Wow, my last President’s Platform. This year went by very fast, yet in some ways it feels like it’s been a very long year. The pandemic has certainly messed with our perception of time. While a very challenging year, we have much to celebrate in looking back. And as our chapter prepares for a new year ahead, I am excited to see our achievements and growth in the coming months. We have an outstanding incoming Board of Directors, to be officially announced on September 1st. Our summer strategy sessions were robust, very encouraging, and full of passionate discussions on our current and future plans for our membership and community. As I pass the baton to our new chapter president, Brian C. Ferry, I am fully confident he will inspire team leadership and supporting each other, as we will all rise together.

SMPS membership and involvement has truly shaped and supported my career from the minute I entered this industry 23 years ago. The friendships, comradery, and community are life-long, and ever-growing. I encourage you to take the plunge! Dive in and find that the water is fine! Most of us found our marketing and business development careers in the AEC industry quite by accident. And once we’re here, we discover a love for the process that is the built environment. And thank goodness for SMPS! An incredible resource. If you haven’t yet tapped into this goldmine, wait no longer! Find an SMPS mentor (formal or informal), and learn how. Attend events. Join a committee. Seek out your colleagues in similar positions to yours, and those in positions you aspire to be in one day. We are all here to help, provide guidance, and lessons learned.

As time passes, you grow your relationships and your network. Yes, SMPS provides extremely valuable professional development through our educational programming and Mentor Program. Yes, SMPS keeps you informed on industry intel and trends through our client panel programs. Vital information you can bring back to your firms to inform strategic decisions. And I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – the number one value your SMPS membership brings is your NETWORK. Your fellow marketing and business development professionals. By joining committees and getting involved in the operations of the chapter, your network and relationships grow. And your SMPS friends become your best resource and biggest allies throughout your career. How will you get involved?

While we have been very busy behind the scenes with strategic planning and other operational tasks and transitions for the chapter, we have continued to host some great programming and networking events throughout the summer. And don’t forget, SMPS events are not just local. As a member, you benefit from excellent programming from the chapter, regional, and national levels. Case in point, “Build Business”, the SMPS annual national conference, was held virtually August 4-6. We hope you were able to attend some of these great sessions and networking events. Many were recorded and are still available. Also, on August 18th, SMPS-NY’s NJ Affiliate hosted a Summer Olympics version of our “Spirits” networking series. Both fun and educational – love their creative events! And there’s plenty more where that came from!

Coming up! Thanks to our strategic planning sessions, the Board has mapped out a full year of valuable and diverse programming for our membership and community at large. Stay tuned for announcements! A couple of events in September I’d like to point out. First, SMPS HQ will be hosting a SMPS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Townhall on September 15th. This forum is an opportunity to learn from DEI experts, hear perspectives of AEC professionals, and have honest conversations, in a safe space. Additionally, on September 26th, SMPS-NY has registered a team for the 2021 Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk. Please visit our team page where you can register to join the team and help raise funds, or if you can’t attend please consider making a small donation. Community building event for a great cause. Proud to state our team has already raised over $1,000!

Sounds like our new SMPS year is already off to a great start! It has truly been my honor to serve SMPS again as a chapter president. My first time was 2008-09 for (then chapter) SMPS Long Island, now slated to be our resurrected Long Island Affiliate. Looking forward to that! This past year, as President of the New York Chapter, I have witnessed dedication, innovation, flexibility, and resiliency. Kudos to our Board and our committees for their “stick-to-itiveness”! Our members and community thank you!

Tremendous thanks to our Board members who are rotating off the Board as of August 31st, including Katherine DeMercurio, Alicia Koledin, Alexa Antopol, Elissa Delfico, and Lexi Fritz. We have benefited significantly from your service, dedication, and passion for SMPS. Thanks too, to our Board members continuing on in their current terms/roles. And finally, a big personal welcome to all those joining the Board (either new to the Board or in new roles) for our 2021-22 year. Excited to see what’s in store for the year ahead! A new Board announcement is coming soon! I wish nothing but continued success to our SMPS-NY Chapter, our volunteers and all our members. I will see you soon!