, Chairman, CEO, and founder of LAZ Parking has been named 2021 Innovator of the Year by the National Parking Association (NPA)
. The NPA, the leading parking industry research, education, and advocacy organization in North America, presented Lazowski with the honor at a luncheon Tuesday, Sept. 28, during its 2021 National Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. NPA Innovation Awards recognize companies and individuals that demonstrate the highest professionalism and parking best practices while using leadership and state-of-the-art technology to improve safety, sustainability, and bottom-line results.
Lazowski was praised as a "truly innovative and inspiring individual" by those who nominated him. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been "a fearless advocate" for the parking industry, the Hartford, Connecticut community, his LAZ family, and America, they said. In the early months of the pandemic, Lazowski partnered with NPA President Christine Banning
to alert the White House to the plight of the parking industry
and to request $5 billion in stimulus grants and loans to help struggling companies. At that time, Lazowski and his fellow founding partners voluntarily went without pay for 90 days and established a $1 million Employee Relief Fund for furloughed LAZ employees. Working with his leadership team, Lazowski also introduced a range of new services to assist clients during the pandemic, including LAZ Pre-screen, LAZ PODS
, and touchless parking solutions
. In addition, LAZ worked with State healthcare leaders to provide locations and staff for COVID testing and vaccination sites
throughout the country.
"I am humbled beyond words by this recognition, but none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the work of the smart, capable, outside-the-box thinkers I am privileged to have on the LAZ team," Lazowski said. "When times got tough, we put our heads together to develop the strategies and new products we needed to meet the moment and get us to the other side. Happily, we have emerged from the crisis a stronger, more agile company ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving parking industry. Our company motto, "Never Give Up," was put to the test, and we prevailed, are again growing, and ready for whatever is next."
Lazowski's good works in the community are also noted in the nomination. President Obama appointed him to serve on the United States Holocaust Museum
board, and he currently serves on the boards of the NAACP,
, and Conscious Capitalism
. Lazowski is also a board member of numerous local and regional organizations including, the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation
, the Connecticut Immigrant & Refugee Coalition
, the Bushnell Theater
, the Hartford Economic Development Corporation
, the Goodwin College Foundation
, the Jordan Porco Foundation for Suicide Prevention
, and the Chabad House of Greater Hartford
. As the son of Holocaust survivors, Lazowski strongly believes he has an obligation to give back. He is a well-respected philanthropist who has given time and money to numerous charitable efforts and, in 2009, started the LAZ Parking Charitable Foundation
. Lazowski's proudest accomplishment, however, is helping people grow and succeed by guiding LAZ to be one of the largest parking companies in the United States.
"This honor recognizes Alan Lazowski's leadership innovation, excellence, and contributions to the parking industry, his employees, and the communities where LAZ does business," said NPA President Christine Banning. "His leadership and accomplishments represent the best of the industry and shine bright."