Life throws curve balls at us all the time. I take heed in the old adage, it’s not what happens to you, but rather how you react. How do you react to the good things? The challenges? When opportunity knocks on your door? When a carpet is seemingly pulled out from under you? I am a firm believer in positivity, the forever optimist. That doesn’t mean I don’t have my down days or moments. What it does mean is that I know whatever happens, and how I react, is all part of a process. We are all going through different things right now. Many are a direct or indirect result of COVID-19. Our positivity and perseverance are being put to the test. In times like this, I am so grateful for our SMPS community. What often starts as a significant professional resource, also becomes a very strong circle of friends and extended family. No one better understands our professional challenges and successes more than our peers. While I’m a month early for expressing this, I am so thankful for these colleagues and friends. 

How are you leveraging your affiliation with SMPS? Even in these days that are mostly, if not completely virtual, have you made the effort to make new connections? Stay connected? Get reconnected? If not now, when?  SMPS offers the only environment where you can share, learn from, and bond with your fellow professional marketers and business developers. In a time when building business, awareness and visibility, and finding opportunities are all more challenging than usual, now is the time to lean on your friends and help each other. I’ve always been amazed at how much the SMPS community, even competitors, find ways to help each other. Lift each other. Even now, perhaps more than ever, is the time to join and get involved!

We have started our 2020-2021 program year with great energy and passion. Have you participated? Right out of the gate, we started our monthly Meet & Greet series, replacing our Spirits events, with an opportunity to come together, network, share experiences, get to know some members of our Board of Directors, and yes, even laugh a bit. Our first program, Moving Beyond Diversity, was very well attended and received, and was a great take on how our industry has been, and going forward, needs to address diversity and inclusion in our planning, initiatives, and processes. Our educational programming has also hit the ground running with the very popular PASSPort Release 3: NYC’s New Online Procurement Tools, a fantastic resource for everyone doing work in the public sector. This will be followed up with a Coordinator’s Club PASSPort 3 Discussion Group on Nov. 5th, all are welcome! We also kicked off our free, members-only series of programming with Help Everybody Everyday: The Unspoken Truth of Proposal Strategy, presented by our SMPS friend Matt Handal. Our CPSM Bootcamp is also underway, and we’re very excited for the potential to add several new CPSMs in our chapter this year!

And there’s plenty coming up as well! Don’t miss our Virtual Spooky Spirits with SMPS-NY NJ Affiliate! on Oct. 28th, for a virtual Halloween Murder Mystery. I love how our chapter has been developing creative programming and events while remaining in the virtual world! Our next Meet & Greet on Nov. 12th will feature guests Alexa Antopol, Director of Professional Development Committee, and Ali Panditrao, NJ Affiliate Member & Past Mary Findlen Scholarship Grant Winner. This series has been very well attended and a great way to connect with our chapter community! And speaking of our annual Grant, I’m so pleased to see program registrants adding $10 to their online registrations to help us keep this endeavor going! Please continue to help us raise funds for this important educational scholarship. You’ll see this opportunity upon payment of our events. Lastly, please Register for our SMPS-NY annual Holiday Party (virtual this year) on Dec. 3rd. We promise a fun and festive evening!

So how will you react? Seize the moment! Draw strength from your colleagues. Join the professional organization that was made just for you. Become part of the fabric that makes up our amazing SMPS-NY community in the metro NYC region. And don’t forget – we have outstanding community in our NJ Affiliate and Westchester/Hudson Valley Affiliate – all under the SMPS-NY umbrella. Tap into all we have to offer, get involved (join a committee!), and reap the rewards. We look forward to seeing you soon!