Amy Stroud

Business Development

HMWhite

Member, Membership Committee

January’s Member of the Month is a familiar face at SMPS events and has become a real asset to the Membership Committee as her responsibilities continue to grow. Amy Stroud began her career on the design side of Landscape Architecture, but has made a transition into the business development side throughout her career, and is now currently working at HMWhite. Her intellect and gregarious personality makes her a valued member of the SMPS NY chapter. Let’s read below as Amy has shared some of her thoughts and ideas with us.

Where are you from originally and what brought you to New York City?

I am from Greenville, South Carolina. I also spent a lot of time traveling with my mother, who is also in the A/E/C industry. Traveling with her and inadvertently getting a better understanding of her work as I grew up has greatly influenced my career path. I fell in love with NYC during my first visit when I was 12, and, I felt that NYC had the career growth and potential that I was looking for.

What college and or university did you attend, and what area did you study?

I attended Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina and graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture. After college, I joined a firm in Dallas, Texas and worked in their landscape architecture department. When the economic downturn hit, I decided to move to New York where I could take advantage of larger opportunities. In New York, I continued to design, but I also began to integrate marketing / business development consulting into my work. Of course, there are many moments I miss designing, but I love, and have found I am actually passionate about, drawn to and skilled with the business side of the industry.

Tell us something people might not know about you?

In addition to progressing professionally, I have always wanted to be more involved in the humanitarian efforts related to our industry, and NYC gave me that opportunity. Six months after moving to New York, I helped initiate a project in Haiti with the support of the NYAIA, NYASLA, NOMA/NYCOBA, Engineers without Borders and the Forum for Urban Design. Originally focused on working with communities in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, to rebuild structurally sound homes, schools, community facilities and infrastructure in a particularly hard hit area of Port au Prince, the project transformed into a non-profit, and has succeeded in integrating NYC professionals and expertise into on-ground communities to effectively rebuild.

Being a part of the City’s incredible support system and seeing those in our industry come together to use their expertise to not only help to rebuild communities but to ensure they subsist reaffirms my decision to move to New York.

How has being a part of SMPS influenced your career path in landscape architecture?

SMPS has been influential in several aspects. The most obvious would be in building my network. The professionals you meet within SMPS are so eager to get to know each other and integrate them into the chapter that is makes it difficult to not enhance your connectivity to a wide range of professionals throughout our industry. Furthermore, the people I have connected with have also been significant supporters both within my day-to-day work as well as my career growth.

Another important influence has been my involvement within an SMPS committee. Although I have been involved in other organizations, being a part of such an active and collaborative committee has helped me to improve my skills in the ability to effectively work with a diverse and changing team of professionals who are supporting an organization with very limited time outside of the office. This is not an easy task, especially in a city like New York where we all work very long and hard each day.

Because you are our January Member of the Month, maybe you can share some of your favorite holiday/winter traditions?
The greatest reward, without a doubt is having the opportunity to work with great, passionate, people and to develop lasting relationships. Furthermore, participating on the Professional Development committee allows me to be directly involved with some of the most impactful events and initiatives in our profession.

If you could be in any other profession what would it be? Why?

This year was a bit different from the previous holidays. I traveled to Hawaii for two and a half weeks to visit my sister for Christmas and New Year’s. She and her husband are living there for two years, so the traditions altered a bit this year…however, I would not mind turning a Hawaii vacation into a repeated annual event!

If you could be in any other profession what would it be? Why?

I think my mother says that since I was five years old, I always said I wanted to be a lawyer. That obviously changed, but I think if I have not pursued this profession, that would be a strong contender.