Two months ago, I applied to the SMPS Fellows Program with great humility. I care deeply about the Society for Marketing Professional Services and understand the trust and confidence placed in its exclusive group of Fellows – fewer than two percent of the membership.

My application documented nearly 20 years as a professional services marketer in the A/E/C industry and over 16 years of service to SMPS as a chapter president, programs director, committee member, mentor, researcher, certified marketer, and published writer.

From my earliest days on the Professional Development Committee – where TME was born with live music from the “Today Show” outside our Rockefeller Center windows – to these days brainstorming the chapter’s future on the Chapter Advisory Council and advancing the mission of our wonderful New Jersey Affiliate, the New York Chapter of SMPS has been a steady and reliable influence on the growth of my career. Frankly, I do not know where I would be without it.

When the call arrived from Frank Lippert that I had been accepted as a Fellow of SMPS, the anxiety I experienced throughout the week of deliberations was immediately replaced by exhilaration, relief, and gratitude. I told my wife, explained it to my kids, called my parents, and emailed my colleagues.

I really, really wanted this. I wanted it for me, and I wanted it for the many people from New York City and beyond without whom this may have never come to be:

Marcy Stanley, who encouraged me to not only join SMPS but jump right onto a committee; Sharyn Yorio, who brought me onto the chapter board and made sure I learned every single job there was to do; Andrew Weinberg, on whom I leaned for guidance since the very first day I considered applying; and Cliff Orsher and Jessica Stoute, with whom every day at AKRF begins and ends with a laugh.

I was fortunate to receive recommendation letters from Kristy Cerullo, as passionate and creative an SMPS leader as one will find; Becky Bozadjian, who taught me more about being a leader than she may ever know; Jennifer Gangeri, who really should be mentoring me; Alexis Newman, who is making wonderful, purple waves leading the Chapter Advisory Council; and the inimitable Jennifer McGovern, who will be running the whole darn place one day.

Thank you all.

SMPS is an organization with which I am extremely proud to be associated, and I can think of no greater tribute than to carry the Fellows designation near and far in service to an organization that has given me so much.