Happy New Year everyone! I don’t know about you, but I’m extremely grateful we’re transitioning to a new year. One full of new possibilities. And one full of promise. We’ve all been through the ringer. And in many ways, we’re still there and have a long way to go. But there’s something different now. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though it still may be distant. I want to encourage all of you to look for the changes. Seek opportunities and be open to them. Put positivity and optimism out there. We all need it, and we can all be sources for it. Help raise the energy and embrace what crosses your path.

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season, made the best of the circumstances, reached out to friends and family in ways that you could, spent some time reflecting on the past year, and set new goals and targets for the year ahead. Not new year’s resolutions per se, but rather ideals and visions for the coming year (and years ahead) that lay foundations and paths to exciting, cool, and meaningful destinations. As professional marketers and business developers in the AEC industry, SMPS is certainly one of the tools we have to help us realize our visions and continue our passions. I am a true believer that we eventually migrate to where we’re supposed to be.

In the weeks and months ahead, I invite you to explore all that your SMPS New York chapter has to offer. Sure, you know us for the amazing network, the community-building events, and the fantastic programming that provides both continuing education and skill-sharpening sessions, in addition to client-facing events that offer industry and client insight and intel. What I want you to do is peal back the onion a little further. The SMPS community has many committees and task forces to help you examine various facets of our profession and industry. You can choose one that strongly interests you and is a good match for your skillset, or you can venture out a bit and try something new. Either way, I can guarantee chapter involvement will exponentially increase the value SMPS provides.

Today, I’d like to focus on a brand-new committee formed very recently – Diversity & Inclusion. In 2019, the SMPS-NY Board of Directors added a Director of Diversity & Inclusion. This was based on a need to increase the diversity engagement within the chapter and the industry. We realized there is a lack of diverse voices involved in our chapter. Due to COVID-19, we had not created a committee to support the director until the start of our 2020-2021 chapter year. We have several on-going goals for the committee as we understand the work will not simply be finished in one year. We are striving to create a database of diverse speakers, expose college students to marketing and business development for the AEC industry, and form relationships with other industry organizations. If any of these goals sound like something you’d like to help us focus on, please feel free to reach out to the Director of our Diversity & Inclusion committee, Tiffany Carter. The committee meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month. We’d be glad to have you!

As our new year begins, SMPS-NY has a ton of great programming in the works. But first, please check out these links for a couple of quick recaps. On December 10th, our Leadership Committee and Mentor Program co-hosted Visionary Leadership – Leading your Virtual Teams to be Effective in 2021, which was excellent. Also, as a fun and creative way to usher in the New Year, our NJ Affiliate hosted a New Year’s Spirits Virtual House Party on January 6th. I hope these recaps entice you to not miss what’s coming up! First, our next SMPS-NY Virtual Meet & Greet will be held on January 28th, an opportunity to network and meet some chapter leadership, up close and personal. Next, our Leadership Committee presents Up and Down the Communications Ladder: How to Communicate Across the Corporate Ladder on February 2nd. Workplace communication is crucial to business success. Hear best practices and lessons learned from industry experts! And be sure not to miss Working Where We Are, with a terrific panel to discuss all the different ways we are currently working and how we’re adapting, on February 17th. Looking forward to this outstanding lineup!

This is the time to take stock in what we have and appreciate our individual support systems. I truly hope you consider SMPS-NY to be part of both your professional and personal support systems. As we continue to navigate this very unusual time, I encourage you to take advantage of what our chapter has to offer and leverage it to suit your needs. SMPS is an incredible resource – the leadership team, the volunteers, and the members. We continue to be here for you and strive to help you succeed.