Lauren Vitrano

16 Mar, 2018

Member Spotlight: Lauren Vitrano, CF.APMP

Kyle Veater

Member Spotlight  
Blog Types

Read time: 2 minutes, 57 seconds

For this month's veteran member spotlight, we caught up with Lauren Vitrano, CF.APMP, Senior Business Development Specialist at Louis Berger. Lauren has been a rock star member of the PR/Communications Committee for years and we are excited to feature her this month!


Name: Lauren Vitrano, CF.APMP

Company: Louis Berger

Title/role: Senior Business Development Specialist

Hometown & Current town: Timonium, MD/North Bethesda, MD

Alma Mater(s): University of Maryland, College Park (go Terps! …even though we didn’t make the tourney…)

Family/pets: Husband of nearly four years, Jimmy. No pets (yet) but I’m in love with my parents’ Shetland Sheepdog puppy, Jackson…just look at my Instagram page!

Favorite DC-area restaurant: Cava Mezze

Favorite DC tourist destination: National Museum of American History…I could spend an entire day there (history geek!)

Favorite travel destination: Bora Bora

Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics…fascinating reads that challenge conventional ways of thinking about certain trends/topics

Food you always crave: Guacamole & chips or hummus & pita

Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: This changes frequently, but lately, Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only did he donate 100% of his salary to educational charities this past season, but he’s got a great sense of humor.

Favorite app: Twitter, Reddit, or Spotify

Favorite movie: The Godfather (I go back and forth between Parts I and II!)

Currently binging on Netflix: Recently finished up Black Mirror, and I now fear nothing will seem as thrilling in comparison

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: At barre class, hanging with friends and family, cooking, wine tasting

Dream job: Nutritionist to pro athletes (combines two of my interests—health/wellness and sports)

Let's Get To It...

What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
I went to school for journalism, thinking I would be in New York City working for Conde Nast or another mass media company. But my mind started to change my senior year of college—one of my friends in my major was interning in the marketing department at Louis Berger, and she told me that even though it wasn’t true journalism, she still applied many of the skills we learned in our major—writing/editing on deadlines, research, fact checking, and a big one—PERSISTENCE! An internship opportunity opened up, so I applied…a few months later, they brought me on full time, and the rest is history. What keeps me in the industry? There’s truly never a dull moment and I love the complexity of work in our field—from construction management, to NEPA services, to transportation engineering, to power solutions. I’ve learned so much since I started nearly 11 years ago, and that keeps everything fresh.

When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?
I joined 10 years ago through the recommendation of a coworker. I enjoy the camaraderie and support the organization provides. I also love the educational focus—it’s always great to stay knowledgeable and current on trends in our industry and continue learning.

What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?
Join a committee! Being on the communications/PR committee, I’ve gotten to turn my love of social media into a purpose, as the Facebook manager. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new friends in the industry!

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
I’ve always enjoyed the fall and summer events as a good way to look ahead and look back, respectively, on each year. I encourage all new members to attend these to get a feel for what SMPS DC is all about. Additionally, I’ve run into marketing counterparts from other firms who I’ve worked with on proposals, so it’s a great way to put faces to names!

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?
Sometimes, instead of waiting around for a response to a question/how to proceed, it’s best to just be proactive and attempt something. I’ve found busy directors and VPs won’t have time to check and respond to every e-mail, but if I send them my attempt at a task (i.e., an organization chart or section draft), they’re more likely to respond and provide comments, even if what I’ve presented them is on the wrong path. They also tend to appreciate someone who takes the initiative and keeps things moving along, rather than just waiting for a response. What do you have to lose?