Bill Lerner and His Take on Being a Successful and Innovative Industry Leader
As owner and CEO of iPark, Bill Lerner took several decades to develop his firm into today's largest family-owned parking garage entity in New York State. Everything began with a single 25-car lot in 1960 that steadily grew to nearly 150 facilities, with future properties being planned since parking needs continue to increase. While iPark’s achievements can certainly be attributed to sound decision-making and management, Lerner’s openness to new ideas and philosophies in terms of business operations has been the driving force behind the company’s consistent expansion. The American entrepreneur discusses his role as an innovator, and how these decisions have driven sustained success.
It’s easy to think of innovation within a business as profound, game-changing revelations that completely alter an industry's way of thinking, but that is not always the case. “Evolutionary changes (slight shifts in business strategy or thinking) can often be every bit as powerful as revolutionary advancements,” writes Parade contributor Scott Steinberg. “We often forget that all it frequently takes to get ahead is just a minor shift in tactics or perspective.” For Lerner, this has often meant accommodating various trends and shifts that reflect on consumer’s everyday lifestyles. “It’s become essential to be technologically capable,” he noted in an interview with Park Exec. “Our customer base has become primarily a tech community.”
One particular example of Lerner’s approach is the implementation of a user-friendly, streamlined online booking framework that became a major factor in the company’s growth, especially in the New York City area. “The amenities our clientele enjoy in other markets have to be available within ours in order to retain their business,” he pointed out. More recently, the rise in use of electric vehicles prompted Lerner to initiate a partnership with Tesla Motors, Inc. and CarCharging, resulting in the installation of charging stations at a number of iPark garages, with plans to eventually offer them at every facility. "I feel that 10 years out, more new cars will be electric than gasoline-based," he told CNBC. "There's going to come a day when you can't find a place to gas up in Manhattan." Regardless of what the future holds, Bill Lerner will continue to utilize his innovative business approach in the way his company operates, furthering its success in an ever-changing industry that relies on anticipating consumer’s preferences on all levels.
Bill Lerner is the President and CEO of iPark, New York’s largest family-owned parking garage entity. Upon graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in Business, Billy officially joined his father’s company, then known as Imperial Parking Systems, where he began to strategically redevelop its operational functions, eventually rebranding the business as iPark. Today, he personally oversees all technological transitions, placing the company at the forefront of the parking industry’s ongoing evolution. A husband and father of three, Billy devotes his spare time to a number of charitable and philanthropic causes, most notably Billy4Kids; a nonprofit organization he founded that works to provide shoes for underprivileged children in communities throughout the world.
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