West

business westVPA was featured on the cover of Business West,  a premier business publication that discusses business trends, news and information in the Western MA region.  The issue that came out on Monday July 16th premieres a 4 page story on VPA.  The story gives a great insight into Valet Park of America’s past, present, and future.  It discusses the expansion our company has had in the past 20 plus years and what to expect from VPA in the future.

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Mike Arsenault Wins 2012 Howdy Award

Mike A-Mike Arsenault won the Howdy Award in the transportation category on May 15th at the Log Cabin.  The Howdy Award is presented by the Chamber of Commerce to a person who exemplifies excellence in hospitality.

Check out more of Mike’s story on our Moments That Matter page.

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Moments That Matter Award

Above L to R: Ricky Knorring and Micky Dumais tied  to win the Moments That Matter Award. Right: Our crew at the 2012 Six Flags trip.

Above L to R: Ricky Knorring and Micky Dumais tied to win the Moments That Matter Award.

To reward our top employees, we implemented a Moments That Matter Award.   All employees who attended our Labor Day picnic at Six Flags New Engalnd voted for their top pick.  Five nominees were in the running,  Mike Klinger, AMC Manager, Micky Dumais, UMMC Manager, Jon Clark, LGH Manager, Ricky Knorring, UMMC ER Captain, and Mike Arsenault, BMC Cancer Center Manager.  After tallying all the votes, we had two employees tie for first: Micky Dumais, UMMC Manager, and Ricky Knorring, UMMC ER Captain. The runners up won gift cards and both winners won iPads.

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Employees Buzz Off Their Hair To Raise Money For Pediatric Cancer

459842_477380678944630_232214616_o[1]On June 3rd Tim Duval, Nolan Skowera, Nick Schloesser, Kevin Black, Micky Dumais, and Mike Klinger buzzed off their hair for The One Mission Kid’s Cancer Buzz-Off.  The event  took place at Gillette Stadium and had over 450 people signed up to help this great cause.  Proceeds go to pediatric cancer patients and their families at Boston Children’s Hospital. Our team of managers were able to raise $2,552.25!

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Gabe along side our Albany Medical Center Team

Gabe along side our Albany Medical Center Team

Albany Medical Center Valet Team Suprises Young Patient

Our AMC team heard that one of the young patients was having his last chemo treatment. Our valet team made t-shirts to congratulate Gabe. He arrived with tears streaming down his face when he saw all the guys wearing shirts for him that said “Our Hero” and “Gabe’s Last Day of Treatment.” This truly was a heartwarming moment.

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VPA Launches New Brand

vpa_logo_FINAL

To bring us into a new era of growth, VPA partnered with a branding company to update our look.  In 2012 we launched a new logo, website and slogan, “Driving You Forward”. We also have been actively using our Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Blog as a communication tool for our employees, customers and clients.

Check out our original brand launch blog post and website blog post.

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We are excited for another great year in 2013!