Carrie Villani

Director of Marketing Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA)

Carrie Snyder
  • Chair, SMPS-NY Coordinators Club
  • Co-Chair, SMPS-NY Communications Committee
June’s Member of the Month is the quintessential example of the attributes required to thrive in the A/E/C industry. Carrie Villani is creative, intelligent and genuinely interested in architecture and building sciences. She harnesses her multiple talents as the chair of the Coordinator’s Club within the Professional Development Committee, in addition to serving as the Co-Chair of the Communications Committee. In her role as the Director of Marketing at LERA, she is tenacious and oversees the day-to-day marketing of the firm and says she truly enjoys “promoting the talented engineers of LERA.” Let’s read below, as Carrie has shared some of her thoughts and ideas with us…

[expand title=”Click here to read the interview…”] 1. Where are you from originally and what brought you to New York City? I come from Bergen County, New Jersey which is about an hour from the City. I often came to NY for museum visits and to see family as a child. Starting as a young teenager, I came to NYC with my friends to go to galleries and concerts. I knew this was the place for me and left NJ to finish high school in NYC. I moved in with a friend’s family at the time. My parents were very trusting and supportive. I then went to School of Visual Arts where I focused my studies on architectural photography. I was always drawn to documenting urban environments. My entry into the design world in support of the built environment was very intentional as I knew I needed to work with creative people. My first job out of college was doing marketing and administration for an architectural travel company that offered AIA accredited tours throughout Europe. It was an excellent introduction to the industry and also taught me a lot about business and operations. Since then, I have been working as a marketing professional directly for professional services firms. 2. How has being a member of SMPS influenced your career? Through the SMPS, I have developed strong professional and personal relationships that have helped me to expand my knowledge and grow my career. Many of my friends work in marketing but marketing for AEC is its own unique entity. It is invaluable to have a group of peers you collaborate with and mutually inspire and support each other. I got involved with Committees right away and attend as many events as possible. I have enjoyed the charitable volunteering efforts our Chapter has been involved in as well as getting to know many people’s personal stories and what brought them to the AEC industry. There are so many unique experiences that help add to the depth of information and resources our group offers to each other. Our histories may vary but we are all striving for similar goals. I encourage people to get involved and find their own personal connections to help drive them forward. I find it very beneficial to get involved in more than one Committee to obtain multiple perspectives. As Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, I am literally attuned to every single event and initiative the Chapter organizes. As Chair of the Coordinators Club which is part of the Professional Development Committee, I am able to address the particular needs of our community. In addition to the Coordinators Club, I assist with other PD events, and author knowledge sharing articles on the Spotlight Blog. 3. Can you better describe your role at LERA and what responsibilities your job entails? As Director of Marketing for LERA, I am responsible for the day to day marketing of the firm. LERA are structural engineers with headquarters in New York and offices in Shanghai and Mumbai. We work all over the world on projects ranging from art installations and small renovations to the world’s tallest skyscrapers. In addition to tall building we have expertise in museums, healthcare projects, educational and government projects. I support the growth of all of these markets by working closely with LERA’s senior staff pursuing opportunities, maintaining industry relationships and managing our communications and PR efforts. I implemented a brand transformation for the firm last year. We refreshed our print materials and just launched a brand new website at www.lera.com. I love my job promoting the talented engineers of LERA. We work with the best architects and design firms on exciting and transformative projects across the globe. 4. Can you tell us more about your involvement with the Coordinators Club and what topics you will be covering in the coming months? I have been leading the Coordinators Club for 2 years. As Chair, I organize and produce a series of monthly events geared towards Coordinator level marketers. Recent programs have featured InDesign Tips, Branding, Public Relations, and Networking. I have been very proud to have worked with the best experts in our field to lead these seminars. The response and feedback has really been tremendous. The Coordinators Club has grown from only having a few members attending to our current events which have over 30 participants. Our next event in July is the Annual Proposal Swap, a fantastic opportunity to see the work of your peers and exchange tips for best practices, it is always a very popular event. I am working on new programs for the fall focused on WMBE Requirements and a presentation on the History of AEC marketing. Hearing the gratitude from the attendees and their excitement to attend numerous events is very rewarding. Our group offers a unique, intimate experience for marketers to share challenges and ideas on how to always strive for success in our careers and for our firms. 5. What are some of your favorite movies and television shows? I have always loved a good mystery. Growing up, we did not have TV in the summer and I read every Nancy Drew book. I have also ready the entire libraries of Agatha Christie, Mickey Spillane and Jim Thompson. I love film noir including classic films like the Maltese Falcon, anything by Hitchcock or the Coen brothers. My TV preferences are the same, nothing is better than Law and Order! I prefer the Lennie Briscoe years, criminal justice with a twist of dark humor. [/expand]