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Announcing the SMPS Pacific Regional Conference Scholarship Winners

SMPS Seattle is excited to announce the recipients of our Pacific Regional Conference (PRC) Scholarships. Madison Dreiger of Osborn Consulting and Heidi Maki of Swenson Say Faget have each received a scholarship. The scholarship includes early bird conference registration and a two night hotel stay at the conference in Palm Springs, California.

Madison Dreiger, Marketing Assistant at Osborn Consulting, Inc.

Madison has been a member of SMPS since June 2015. She is active on the Marketing Committee and on the Small Business Roundtable.

What did Madison apply for the scholarship (in her own words): Althought I am new to the A/E/C industry, I've never been as challanged or respected in what I do as I have been this past year as the Marketing Assistant for my firm. Every day I learn something new about the built and natural environment around us; the fascinating intricacies of how the world works that I never knew existed are now so incredibly interesting to me. I can't imagine doing anything else now that I see the value I and my firm provides to local communities and the personal exhilaration and sense of accomplishment that I discover every day.

The passion I've found for marketing professional engineering services is what drives me to apply for this scholarship. Since the first email teasers began showing up in my inbox for the Pacific Regional Conference, I've poured over every description; the speakers' bios, what workshops and sessions would be offered, and most importantly, how I could attend! I cannot reflect enough how eager I am to attend the SMPS Pacific Regional Conference.

I have only been an SMPS member since June of 2015, yet I have wholeheartedly delved into many opportunities that the organization provides in the Seattle area. I am a member of the Small Business Roundtable and I am also a member of the SMPS Seattle Marketing Committee. Both positions have provided me with opportunities to expand my skills and knowledge in the A/E/C industry. I initially joined the Marketing Committee in hopes to garner more graphic design and content producing experience and I couldn't have been more pleased to have already redesigned icons for our chapter's blog, am working to move the chapter's newsletter to a new format, and providing social media content while attending events. These responsibilities have augmented the skills that I develop while working at my firm, as well as my own personal passions for design, art, and writing.

The Pacific Regional Conference is another opportunity for me to develop skills that will help me in both my professional and personal life. I plan to take the Marketing Tips and Tricks: "Sizzle or Substance?" track of seminars at hte conference in February, which focuses on the development of marketing materials and strategies. Not only am I a marketer in my professional life, I also am a marketer in my personal life. I've recently ventured into creating my own YouTube channel, something I've been passionate about all my life and I finally have the time to commit to producing, and I also assist a family member in promoting her book series online. Though these facets of my life differ greatly from my professional role, the lessons I learn from each tend to lend themselves to each other, such as developing my Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign skills through SMPS Lunch Time Learning Labs and Workshops, which benefits both my professional marketing abilities as well as my personal marketing hobbies. Something I had to learn when I started working for my firm was to develop a sense of personal confidence in who I am and what I do. My supportive co-workers would catch me saying, "I'm just the marketing assistant" and encouraged me to own my role, "I am the marketing assistant." Having graduated from college a year early and earning this incredible position with a well-respected firm at my young age, I feel truly inspired by all the years ahead of me to gain more confidence and to improve at what I do, and I couldn't imagine a better opportunity to learn and develop my skills than at the Pacific Regional Conference.

Heidi Maki, Marketing Manager at Swenson Say Faget

Heidi has been a member of SMPS since 1993. She's attended pretty much every type of event SMPS holds and is currently the Treasurer for SMPS Seattle.

What did Heidi apply for the scholarship (in her own words): Our firm's management team truly understands the importance of relationship building and generously supports my involvement on the SMPS Seattle Board. I am applying for this scholarship because I want to contribute toward the expense of attending PRC. Submitting this application illustrates to my management team that attending is important to me - enough so that I applied for and won a scholarship to offset a significant portion of the costs for this learning opportunity.

Professionally: My firm encourages my interest in both marketing and business development activities. The PRC provides a chance to not only expand my knowledge of marketing A/E/C services, but also build my business development skills. Beyond the learning opportunities, there are always great networking events where I meet marketers, business developers and firm leaders from the entire region. 

We are due to revisit our marketing plan again in 2016. The PRC provides fresh information and new ideas that will help me guide the updating of our marketing strategy. Upon my return, I will share what I learned with our firm leaders and we can prioritize our initiatives. 

Personally: There are many wonderful opportunities for personal growth at the PRC. I'm excited about listening to the Keynote Speaker, Sarita Maybin. Her TED Talk about learning how to adjust your terminology to ask for what you want effectively was both entertaining and inspiring. The session titled "Successfully Engaging Your Firm's Technical Staff in Business Development" will be truly beneficial. David Lecours' Typography session looks great. And "The Wave is Always Bigger on the Other Side of the Island" should be an interesting session/conversation about prime vs sub roles. Additionally, the session for Chapter Leaders will enable me to meet SMPS HQ personnel and learn more about utilizing their support. 

Attending the PRC=Learning, networking and building relationships. This is great business strategy for me and my firm!

Congratulations to Madison and Heidi! We can't wait to hear about your adventures in Palm Springs and the knowledge you gain. Have a great time!

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