Against All Odds? CMA Celebrates its 35th Anniversary


When I formed CHANCE Management Advisors in the first week of April 1984, the song Against All Odds, by Phil Collins, hit Number 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs Top 40 list!  Little did I know that it could have been a metaphor, in more ways than one, for the 35 years that have followed – both for me and our parking industry.

Was it against all odds that a woman-owned consulting firm in the parking industry would be around 35 years later?  Maybe.  But today having so many strong and independent women in our industry seems pretty mainstream to everyone And I’m enthused to see so many young people, men and women alike, entering an industry today that has become even more essential to our society’s economic development and public safety, as well as our individual freedom. 

I’m proud to have coined the term “access management” so many years ago – a term that is pretty mainstream today.  Access management captures our focus at CMA, and what our industry ultimately is all about:   creating and managing reasonable and safe access opportunities for employees and visitors to and from every kind of destination you can imagine. 

It is definitely against all odds that I can capture in a short blog the extent and depth of personal and professional relationships established over the years.  All of us at CMA offer a  deeply heartfelt “thank you” to our clients,  colleagues and friends who have made our work possible, thought-provoking, fun, and enlightening all these years.

If I may impart a bit of hard-earned wisdom from 35 years in this wonderful and often wacky industry, it is this:  the heart of parking (and related functions) is not about equipment, spaces, software, vehicles or the latest shiny technology.  It is about how helping to make the journey better and easier for all types of individuals, wherever they are going.   My hope is that we as an industry don’t lose track of this as change whirls around us. 

Now just for fun, take a look at those hot mainstream rock tracks from the first week of April of ’84 here.  (My favorite was # 20 Footloose by Kenny Loggins.)  Enjoy the trip back in time, and those Eighties hairstyles! 

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Barbara Chance