Welcome to the first President’s Platform of the year! A lot of firsts this time of year, almost like a reset. People feel this way maybe twice a year, the other at New Years. This year, however, as we all know, is very different from any other year. While the season may be changing, and the air getting cooler, our current circumstances continue and are filled with uncertainty. In this time of venturing through uncharted waters, we find ourselves compelled to persevere. And while it may look like a very different year ahead, we are nonetheless driven and excited to bring our SMPS-NY members all the knowledge, resources, and community, as expected, as we’re are known for, as we always have. With that said, I am pleased to share our theme for the year ahead, “NY (&NJ) Strong!” As we all have in our personal and professional lives, so too is SMPS-NY striving to react, adjust, adapt, pivot, and yes, persevere.

Right out of the gate, as our new year began on September 1st, we have been ready to hit the ground running. Over the summer, we conducted a series of virtual strategic planning sessions. We reviewed our 5-Year Strategic Plan, evaluated what was working, and based on strengths and priorities, set our mission and goals for the year ahead. We dove into crucial discussion on membership matters, such as recruitment, engagement, value, and retention. We then matched our goals and mission to a plan for programming and content for our members and the AEC community at large. I would like to thank our strategic planning guest speakers Brent Robertson and Sarah Hoff of Fathom, Tina Meyers from SMPS HQ, Mike Wagner on the Society Board, and Matt Connor, for their guidance and assistance throughout the process.

Now, I’d love to share what’s already going on! There’s a lot happening, so take a deep breath, and let’s dive in! Here’s a summary of initiatives we are working on for the coming year:

  • In rolling with the changes / COVID / new circumstances, we have opted to reduce our programming fees for the year. As of now, all our events will be virtual, with networking components, new opportunities to connect, great industry intel, professional development for all levels, and sharing of expertise within our community. Please check out our upcoming events!
  • In that same line of thinking, we have also reduced our fees for all levels of annual corporate sponsorship, and have revamped the perks to align with our virtual events and programming throughout the year. Please check out our revised 2020-2021 Sponsorship opportunities!
  • In response to our new virtual world of programming and events, SMPS-NY has created its own Technology Task Force (TTF)! We’re very excited to highlight and leverage the talents of our members who have risen to the task, and taken on learning and becoming technology gurus in the various virtual platforms. Is this in your wheelhouse or a strong interest of yours? Please join our TTF! Contact me if you’re interested!
  • As you may know, each year we award a Mary Findlen Grant to send someone to the SMPS Build Business national conference. New this year, we are adding a fundraising option when registering for all paid events. Please consider adding the $10 donation to help us continue this highly valued professional development opportunity.
  • We will soon embark on our CPSM Journey campaign, highlighting several individuals’ “journey” in deciding to take the exam and become certified. The CPSM (Certified Professional Services Marketer) designation after your name will show the world your credentials and achievement in our profession. Part of our year’s kickoff is a series of CPSM Bootcamp study sessions. The series is just $50, and a great way to help you prepare for the exam!
  • Our signature networking Spirits events have also pivoted! Newly revised, and now called our SMPS-NY Virtual Meet & Greet! These monthly free events will invite two members of our Board of Directors to share information about their roles and what’s happening with our Chapter. Come meet with us in this informal friendly networking event to meet more members and chapter leaders! Our next one is on Oct. 2nd, featuring guests Sharyn Yorio, Director at Large and leading our CPSM Bootcamp, and Kimberly Graham, our Director of the NJ Affiliate.
  • And speaking of free events, we are planning more free professional development events for members only. Our goal is to increase membership perks, adding value to your investment. Our first one is coming up on Oct. 21st, Help Everybody Everyday: The Unspoken Truth of Proposal Strategy. Don’t miss it!
  • It’s been great to see more programming planning collaborations! This was a goal last year, and became part of our new reality while developing programming as we pivoted. For those of you working in the public sector, take note of our first such program coming up on Oct. 6th, PASSPort Release 3: NYC’s New Online Procurement Tools, a great collaboration of from our Professional Development Committee and our Coordinators Club. On tap for later this year, follow the career paths of seasoned marketing and business development professionals, a collaboration of our Leadership Committee and Mentorship Program.
  • In an effort to strengthen ties with SMPS Headquarters (HQ) and the national Board of Directors, we will regularly have guests at our events throughout the year. We want our members to connect with the bigger Society network and learn what SMPS “at large” is working on and has available for its nearly 7,500 members.
  • As a member benefit, we all receive copies (now electronic) of the SMPS publication, The Marketer. This is a fantastic resource for current topics, trends, and innovative methodologies and technologies for doing our thing as marketers and business developers. SMPS-NY will be taking on the initiative to connect our local talent and expertise with opportunities to be published in future issues. Watch for more on this to come soon!

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there, and reading and digesting all these great things our volunteers are working on. So grateful for their efforts! Our various committees are always in need of new volunteers to share their perspectives and talent. Please take a look at our Committees page, and think about which one might be for you. Either stick with what you know, or break out of your comfort zone and try something new!

In closing, I want to express how grateful I am for and proud of the leadership of our Immediate Past President, Katherine DeMercurio, and the entire 2019-2020 Board of Directors, for their ability to react, pivot, and persevere during the past six months, in a situation no one expected or anticipated. New York was hit the hardest at the beginning, and our ability to adjust and adapt is a testament to these wonderful leaders. I am equally proud of and thrilled to be working with our esteemed 2020-2021 Board of Directors. I hope you will take an opportunity to meet and get to know us. Each brings a unique set of experience, talents and skills, knowledge and perspective, and strong desire to make your SMPS experience substantial and valuable.