Josh Cantor

Summary

Director, Parking & Transportation, George Mason University

Information

Web: LinkedIn

Email:  jcantor1@gmu.edu
Phone:  703-993-8146
Address:

Experience

Director, Parking & Transportation
George Mason University
Aug 2005 – Present

Oversee Parking & Transportation on all George Mason University campuses and sites. Areas under Parking & Transportation are: Parking Services including permit sales, enforcement and citation management, special events, and construction related issues. Also oversee University’s shuttle program as well as all alternative transportation issues including bicycling programs, Serves as University’s representative on transit/traffic/parking issues with regional partners.

Board Member, Past President-Parking Association of the Virginias (PAV) www.pavonline.org
International Parking Institute (IPI)-Co-Chair of Education Development Committee and Member, State & Regional Committee
Member of T2 Systems Customer Advisory Board
Member of Chesapeake Chapter of Association of Commuter Transportation(ACT)

Assistant to Director, Parking & Transportation
Cal State Fullerton
2000 – 2005

Worked for the Director and Associate Director of Parking & Transportation, representing the department on projects and committees. Also worked as Assistant to the Vice President of Administration, working on divisional budgets and projects.

Field Representative/Caseworker
U.S. House of Representatives-Congressman Matthew G.”Marty” Martinez
1997 – 2001

Was a field rep/caseworker for Congressman Marty Martinez in his district office in Alhambra, CA and covered the San Gabriel Valley from East LA to Azusa.

Education

Cornell University
B.A.
Government
1990 – 1994

Activities and Societies: Navy ROTC
Commissioned as Ensign, USNR. Later promoted to LT, USNR
Concentrations: American Politics, Public Policy, U.S. History

University of Kentucky
M.A.

Political Science
1995 – 1997

Articles

Meet the Mason Nation: Josh Cantor

Colleen Kearney Rich | Mason Spirti | Feb. 2017

Josh Cantor didn’t aspire to a career in parking. With degrees in government and political science, he worked for a California congressman until the guy lost an election. When Cantor looked for other work, being the son of a university professor, he naturally gravitated toward higher ed and took a job in parking administration at California State University, Fullerton. In 2005, he came to Mason to serve as the university’s first director of Parking and Transportation.

Josh Cantor
Photo by Ron Aira

Home Team: Although Parking and Transportation are outsourced to third-party vendors (ps+ for parking, Reston Limousine for the shuttles), Cantor and two of his top managers are university employees. About 120 people work for the office. “The only difference is their paycheck comes from somewhere else,” he says.

No Avoiding It: Cantor sees parking as “one of those necessary evils. We are part of virtually everything that happens on campus and deal with more people than any other operation at the university. A big part of the job is knowing what’s going on on campus and what the impact is going to be—and what our role is in supporting it.”

That’s the Ticket: Contrary to what most people believe, there isn’t a quota on tickets, and they don’t write them to make money. “Writing tickets is a tool. The role of tickets isn’t to be punitive. They account for about 3.5 percent of our revenue stream, and there is no quota. It is a small part of the job.”

Up Close and Personal: When it comes to parking, Cantor says people, no matter how conscientious they are, look at it from a very personal level. “It is easy to lose your detachment if you’ve been sitting in traffic and can’t find a space. Then it is ‘Why are you doing this to me?’” That’s why Cantor sees educating people about their options as a big part of his job.

Irate Customers: Cantor answers many of the complaint emails and nasty tweets himself, and encourages his staff not to take the outbursts personally. “We are looking out for everyone’s best interests. The goal with customers is getting them to a place where we can find a solution. If you do it respectfully, you can get through to people. Our front-line staff deals with more customers than I do, and I want them know that what they do makes a big difference.”

All in a Day’s Work: Cantor likes to joke that he had a full head of hair when he started working at Mason. “To do this job, you need to have a good sense of humor and you have to like people.” And after 11 years of zany parking excuses, he says he has collected some good material for a sitcom. “The job’s not boring.”

The Hours: Although he can’t be everywhere, Cantor says sometimes it is much easier to actually see for yourself what’s happening when something is going awry traffic-wise. “I’m not going to be here 24 hours, although sometimes it feels like it.” In fact he credits the university’s commitment to work/life balance and the opportunity to telework when he can as a large part of why he enjoys working at Mason.

Double duty: As the father of three boys, Cantor doesn’t have a lot of downtime as it is. All three sons are involved in scouting with the older two working toward their Eagle. And they all play ice hockey.

On the job: University’s Growth Challenges Parking and Transportation Director

Dave Andrews | Mason Gazette | June 23, 2008

Arguably one of the most wearisome jobs at Mason belongs to the director of parking and transportation, Josh Cantor. At a time when the university is experiencing immense growth with ever-evolving traffic patterns, Cantor often finds himself directly under a spotlight.

“Altering peoples’ customary commutes isn’t an easy thing to do; we frequently get calls from people … (pause) … expressing their opinions,” Cantor says, carefully choosing his words. “What many people don’t realize is that all of this change and growth is a positive, exciting thing.”

While some people strive for recognition from peers and colleagues for a job well done, Cantor sees it differently. As far as the Office of Parking and Transportation is concerned, not hearing about a job or event is usually a sign that things are going well.

“Our goal is to get people to and from campus without them having to think about issues that may arise due to unforeseen transportation delays,” Cantor says. “[Commuting is] a big part of everyone’s day, so when my office doesn’t hear about it, that usually means things are running smoothly and we’re doing a good job.”

Cantor has been at Mason since 2005. He’s usually busy attending meetings (large and small), updating message boards (urgent and marginal) and sending and receiving e-mails (pleasant and not-so-pleasant). Being associated with nearly every aspect of campus operations is demanding, but that’s what Cantor enjoys most.

“I love being in a position where you have an understanding of so many different areas throughout the university,” Cantor says. “When we’re dealing with one area, we usually know how it might impact another. So often we find ourselves as intermediaries between different areas.”

Before coming to Mason, Cantor worked for more than five years for a congressman in Southern California. The political experience helps as he continually develops and communicates a wide range of messages to the Mason community.

“Working in a congressional office, we were taught to treat every problem as if it came from our own family members,” Cantor explains. “That was our principle then, and I’m trying to apply that now. When people come to us with concerns, we see it as an opportunity to educate them on the situation and focus on the many positives happening to our campuses.”

Though Mason’s transportation program is still in its infancy, a great deal of progress has been made since Cantor’s arrival. A new bicycle program, expanded shuttle services and additional parking options are a few of the many changes.

“We still have a long, long ways to go. It’s really a never-ending process,” Cantor says. “The combination of rising gas prices and Mason’s commitment to sustainability gives us additional opportunities and motivation to continue developing new programs.”

Cantor’s nonstop work schedule is a lot like his family schedule. With three boys, ages 8, 6, and 3 months, Cantor says it’s fair to say the children occupy most of his time outside the office.

His calendar is booked solid with his sons’ baseball, soccer, hockey and Boy Scout activities. But he’s happy to have them take the spotlight.

 

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