SMPS: Can you tell us a little about your career and current role?
Jack: I began in facilities planning and engineering after engineering school, first for a defense contractor then for Amtrak. Later I returned to Texas and worked for Exxon and Texas Instruments. I began working for a Dallas-based Acoustical Consulting firm in 1981, eventually managing an Austin branch. During the real-estate recession, my branch closed. I responded by opening and incorporating a new firm. Since 1986, as president/principal engineer, I have owned and operated a small acoustical consultancy, specializing in technically complex facilities, such as high-tech manufacturing, research and academic laboratories, medical/ healthcare, and some office facilities.
Katie: I am the marketing coordinator at Texas Engineering Solutions (TES), a civil engineering and land development firm located in Austin. The marketing coordinator position is a new one for TES. I am excited to initiate and develop a complete marketing program to make sure that TES is at the forefront of our clients’ minds when they are looking for a complete range of civil engineering, master planning, and subdivision services.
SMPS: In what ways did your dad play a role in your chosen career?
Katie: My dad has been very instrumental in my chosen career and so has SMPS. It is because of SMPS that I discovered the marketing coordinator opportunity at TES. My dad’s involvement with SMPS allowed me to get a glimpse into the world of marketing for the A/E/C industry early on. It ignited a spark of interest, and now here I am.
SMPS: What advice would you give Katie in her new job at TES?
Jack: I have already advised her to make her own analyses of her new firm’s strengths and weaknesses relative to others in their discipline, and to analyze the history of their clientele, with regard to staff and owners’ personal satisfaction and reward as well as dependability and timeliness of compensation. Understanding that history should give some insight to what future she can help guide the firm.
SMPS: Has your dad been your mentor? If so, in what ways?
Katie: Absolutely! My dad took me to SMPS networking events during the transition period from graduating college and starting in the professional workplace. In addition to taking me to the networking events, he sent me relevant marketing articles and suggestions for updating my LinkedIn profile.
SMPS: What qualities do you think a person should have to be a great marketer or business developer?
Jack: Vision; not so much the great future, but the ability to see linkage between people, firms, events, and public and corporate policy to set a direction and pursue worthwhile business goals. One needs to have a genuine affinity for meeting and communicating with others, whether in a work, networking, or personal endeavors. When vision and interpersonal communications go together, I find that many other process-related abilities seem to naturally follow.
SMPS: Is there any advice (professional or otherwise) you’d give your dad based on your life experiences?
Katie: No advice for him, but I do wish I had listened to his advice more often. (He’ll love seeing this in print).
SMPS: What three adjectives would you use to describe your daughter?
Jack: My daughter is friendly, positive, and organized.
SMPS: What three adjectives would you use to describe your dad?
Katie: My dad is professional, inspiring, and decisive.
Do you have a story to share about your career or a colleague who has helped make a difference in your life? Contact Content Specialist Linda Smolkin.