If someone comes up to you on campus in the future and asks your opinion on CSULB parking, it will probably be Tom Kenna.
“It may be strange to them, but I’ll walk up and say, ‘hey, how you doing,’ just to introduce myself,” said Kenna, who joined CSULB as the new director of Parking and Transportation Services recently. “I like to be really hands-on to make sure our constituent base is taken care of and we are aware of their concerns. I like to hear feedback because customer service is key.”
Kenna, who held a similar post for eight years at the University of Southern California before coming to CSULB, began his new job on May 7, replacing Tom Bass, the long-time director who retired.
“This is a similar campus to USC as far as student population,” said Kenna. “It’s similar in the amount of parking spaces, but USC being in the city makes it a little more urban, of course. There will be different strategies and challenges here. This is certainly a different and exciting environment.”
With two parking structures built on campus in recent years and a third being planned, Kenna will have his hands full, but he wants to make sure the campus community is kept up to date on what parking is doing.
“One of my goals is to really keep the campus community informed on what’s going on concerning parking and how we can help them out,” said Kenna. “I want to promote more of our services and rideshare is a big part of that because that can offset some of the need for parking, especially with all the great bus services around here. It’s amazing how much you can save if you rideshare.”
Kenna practices what he preaches. A resident of Irvine, he took the train to work while at USC, noting that he saved hundreds of dollars in car insurance, gas, wear and tear on his vehicle, not to mention less stress with not having to deal with freeway traffic. Currently, he’s looking for carpool partners from Irvine.
“Bottom line is, parking isn’t here to make money,” said Kenna. “We’re really here to facilitate, to get students, faculty and staff as well as visitors to and from campus, but we have to support that and it does cost money.”
Prior to his time at USC, Kenna worked with the L.A. County of Education in Downey in transportation logistics for handicapped and special education work programs working with the busing industry to get children from their homes to special education school or work sites.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s from USC. He also has been in the military for 24 years and is a major in the California Air National Guard. He was on active duty from 2001-03 and has been called up during the last six years, working at airports, doing FEMA regional work throughout the United States and has been overseas to Qatar.