February 12, 2018 feels like a lifetime ago. We were engulfed in the frigid temperatures of winter as I arrived on my first day at SMPS headquarters in Alexandria, VA. I have to say how lucky I felt to escape the cold weather and arrive into a such a warm environment when I accepted my new position as membership coordinator. Everyone has been incredibly friendly and forgiving, as I pop in and out of offices to ask questions about what CPSM means again, what a PLS is (honestly, there should be a course on A/E/C marketing acronyms), or even something as simple as a reminder of someone’s name.
I don’t come from an association background. And while I had a limited knowledge regarding the A/E/C industries, I have learned a lot in my time here and can say that I have just started scratching the surface. Luckily with our current staff, I couldn’t ask for a better group to learn under and grow with every day. One beneficial opportunity that has stood out during my brief time with SMPS has been having the opportunity of visiting regional conferences at NERC in Baltimore and at SWRC in Salt Lake City (again with the acronyms). These were my initial introductions to our vast community and these experiences helped me put a lot of names I’d heard during my first few weeks to faces.
I had the honor of meeting our current Society president, Nancy Usrey, as well as our upcoming president-elect, Chris Rickman, both of whom took time out of their busy conference schedule to introduce themselves and welcome me to the Society. In addition to the benefits of meeting so many of our members, I was able to inform them of my role at SMPS headquarters. Whether it’s taking part in a call campaign to promote our regional conferences, compiling SMPS collateral to send to prospect members, or being ready and available to field a multitude of membership questions, I hope to make every member interaction with SMPS as welcoming as the one I received.
While we have accomplished so much during my first 60 days with SMPS, we always strive to provide our members with benefits to help them grow personally and professionally. Every so often, I receive notifications from staff on how our educational opportunities, such as Prepare To Win or Lunchtime Learning Labs, are attracting more and more participants or how we are steadily increasing the number of CPSMs that, in turn, helps increase strategic marketing planning and business development knowledge. All these things, from our incredible chapters and volunteers to our knowledgeable and friendly staff, build a strong foundation for SMPS and ensure that we, as a Society, will thrive for another 45 years.
Article written by SMPS membership coordinator Matthew McFadden. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.