New Member Spotlight: Gabrielle Banks
As part of our recurring #MemberMoments series, we will be featuring one new member celebrating their one-year membership anniversary each month. This month’s featured new member is Gabrielle Banks, Business Development Associate at FHI 360. We caught up with Gabrielle to get to know her and find out what her experience with SMPS has been thus far…
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Pets: No pets; instead, I have 3 wonderful children and an amazing husband that keep me very busy.
Favorite DC Location: SW on the Waterfront
Favorite DC Restaurant: Asian Spice, in Gallery Place
Food You Always Crave: Exotic ethnic food because I am a FOODIE!!!
Favorite Movie: Avatar, because I believe a place like that really exists. I’m always awestruck by the idea of it all!
Favorite App: Google Maps! I have the power to never get lost!
Favorite Celebrity: Barack Obama!
Dream Job: to be the CEO of a thriving business consulting firm
Let’s Get to It
What inspired you to join SMPS and what are you hoping to get out of your membership?
I was motivated to join SMPS because, as a newcomer to the AEC industry, I knew I needed a network of other marketing and business development professionals to network with and utilize as a point of reference. The educational offerings, webinars, events, and built-in network of folks to interface with were features of the membership that sold me and my firm on joining SMPS.
What has been the most valuable part of your membership so far?
The organization has lived up to it’s mission of connecting members of the AEC industry. That has been the most valuable part of my membership – the connections I have made through SMPS events have opened the doors for dialogues with personnel at prospective companies through personal connections, rather than impersonal phone calls. I was lucky enough to have this happen on three occasions.
What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?
The SMPS mission and desire to educate and connect members, or professionals in the AEC community resonates most heavily with me, because you can’t execute what you don’t know, and you can’t connect with folks you’re never in the same room with. SMPS is that medium to bridge those gaps, and provide the hard and soft skills critical to becoming a successful marketer, as well as the vehicle for connecting to folks that may have your next opportunity.
What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
My favorite SMPS event was, of course, the Guru Guidance event. It just seemed as though the organization really understood the needs of new and developing professionals with this program. When I learned I would be paired up with a senior marketer, I was so excited to know not only would I gain a new colleague but also a professional up line – I was thrilled beyond words.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned through SMPS (an event, speaker, or fellow member)?
The most valuable thing I have learned from an SMPS-sponsored event was how to methodically develop a marketing plan for my company. I was, like many are, a marketing team of one, and often experienced slow progression, or no progression, because there was no “agenda” for me to execute. Creating an agenda / plan, complete with a request for a departmental budget, was the best piece of information I received and benefited from.