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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

When the COVID-19 pandemic severely cut down airline travel, it almost ended the airport parking business. As president of Expresspark, Inc., and vice president of Smart Park, Inc., Stephanie Kozak Allen scrambled to keep her business afloat.

“We went from three bustling locations to barely staying afloat with one,” she said. The business shrank from more than 180 employees to 10.

Kozak Allen used the slowdown as an opportunity to rebrand and update the operation with a new logo and new colors. When business picked up, the company rehired some of its people. “The lesson learned is no matter how bleak the horizon looks, the difference is in attitude. We create, promote or allow everything that happens to us. So, if I’m already on my knees, I might as well start praying and then get up and get moving,” she said.

Fourteen years ago, Kozak Allen planned and constructed what is considered to be the first “green’” airport parking facility on the East Coast, long before green was a buzzword in the parking industry. The goal was energy conservation, planning with an emphasis on renewable/sustainable energy sources and respecting and protecting our air and water and the ecosystem’s flora and fauna. Kozak Allen accomplished this by inventorying the site for wildlife, working with environmental consultants and incorporating porous paving to recharge the aquifer. She also planted over 350 indigenous trees, plants and evergreens to minimize the need for watering, as well as countless bushes, flowers and other plants.

In designing ticket booths, care was taken in the selection of materials and construction techniques to conserve energy. Walls and ceilings are insulated with green-certified insulation. The HVAC system is energy-efficient under federal guidelines, the interior paint is organic and the color on the entire exterior of the building is lighter to reflect heat, minimizing the use of air conditioning. Windows are tinted to reduce heat generation of sunlight with green-rated material. LED lighting is used for the buildings and facility. Paper material for the facility is recycled, and inks used in printing are organic. Many of these initiatives are more commonplace today, but Kozak Allen was ahead of her time in 2007.

Expresspark has been recognized with numerous awards under Kozak Allen’s leadership. It was named a Best Place to Work by Philadelphia Business Journal multiple times.

“There isn’t one award or recognition that is greater or better than another,” Kozak Allen said. “With that being said, however, one of my biggest thrills was when I received my first handwritten compliment letter. I thought to myself, what a lovely gesture for someone to take time from their schedule to write about their experience. However, when the compliment cards and letters and phone calls kept coming in, I realized that people truly appreciate a heart-based company. As time has gone by, we continue to get the positive reviews pouring in daily, only now they are done electronically from our customers online.”


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