Blog

Q&A with SMPS-TC President, Tiana Young

We asked a few questions of SMPS Twin Cities President, Tiana Young of Ryan Companies, to help introduce her to the chapter. As we start 2016, we will be regularly reaching out to members of the chapter and of the board of directors to help introduce members to one another.

Have a great idea of someone in the chapter we should interview? Email our Communications Chair and we will be in touch!

When did you start in the AEC industry? When/how did you start with SMPS?

I started in the AEC industry in 2006. I quickly joined SMPS the next year after attending a few luncheons. SMPS has taught me so much about how to do my job better. Not only that, I have a community of people to ask questions, bounce ideas off of, or just plain have fun with!

Have you had a mentor, either inside or outside the industry, that has helped you professionally?

I haven’t had a formal mentor, but rather a group of women who I admire. I’ve been lucky enough to work with several women who are willing to help me grow. Every day I learn something new, how to handle a situation better, or just how to navigate life. There are several others who I haven’t worked with on a day-to-day, but worked with through SMPS committees. This large tribe of women motivate me and provide great examples for me to follow.

What about SMPS do you find most appealing?

The value I’m able to bring to my company. Not just the education I’m getting, but also the practical business connections I’m making. Many times, when trying to learn about a client or wanting to team with another company, I’ve had the contact that got us in the door. The camaraderie amongst SMPSers locally and nationally is truly special and something I’ve haven’t found elsewhere in our industry.

What do you see changing about SMPS in the next five years?

The Twin Cities chapter is focused on providing the best possible education to our members. We’ve just begun a pilot program where we record our luncheons and allow members to access them at a later date. It’s in its infancy, but I think this is a program that will grow in the next few years.

What do you do outside of SMPS? (Family, hobbies, events, etc.)

Outside of SMPS, I am passionate about Wes Anderson movies, the New York Times, University of Florida football, volunteering, British comedies, museums, board games, and state parks.

What are the challenges/victories you face as the President of SMPS?

SMPS-TC is in its 33rd year and we’re still providing amazing content and networking to AEC marketers in the Twin Cities. However our biggest win so far this year was through our philanthropic efforts. We had a sock drive this past November/December. We thought, if everyone member of SMPS-TC donates one pair, that will be an overwhelming success. We were blown out of the water! We doubled our initial goal and raised 300 pairs of socks. This was a huge victory for our organization. The communications, education and membership committees came together and really helped drive the success of our sock drive.

What are your roles/responsibilities in your role as President of SMPS?

My role as president is pretty awesome. I feel like I’m the chief cheerleader for SMPS-TC. I’m blessed to be surrounded by great board members who are carrying out the mission and vision of our organization on a day-to-day basis. I’m here to help them, I’m someone to bounce ideas off of, and I can lend a hand when needed. The board and committee members come up with a lot of the great programming and events, and I’m here to make sure we’re all coordinated and accomplishing our goals.

What is your favorite building in Minneapolis/St. Paul?

I love the Yamasaki building at the end of Nicollet Mall. It’s changed names a few times, and it’s now known as the Voya Building. I love the columns, the reflecting pool – it’s a beautiful testament to mid-century architecture.  More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northwestern_National_Life_Building

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Q&A with SMPS-TC President-Elect, Jeremy Morris

We asked a few questions of SMPS Twin Cities President-Elect, Jeremy Morris of American Engineering Testing, to introduce him to the chapter. As we continue 2016, we will be regularly reaching out to members of the chapter and of the board of directors to help introduce members to one another.

Have a great idea of someone in the chapter we should interview? Email our Communications Chair and we will be in touch!

When did you start in the AEC industry? When/how did you start with SMPS?

I started in the industry at the beginning of 2001. I started attending SMPS meetings in 2007-8, became a member. Then let that lapse for a few years. I started again in 2013 and have been going strong ever since.

What about SMPS do you find most appealing?

The network of like-tasked individuals and the opportunity to get to know my peers.

What do you do outside of SMPS?

Father of two, marketing coordinator for AET.

What are your roles/responsibilities in SMPS?

I am the President Elect and am a liaison with SMPS national. I am also the leader of the CPSM study group. Aside from that I try to help Scott Peak and the Communications Committee, when possible.

What is your favorite building in the Twin Cities?

The Grain Belt Brewhouse. I worked in that building with RSP for nearly a decade and just love the history, use of space, and light. It isn’t flashy but it’s a great building. Least favorite (at this point I’d have to say the US Bank Stadium).

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From Solo to Chorus

By: Virginia McCoy, Ingenuity Marketing Group

Speaker: Dean Hyers, SagePresence

Summary

Dean Hyers shared his perspective on what you and your leadership team can do to raise the business development communication bar. An organization-wide shift in communication that gets everybody in the chorus of voices singing your firm's value proposition begins with leadership. And it culminates in the entire organization willingly, actively, and successfully taking on the challenges of business development that consistently raise the bottom line.

Key Takeaways

  • You can't sell professional services without selling the people who deliver the services.
  • Consider using DISC Personality Testing or True Colors for identifying personality types within your firm. Once these are identified, you can adjust how you approach business development with your team.
  • Influential storytelling needs confidence, dynamism and emotions in the delivery.
  • Those who can project warm confidence in vulnerable circumstances appear worthy.
  • Leaders make three times more eye contact than followers. Eye contact is key for showing confidence.
  • Appreciation lessens anxiety. Resisting anxiety makes it scary. See diagram here.
  • The client should be the main character in the story your firm is telling. (Don't worry, you get to be the hero.)
  • Don't focus on the solution, focus on the problem and the outcome. Use a story structure of Problem-Solution-Outcome to tell the story.

Dean shared five steps to transforming your team into seller-doers in a recent article of Marketer, the bimonthly journal of SMPS. A subscription of Marketer is included in your SMPS membership. Join today!

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