Care Park chronicles the journey of four of its leading women driving the future of parking
The parking industry has been very open and welcoming of women across its operations working in the field managing parking services right through to the highest ranks of management. Care Park, which this year celebrates 25 years of services to the parking industry has always had women in its leadership team from inception to the modern day.
Celebrating our silver jubilee year, Care Park showcases four of its leading ladies who lead in Portfolio Management, People and Culture Management, State Operation Management and Property Portfolio Management.
Care Park and its sister company Australian Property Management are proud to acknowledge staff career achievements and support them through the challenges.
Sarah Frost – Care Park Portfolio Manager
Sarah is one of Care Park’s longest serving employees. Twenty years ago, Sarah Frost started what was to become a journey of different jobs and career growth at one single company – Care Park. Today, Sarah Frost is one of four portfolio managers and the only female of the team.
“I started my career at Care Park on a 12 month contract working in accounts payable at the company’s first office on St Kilda Road,” Sarah Frost says.
“I learned the business of parking from the ground up and made sure I learned every facet of the business.”
Sarah says choosing the parking industry as her career has also had its challenges. She is a busy mum of two primary-school-aged children. When the children were younger, she had to take a step back from full-time work and take on a part-time role at Care Park. I was given that flexibility to transition to part-time, but it was up to me to manage the properties for the landlords and also meet Care Park’s high expectations in delivery to its clients.
Sarah says anyone considering a career in the parking industry would not be disappointed. “Not one day is the same; you can expect something different every day; and let’s not forget the element of surprise too, that, at times can take your breath away, but that’s when I know I have to step up and work through all the elements to move us over the other side positively.”
Catherine Foster – Care Park South Australia State Manager
Care Park’s South Australia General Manager Catherine Foster is proud to be the only currently serving female state manager within Care Park. Catherine started work at Care Park on a part-time basis in July 2011 working 10-15 hours per week in payroll. By January 2016, her can-do approach and strong business acumen were recognised, and she was appointed the South Australia General Manager.
Today Catherine leads a strong team of 15 staff in South Australia which is responsible for managing 30 car parking properties.
“As the South Australia General Manager, I am responsible for the whole state’s operations across all facets of meeting the landlord requirements, ensuring the car parks provide customers a seamless parking experience and ensuring all parts of the Care Park business are delivered to the highest standards,” Catherine Foster says.
Catherine names the two greatest achievements at Care Park being the company named Parking Organisation of the Year in 2018 and 2020 for two major parking operations in South Australia – the introduction of virtual parking permits at the University of South Australia and the new parking operations at Flinders Medical Centre.
“Those two awards were really pivotal to my career development to know that two of the car parks I manage provided Care Park the honour of being named Parking Organisation of the Year,” Catherine Foster says.
Catherine stands side by side with her peers and colleagues as a manager and company leader. “People are generally surprised when it’s a woman turning up who is the general manager of a parking company. I see that as a motivator to do my job to the best of my ability and work harder to prove myself as a female manager. It’s not a challenge, it’s a motivator.”
Catherine Foster says Care Park invested the time to teach her the car parking industry. “It made me stronger in this environment and also taught me how to drive good outcomes for our staff, the properties we manage and our company as a whole.”
Victoria Kordalis – Care Park People and Culture Manager
As the daughter of immigrant parents, Care Park’s Human Resources Manager understands well the challenges and needs of people within an organisation, starting that understanding of people from the bottom up. Since starting at Care Park in December 2021, it’s been a hectic pivoting the company’s people and resources into a post COVID world returning the company’s people to the workplace.
When Victoria was first approached about leading the HR Department at Care Park, she was unsure whether moving during a post-COVID world of transition would be wise as there was so much uncertainty still in the workforce. However, she relied on her finance and HR degrees and felt she had all the right qualifications and experience to ride through any challenges the new role would throw at her.
In a post-COVID world, Victoria is part of the workplace movement to recalibrate the workplace and get the nation mobilised getting employees back to full-time hours in the company office.
“While some companies are offering hybrid roles, Care Park needs its people in the office to deliver the best service to the properties we manage and the customers we serve, who choose to park in our car parks.
“This means Care Park has a strong drive to make the workplace the place to be to do your job. We have workplace programs to ensure that each of our staff, no matter what level or area of the business they are working in, will be able to succeed and find satisfaction in their job role.”
So if you have never thought of a career in parking … let your inquisitiveness take over … an enquiry is just an email or call away. You might just drive away with a career of opportunities you never thought imaginable and Victoria Kordalis is ready to give you the valet service and open a world of opportunities to you at Care Park.
Trang Pham – Australian Property Management Commercial Manager
At 16 years of age, Trang boarded a plane from Hanoi, Vietnam with her mother to complete her year 11 and 12 education in Melbourne. From here began her extraordinary and dedicated efforts to stay in Australia and develop a successful career in property management. Trang obtained a Bachelor degree in Accounting from Latrobe University.
“My early experiences in my new adopted country of Australia have shaped me to understand the journey that many new immigrants face in Australia and helps me be a better leader in our company where there are many employees from foreign lands working with us.”
Trang has just celebrated seven years at Australian Property Management and her journey has been one which started from the ground up.
“I have had some very good mentors in this business. My career journey has been met with good leadership style from my direct report to the company CFO who has been both firm and supportive to drive the best out of me. He drives outcomes by example and it is a leadership style I am keen to deliver in my own journey.”
Trang says driving a positive culture within he APM business is integral to the company’s success for itself and the clients it manages. That is one of our biggest achievements here to have achieved a good company culture.”