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Closing a Great Chapter

“Experiences become a part of our identity. We are not our possessions, but we are the accumulation of everything we’ve seen, the things we’ve done, and the places we’ve been.” This quote, from one of my favorite Forbes articles, “Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things” along with the people I have met throughout the year rings true of my experience as Chapter President. Being Chapter President has been a highlight of my career and one that has played an important role in who I am at this moment.

In this closing message as President, I want to share my top three chapter and personal highlights. As I do, I want to remind those who read this that, none of these have been possible without a dedicated, committed team of volunteers – nine Board of Directors, 28 committee chairs, and numerous committee members – all who have contributed to make SMPS Arizona be successful. Thank you to all who have served this year!

Aside from our great programming, networking, and award events that we all had the chance to experience, what else happened to support our organization today and for tomorrow? Here are three areas that took the pulse on our Chapter this year.

Strategic planning: This year was our third year in our three-year strategic plan. We asked ourselves, “what’s next?” and dedicated three sessions to discover the answer. The current and incoming Board of Directors has spent significant time (12+ hours in visioning and planning sessions) defining strategic goals for the next three years in order to take the Chapter to new heights that will enhance your experience and elevate our programming.

Financial strength: As a non-profit, we are not in the business to make money; however, we are in the business to be responsible stewards of our resources. We’re fortunate to have been able to give back more to our membership this year through three conference scholarships, contribution to the SMPS Foundation and a sponsors-only event.

Strong Membership: Our chapter membership is currently at 158 members, welcoming 34 new members over the past year. We’ve been hovering around this membership number for the past couple of years, which means we’re challenged with retention. While we may have lost some to other industries, we are aware of our continued need to bring value to all levels of membership.

From a personal perspective, the greatest benefit I appreciated as President was the perspective and ability to experience every function of our chapter at once. To see all our activities and tasks work together and come together gave me a deeper and more complete understanding and appreciation for what we do. Additionally, my top three highlights as President are:

Increased network and opportunities to learn from others. A SMPS President’s experience truly begins at the Presidential Leadership Symposium, which not only prepared me with leadership skills and Society policies, but also introduced me to 60 other Chapter Presidents. The strength and support in these resources were invaluable throughout the year and will remain as such in my career for years to come.

Deepened appreciation of SMPS and what it offers our industry professionals. Being able to see and experience SMPS from this position gave me a deeper respect and appreciation for what it offers us as professionals and firms. To have an association dedicated to success of marketing and business development leadership and the amount of resources dedicated to this is impressive.

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Expanded network and relationships among my local industry peers. Working with the committees this year, and observing the results of collaborative teamwork, have left me in awe. I’ve been impressed with the degree of respect that is shared with one another, the creativity and talent that surrounds me, and the energy and enthusiasm that exudes from our membership. I’ve learned so much from each member whom I’ve met and become more acquainted with. For that, my life is richer and fuller. This, perhaps, was the most impactful – to know, be aware and to participate with so many unique and talented professionals.

In closing, I’m beyond grateful and humbled to have had this experience and am excited for what’s next in our Chapter. Each SMPS year builds on the last and we took that concept very seriously. Everything that we’ve done this year has been with not just the present, but with the future in mind. I’ve worked closely with the Directors and incoming President, Brandi Barr, to make certain our decisions and actions lead to a self-sustaining business. Our year’s decisions and actions were meant for a lasting impact. I’m excited to see this year’s activities continue and evolve to be better each year.

What’s coming up next year? Well, you’ll have to wait and see. I can assure you there are good things and better things, in store! Now is as good as a time as any to be part of it so I invite you to join a committee this year. You won’t regret it!

My deepest gratitude, again, to all who have been part of this experience with me. I hope to see all of you at a future event! Until then, as my late Grandfather would say when departing with friends, “I’ll see you along the trail.” 

 

Emy Burback, MBA, CPSM
Lead Strategist, Marketing Engine, LLC.

Emy has been working in the A/E/C industry for the past 18 years and has been an active SMPS member for the past 10 years. She has enjoyed working for a variety of firms in the AEC industry. Most recently, Emy has started her own Marketing and CRM consulting firm, Marketing Engine. Her favorite thing to do in her free time is hang out with her husband and dogs on the beach in Rocky Point. Emy is passionate about traveling and loves an adventure! She enjoys hiking, going to new restaurants or buying a plane ticket to somewhere she's never been! 

 

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