James Hardy Bond
James Hardy Bond was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 2, 1942. He spent his high school years in Scottsville, Kentucky, where he met his wife of 49 years, Gwendolyn Crow Bond. He is preceded in death by his father, Eugene Watts Bond; and mother, Harriet Virginia Harper Bond.
Jim attended the University of Kentucky, where he graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1964. His business career began first as a design engineer with the Kentucky State Highway Department before being called into military service in 1967. He subsequently earned his Master's Degree in Engineering Management in 1969 from Vanderbilt University. Upon graduation, Jim worked at Commerce Union Bank in Nashville, where he managed the bank's internal services group.
In 1971, Jim began a 41-year career with Central Parking System. His first ten years were as Regional Vice President, positioned in Saint Louis, MO. During this time, Central Parking System grew from operating in three cities to eleven. In 1981, he was appointed as the company's Chief Operating Officer, which brought Jim and his family back to Nashville. The company experienced strong growth through the 1980s and he was named Central Parking's President in 1990. By 1991, the company had expanded to 41 cities, including its first international operations at Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf in London, England. It was also during his time as President that Central Parking System purchased all of the operating contracts from Myers Parking System, which provided the company further expansion in the Northeast (New York City, Boston) and to the West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco).
By 1995, Central Parking became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This access to capital resulted in a series of acquisitions culminating in the purchase of Allright Parking in 1999. This acquisition made Central Parking the largest company worldwide in the parking industry, operating 4,500 locations in 120 cities and 14 countries. In 2007, Central Parking was purchased by a private equity and subsequently merged with Standard Parking in 2012. Jim continued with the company as Executive Vice President until his retirement in 2012. Jim was widely respected in the parking industry by colleagues and competitors for his business knowledge, his sophisticated yet humble demeanor, and his incredible professionalism. He was a mentor and role-model to many. As testament of the lasting impact Jim made with Central Parking and the parking industry, Standard Parking has named its new Nashville operations support office in his honor.
Jim was an avid skier and loved golfing with friends and family between vacation homes in Colorado and South Carolina. His favorite "home away from home" was the Sloane Club, where he stayed during his many business trips to London. He and Gwen also took frequent trips together to New York City, Chicago and the Napa Valley. It was in Napa Valley where Jim enjoyed the various vineyards, which allowed him to add to his cellar at home. Jim loved to read - and voraciously read all genres. He loved all kinds of music, but was especially a fan of The Beatles and Bob Seger. He enjoyed the New York Times and USA Today crossword puzzles, and there wasn't a day he didn't work to solve them. Jim loved his alma mater's Kentucky basketball program, and his time in Saint Louis, Missouri made him a lifelong fan of the Cardinals' baseball team. His passion for Wildcats basketball and the Cardinals has been passed on to his children and grandchildren.
To know Jim was to know a true gentleman. This was important to him from his early days as a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, which made a lasting impact on his life. He always strived to live up to the SAE creed as written in "The True Gentleman".
Jim served as an Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church, having been a member there since 1981. He held numerous board positions, including: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Repertory Theater, Westminster School (now Currey-Ingram), National Parking Association, Martha O'Bryan Center, Central Parking System, Nashville Downtown Partnership and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. Jim was also a member of Belle Meade Country Club, Missouri Athletic Club, Sloane Club (London, England), Urban Land Institute, International Society of Business Fellows, May River Golf Club and Mountain Lake Golf Club.
Jim is survived by his wife, Gwen Bond; sons, Paul (Suzanne) Bond, Andrew (Libby) Bond and daughter, Emily Bond, all of whom loved him dearly and relied on his wisdom and guidance every day. He also leaves behind five grandchildren, Alex, Cooper, Lucy, Watts and Jake, who loved their "Pops".
Whether it was playing baseball in the yard, teaching them how to golf, taking on a chess challenge, going to a Cardinals game, or surprising them with a trip to Disney World, they loved being with him. Pops gave his grandchildren the greatest gift of having a wonderful grandfather.
Visitation will take place on Monday, August 4th from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN. A Memorial service celebrating Jim's life will take place at on Tuesday, August 5th at 11 a.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to The Seeing Eye Inc., 10 Washington Valley Road, PO Box 375, Morristown, NJ 07963; Martha O'Bryan Center, 711 S. 7th Street, Nashville, TN 37206; and Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, 1200 Forrest Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37205.
Published in The Tennessean from Aug. 2 to Aug. 4, 2014