Member Spotlight: Lauren Myers Young
Lauren Myers Young, Senior Associate – Business Development, at BKV Group is celebrating 18 years of membership SMPS! Lauren graciously agreed to be February 2017’s #MemberMoments featured ‘veteran’ member and we are incredibly appreciative. During her time with SMPS, Lauren has started her career, made a host of friends & connections, and served as a sage mentor to many young members. We are proud to call her a friend, colleague and fellow member.
Without further ado…
Name: Lauren Myers Young
Company: BKV Group
Title/role: Senior Associate, Business Development
Hometown & Current town: Chesterfield, MO (St. Louis suburb)
Alma Mater(s): Emory University (undergrad), University of Georgia (grad)
Family/pets: Husband Andy, daughters Samantha (6) and Lily (5) and our lab mutt Lucy (8)
Favorite DC-area restaurant: oh man, so hard for this foodie to choose!! True Food in Mosaic District is a current go-to, and I love any good local ramen or pho shop (Pho 75) over fancy places!
Favorite DC tourist destination: I love a good evening monument walk, although it’s been a few years since I’ve made that happen!
Favorite travel destination: Right now I’ll say St. John, USVI. Headed on a kid-free trip next month and can’t wait!
Food you always crave: Pho, and Malaysian curry laksa. Still sad that they shut down Malaysia Kopitiam a few years ago!
Favorite app: Waze and Spotify
Favorite movie: Old school: Shawshank Redemption. Or any good Oprah-style tear jerker.
Currently binging on Netflix: Just wrapped up Scandal / Justified and am now into a mindless one called Schitts Creek. No judging!!
When I’m not at work you’ll find me: Hanging with the neighborhood crew in Falls Church City. Typically trying to drum up a 430 pm playdate / happy hour / cookout.
Dream job: I’m living the dream… business development for BKV Group of course! Or maybe a wine / food critic.
Let’s Get To It
What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
I followed a college boyfriend to Gainesville, FL and my first offer was a marketing coordinator position from a GIS, mapping and surveying company. Didn’t even know what that was but it was a job, right? The guy is long gone but the industry AEC marketing role stuck! After a year in Florida I moved up to DC thinking I would find a cool non-profit job, but was hired as a marketing coordinator at RTKL and was off and running!
When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?
My first SMPS event was the awards ceremony at Sequoia in 1998. I interviewed with Allison Carney at Centex (now Balfour Beatty) and she hired someone else, but told me to go to SMPS. It was there I met Rose DelaVega, a partner at RTKL who hired me the next week! She signed me up for SMPS and told me to get on a committee immediately. For any of you that might remember Rose, you never questioned what she told you to do! 😊
What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?
Join a committee. Attend regularly and don’t make plans after the evening events so you’ll have time to have an extra drink (or two) with other members. These people will become your friends, supporters, sounding board and best advice-givers.
What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
I always enjoy the annual awards event. It brings out all kinds of old friends!
Do you have your CPSM? If so, why did you get it and how has it impacted your career?
As a past president of SMPS in the early 2000s, CPSM was just gaining traction. I did not sit for the exam, and have regretted it. Proud of those of you that are CPSM!
What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?
Mentoring. We have such great people in our industry, and it’s always great to talk through career goals and learn more about what motivates our talented group!
What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?
Meeting Susan Merrigan at Chadwick’s in Georgetown at my first committee meeting in 1998, and sticking around the bar with her until way past midnight that first night. She’s been a great friend ever since!
Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?
To leave RTKL after four years as a coordinator and take a job at Little as a business developer. My boss sent me to the interview, and told me it was time to go because as long as I was at RTKL doing proposals it would be tough to reposition myself as a business developer. She said there would always be an opportunity to come back. And she was right – three years later I returned in a business development / marketing manager role.