Putting Charitable Efforts in Overdrive
Contributed by Chip Patterson
Founder and CEO, AmeriPark®
In 1986, as a college student studying business at Georgia State University, I formulated a plan to open my own parking company. AmeriPark began that year with a single location in Atlanta, Georgia, and it has grown steadily since that time into a full-service parking company with 1,500 employees who handle more than 10 million cars annually.
Service was the key to our early success, and it continues to be what sets our company apart today. Quite simply, my team and I love to serve, both on and off the valet lots. It’s a requisite quality for employment with AmeriPark, and through our partnership with Simon Property Group and Simon Youth Foundation, we have found cohorts who share our passion for service.
Four years ago, our teams collaborated to create a Holiday Valet Program that donated a portion of our valet proceeds to Simon Youth Foundation. The entire AmeriPark team embraced this program, and it has become an annual tradition that really benefits everyone from mall shoppers to students. Our customers receive promotional perks, and AmeriPark gets to help create opportunities for kids who need to know that someone cares.
During its first year, the program raised $13,000. By the program’s fourth year, we were able to donate $47,000 to Simon Youth Foundation. My team and I understand that it takes $1,000 to get a Simon Youth Academy student to graduation, and knowing that we raised enough in 2013 to help not just one – but 47 students – stay in school and graduate is a tremendous source of pride.
Providing meaningful support for a good cause doesn’t have to take you that far outside of your daily routine or out of your comfort zone at all. The Holiday Valet Program is really just a new twist on something AmeriPark has done for more than 25 years. But that modification to our standard operation has a real impact.
The Foundation’s mission resonates with me, and I have so much respect for the thousands of students who attend Simon Youth Academies. Despite their life circumstances, each of these students has seized an opportunity to pursue their dreams. Each of them is a success story, and the AmeriPark team is delighted to fuel more success stories through our service.
Chip Patterson founded AmeriPark in 1986. Since that time, the company has established a leadership position in the valet services industry, and Chip has earned recognition for his steadfast support of philanthropic efforts at local and national levels.