Presidential Thoughts: Calling All Visionaries

The 2021-2022 SMPS Boston board, both in-person and virtual, at one of the summer planning sessions

This article originally appeared on SMPS Boston’s website.

by Andrew J. Beaton

“Are you excited? Are you nervous?” SMPS Boston members old and new posed these questions to me at the Summer Social in August. The queries kept coming: Was I fired up to become chapter president? Was I freaked out?

Of course I’m excited! What could be more exciting than to take on leadership of our phenomenally talented, award-winning, dynamic chapter?

And nervous? Well, yeah, a little! But my philosophy has always been that nothing’s worth your time and effort unless it’s at least a little scary. That goes for taking on a new job, a new relationship, a new professional challenge, a jump into icy water on New Year’s Day…you’ve got to see past the scary part and look ahead to the thrilling possibilities to get the most out of life.

And isn’t that what we do every day? As marketing and business development professionals, that kind of far-sightedness is crucial. Our organizations and clients routinely ask us to be visionary: to see what lies ahead, spot the pitfalls and the rewards, and map a path to success. The people who count on us can’t succeed unless we apply those skills to the utmost; it’s central to the value of what we do. That’s why as president, I want to challenge the board and the chapter to power up those visionary abilities.

What kind of chapter do we want to be in the future? What did we learn from our pandemic adaptations that we don’t want to lose? What do we want to focus on regaining from pre-pandemic times? How do we leverage technology and investments to make our chapter stronger? How can we best reward the dedication of our members and sponsors for sticking with us through a challenging couple of years? What are our aspirations, our goals and dreams as we look to the future?

We all need to be visionaries for our own careers as well. There’s no better resource for developing your own career vision in the AEC industry than SMPS Boston. I’m immensely grateful for the many mentors and friends I’ve met through the chapter, the volunteering opportunities that have helped me hone my technical and leadership skills, and the many insightful panels and presentations I’ve attended. This is a great time to ask: How can SMPS Boston help you achieve your goals? Get involved, take advantage of our scholarships and programs, and reach out with your ideas!

It makes things a lot less scary to consider that I’ve been blessed with a truly phenomenal executive committee and board of directors; from SMPS Boston stalwarts to rising stars, from client engagement wizards to strategic masterminds, our new board represents the best of our chapter. Their creativity and passion for taking on the chapter’s biggest challenges and opportunities was obvious in summer planning and has us off to a great start already this program year.

Stay tuned for more information on the 2025 strategic vision that our board is developing for the chapter. Expect a heavy emphasis on engaging and growing our membership, connecting through memorable and meaningful events, and making strategic and thoughtful investments! We have been blessed with a loyal membership base, financial stability thanks to great leadership through the years, and supportive sponsors. As we glimpse a light at the end of the pandemic’s tunnel, it’s time to use those assets to help our chapter thrive.

OK, but—we can’t do it without you. Considering joining (or rejoining) the chapter? Come aboard, you won’t regret it! Thinking about volunteering? There’s no better way to get involved! Feel like this might be your year to become a CPSM, or make the leap to fellow, or apply for a board position? Don’t hesitate! Please reach out to me, or any of my fellow board members, throughout the year. We love hearing from you.

Calling all visionaries. Let’s have an awesome year.

Andrew J. Beaton is an associate and manager of marketing & communications with CDM Smith, and president of SMPS Boston.