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Meet a Member: Heidi Maki

Heidi Maki, Marketing Manager, Swenson Say Faget

Years of Experience in the A/E/C Industry:  Too many - started with an architecture firm in 1989

Total Years of Experience:  Same

How long have you been an SMPS member?  Since 1999.

Why did you join SMPS?  I have typically worked for firms with a 1-person marketing team, me. SMPS provides a fantastic network of people doing similar work and gives me opportunities to share and receive feedback with my peers. 

Are you currently serving on a SMPS Seattle committee, the board, on a regional or national SMPS committee? Tell us about your role.  I am currently the SMPS Seattle Director of Membership. This is a wonderful position for learning "who's who" in the SMPS world - both locally and nationally! I have a brilliant group of volunteers that help with registration, nametags, correspondence, new members events, and coordinate the New Member Ambassador Program mentorship program. I have made some great friendships in my professional life through this leadership role.

What services does your firm provide?  Swenson Say Faget provides structural engineers and seismic design services. We will celebrate our 20th Anniversary next year!

What are your firm's target markets?  We have an extremely varied body of experience - from an extensive portfolio of multi-family/mixed-use projects to public work including fire stations, libraries, city halls, capitol buildings, courthouses, community centers and schools, to single-family residential projects including multi-million dollar mansions to renovations of 1,000 SF homes. Additionally, we are very focused on the renovation and adaptive reuse of existing and historic buildings. Maintaining such a wide variety of markets definitely helped us power through the recent recession, and keeps our staff current with all building systems.

Where do you draw inspiration from?  Other marketing and BD folks! One of the things I like best about my current position is that I am encouraged to build relationships with my counterparts in our industry. I love visiting with people that do what I do. Often I get opportunities to meet with technical people too which helps round-out my understanding of the business.

What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don't have already)?  I wish I had a better grasp of how social media can be used effectively in B2B. I dabble with LinkedIn, but have a lot to learn about other platforms.

What led you to professional services marketing?  As many of us will say, it was an accident! In school, I studied interior design but was never convinced that was what I really wanted to do. After graduation, I worked for NAC Architecture as a receptionist. While there, they created a "marketing coordinator" position. I was hired for that new role and I have never looked back. Since then I've worked for structural, civil and geotechnical engineers, a general contractor, and now back to structural. I really enjoy the sub-consultant end of the building industry. Because we do very few prime proposals, it allows me to be involved with all aspects of marketing and not get bogged down with being a proposal machine.   

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