In our member spotlight, Donald Butchko takes time out of his busy day to chat with SMPS. Donald, who works for Bowen as their marketing manager, shares the rewards of his job and the benefits of being an SMPS member.
How did you decide to have a career in the A/E/C industries? I got started when I was living in New York and working as a Stage Manager for Theater. A temp agency sent me (by mistake!) to a construction office for a luxury condo. When that gig ended, I started working part time for an architect who was married to the construction manager from the condo. When I moved back to Ohio in 2013, I joined Bowen, working in the print room. I took on a variety of responsibilities before moving into the marketing department.
How would you describe your role/job? I help shape and guide how a variety of audiences—current staff, prospective hires, clients, the industry, and the community—perceive my firm.
What is your favorite part of the job? When all the pieces of a campaign or proposal come together to share a persuasive message.
What have been the challenges and rewards of your career? Not having a background in marketing, graphic design, or architecture, I’ve had to learn everything on the job. I was fortunate to have a great mentor when I first moved into marketing who helped bring me up to speed before she retired. As the company and I continue to grow, it’s great to have SMPS mentor me to the next level.
What has been your most meaningful project? Our firm recently went through a rebrand that accompanied a change in ownership, leadership, and location. The process led to considerable growth for the company and me as a marketer. It created the opportunity to rethink and shift our sales and marketing strategy and inspired a lot of research and training on my end.
Why is membership in SMPS important to you? A/E/C marketing is a niche profession. I value having a community that experiences the same struggles and opportunities that I can learn from, share my experience with, or simply vent to.
How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm and your career? SMPS also encourages and enables me to step way from my desk, think beyond proposal deadlines, and become more involved within the A/E/C industries.
What has contributed to your success? The training from local education seminars and the SMPS Heartland Regional Conference has been invaluable as I’ve taken over the marketing department and worked through a rebrand and leadership transition.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to enter the marketing or business development field? Very few professionals are trained on the specifics of this field before starting. Be prepared to learn as you go and bring ideas and best practices from your own background.
What’s the best advice you’ve received regarding your career or working in A/E/C? Focus on creating information that is useful.
What’s the best career advice you’ve given? InDesign paragraph styles are your friend.
What’s on your bucket list? To visit the custom-built theater in Germany that has been showing Starlight Express since 1988.
Guilty pleasure: What can you not live without? Cheese.