In Conversation: All About Awards

In February 2024, SMPS introduced three new awards programs. To share more insight about them, we sat down with Molly Dall’Erta, director of member recognition and programs, at SMPS HQ. Molly also shares some memorable moments managing the Society’s awards programs.

In a few words, can you tell us about the three new awards programs? We’re thrilled to introduce these three new awards designed to celebrate members and their firms who are driving change in the marketing and business development landscape of  the A/E/C professions.

Emerging Leader of the Year honors rising marketing professionals who are already demonstrating exceptional leadership at their firm.

Business Developer of the Year recognizes members who are making significant contributions to business development, propelling their firms forward. We will be recognizing these extraordinary professionals at three career levels: 2-5 years, 6-10 years, and 11+ years.

And finally, Marketing Innovation Firm of the Year is the first time SMPS will be recognizing a member’s firm for its outstanding innovation in their marketing as an A/E/C firm.

Why did the Society decide to introduce these new programs? Who doesn’t want to win an award?! Seriously, after completing an audit of the awards and recognition programs that the association offers, a gap was identified pertaining to these areas of recognition. In the future, we’re also considering offering even more recognition opportunities.

What are the benefits to an A/E/C professional or firm that enters them? As with all awards and recognitions, it’s about the acknowledgement and validation. Award recipients will be recognized on stage at Amplify A|E|C, the largest gathering of A/E/C marketers and business developers in the U.S. and Canada, during which they’ll receive an elegant, engraved trophy to represent their success. They’ll also be featured on our social media channels and website, and in Marketer, our award-winning journal with a 7,000+ readership.

Can you share a memorable moment you’ve had while managing the Society’s awards programs? One of my favorite memories was during the pandemic when we weren’t able to celebrate our awards in person at a live ceremony. In 2021, we hosted the event online (like everything in 2021). We had to notify our winners ahead of time so we could mail their awards and so they could send us their team photo with the award. We had staff read each category and announce the winner via personal videos from home, and many of our staff got quite creative! It was a nice, personal touch.

You’ve been with SMPS HQ for more than 20 years, that’s amazing! Any final thoughts on the awards programs or your role at SMPS HQ? I’m very honored to be a part of an organization that has such talented and impactful members. I love my job because I get to celebrate these outstanding members and their firms each year and recognize their accomplishments. I sometimes hear that our members don’t get the recognition they deserve at their firm, in comparison with the technical teams when they win a project award. Our members deserve recognition and validation for their contributions, and I’m glad that SMPS provides that opportunity for them.

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