“If people are friendly, we believe we can teach them our business.”
That’s the motto behind VPNE’s business plan, a plan that developed from a simple idea that parking and retrieving your vehicle is just as much a part of an experience (whether it be a night on the town, a doctor’s visit or a business meeting) as the purpose of your trip.
The LMA is a key location for VPNE, handling valet services and managing garages for BWH, BCH, DFCI and MASCO, while also running event parking for the Red Sox. The LMA is in fact so important, VPNE has a permanent director on site at Children’s Hospital, Domingos Teixeira, whose entire focus is parking and transporting people in the LMA.
“The LMA is the hub of the best healthcare in the world. Being a partner of choice for the world’s finest healthcare institutions is a source of great pride to us at VPNE, so it is important to have a dedicated manager presence here. We’ve got a large team and significant business here in the LMA, covering 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are very focused on treating our employees well and preparing them to succeed,” says Domingos.
“Safety is #1 priority and service is our #2,” he added.
VPNE Parking Solutions is a $45 million company started by one man 25 years ago who was already on top of his game in the financial world. Kevin W. Leary, VPNE’s founder, chairman and CEO, saw a need and decided he knew how to fulfill it. He left his successful career at Merrill Lynch to launch his own business.
“My dad believed that if you are going into town, for example, for a nice dinner and a show, that a lovely evening could be essentially tainted if not ruined by a bad parking experience,” explains Kevin J. Leary, VPNE’s president. “He wanted VPNE to be a boutique culture that created a positive environment and experience for parking your car in the city.”
“Training, training, training is the key to our customer service,” says Kevin. “Our directors and managers, including me, are constantly looking to improve customer service. We’ve trained at the Disney Institute, the Ritz-Carlton and the Mandarin service programs. Every single employee gets 40 hours of training with a VPNE Certified Trainer when they are hired by VPNE. It’s a real treat when a client says ‘Where do you get these employees? They’re wonderful!’”
What started as an idea to create a better parking experience has blossomed into one of the leading parking solutions company in New England, with garage and lot management, valet services, shuttle services, commuter services management and event parking and transportation added to its core business.
VPNE’s service is so respected that Boston Children’s Hospital approached the company three years ago about taking over their linen service.
“We didn’t know much about linen, but then again we didn’t know much about parking 25 years ago,” says Kevin. VPNE has been running the service at BCH since 2011.
VPNE now has more than 100 locations across New England, with 1300+ employees. They offer incentive and referral programs for their employees, and give away 10% of the company profits to local charities annually.
“People are our business and our service. If we coach, train and treat them well, we retain them and they grow professionally and hopefully personally. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Kevin.