Member Spotlight: Mary Moore
Celebrating 20 years as a member of SMPS DC, this month’s #MemberMoments Member Spotlight features Mary Moore, Director of Communications of Syska Hennessy Group.
Mary noted as we corresponded about this questionnaire, “SMPS is my industry home, and the wonderful people in our chapter mean so much to me!” We couldn’t agree more, Mary. We are thrilled to have called you a member, colleague and friend for 20 years!
Name: Mary Moore
Company: Syska Hennessy Group
Title/role: Director of Communications
Hometown & Current town: One of those rare people actually born in Washington DC, but we live in Fairfax, VA now.
Family/pets: Two wonderful daughters and sons-in-law, a magical granddaughter, and two grandpuppies that we get to borrow now and then when everyone else is traveling.
Favorite DC tourist destination: The whole Dupont Circle area. There are lots of great eateries, and Kramerbooks if you’re into independent booksellers. The Phillips Collection usually has something interesting going on and a great little shop, those houses lining the streets around the Spanish Steps are really beautiful, and you luck out if you’re there on Sunday to snap up goodies at the farmer’s market.
Favorite travel destination: Too many to list, but any state out west (thank goodness my relatives are spread throughout and I get to visit them in TX, CO, AZ, UT and CA regularly), and Scotland has the most beautiful, empty places. I want to go back!
Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: This changes every week. But the book that probably changed my life was Freeman Dyson’s autobiography Disturbing the Universe. It introduced me to creative thinkers – Malcolm Gladwell is the same kind of guy. I also love anything by Diana Gabaldon, Edward Rutherfurd, Ken Follet and Sharon Kay Penman – historic fiction at it’s best.
Food you always crave: Chocolate and guacamole. But never at the same meal…that would be rich food overload.
Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: @rosannecash Yeah, Johnny Cash’s rock/blues songwriting daughter. Her posts are some of the most hilarious, ironic, and real that I’ve read.
Favorite app: I download way too many apps and have to clean them out regularly. But my podcast app gets me through the daily commute – Astonishing Legends, Jim Herold’s Campfire and Stuff You Missed in History Class – I just couldn’t do without.
Favorite movie: It’s impossible to name one. But I remember and love the first I saw on a big screen; To Kill a Mockingbird. It scared me to death and at the same time it really stuck in my memory.
Currently binging on Netflix: I’m obsessing over Expedition Unknown on Travel Channel right now, probably because I want to go to all those places and experience all those adventures!
When I’m not at work you’ll find me: On my road bike at the Eastern Shore or in my kayak on the Occoquan.
Dream job: Traveling the world and blogging about it. Or working for Expedition Unknown!
Let’s Get to It
What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
I’ve always had a thing for the built environment, even as a kid, buildings and cities fascinated me. It’s always changing, just as marketing and communications are evolving, so you never have a chance to get into a rut. The AEC industry continues to reinvent itself and that allows those of us who work in it to stay engaged and interested as well.
When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?
Oh goodness, my first meeting I remember really well; it opened the door to network and make friends in our industry. As it turns out, over the years it’s allowed me to learn from my peers in the industry because I happened to spend a fairly long time at the firms I’ve worked at, so SMPS was that resource that allowed me to learn from others and get a different perspective on our industry from their firms. That is a huge benefit!
What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?
Get involved on a committee. There’s no better way to make friends and make a difference. You’ll find friends, mentors and opportunities in SMPS DC. We have so much creative talent among our leaders and committee members, you’ll have fun and get to contribute your skills too!
What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
There are too many different kinds of events to pick a favorite. Now that I got that out of the way, I love the Career Advancement activities (and I’m not just saying that because I’m on Amy’s committee). They are always topical with great takeaway information.
What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?
Can I pick several? When we celebrate our award winners it’s always a special occasion. And I’ve seen some wonderfully talented friends get recognized over the years with the Ginny Solomon Golden Tuba awards!
Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?
Two words from my mentor Ann Banning Wright, “Seek understanding.” I put those two words up over my desk and stared at it a number of times over the years when I was tempted to speak but needed to listen instead. It taught me patience. It taught me how to try to understand where people were coming from at the 20,000-foot level so their concerns and priorities became my own and I could help them (or on rare occasion step back) the best way possible.