Julie Pampuch – Vanguard of the Year

Principal, WB Engineers + Consultants

I came to New York without a job or a place to live, but with Frank Sinatra's song in my head, "…if I can make it there…" Never in my life did I imagine to be so fortunate – with a job that I love (special people and no creative limits) in a city like Gotham (surrounded by the best and brightest). With a Cornell degree in anthropology, I thought I wanted to teach. Instead, I took my first marketing job because it sounded like it could be interesting. A few years into a marketing career, I interviewed at WB Engineers+Consultants. It was at a time when I wasn't looking for a job – I was comfortable where I was. But as I have learned a hundred times over, life begins where your comfort zone ends. Nearly 16 years later, to be the first marketing/communications person to be on the leadership team at WB is amazing. And the thought that this shy runner from Southern California could, in a small way pave the way for marketers, is special. Julie shared the following acknowledgments... About 15 years ago, I nominated the CEO of WB Engineers+Consultants, David Bonifacic, for this award. It is very special to be able to walk in his footsteps for just this one moment. When I called to thank him for the nomination, his response was, “congratulations and I hope you are having fun.” Everyone should be so fortunate to work for a visionary like Dave. To Mike, Gerry, Desmond, and Joan – working with you is inspiring. Erin M., thank you for being my guardian angel. To my official SMPS mentor, Deborah, thank you for your kindness and being the first one to suggest that crazy idea that I should see myself as a leader. To Sarah H. and Jason V., thank you for giving me the mentorship I needed to act on that crazy idea. Thank you to all of my SMPS mentors, who I have quietly observed and learned so much from over the years – Sally, Pat and Martha, Kat D., Robin C., Lauren D., David G., Andrew W., Carol D., Alicia, Ben S., Kourtenay, Alexis, Brent R., Andy I., and Nathan. To the #bestteaminthebusiness – Caileigh, Genesis, Ashleigh, Victoria, Nicole, Jessica and Briana – you are a team of unicorns and leading you is a great joy. To Keith – for pushing me to embrace change, teaching me about the 80/20 rule, and, most of all, for being a friend. To the guy who I used to see two hours a day and now I see 24 hours a day, you make life meaningful. And thank you, to the two most special people, Rose and Sherm, who were always around when I was a kid because, as teachers, they had the same schedules. What I know now is that that is the reason that I got here. Nothing is more special than making the two of you proud.