A Last Look Back, Then Ahead

August 17, 2021

Your SMPS Foundation trustees met in Austin on July 21 for our annual planning meeting, our first in-person gathering since Build Business 2019. Little did I realize, as we left that 2019 interaction in D.C., what the next 24 months would hold. I’ll echo the thought shared by many chapter presidents and Doug Parker, FSMPS, CPSM, as Society president: The past year as Foundation president was not what I envisioned as we left D.C. Yet this team of trustees pulled together to advance crucial research and leadership-development activities along with strengthening our messaging and fundraising efforts for the future.

As we began planning initiatives for 2020–2021, the topics of social justice, equity, and inclusion were thrust into the spotlight. Like many of you, the trustees considered how to impact our profession and the greater A/E/C industries. Working in conjunction with the Society’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force and funded by a generous donation by SMPS member No. 1, Andy Zinsmeyer, a scholarship initiative was launched in cohort with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to award up to 15 scholarships for the Fall 2021 semester.

While DEI remains an important conversation for the Foundation, we continue to focus on other initiatives that contribute to the narrative of our profession. Initiatives focused on:

  • Developing case studies of how two firms, one architecture and one construction, implemented or could implement the original neuropsychology research to win work
  • Expanding the reach of the annual owners’ survey to better understand why clients select consultants
  • Understanding how A/E/C firms approach their work and position their firms

I’m proud of the dedicated group of volunteers who served as trustees who have given so much of their time, energy, and passion to shape the continued evolvement of our profession. As this fiscal year ends, we say farewell to four trustees: Amy Collins FSMPS, CPSM; Carolyn Ferguson FSMPS, CPSM; Michael McCann FSMPS, CPSM; and Marion Thatch FSMPS, CPSM. You each have contributed greatly to our profession, and we’re grateful for your continued service and dedication.

We cannot do this work alone, and the HQ staff dug in to help us shift course, refocus, and expand our vision of what the Foundation can accomplish. Antonio Payne, CPA, and Michael V. Geary, CAE, have been my lifelines, and I cannot express my gratitude enough.

The Foundation is in great hands, as Andrea Goodwin FSMPS, CPSM, steps into the role of president. Joining her are returning trustees Barbara Shuck FSMPS, CPSM; Janet Lively CPSM; Brad Thurman FSMPS, CPSM; and non-member trustee CJ McClanahan. We also welcome new trustees Janet Brooks FSMPS, CPSM; Stacy Cunningham MBA, CPSM; Michele Raftery CPSM; and Joy Woo, CPSM, LEED AP.

And I would be remiss without acknowledging the contributions of Society Board Liaison Mike Wagner, CPSM. The Foundation’s relationship with the Society board is imperative as we strive to work together, and Mike has been a true partner over the year. Dana Lancour FSMPS, CPSM, will take over in this role beginning September 1, and I look forward to working with her.

Lastly, I want to thank YOU for supporting the work of the SMPS Foundation through contributions. We could not do it without you!

While a few storm clouds remain lurking overhead, the future of the SMPS Foundation and the profession of professional services marketing is bright. Indeed, the vision of a future where business is transformed through marketing leadership is within reach, and our impact will be felt beyond our firms into the communities we work and live. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Article written by SMPS Foundation President, Donna Corlew, FSMPS, CPSM, who is chief WIT officer of C*Connect.

 

Please consider donating to the SMPS Foundation. Your contribution will help us continue to influence our profession with important research and advocacy.