In our member spotlight, Brandon Peters, CPSM, took time out of his busy schedule to sit down with SMPS. Brandon, who’s marketing director at CLARK | BARNES, shares the challenges and rewards of his job—and how SMPS has helped his career and firm.
Can you tell us some recent news? Back in May 2018, I received my CPSM designation and now currently serve as the CPSM Chair of SMPS Seattle. In this role, I’m developing a variety of study groups and programming to promote the program and its virtues to Seattle’s A/E/C community.
How has SMPS helped you in your career? I joined SMPS in 2016 at the recommendation of a colleague. I was new to Seattle and after hearing about the Society, I felt it would be immensely helpful in understanding the A/E/C landscape, meeting new people in the industries, and continuing my education. It has been incredibly valuable to me. The members of our chapter are such supportive and collaborative marketing/business development professionals. They’ve been instrumental in helping me develop myself and my work though their one-on-one time, as well as presentations, events, roundtables, and conferences.
Can you share a helpful hint with your fellow SMPS members: I’ll share two. 1. Make a list every day. Decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions that happens over the course of the day, and it’s real. By taking the time at the end of the previous day to outline things you need to focus on, you can eliminate lost time and save your energy for the big decisions when you must handle something important that wasn’t originally planned. 2. MARKENDIUM. The set of books that helps you prepare for the CPSM exam are comprehensive and easy to reference. Additionally, if you study them through the lens of your or your company’s experience you can glean much more knowledge and make more of an impact within your company.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you: I lived in China for five years where I was a director of a landscape and planning company based in Shanghai.
What did you do at work yesterday? Updated our website with a newly completed project; scheduled out social media for the week; conducted client research; had a go/no-go for a new project opportunity; held our bi-weekly office meeting; and mowed the lawn!
As a CPSM, how has certification benefitted you? The certification and learning process was so valuable in informing and guiding many initiatives I’m pursuing at CLARK | BARNES, and the concepts contained in the exam led to tangible results in my work. Also, the group of CPSMs in Seattle are awesome so there is also that additional sense of community with them. We are 23 strong now (and growing) and many of them have become close friends and mentors.
How did you decide to have a career in the A/E/C industries? From an early age I would help my mother around the yard. When she passed in 2000, I took over and expanded on her plantings and design while developing my own design ideas with the encouragement of my father. This led to working for neighbors while in high school and pursuing an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture.
What has been the most meaningful project so far in your career? The launch of the CLARK | BARNES rebrand. Various reports and statistics put the percentage of women in leadership roles in the architecture field between 10-20 percent with even less being recognized with their name on the door, which is disappointing. As a profession we need to set a precedent, highlight best practices, and embed the importance of diversity. Rebranding the firm to CLARK | BARNES from Clark Design Group to recognize the contributions of longtime partner Brenda Barnes was so meaningful to Brenda and the company. It was an honor to be able to lead that.
What are the challenges and rewards of your job? CLARK | BARNES has been designing efficient and elegant solutions for their clients for years, and working for a company that’s so adept at understanding their client’s needs and responding to site conditions is very rewarding. Being a dynamic mid-size firm with many projects, the company has given me a great opportunity to learn more about the design process and to work with some great people. The biggest challenge is keeping the momentum going! As anyone who has launched a rebrand knows, it’s important to stay consistent and build trust around the new brand and to track, evaluate, and adjust your position in the marketplace.
How has your SMPS membership helped your firm? SMPS has had a tangible impact on my company as I’ve used information from conference presentations and workshops to implement data collection and management techniques and to improve my client management and our marketing communications strategy. I’ve also been proactive in sharing concepts from SMPS and the CPSM program with technical staff to help them be more engaged and well-rounded members of the A/E/C industries. Creating these open channels of communication is essential in developing a vibrant firm culture because what we learn becomes part of who we are.
What’s something you can’t live without? One thing I can’t live without is cycling. It would be difficult for me not to be able to get on my bicycle and ride either for exercise, to commute, or explore.