Member Spotlight: Rebecca Maddox, CPSM

November 1, 2018

Rebecca Maddox, CPSM, currently leads Cardno’s Eastern Area Natural Resources Proposal Team in Business Services. As senior proposal manager, she develops proposal and statement of qualifications (SOQ) process and protocol to increase project wins in competitive markets and also enhance firm recognition by current and new clients and our market share. She interacts daily with senior project managers, technical staff, client coordinators, and global management teams in pursuing project opportunities. Rebecca participates regularly in strategy development and complements all business development resources and activities with capture planning efforts and strategic pursuit analysis. She recently sat down with SMPS to chat about her career.

Please share some recent news with us:

  • I am excited to serve this year as SERC 2019 Co-Chair, in Asheville, NC, from March 18-20, 2019
  • I was also very honored to receive Member of the Year Award for SMPS Charlotte in May 2018

Number of years in the A/E/C industry:  13

How has SMPS helped you in your career? SMPS is a fantastic outlet to gain experience in areas that you might be interested in pursuing but where you may not have current responsibilities or time in your job. With my background in communications, for example, I recognize the importance of technology and social media and joined our Communications Committee to volunteer to help the chapter and further my knowledge of the latest communication trends within the A/E/C industries. I’m proud to now have a Twitter handle and am committed to joining the world of Instagram fanatics ahead of SERC 2019. My current position does not (understandably) always allow enough time to engage in so many platforms, so collaborating with SMPS colleagues during monthly programs or just over coffee on how to get started, when best to use, and how to master outlets has been rewarding to stay fresh and feel inspired.

Would you share a helpful hint to share with your fellow SMPS members? I’m very involved in working with our technical staff on how to improve shortlist/client presentations right now. As a side project, I recently read “How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint” and enjoyed author David JP Phillips offering a highly amusing TEDx Talks highlight of this book. I recommend both!

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you. I pursued a double master’s in graduate school while working at an NBC news channel. In 2005, I graduated with my M.A. in Communication Studies and second M.A. in Spanish Translation. In my first A/E/C position, I was able to use my Spanish with clients in South Florida. Speaking the language was not necessary to sell the expertise of our engineers, and in fact, I was not confident enough to describe design capabilities and qualifications in a second language yet; however, I have no doubt this skill helped gain a sense of trust (and friendships) more quickly. To this day, some of my favorite projects were with these clients in/near Miami.

What did you do at work yesterday? For the past six weeks, one of my projects has been to support pre-marketing efforts (research, presentation development, and writing) for a chance at an in-person strategy session with a new global client based outside of Washington, D.C. Yesterday marked “the day.” We sent five technical leads from Ashland, Houston, Newark, Pittsburgh, and Tampa to Washington, D.C. for a two-hour meeting with the client. I will never tire of such feelings of excitement and pride, mixed with a high dose of nerves. Even though I work with some of the most brilliant scientists and engineers, helping them prepare and sending them off to a presentation is one of my favorite parts of the job.

(P.S. Presentation went great today! We will all rest well tonight!)

As a CPSM, how has certification benefitted you? It’s true what I’ve heard all along. I believe my marketing colleagues for years knew what I was capable of, but having credentials behind my name adds a new layer of “industry credit” from the technical staff I interact with on a daily basis. I was grateful to receive a stipend from my employer for achieving this goal.