Interview with Chapter President Karen Chin


Our new 2014-2015 SMPS year is just beginning, and with it comes a new chapter president. Karen Chin is the Marketing Manager at Van Winkle Construction and has been a member of SMPS Atlanta since 2002. She has been involved with the Communications Committee, Mentoring Program, was the Director of the Education Committee, and served on the Executive Board as Secretary and Treasurer.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Karen recently about what is in store for the 2014-2015 year, and there are some exciting new events coming our way.

Q: What is something happening this year that we have never done before?

We’re doing a couple new things this year, including our upcoming Shoot for Success Sporting Clays Tournament on October 3. It’s really important for us to give back to our community, and this event will be a fundraiser to benefit ACE Mentor Program – Atlanta, which is an organization that helps mentor students to try to get them to think about moving into A/E/C fields. In the next couple of years there is going to be a huge gap that needs to be filled in our industry, so ACE Mentor's work is very important to us.

Q: What can we expect out of the Boot Camp Series this year?

This year we are talking about finding your super power. We’ve got some really incredible speakers, kicking off the series with the Digital Marketing Daredevils program on October 1. The speaker, Corey Perlman, is a best selling author and world-renowned social media and marketing guru.

Four of our six boot camps are already planned, with topics including tradeshows, grammar, and getting feedback from clients.

Q: What other types of educational opportunities are in store?

We’ll be hosting a half-day technical event with Donna Corlew, who is a past SMPS National President and past Nashville Chapter President, along with a full-day Photoshop course taught by Claudia McCue.

We’ll also be hosting a hard hat tour, BD Live (a live event with a real client, where we bring in three different people to interview them to show different interviewing styles), and SMPS-X: The Power of One in the Summer. At this point, we’re in the very early planning stages of SMPS-X, but I am really excited about it because I think it has the potential for being something extremely positive for SMPS. The idea is that it will not only reach other organizations in our industry, but possibly also be an event for students because we’re thinking of having it at a local university campus.

Lunch programs will have a broadened focus and will be less market sector driven. We’re planning to start the series out with a program on the State of the City on October 15, followed by a program covering the State of the State.

Q: How would you describe SMPS to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

We are a national organization made up of 6,000+ marketers and business developers that is all about creating business opportunities in the A/E/C industry. We educate others on how to do their job better, but SMPS is also an educational tool. It’s great for the individual, but it’s also great for the company because it helps train the person to do their job better and to gain new insights into the A/E/C industries. SMPS helps you market better, it helps you do promotions better, it helps you with business development – all of those good things.

Q: How have you benefited from being involved in SMPS?

For me personally, the biggest benefit has been professional development – the ability to grow. If you take full advantage of your membership and go to regional and national conferences, you can really grow your network exponentially. I have been amazed at how many times my boss has asked me a question and I think “I know someone who has been through that” or “I know someone who might have the answer to that.”

I think an underutilized resource available for all members is the SMPS national website and all of the resources included on it. There is everything from job descriptions to go/no go forms – there are just so many statistics and forms available. It’s amazing the information you can take back to your company and show them how you’re growing and how you can help the company.

Post by: Brittany LuizMarketing CoordinatorGleeds