T2 has some of the brightest minds in the parking industry, and each employee brings a unique set of talents and experiences to the table. We thought you might like to learn more about these talented individuals. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll get to know one employee each month. This month we talked to Andrew Kenakin, a Project Engineer for the PARCS team.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and lived there until I was 10 years old before moving to the Vancouver area in British Columbia, Canada. I went to elementary and high school in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond, then over to Tsawwassen during university, and finally into Vancouver proper where I currently reside now.
What drew you to working in engineering?
Engineering drew me! I began working at T2 Systems (then Digital Payment Technologies) in 2010 as an Account Manager, where I spent my first four years building relationships with customers and developing a knowledge for our products and solutions. My passion for the technical side of our solutions drove me to aspire towards a more technical role, so I moved over to work in the Manufacturing facility in Burnaby to deepen my knowledge and skills as a prerequisite.
After a year of building pay stations on the production line, I came back over to the office to become the first Training Consultant for the Pay Station product line, right in time for the big Digital Iris migration. After just over a year in that position, I moved into the role of Project Manager. After four years managing Pay Station and AutoCount projects, I joined the PARCS team as a Project Engineer, which is how I got to where I am now!
How did you end up in the parking industry?
Most likely just like the rest of us: by chance! After three years as a secondary school teacher, I realized that I wanted to shift my career into the world of business, specifically a technology-based company. I was open across industries to get a foot in the door and gain some experience, and it just so happened that parking turned out to be the “vehicle” to get me there. (Pun intended!) Parking has many layers and is more technologically involved than even I was expecting, so it was a very welcome surprise to find such a unique industry that’s right in front of everyone’s eyes, but still “behind the scenes.”
What do you do as a Project Engineer for T2?
The role of the Project Engineer is to determine and design the details of an implementation from the early pre-sale stages right up to the go-live. This involves diving deep into the solution with the customer to determine their goals and key success indicators; multiple onsite visits to assess the practicalities of the install and determine the best “fit” for the operation; drafting and developing diagrams and documents for both Sales to use in RFPs and client proposals, as well as Project Managers and Business Analysts in the post-sale solution rollout; and generally overseeing the post-sale install and client preparedness for the final go-live moment!
What’s something that you think people don’t know about parking that you find interesting?
It’s essentially urban planning! Efficient parking helps urban environments work more efficiently on the whole, and it’s fascinating how intricately involved it is with the social, economic, financial, and practical facets of many large and small organizations. You deal with private companies, public entities, the general public itself, and all the technology behind it as well. Most people don’t really understand what the parking industry is, or why there is even a need for one, but after some expository discussion everyone is always so intrigued!
What do you enjoy about working at T2?
The people! T2 is such a unique family with people from all over the continent that you can always count on and learn from. Having been at the company for over ten years, and across five departments, I have made some very close friendships with teammates, which to me is the most important part of being in any organization. In addition, I love how I get the opportunity to work in a role that is customer-facing yet also hands-on and tech-based, with a great team of colleagues. It doesn’t get better than that.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I am a proud member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club! For those who don’t know what that is, Google it (including where you have to be to achieve this “prestige”). It may be bizarre, but it’s also one of the most Canadian things ever!