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KSP Rick Harris 077 1 cropped

31 Aug, 2021

New Member Spotlight: Rick Harris

Anne Morris

Member Spotlight  
Blog Types

Read time: 2 minutes, 35 seconds

Rick Harris is CEO at the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP®) and is celebrating his one year membership anniversary (August 31st)! We caught up with Rick to find out how he got into the AEC industry and how SMPS has helped him in his career.


Name: Rick Harris

Company: Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP®)

Title/role: CEO

Hometown & Current town: Jacksonville, FL / Washington DC

Alma Mater(s): Florida State and University of Central Florida

Family/pets: My beautiful black cat, Coco

Favorite DC-area restaurant: Georgia Brown’s, DC for the Southern Cooking

Favorite DC tourist destination: The National Portrait Gallery, Presidential Portraits – a national treasure

Favorite travel destination: Paris, France because it’s Paris, France

Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: Just Kids by the great punk rocker Patti Smith. The book about her life with her best friend artist Robert Mapplethorpe while they were trying to survive New York’s Lower East Side art scene.

Food you always crave: a quality steak

Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: Comedian David Spade – always funny.

Favorite app: TikTok – to keep current with my kids and the creativity on there is insane.

Currently binging on Netflix: Babylon Berlin – a period piece German thriller

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: With my son and daughter.

Dream job: Commissioner of the National Hockey League. I love professional ice hockey.

Let’s Get To It…..

What inspired you to join SMPS and what are you hoping to get out of your membership?

I have been involved in marketing for over 40 years. I always tell anyone who will listen that I am a marketer by trade. SMPS is the best market association out there. As an association professional, I believe in associations, and I believe in SMPS.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership so far?

Marketer Magazine. I read it cover to cover and it always helps me generate new marketing ideas.

What got you into the AEC industry and what keeps you here?

The ability to market is inexorably tied to better communication. This industry helps me communicate better and achieve my revenue, business, and personal goals. I stay here because I want to be better.

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?

Build Business and can’t wait until we get back to in person events.

What part of the SMPS mission to Advocate, Educate, and Connect most resonates with you and why?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The workforce and the world have changed significantly since I entered it. I am interested in keeping pace and changing with it. Who and how we work are fascinating influencing change agents to me.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned through SMPS (an event, speaker, or fellow member)?

I particularly follow the future trends in the industry and see where I fit into those changes and how my business can lead from the edge.

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?

Focus on you, your plan, your outcomes and the market and you will always win. Stay in your own lane and think creative – find the new in everything you do.

Who is your professional idol? Why? (Can be a big celebrity name or someone you’ve worked with or anywhere in between.)

David Garfinkle, Executive Producer of the Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid. David and I went to Florida State together and we used to tell each other what we were going to do. He always said he wanted to produce a show that people would instantly recognize on television. He is my hero because David is the kindest person I know. All these years later, when we talk, it’s always about family, happiness in life, and the little things. He is my hero because he is unchanged from when I first met him 40 years ago. That is a role model.