Member Spotlight: Tracy Allen
Tracy Allen is celebrating 23 years of membership with SMPS DC. We caught up with Tracy as part of our on-going #MemberMoments series…
Name: Tracy Allen
Title/role: Vice President of Corporate Marketing
Hometown: Centreville, VA Current town: Ashburn, VA
Alma Mater(s): MBA from Marymount University– Arlington, VA; BS from Longwood University – Farmville, VA
Family/pets: Murphy – Goldendoodle; KC Kitty – Orange Shorthair
Favorite DC-area restaurant: DC Prime, Ashburn, VA
Favorite DC tourist destination: The Tidal Basin, especially during the peak cherry blossoms
Favorite travel destination: Anywhere in Italy
Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: Harry Potter series
Food you always crave: Anything from Chick-fil-A (I especially crave them on Sundays when they are closed)
Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: Anthony Bourdain
Favorite app: Spotify and Fitbit (I use them together when I go jogging)
Favorite movie: Sound of Music
Currently binging on Netflix: Game of Thrones (just started watching them two weeks ago and I am hooked)
When I’m not at work you’ll find me: jogging, playing electric guitar, or hanging with my daughter and husband
Dream job: Food Judge on Chopped
Let’s Get To It…
What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
I answered an ad in the newspaper when I got out college. We were in a recession and there weren’t many jobs for recent graduates. I looked for anything that said the word “Marketing”. Luckily, I found a job working for Rolf Jensen & Associates as their Marketing Coordinator and stayed with them for 8 years. I love this industry because it is relatively small and the connections you make will last for years to come. Plus, I enjoy being involved with all of the new projects and infrastructure that is going on across the country. There is something great about pointing to a project and saying that your firm worked on it.
When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?
I had just started with Rolf Jensen & Associates and was completely new to the A/E/C Industry. My boss, Bob Libby, told me that he wanted me to join SMPS and get on the Board. I said, “Sure! What is SMPS”? I was a go-getter and decided I would get involved no matter what. I immediately joined the Communication Committee Chaired by Alison Carney. She was wonderful about bringing new members together and helping them get comfortable with the Association. Our group was small, but we were very strong and dedicated. We built our own internal networking group and we grew our connections within SMPS from that point on. I am in forever indebted to Alison for her enthusiasm and ability to help others feel welcome. Since then, I was active on the Board and eventually became Chapter President and also involved with the National SMPS Foundation. I keep coming back to SMPS because of the great networking, education, and industry sectors updates.
What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?
I would say to reach out to the Chapter President and offer to help out and join a committee. It is a great way to get involved and start making connections. It really doesn’t matter what the committee is, it is first step to getting connected within the group. The more you give to the Association, the more you will get out of it. Plus, you will build your network, learn new skills, and make industry friends for life.
What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
I always love the social functions. Holiday parties, Mardi Gras, the End-of-the-Year meeting. Those were all of my favorites. Maybe because everyone always seemed to attend those events and you could catch up.
Do you have your CPSM? If so, why did you get it and how has it impacted your career?
When the CPSM first came out several years ago, my company did not require it for my position. Since then, I have not had the opportunity to pursue it. I applaud all of my fellow SMPS friends who have worked hard to achieve it. Very impressive!
What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?
I would say Connect is the word that resonates most with me. SMPS is all about making connections both locally and nationally. Several years ago I had to set up several new client meetings in our Dallas office. I didn’t know anyone in Dallas so I reached for my SMPS directory. I was able to set up two days of quality meetings. Success!
What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?
I was the Chair of the Social Events Committee and I was putting on my first Mardi Gras party. I held my committee meeting at RJA after work in our main conference room. We had glue, glitter, snacks, and feathers stuck to the conference table after making around 75 Mardi Gras masks. What a mess, but great times with forever friends. I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything. The good news is that I was able to clean the table before anyone noticed the next morning.
Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten? Join a committee and get involved, don’t sit on the sidelines.