In our member spotlight, Cecilia Arango, CPSM, recently sat down for a virtual chat with SMPS. Cecilia is marketing manager for Thomas & Hutton. She has been in the A/E/C industries for more than 20 years and an SMPS member since 2006. In this spotlight, Cecilia shares the rewards of her career, her favorite part of the job, and what has contributed to her success.
Can you share some news you’re proud of? I was named a shareholder of Thomas & Hutton in 2023.
In a few words, how would you describe your role at Thomas & Hutton? As marketing manager, I oversee marketing, communications, procurement, and community involvement. I’m also unofficially the chief officer of fun. Bring on the shenanigans!
What has been your most meaningful project? Thomas & Hutton’s celebration of our 75th anniversary. I love to tell a story. There’s a lot of history there and being able to tell the stories shared by our past leaders who worked with our original founders, along with the current leadership today, was a big undertaking. The final video came out beautifully and really showed the essence of who we are.
What’s the best advice you’ve received regarding your career or working in A/E/C? It’s a toss-up between “take initiative” and “grow thick skin” – both involving taking risks and not being afraid of failures. Every failure is a lesson learned for improvements down the road. Beg for forgiveness later!
How has SMPS helped you in your career? SMPS has served as a helpful resource for all things marketing, business development, and communications as it relates to the A/E/C industry. I started my career fresh out of college and SMPS and its members have served, and continue to serve, as mentors. Through SMPS, I’m kept up to speed with what’s going on in our industry, as well as tips on staying efficient and creative.
Helpful hint to share with your fellow SMPS members: Read Simon Sinek’s Start with Why to help you understand the concept of purpose and the importance of starting with “why,” not the “hows” and “whats.”
What I did at work yesterday? I reviewed a consultant’s report on our firm’s latest client perception study to prepare for the next steps on creating a standard Client Experience Program.
As a CPSM, how has certification benefitted you? Because there’s a professional certification that exists for marketers in our industry, becoming a CPSM made me eligible to be considered for shareholder/principal at my firm, Thomas & Hutton. Some changes were made in the last year to include other professional certifications with required prerequisites (like the CPSM) to become eligible. I’m proud to say that today, my company made the official announcement that I’m now a shareholder at the firm! Not only that, my CPSM gives me the opportunity to connect with other fellow certified professionals for learning, growing, and networking in this industry.
Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you. I’ll be ending the year running my 29th marathon at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon. My goal is to run a marathon in each state as part of the 50 States Marathon Club.
What’s on your bucket list? To run all the world major marathons (after I’m done with my 50 states)!
Guilty pleasure: What can you not live without? Books … and cheese.