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President's Message: How to Cope with Living in a Virtual Reality

The internet has no shortage of memes for 2020, but I think the one I have included in this post resonates with many of us. What do you do when faced with a challenge that is beyond your control? I can assure you that when I signed on to be President of the Arizona Chapter last year I had COMPLETELY different expectations as to what I would experience this year. I thought I would continue to move the Chapter forward by managing the same things that had become refined processes and proven to be successful for previous years.

I anxiously awaited the Chapter Leadership Symposium (CLS) which was to take place in Washington D.C. and provide several days of learning sessions and networking events to ensure that I would be well equipped to lead the Arizona Chapter when September rolled around. But as with many other things, COVID-19 altered my plans and the in-person CLS event was canceled. For someone who places an extremely high value on being prepared before going into anything I began to ask myself, “What are we supposed to do now?”

Luckily, CLS was still able to happen in a virtual capacity, but I’d be lying if I said it was the same as what I had hoped to experience in person. However, as I started to talk to others within the Arizona Chapter, I was blown away by the outpouring of support I received from my SMPS friends (many of which happened to be past presidents)!

It was during that time that I started to realize that this is EXACTLY why SMPS is so valuable. While I may not have had the opportunity to make the same connections to other chapters as presidents before me, I was able to tap into the wealth of knowledge right here in our own chapter through the friendships I have made while serving as a volunteer over the past seven years.

This year, SMPS AZ will continue to ADAPT to whatever challenges may be thrown our way. We will create new and innovative ways to provide personal and professional growth for our membership. This year is an opportunity to be creative and forward-thinking, which will make the Chapter stronger overall. But most importantly, this year is about you. That’s what makes SMPS great - we all face the same challenges and are here to support each other as well. Don’t be afraid to reach out to me or any of your other SMPS colleagues, even if you just need a sounding board, we’re happy to help.

I’m looking forward to an incredible year where we ADAPT and grow, and I’m glad to have every one of you as part of the SMPS AZ Chapter!

P.S. Feel free to share a link to your favorite 2020 memes in the comments as well!

Brad Thompson is the current President of SMPS Arizona and the Business Solutions Director for SDB Contracting Services where he oversees the firm’s Marketing and Business Development efforts. While his experience in Marketing spans more than 18 years, he has worked specifically in the AEC industry for 8 years and been involved with SMPS for the past seven years. When not pushing the limits of technology, you can find him spending time with his family or in the garage with his newest hobby of woodworking.

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1 Comments

  1. Maria Mejia

    Sep. 10, 2020

    What a great read, Brad! I look forward to serving on the board with you! There are so many memes out there, but this one made me laugh. https://images.app.goo.gl/QSo4x5UxJTaormVo9

    Reply

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