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Past Presidential Thoughts: Congratulations, SMPS Boston…and Thank You!

SMPS Boston is celebrating our 35th anniversary in 2016-2017, so we’ve invited a slew of past presidents to reflect on their experiences with the chapter. This edition comes from Kim Sousa, VP of Marketing & Business Development with Sanborn Head and SMPS Boston president for the 2009-2010 program year.

If you ask anyone that has ever worked for me, they may tell you that I ‘forced’ (or let’s hope strongly encouraged) SMPS Boston on them. I just feel THAT strongly about the organization. This is simply due to how much I have gotten out of it personally and professionally.

I moved to Boston in 1996 not knowing a soul and landing one of the first ‘Business Development’ positions in the AEC world. This was back when BD was a new concept and the engineers and architects were still learning how to actually put this position to good use. Of course my position quickly morphed into a marketing/BD role and my new industry friend at the time (Lori Chicoyne) told me I must join SMPS Boston. I had no idea what the organization was, but she took me to a meeting and I was surrounded by like-minded people that were doing the same thing that I was (or trying to). It was fabulous! I couldn’t get enough of these great people, so I quickly signed up to co-chair the Programs Committee with Lori, and off I went.

I went from Programs co-chair, to secretary on the BOD, to VP, to President (in 2000). I even did another round as Programs Chair in 2010 as well! I look back at my early SMPS Boston time as the most rewarding in my career, and it certainly provided me with a large portion of my professional network. I also credit SMPS for the job opportunities and growth I have been lucky enough to have.

The visibility I had as Programs Co-Chair and then President was incredible. I would coordinate with all of our speakers (who were clients/owners) and have several calls with them for planning purposes. Then I would stand at the podium at our breakfast events and do the introductions. I met more people at the time than I even realized, and most, I started learning quickly, had some connection as a potential client, a future employer (or employee!) or simply an industry friend. The potential clients that I met would then recognize me at other industry events or even take my meeting requests, which always impressed my bosses! I also learned how to run meetings, organize big events, delegate, work with a large team and speak in public.

We all know “you get out of it what you put into it.” I’ve worked hard for SMPS Boston, as we all do on the committees and boards we get involved with, but this one has been worth every minute, and it was fun! I did it because I not only love this organization, but I quickly saw and experienced the tremendous value of being involved. Over the years, I felt strongly about having my marketing staff(s) experience the great SMPS journey along with the camaraderie.

I grew up professionally in SMPS Boston. I saw my career, and those of many of my SMPS Boston friends, expedite because of this wonderful organization. It makes me so happy when I run into old SMPS friends, but I also enjoy meeting new members since it’s so fun to share stories and hear how the Boston Chapter keeps advancing. So, on this 35th Anniversary, I not only celebrate you SMPS Boston…I thank you.


Kim Sousa is the Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for Sanborn, Head & Associates, Inc. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing and business development for the A/E/C industry. Kim served as President of SMPS Boston in 2010.

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