15 Jan, 2018

Member Spotlight: Victoria Ellis

Kyle Veater

Member Spotlight  
Blog Types

Read time: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

For this month's veteran member spotlight, we caught up with Victoria Ellis, Marketing Manager at Bohler Engineering.


Name: Victoria “Tori” Ellis

Company: Bohler Engineering

Title/role: Marketing Manager

Hometown & Current town: Columbia, MD & Reston, VA (basically the same town, different states!)

Alma Mater(s): Salisbury University

Family/pets: Daughter Vayda is 6 and son Austin is 5

Favorite DC-area restaurant: Buca di Beppo

Favorite DC tourist destination: The Lincoln Memorial

Favorite travel destination: Anywhere that has a beach

Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: The Godfather

Food you always crave: Chipotle & chocolate

Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: Fat Jewish

Favorite app: Amazon

Favorite movie: Shawshank Redemption

Currently binging on Netflix: Nothing for me…kid programs have taken over

Let's Get To It

What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
My first job out of college in 2005 was with a residential title agency. Roughly two years later, the writing was on the wall that the market was crashing and I began my job search, where I stumbled upon, and ultimately landed, a Marketing Coordinator position with HITT Contracting. Without any prior knowledge that this type of position even existed, it was there where I learned about the industry as a whole and the impact marketing can have on the success of a firm. When the market crashed, a tough market became even more competitive and I was fortunate to be in a position to help the company continue its success during tough times. With the increased number of pursuits we were chasing, I learned – and fell in love with – the crazy rush of the RFP world. I also gained experience and a better understanding of a marketer’s role and impact within the AEC industry. The drive to achieve that same feeling of accomplishment when my firm lands a project has ultimately kept me in the industry for over ten years.

When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?
I joined initially in 2007 because it was a requirement for my department. After joining, however, I saw value in SMPS’ endless amount of resources and education. I continue to keep in touch with the many chapter connections I’ve made throughout the years. Being a marketer in the AEC industry can be stressful at times (ok, most of the time), and the support and understanding I get from the SMPS community is the main reason I keep coming back.

What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?
Just GO. Joining a new organization can feel intimidating, but SMPS is different. I have yet to meet a member who didn’t offer help or advice whenever I, or anyone else, asked for it. Make the effort to attend an event and I guarantee you’ll have the same experience.

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
SMPS National Conference in Denver - my team won an award that year so we all went and had a blast!

What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?
I’ve learned a lot from SMPS and have connected with countless members but Advocate resonates with me the most. The organization offers strategies to overcome challenges, build confidence, and empower its members to make an impact within their firms.

What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?
My guru guidance mentoring experience! I was in work/life balance career transition mode when I joined the program and was paired with Jeremy Burge. He helped me identify what I wanted and didn’t want in a career, introduced me to several of his connections, offered strategies to help me through challenges, etc. He was incredibly supportive and dedicated to helping me find what made me happy.

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?
Opportunities don’t just happen; you have to create them. My current boss at Bohler reminds me of this almost every week!