Margaux Jaffa

Business Development Director

  • VOA Associates Incorporated
  • Member, Co-Chair, SMPS-NY Programs Committee
September’s Member of the Month is more than deserving of this honor. Margaux Jaffa has devoted much of her time as the co-chair on the Programs Committee and can be found networking and lending a helping hand at almost every SMPS-NY event. Her dedication as a member is complimented by her role as the Business Development Director at VOA, where her responsibilities continue to broaden. Her outgoing nature and pleasant personality makes her a wonderful asset for our chapter. Let’s read below, as Margaux has shared some of her thoughts and ideas with us. Where are you from originally and what brought you to New York City? I’m a native New Yorker, which is a rarity or so I’m told. I’ve lived on the upper west side for my entire life. I’ve witnessed the continuous reincarnation of restaurants and bars, fringe neighborhoods morph from sketchy to cool and safe; I’ve even worked in the same office space for two different companies.

As a small child growing up in New York City, you think every place must be like this. Thankfully, I traveled with parents to realize that wasn’t exactly true. There’s an energy in New York and a bit of grittiness you simply can’t get anywhere else. There’s no shortage of things to do, people to see, places to go. When I travel outside of the city, I always find myself asking, “What are we going to do next?” As the saying goes, “you can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take New York out of the girl”.

[expand title=”Read the rest of the article here…”] What inspires you most in your position as Business Development Director for VOA? VOA is a global architecture and interior design firm with a diverse practice providing design services for workplace, retail, hospitality, healthcare, residential, mixed-use, education, and public sectors. As the Business Development Director for the New York office I interact with all types of people, architects and designers, principals, engineers, furniture reps, brokers, developers, property owners, hotel brands etc. The myriad of people I meet and work with is endlessly interesting. No two days are the same, and I’m constantly learning. Attending a client panel or conference is one of my favorite parts of the job. In addition to talking to fellow attendees, I love listening to the various client perspectives and hearing their take on the market and trends. What college and/or university did you attend and what area did you study? I have always had a passion for art and design. My mother was an interior designer and I was constantly surrounded by textiles, color swatches, drawings, and design magazines. I attended Bard College and majored in philosophy with a minor in studio art and art history. This satisfied both the creative and analytical parts of my brain. My academic focus solidified my love and appreciation for design, while also providing the acumen for business strategy and marketing. A few years later when I arrived in a marketing role at an architecture firm, I knew that everything I learned in school had finally clicked -I had found my career. What would your typical Saturday include? I’ve always been an athlete, beginning at age five when I started gymnastics. Since then, I’ve also been a swimmer, triathlete, distance runner, and a gym rat. An ideal Saturday would begin with a great workout, followed by brunch with friends, a little shopping, and end by preparing a delicious dinner for family or friends. What are some exciting things we can expect from the programs committee this fall? We have several new members on our committee and a great lineup of topics. Expect great panelists, thought provoking questions, and as always some funny sound bites! [/expand]