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SMPS Boston July Member Spotlights

SMPS Boston is committed to providing extreme value to our members. Our Member Spotlight Blog serves as a platform to welcome New Members to SMPS Boston and highlight our established members within the A/E/C community. July’s Member Spotlights include: Marsha Miller, Director, Client Relations & Corporate Marketing for Vanderweil Engineers and Staci Liu, Office Administrator for NBBJ.

Member Information:

Name: Marsha Miller

Company: Vanderweil Engineers

Title: Director, Client Relations & Corporate Marketing

Years Involved in SMPS: 16 years total – 8 years Boston SMPS Chapter; 8 years DC SMPS Chapter

Committee: Outreach Committee; Director, Outreach Committee – SMPS BOD

How has your SMPS membership benefitted your career?

I began my career as a drafter in architecture and, through my jobs at different architecture firms, was introduced to marketing; the more I became involved – the more I wanted to learn. Because of this interest, I left the drafting boards to become a marketing coordinator within my architecture firm. At the very beginning of my marketing career, my principals suggested that I join SMPS. With the help of SMPS, I was able to grow my career in marketing, meet other individuals within our industry, and develop relationships with firms with whom our company could team.  SMPS opened a world of marketing that I never knew existed.

 SMPS also helped introduce me to the business development aspect of our industry. SMPS was a spring board to help me launch my professional career not only in marketing, but business development. SMPS classes and networking events helped me metamorphize my career where I am now Director of Marketing for R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, LLP. Through my involvement with SMPS and committees, I have met other marketers, business developers, and leaders in the A/E/C industry that I otherwise may not have met. I have developed long-lasting, meaningful relationships and teaming opportunities, not only for our firm, but also for myself. Additionally, SMPS’s programs, workshops, conferences, and online webinars have been a great source of learning not only for me, but for my entire marketing department by helping keep our skills current.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining SMPS?

It will be one of the best career moves you can make and you will not regret it. SMPS is a wonderful organization that brings together, all types of individuals representing the A/E/C industry.  And bringing people together is a pillar, a true building block of our society, and is woven into the moral fabric of what makes our country great. SMPS has been beneficial to me at the start of my career – fresh out of college, and it will continue to benefit you as you progress to higher levels and positions. There are ample opportunities to network through the numerous programs that SMPS has to offer throughout the year as well as the opportunity to learn and grow on a myriad of topics that are offered. To really maximize the value of your membership, get involved! Join a committee. Joining a committee really helps you get to know individuals on a personal level. Knowing individuals on a personal level can lead to trusting relationships that opens the door for you to develop great business relationships that can lead to opportunities for your firm. I personally have found this to be very true. Your involvement on committees not only allows you to make a difference within our industry, but in our communities with the many volunteer programs that allow you to help those less fortunate, give back, donate. So, if you have any hesitation on joining SMPS – don’t – join now!

What is something about your job, other than money, that has inspired you to keep working there?

No day is ever the same, there is a constant variety of things to work on, and you never stop learning. Whether it is new software, brainstorming on developing and organizing a new marketing campaign, or strategizing over the best way to target a client, you are always challenged. But more importantly, you are challenged to think strategically and do your very best.

Member Information:

Name: Staci Liu

Company: NBBJ

Title: Office Administrator

Years Involved in SMPS: Just hit my 1 year mark!

Committee: Programs

Why did you decide to join SMPS?

I had recently moved to the Greater Boston area and started in the AEC industry. A coworker told me about SMPS and suggested that I go to a few networking events to meeting other people in the industry. After attending some events and meeting SMPS members, I knew I wanted to be part of this organization – everyone I had met as a non-member was super welcoming and helpful. I felt I could reach out to anyone and ask a question.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining SMPS?

I would suggest starting by attending a bunch of events, especially the networking ones! It’s a great way to dip your toe in and meet people. Once you become a member, I suggest joining a committee and be involved as much as possible! I think that’s the best way to get the most our of your membership.

What is your favorite screen-time break activity at work?

Pre-COVID: Some coworkers and I would plan afternoons to get bubble tea together and catch up outside of the office. We would try to go to a different shop each time, so it was like a fun little adventure.

Post-COVID: Now when I need a break, I dance around my apartment with my cat. Fully leaning in to being a cat lady.

 

If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming spotlight or would like to nominate a member, please reach out to Paul Garabedian, SMPS Boston Communications Committee Member, at paul.gara@gmail.com or Kaytee Casey, SMPS Boston Blog Manager, at kayteecasey@icloud.com.

Paul Garabedian

Author

Paul works for ELLANA Construction Consultants as a business development associate. Although still new to the commercial construction industry, Paul grew up on construction sites. His father was a residential general contractor and carpenter and following in his footsteps, Paul took his first job working with his father on construction projects. Paul decided to make a career change and transition into the commercial AEC industry in 2016. Having already met so many amazing people, Paul is looking forward to continuing to learn and grow his knowledge in the industry.

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