It’s almost May! How can that be?

In this past year of time seemingly standing still, it also simultaneously seems to fly faster than ever. I for one want to embrace all the opportunity life brings, and invite you to do the same. Many of our lives have been altered, changed, redirected, delayed, or paused during this unprecedented year. Years from now, we will look back and see how the pandemic potentially changed course for so many of us, and those around us in our lives. My hope is that we can focus on seizing the opportunity, rather than dwelling on what would have been. The past year’s circumstances were not our choice, however what we do now and moving forward is completely up to us. How we choose to react and leverage the paths that are put before us – all up to us.

And speaking of seizing the day, I invite you all to attend our upcoming annual SMPS-NY Town Hall on May 13, 5-6:30 PM ET. In this 90-minute workshop, we will pick your brains while you pick ours! This event is for all our members, new and not so new, as well as those who are considering joining. We will get to the heart of why SMPS is so vital to your career and your professional development. And how SMPS will help you navigate your current and future roles at your firms, and how your firms also benefit greatly. What are the long-lasting, sustaining benefits of involvement? All while building an incredible community and depth of resources unmatched for our professions in our industry. Your input will be extremely valuable and help chart the course for our chapter going forward. We are looking forward to discussing what are our members’ needs right now. How can SMPS be a resource for you now? This is why we need you to attend. All the newbies and all the seasoned pros. Your contribution to this conversation is invaluable.

I look back on my 21+ years of SMPS membership, and how it has had a lasting and consistent impact on my career and professional life. It has been the backbone, the strong constant upon which I rely and depend on through the ups and downs of the winding road of my career. I am forever grateful for all SMPS has given me. My active involvement from the beginning has been the catalyst for leveraging all that SMPS has to offer. I am a champion for SMPS for all these years, and would be happy to speak with anyone about all the value it has brought me and why I treasure it dearly. My hope is that I can convey this to my fellow members and those considering joining. Many say that the network is their strongest benefit, and it surely is! For me, it is also the lifelong friendships I’ve made near and far throughout our SMPS family, within our region and across the country. We lean on each other during the challenges, and together celebrate our successes. Thank goodness for these people! I invite you to seize the moment and join a committee. Again, I hope you will join us for the upcoming SMPS-NY Town Hall on May 13th, and further embrace this community!

In the past month, SMPS-NY offered several opportunities for learning, sharing, and connecting. On March 31st, our NJ Affiliate presented Elevate Your Career, a great discussion about career paths, leveraging your current position, and lessons learned. On April 15th, we held our monthly SMPS-NY Virtual Meet & Greet, an informal get together and opportunity to hear from chapter leadership about their journeys, their roles, and the latest on what’s happening and what’s ahead. On April 21st, our NJ Affiliate hosted Spring Spirits, Carnival style! What a fun event, with games and prizes, incorporating learning and levity. Love our creative and innovative programs! Please check out our SMPS-NY Blog for recaps and other great content.

SMPS-NY has been busy behind the scenes beginning the process of leadership succession planning. As you know, our Call for Nominations has been running the several few weeks. This is the first step in our election process. Next, you will see our ballot come through your email soon. Please review the candidates and be sure to place your vote for our next leadership team. With several positions open for the 2021-22 year, we are excited to see what our new Board will have in store for us. Holding a chapter board position is a great way to test the waters of management and leadership, all within a familiar and comfortable environment, and all with amazing support from your friends and colleagues. Why not you? Joining a committee is a great first step. Then see if you want to spearhead an initiative or lead a task. Tap your talents or try something new. Up to you!

In addition to the Town Hall (did I mention there’s a Town Hall on May 13th?), a few other events to give you a heads up about. On May 27th, our Coordinators Club will host an update presentation on the NYC online procurement process, PASSPort4. Last year’s update on PASSPort3 was very well attended and chock full of good information, don’t miss this one! On June 17th, our Professional Development committee will be hosting Creative RFP Toolkit. Sreoshy Banerjea is the course creator behind the Creative RFP Toolkit, a framework that helps designers tell a powerful story in their RFP responses. She also leads Urban Design within the Planning Division at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Also, be sure not to miss our 2021 Annual Meeting and Liberty Ball on June 24th! Come celebrate excellence in marketing communications and professional achievements. Check out this same link for how to submit your marketing campaign (several categories) or for a professional achievement award. Don’t be shy, now’s the time to tout your accomplishments! Deadline has been extended to this Friday, April 30th.

How will you seize the day? It’s time to leverage your SMPS membership and involvement. Hear from your colleagues. Learn. Grow. Connect. Bond. Have questions? Let’s talk! Reach out any time, I would love to chat with you on how things are going, and what we can do to make your experience even better. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon!