Member Spotlight Header Ben Casey

22 Jun, 2017

Member Spotlight: Ben Casey

Member Spotlight  
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Name: Ben Casey

Title/role: Director
Hometown & Current town: New Haven, CT & Arlington, VA
Alma Mater: BS from University of Maryland – College Park, MD
Favorite DC-area restaurant: Rose’s Luxury
Favorite DC tourist destination: Sackler Gallery for Asian and eastern philosophy/religious art and sculpture
Favorite travel destination: Sana’a, Yemen
Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts
Food you always crave: General Tso’s chicken
Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: JoAnne Sorbet Casey (my stepmother)
Favorite app: Amazon Prime Now
Favorite movie: Saving Private Ryan (move I saw the most times in theaters)
Currently binging on Netflix: Bloodline
When I’m not at work you’ll find me: At the pool
Dream job: Park Ranger after having won the lottery

Let's Get To It..

What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
I have been in the AEC industry since the beginning of my career. I have worked in a growth capacity involving a business development and technical management role throughout most of my career in three prior firms, including starting my own fire protection and security consulting firm. What keeps me here is the ability to work on pursuits where I’m constantly pushing quality, value, and risk-based decision making to promote safety. I am very interested in getting involved in projects that tackle the major problems of the world today – from US infrastructure improvements, to disaster preparedness, to emergency communications and counter-terrorism improvements – I am interested in making the world a safer place; giving our clients and their customers’ peace of mind.

When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?
My boss told me to go to the end of year awards party in his place and see if he “won the tuba”... Also, SMPS membership has helped me identify teaming partners, new agency clients, potential new hires, new competitors, and has provided insights into the latest A/E-related initiatives within the national capital region.

What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?
Create lasting friendships rather than just acquaintance business relationships with anyone and everyone you can in SMPS because, unlike other societies, people tend to stay active for a very long time and subsequently work with those they trust from the group – plus they move up and around in the associated organizations and you never know when you will find your best connection after they change positions or roles in the future.

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
There was a Christmas party many moons ago where they were serving all you can drink martinis in the Ritz. All you can drink martinis?! C'mon... life is too short to avoid excessive fun.

Do you have your CPSM? If so, why did you get it and how has it impacted your career?
I don’t – but I promote it to our marketing staff as a way to advance in their careers and hone their skills.

What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?
One of the biggest challenges I encounter on a daily basis is prioritizing and deciding on the best opportunities to pursue. The trickiest part with joining any A/E community is learning the local culture and project history in order to build the necessary relationships to foster growth. SMPS helps you get the back story on a broad range of market sectors and clients. Also, as in any professional services role, it is difficult to jump between “technical professional” and “salesman” as the task required at the time may demand… this dichotomy of roles, although the cause of some stress, is also the most rewarding part of the business. SMPS, through its educational and networking seminars and events supports both of these aspects and fosters growth, connections, and the ability to work within this complex profession.

What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?
Meeting Tom Strandberg after he moved to the DC area at an SMPS event... his phone dying... ending up in a bar nowhere near the event and using his SMPS badge from the event as “currency” along with cash pulled out of his pockets... Tom has been a great friend and business partner ever since - providing excellent advice whenever needed plus working in roles as both client and sub to the firms I’ve been a part of throughout the years.

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?
It is much harder to gain new clients than keep existing ones so foster all existing relationships and don’t accept any less than excellence from your staff on existing projects.