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Inside Scoop on Getting Recognized

 As Marketers, we are constantly compiling statistics, photographs and information about our colleagues or projects and nominating them for awards. Why? Awards are awesome. Awards contribute to your firm’s success through visibility, validation, testimony, reputation and they differentiate your company or colleague apart from competitors. We often put in hours, days and even weeks filling out award applications for everyone, except ourselves.

In case you missed out, the SMPS Marketing Communications Awards competition is the perfect opportunity to receive the credit you deserve! The MCA’s recognize excellence, creativity and results in marketing communications produced by professional Arizona services firms in the A/E/C industry. The 2017 MCA event, chaired by Nicole Christy, was booming with competition and bright creations this year!

The competition included the most innovative campaigns of 2016 for awards across several categories and three individual nominations: Marketer of the Year, Technical Professional of the Year, and Up and Comer. The individual nominations are an opportunity to recognize some of our most impactful marketers in Arizona! Congratulations to two very deserving winners: Maisha Christian Hagan, Marketing Director at Jokake and Charlie Crews, Interactive Marketing Specialist at Small Giants!


How do you become an Up and Comer or Marketer of the Year? How do you know if you qualify for such a prestigious award? Maisha and Charlie reveal their tips below!

What is your position, length you’ve been at your current company and how long have you been in this industry?

CC: I work as a marketing specialist at an AEC marketing and business development firm, Small Giants. I began my career at Small Giants in 2014 and worked previously as a marketing assistant at two large general contracting firms in the Valley while finishing my degrees at ASU.

MCH: I’ve been an AEC marketer for ten years. This June I’ll be celebrating six years with Jokake Construction.

When filling out the award application, did you provide statistics or examples of how you impacted your firm in 2016? If so, can you share some of those examples?

CC: In my application we focused on my contributions to my firm, commitment to the industry, talents and specialties, involvement in SMPS and samples of the work I have completed for my clients. My examples ranged from national website redesigns, managing large multi-discipline projects, advertising strategy, and proposal development. 

MCH: Yes. As a result Jokake had a 93% response rate to the 2016 employee survey which reported the firm had an 89.02 employee engagement score (a twenty point increase from a 2014 survey). I was the liaison between Jokake’s employee base and a third-party employee survey conductor.

Also, after dramatically restructuring the mentorship program to illicit more engagement from and provide more value to program participants, the number of participants increased from 12 to 19 (increased revenue from $700 to $1,100) and protégé participation throughout the entire program experienced a 50% increase from 2015 to 100%.

Did you have family, friends or colleagues help you with your submittal? Why do you think that might have been beneficial?

CC: My team helped me to assemble my submittal which was very helpful and appreciated. So often we are experts at talking about our firms and team members, yet it is so difficult to talk about ourselves! This was the case for me and I was very thankful for their support and assistance with the submittal.  

MCH: I didn’t. I didn’t even tell anyone I was submitting.

What does being awarded Up and Comer mean to you?

CC: Up and Comer was such an unexpected win for me, as there are so many incredible up and coming marketers in our industry and SMPS. The award solidifies my passion for the work I do everyday, my commitment to the industry and all the people involved. It was a great accomplishment that gives me the push and drive to strive for the best marketer I can be. 

What does being awarded Marketer of the Year mean to you?

MCH: It’s a reminder of how blessed I am to be able to do work that excites me for a company and people I respect in an industry I love.

Maisha said that her Mom was easily the most proud of her for this great accomplishment. Proof in text message above!


Any additional advice to those hoping to submit for one of the above awards in the future?

CC: Stay with your passion! If you enjoy marketing and love what you do, try to get more involved by volunteering or signing up for a committee. Not only will find great friends, mentors and ideas but you can set yourself apart by contributing in a meaningful way.

MCH: Submitting for Marketer of the Year is a great opportunity to step back from the task-driven, day-to-day activities and see the overall impact you make to your firm and industry. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself or your accomplishments for the Marketer of the Year.

Travis McCoy, Managing Director at Schaefer, was also recognized at the MCA’s this year! He was surprised at the event and recognized with this year’s President’s Choice Award! This was awarded to Travis for his activism and leadership with the chapter all last year.

“Having just completed my first full year with SMPS, I was extremely surprised and honored to win this award. Not only have I been welcomed into the organization with open arms, but to win this award shows that I’ve been able to add value to SMPS as well. This has definitely motivated me to increase my involvement within SMPS,” said Travis McCoy.

So what are you waiting for? Start tracking your great progress and efforts during 2017 so you are ready to submit for next year’s MCA’s!

Congratulations to all MCA 2017 winners:

  • Holiday Piece: JE Dunn Construction
  • Video: The Weitz Company
  • Website: TankGirl Marketing
  • Special Event: Concord General Contracting
  • Project Pursuit: The Weitz Company
  • Marketer of the Year: Maisha Christian Hagan, Jokake Construction
  • Up and Comer: Charlie Crews, Small Giants
  • President’s Choice: Travis McCoy, Schaefer



Ashley Black
Marketing Administrator, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Ashley joined the AEC industry in January 2015 and became a member of SMPS shortly after. She is the current Blog Chair and a member on the hospitality committee. Ashley loves hot yoga, basketball, cooking and spending time with her newborn niece, Halle. 


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