Akers Lyndsey Crop

24 Jan, 2018

New Member Spotlight: Lyndsey Akers

Kyle Veater

Member Spotlight  
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Read time: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

Lyndsey Akers of HDR, Inc. is celebrating her one-year anniversary with SMPS DC! We caught up with Lyndsey to learn more about her career journey and how SMPS has helped her along the way.


Name: Lyndsey Akers

Company: HDR, Inc.

Title/role: Communications Lead for HDR’s DC-Region Architecture Practice

Hometown & Current town: I grew up in a population 1,000 town near Lancaster, South Carolina, which I’d say is quite different from my current life in Alexandria, VA

Alma Maters: Bachelors: Charleston Southern University; Masters: George Washington University

Family/pets: My Air Force husband, Yale, and I have two boxers, each with their own very unique personalities: Phoenix – the grumpy old man, and Mac – a goofy pup who just wants to cuddle.

Favorite DC-area restaurant: This is tough… but Virtue Feed & Grain in Alexandria is perfect for grabbing cocktails on the patio and trying their seasonal menus (you guessed it: with our pups in tow).

Favorite DC tourist destination: The Lincoln Memorial. The view of the Mall is stunning… and who doesn’t love Abe?

Favorite travel destination: I’m still looking for it, only because the world has so much to offer. A recent European vacation left me enamored with the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: Anything related to the future of communications/PR.

Food you always crave: Sweets. And Mexican.

Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: I’m all over the map when it comes to social media, so I don’t have a favorite. Most of my feed consists of fitness, country music, and travel accounts, but @dogsofinstagram is pretty high on my list.

Favorite app: Instagram, but Twitter is a close second (@LyndseyAkers)

Favorite movie: I honestly don’t have a favorite, but I’ll watch anything with Jessica Chastain.

Currently binging on Netflix: Despite my very busy work schedule, I’m tackling all 300+ episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. 200 more to go…

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: Outside. On the water. Being active. Our best days are spent in a canoe paddling through the Shenandoah River.

Dream job: Public relations consultant/publicist for professional athletes

Let's Get To It

What inspired you to join SMPS and what are you hoping to get out of your membership?
This is my first gig in the AEC industry. Having come from Capitol Hill and the non-profit setting, I felt like I was in a completely different world – and that’s because I am. My role is a combination of marketing, public relations, business development and community relations all rolled into one, so I needed a bit of a home base for myself to learn all about the industry. SMPS is playing a major role in doing just that, and I’m excited to continue learning through the membership.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership so far?
SMPS offers such a large depth of resources that are incredibly helpful to newbies and veterans alike. I especially appreciate the events offered as they’re often times very relevant to information that I’m actively seeking.

What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?
I’ve always had a great sense of appreciation for the world of architecture and design; however, I thrive in the written and spoken world of communications. From a visual perspective, designers fix problems and bring dreams to life - they truly give communicators a great story to tell.

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?
The SMPS mentoring series/workshop was incredibly beneficial for me, personally and professionally. Again, I’m new to this industry, so having veterans volunteer their time to inform and connect with a diverse group of marketers at various stages in their careers was so helpful.

What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?
Connect – for sure. Like many industries, the network that you develop and foster can greatly impact your personal and professional success. Connections won’t make or break your long-term success, but they can surely open doors, offer support/guidance, and provide insights that are mutually beneficial.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned through SMPS?
Network, network, network. The AEC industry is, in fact, a small world and everyone can benefit from building relationships.

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?
Get comfortable in dynamic environments. I think this applies to a number of industries, but I genuinely believe that as a communicator, one must be able to adapt, respond to uncertainty, and constantly evolve. That requires doing things that might feel uncomfortable and being ready for what’s next.

Who is your professional idol? Why?
Dr. Jen Welter – the first woman to coach in the NFL. She’s pretty badass and uses her platform to empower females of all ages.