Featured Author

Alexis M. Newman, MBA

Senior Marketing Specialist

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH)

President's Purple Platform

  • President 2017-2018, SMPS New York

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”

—Seth Godin

Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May. Historically, it was called Decoration Day, a day when loved ones of fallen soldiers would leave flowers in memorial at their resting place. As I sit here thinking about this important day that honors those who lost their lives to help us achieve freedom, I began to reflect about the concept of freedom and how it has affected our lives and the lives of generations before us. French abolitionists during the reign of Napoleon III noticed that democratic freedom seemed to be finally becoming a reality for the U.S. after our Civil War, and they wanted to honor our freedom with the gift of the Statue of Liberty. When I see Lady Liberty, I can’t help but feel gratitude. How lucky are we in this day and age to have the freedom to choose our own paths, to choose what we do for a living, or where or how we live? Professionally speaking, we have the freedom to learn, and grow, and apply that knowledge to our businesses. As long as we face the fear that freedom often brings, we can do anything we set our minds to.

Whether the liberty you have had the opportunity to experience is represented by the “red, white, and blue,” or “bleu, blanc, et rouge,” I can’t help but see that red plus blue is purple! Yep, that’s right…this is how the mind of your purple president works. As you all know by now, in June we will be hosting our annual Liberty Ball honoring excellence in marketing communications and professional achievement. We will honor the individual contributions of our peers who found their own personal #purplepower, and their brave choice to make an extra effort to enhance their firm’s visibility, accolades, or importance in their field. We will be celebrating our bold, brilliant, and brave AEC peers in an appropriate setting, the NYC Fire Museum. Hopefully, you’ll make the choice to come join in the celebration.

But wait! Remember that Memorial Day is also a great day to get a discount, not only on your liberty ball gown or suit, but also on your admission to our events! From Friday, May 25, through Tuesday, May 29, our chapter is holding a Memorial Day sale! Get 20% off your ticket to our chapter’s events, including the Long Island Development Debate on May 30, and the Liberty Ball on June 7. Simply enter code MEMORIAL20 when you register.

In this month’s purple pow-wow, I am so excited to introduce you to Brent Robertson. Not only is he our chapter’s brand strategy sponsor, but he also facilitated a ground-breaking, future-thinking leadership workshop this past week. As an extra treat, we are excited to welcome Brent as our Liberty Ball emcee. Read a little bit about Brent below before you come meet him at the Ball!

  1. How did you become involved in the AEC industry? I always had a fascination with architecture and design. When it came time to decide my career training, I chose graphic design. But all the while vowed to work with the AEC space because I had a passion for it. So when I launched my own firm in 2000, one of my first clients was an architecture firm, who has now turned into one of the most recognized and award winning in New England, Amenta Emma.
  2. What brought you to SMPS? It seemed only natural that I would get involved with SMPS, however 10 years ago when that relationship started, I had no idea that it would take me to where it has today. I cut my public speaking teeth with SMPS, and over the course of years have been able to speak at events, conduct workshops and advise, interacting with countless members of the organization. In fact, this year, I was chosen to be one of four MAX talk speakers, at a national SMPS speaking event.
  3. What have you gotten out of your interaction with SMPS New York this year? I recently conducted a Future Design class (The core of Fathom’s work) with a group of advanced AEC professionals in New York. It cemented for me, not only the power of Future Design, but more importantly, the potential it helps release among the members of an industry that has so much influence on how we work and live. The interchange totally recharged my batteries when it comes to how important this industry is and how needed Future Design is.
  4. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would the slogan be? You can have whatever future you want, you simply need the courage to create it.
  5. What’s your purple power? (i.e. what makes you remarkable?) I have the gift of guiding people between the world that is real now, to the world of possibility they could live into.

Brent, I had the privilege of experiencing your purple power at the workshop, and I have to say, you really lit a fire under all of us. Thanks for sharing your remarkable insights with me and the lucky attendees. Leaving the workshop, I felt empowered and determined to make a difference in my professional future.

Everyone, as I sign off and head home (yes I am still at my desk at 9:00PM), I just want to remind you to consider taking advantage of our Memorial Day sale so you can join us at the next few events. When we all come back on Tuesday (hopefully rested and refreshed) let’s get ready to face our future together! In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the long weekend and to reflecting on a positively purple year.

Night Night,

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