Featured Author

Alexis M. Newman, MBA

Senior Marketing Specialist

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH)

President's Purple Platform

  • President 2017-2018, SMPS New York

In a rowing crew, the coxswain (pronounced “coxsun”) leads from the back of the boat. Coxswains encourage, they steer, they make the team work as one. As Chapter President this year, I get the honor of being your purple-clad coxswain, sitting at the back of this boat encouraging our chapter leaders as they row our boat into the new year…and what a year it’s going to be! Our volunteers have put together an exciting schedule full of educational and business development opportunities that promise to help propel you and your team to the next level in your marketing career.

As our ship sails into 2018, I’d like to take a moment to look astern and reflect on this last year. Let’s acknowledge all the wonderful things our chapter has accomplished.

In 2017, our chapter welcomed 77 new members and hosted more than 50 events, several of which were simulcast to our Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester Affiliates. See photos from our past events HERE. We helped clean up local community gardens for New York Cares Day Spring and this winter, we collected and donated almost 60 coats to the New York Cares Coat Drive! Our events provided countless educational, networking, and business development opportunities for our members and AEC professionals. Professional development topics ranged from InDesign and PhotoShop skills training, to proposal tips and writing best practices, to collaborative PR, to preparing for the CPSM exam. Our leadership programs covered topics ranging from Diversity & Inclusion, to winning work, to becoming an influencer. Expert panelists at our client panel programs informed us about several topics and trends, including demystifying Owner’s Reps, real estate and construction market forecasts, the Tri-state’s cultural future, and planning for growth with public agencies. We took THE Marketing Event to the next level this year at the beautiful Andaz Hotel, where our 100 attendees learned ways to grow, lead, and thrive. And our Special Events team brought the glam to the Liberty Ball, the Surf’s Up member appreciation event, Spirits events, and the fabulous Mingle All the Way holiday party. See fun scenes from the holiday party by clicking on the video below!


SMPS New York’s Annual Holiday Party

And behind the scenes this holiday season, our fun and fabulous Board of Directors got busy planning for 2018 while donning their best ugly holiday attire!


SMPS-NY Board of Directors Rocking their Ugly Sweaters

As you can see, it’s been an action-packed 2017. Looking ahead, we’re excited to continue this fantastic voyage as we move into 2018. I’d like to call your attention to the myriad professional development, networking, and business development opportunities we have coming up this winter. Here are just a few of the events and initiatives our chapter leaders are busily planning:


The first of three skills courses in our Marketer’s Toolbox Creative Workshop Series is coming up Wednesday, January 10th. In an interactive workshop, Introduction to Adobe Illustrator, our instructor will show you the fundamentals of using this creative software to produce awesome graphics for web, print, signage, or anything else your firm needs.

Get ready to sharpen your global business development skills at our next Coordinators Club on Friday, January 12th, where you will learn valuable tips and tools of the trade for pursuing international work.

Improve those leadership skills on Friday, January 26th, at our next Leadership Lunch on shaping the future and leading from the front as you hear about trends shaping our industry.


Meet new faces and catch up with familiar ones at our upcoming Spirits events.

On Thursday, January 18th, join us in all three of our Affiliate locations for fun and festive Winter Spirits. Hope to see you in Long Island, New Jersey, or Westchester!

New members will mingle with seasoned members in NYC on Thursday, February 8th, at our first ever New Member Mixer. The evening will begin with a brief orientation for our new members, followed by a fun night of mingling for all.


Hear from clients and industry insiders about the projects and trends that are coming down the pipeline.

Join us in NYC on Thursday, February 1st for a Client Panel on NYC’s Future Development Zones.

Get an edge on the competition with our Professional Development Program on market research, trendspotting and environmental scanning on Thursday, February 22nd.

Join our Westchester Affiliate to get up close and personal as you Meet the Media at their program on Wednesday, February 28th.


I know you’ve heard rumblings about our website revamp, and I’m excited to say that the day is almost here! The design phase is now complete and our team is at work developing the content as we speak. Get ready for the new smpsny.org in spring of 2018!


Most importantly, if your company hasn’t already signed up as an annual sponsor, consider sponsoring an upcoming event to get your firm the exposure and recognition it needs while supporting our chapter’s initiatives and making our programming possible.


I like to end these posts with an opportunity for you to meet a member of our chapter. Recently, I had the pleasure of getting to know one of our active volunteers, Elana Lesser. Read a little bit about Elana below.

Purple Pow-wow with SMPS-NY Member Elana Lesser

  1. How did you become involved in the AEC industry? The AEC industry actually fell into my lap. Being a marketing major, the typical route one takes is one of advertising, social media, PR, etc. I was on track to head in that direction, and then my brother, Ari Lesser, who works for Cerami in the acoustics department, saw that there was a temp position in the firm, so I came in as a temp during my sophomore year of college and have been there since!
  2. What brought you to SMPS? Cerami and Sarah Hoff.
  3. What do you hope to get out of your SMPS New York membership this year? Currently, I volunteer on the Sponsorship Committee, the New Jersey Affiliate Committee, and I participate in the Mentorship Program. I hope that my active involvement in these programs and simply surrounding myself with brilliant people involved in SMPS will help me accelerate my professional growth.
  4. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would the slogan be? Remember your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows, and live for your todays.
  5. What’s your purple power? (i.e. what makes you remarkable?) My purple power is my intuition and my passion for people.

Thank you, Elana, for all you have done and continue to do for our Chapter, and I look forward to seeing you at our winter events! And to everyone reading this post, I’m excited to continue this voyage with you. As your purple coxswain, I bid you fair winds and following seas.

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Make the most of your SMPS membership by:

Attending chapter events;

Volunteering for one of our committees;
Becoming a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM).

Not currently a member?
Learn more about joining SMPS today!