Each month as I write these, it gives me a chance to pause for a moment and reflect. We see and hear advice all the time to take breaks, take time for ourselves, truly pause, and just breathe. As I sit and reflect, I let my mind wander a bit, and see where I am right now. This moment in time. With all that’s going on in my life. And then I think about how this can relate to our professional careers and our experiences with SMPS. I started to think about how we mark time. The other day, my fiancé and I noted that we will be married one year from that day. When you mark days like that, time can speed up or slow down. And given the past year, some say we lost a year, some say it went quick, and some say time stood still. Regardless, time passes. What goals did you set? What goals are you setting now? In these brighter sunnier days, as the world slowly re-emerges, how can you leverage new opportunities?

About two weeks ago, we held our third annual SMPS-NY Town Hall (second, virtually). And as most of you know, no two have been alike. With over 75 registrants, it did my heart good to see the continued and renewed passion of so many that felt compelled to be a part of our program. Our participants represented a full range of career levels and lengths of SMPS memberships, and even included some guests from other chapters – perfect for getting a great temperature check on where we are, how we’re doing, and what we need now and in the coming year from our chapter. With six breakout rooms, we tasked our attendees to brainstorm on three topics: 1) careers (anything related); 2) what’s working and what’s missing (SMPS-wise); and 3) programming (for professional development and client-facing programs). The results of these breakout discussions were tremendous, with great insight and ideas captured. We’re very excited to incorporate these into our planning for the chapter, including our upcoming strategic planning this summer!

If you did attend our Town Hall, then you know that we had a big announcement! And by now you may have seen some follow up announcements on social media. Complete with teaser video, we proudly announced that SMPS-NY is producing our own Podcast series! A long time in the making, and lots of behind the scenes planning. This effort is part of our focused initiative to bring more digital learning opportunities that can be accessed at the viewer’s convenience. The podcast is produced by The Marketing Department, and planned and executed by members of our NJ Affiliate. We are thrilled to bring this series, an outstanding resource, to our members, to our community, and to the AEC industry at large. It was also announced that our first full episode will drop on June 24th, the same date as our Annual Meeting & Liberty Ball. You can access the trailer via our latest post on the SMPS-NY Blog or by searching for “The Marketing Department” on your favorite podcast platform. How cool is that? So professionally done, kudos to all the planners! Be sure to subscribe!

Last week was the annual SMPS Northeast Regional Conference (NERC), a virtual experience, done masterfully by the planning team. What a great conference! From the keynotes to the range of topics covered in two days’ worth of program sessions. Each had a chat component to be interactive with the presenters and other attendees. Also, a very cool new platform for the in between networking where you were able to move around the room and join conversations, or even pull someone to the side for a one to one catch up. Since this year had to be virtual, the planners stepped up and rose to the challenge. Very well done! Next year, NERC 2022 will be in person at The Sagamore in Lake George, NY. Stay tuned for details coming soon!

There are a few SMPS-NY events coming up soon, so mark your calendars and register! 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! This is our big annual get together, a great time to reconnect with many colleagues and friends. We’ll recap the past year, as part of the annual meeting portion. Then we’ll celebrate excellence in marketing communications and professional achievements. A great time will be had by all! Dress up and bring a cocktail to toast the year, our friends, and some great accomplishments. We look forward to seeing you all there!

I was recently reminded by a colleague about taking the time to stop, breathe, and enjoy life. Because before you realize it, years will pass. We must be deliberate about this. As I said earlier, we really need to take heed. Me included. In that same vein, we need to be deliberate about our paths and our choices. I hope some of what I discussed here will cause you to pause and think. And then act upon passions. I shared this link with the Town Hall attendees and wanted to share it here with all of you as well. Everyone should check out all the SMPS member perks and resources. More than you know! How can SMPS help get you to your next steps? Let’s talk!