(PHILADELPHIA) – Today, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) announced the hiring of Richard Lazer as Executive Director. Lazer currently serves as the Deputy Mayor for Labor for the City of Philadelphia. In this role, Lazer worked directly with the Mayor and key staff on all city economic development projects. He was responsible for handling all labor and employee relations for the City’s 26,000-employee workforce. Lazer served as Philadelphia’s chief labor negotiator, interacting on behalf of the Mayor with the Managing Director and other senior City officials – including members of City Council and other elected state and federal officials during complex negotiations.
“The PPA is unlike any other parking authority. We manage on-street, garage, and airport parking. We also run many complex and highly successful public safety programs, including the red light and speed camera programs. We even regulate taxis and limos in the City. Rich Lazer has a deep skill set and expertise in workforce management and complex negotiations. He also has a needed familiarity with Philadelphia and our diverse stakeholders. These two factors will allow him to help the board chart a new path for the Philadelphia Parking Authority while managing our many operations and large workforce,” said PPA Board Chairperson Beth Grossman.
Lazer spearheaded key components of the Kenney Administration’s priorities, including the $400 million Rebuild Initiative and Worker Relief Fund. He assisted in prioritizing $180 million in capital budget requests and oversaw the $200 million Labor Reserve Fund. He served on the City’s Covid Response Operations Group, which directed the City’s overall response and mitigation efforts to combat Covid-19.
“After seventeen years in city government, he is held in high regard by a multitude of City and state stakeholders in both the public and private sectors,” Grossman said. “In his time with City government, Lazer worked on nearly every major issue and initiative in Philadelphia, earning plaudits from his peers and other leaders.”
“The PPA is a vital organization with over one thousand hard-working, dedicated employees who do a great job — every day — for the people of Philadelphia,” Lazer said. “The PPA is widely recognized as one of the top municipal parking agencies in the country. I am honored that the Board chose me. I’m excited to help the new board set a path for the organization to improve parking operations, keep our streets safe, and make it easier for people to navigate our City.”
As a leader in City Hall, Lazer worked with transportation agencies throughout the region. He has interacted and often served as the Mayor’s liaison with multiple transportation agencies, including the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia Parking Authority, Philadelphia International Airport, Delaware River Port Authority, and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
“Philadelphia is the central hub for the region, and our transportation agencies need to work together to make sure our residents can move safely and get to business and homes with ease,” said Lazer. “It should be easier to park and safer to walk, bike, or travel our streets by vehicles, from cars to taxis to buses. I understand and appreciate the complexity of our transportation system, and I know that all of these agencies must work together to benefit Philadelphians.”
Lazer also worked closely with city business leaders and understands the importance of collaboration and problem-solving. Having worked with Lazer as a member of the Board of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, President and CEO John McNichol commented on Lazer’s selection by saying, “Rich is one of the best, brightest and hardest working public servants in city government. He’s an ideas-guy and a known problem-solver with keen insight and a thoughtful and deliberative approach to management. He will bring strong and visionary leadership to the PPA in his new role as Executive Director.”
The PPA chose Lazer after an extensive national search by the highly regarded executive search firm of Protiviti Government Services, Inc. d/b/a Robert Half. The search firm reached out to over 200 possible candidates, over 50 applied and 12 candidates were interviewed for the Executive Director position. The applicant response demonstrated the high esteem in which the PPA is held across the country.
Before being appointed the Deputy Mayor for Labor, Lazer worked in Philadelphia City Council for eleven years, where he acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge on overall city operations. Over the past seventeen years, he has interacted with numerous City, state, and federal elected and non-elected officials regularly. Rich Lazer graduated from LaSalle University and participated in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.
Board Appointments & Community Involvement:
- Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation | Mayor’s Representative
- Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority | Board Member
- Philadelphia Regional Port Authority | Board Member
- Philadelphia Zoo | Board Member
- Governor’s Port Advisory Board | Board Member
- Philadelphia Works Inc. | Executive Board Member
- Interstate Land Management Corporation | Chairperson
- 21st Century Living Wage and Benefits Review Committee | Chairperson
- Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia | Chairperson
- LaSalle University Arts and Science Advisory Council | Board Member
- Whitman Neighborhood Council, Inc. | Board Member
- Burke Playground Community Fund | President
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