This year marks the 31st anniversary of the founding of the Arizona Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), a community of marketing and business development professionals working to secure profitable business relationships for the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) firms they support.
Founded in 1983, the Arizona chapter is part of a wider network of 59 chapters and 6,000 members nationwide.
Starting out with just 12 members in its founding year, SMPS Arizona has grown to a community of 130 committed members throughout the state.
“Over 38% of our members have been a part of the organization for seven years or more,” said Kristi Bigelow, Marketing Manager at David Evans and Associates and 2012-2013 SMPS Arizona Chapter President.
“These veteran members – myself included – are focused on giving back to the professional organization that helped build our careers and provides us with opportunities to grow, learn and contribute to Arizona’s development over the past 31 years,” Bigelow said.
Getting back to the roots of the organization’s mission to advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry, SMPS Arizona offers regular educational seminars, specialized marketing training, and regional conferences.
On April 18 the chapter is hosting a panel of economic development directors from Metro Phoenix government organizations to discuss their plans for their respective regions and what infrastructure is needed to support those plans. Later in the month, the organization is sponsoring graphic design software training for members.
“I have been an architect for a decade now, but my eyes had been closed to the world of marketing and business development until I was introduced to SMPS in October of last year,” said Nicole Posten-Thompson, SMPS member and Project Architect at Brock, Craig & Thacker Architects.
“I continue to learn daily – through interactions with SMPS members and through SMPS programs and trainings – how to grow my business and engage with clients in a way I never knew possible.”
The chapter is also finding meaningful ways to engage Arizona A/E/C professionals in ways that benefit the local community. For seven years, SMPS Arizona has partnered with the Society for Design Administration to organize the Valley’s annual Canstruction competition.
This year the competition pitted 11 teams made up of 29 different A/E/C firms against one another to design and build elaborate themed structures using more than 45,000 cans of food, all of which are donated at the end of the two-week event to benefit the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.
“I enjoy that SMPS gives me an opportunity to get to know and work with a very talented and like-minded group of people who believe in and enjoy giving back to the community,” said 2012-2013 Canstruction Committee co-chair, Jennifer Schaefer.
For more information on SMPS Arizona membership or events, please visit the website at smpsarizona.org, or contact Chapter President, Kristi Bigelow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Sara Libby, Marketing Manager at SWCA Environmental Consultants.