Tracyallen Member Spotlight

27 Mar, 2014

Past President Spotlight: Tracy Allen

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Tracy Allen, Vice President, Business Development, ECS Limited

TracyAllenTracy Allen has been in the A/E/C industry for almost 20 years, is a past SMPS DC Chapter President, and was the 2013 recipient of the Golden Tuba Award. We recently had a chance to catch up with Tracy to get insight on her career and how she has benefited from SMPS.

How were you first introduced to SMPS and what motivated you to join? I had just started with Rolf Jensen & Associates and was completely new to the A/E/C Industry. My boss, Bob Libby, told me that he wanted me to join SMPS and get on the Board. I said, “Sure! What is SMPS”? I was a go-getter and decided I would get involved no matter what.

I immediately joined the Communication Committee Chaired by Alison Carney. She was wonderful about bringing new members together and helping them get comfortable with the Association. Our group was small, but we were very strong and dedicated. We built our own internal networking group and we grew our connections within SMPS from that point on. I am in forever indebted to Alison for her enthusiasm and ability to help others feel welcome.

How has SMPS helped shape your career? SMPS was a lifesaver for me when I joined this industry. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t have an understanding of how all of the “pieces” fit together for design and construction. SMPS had training programs, mentoring, networking, and opportunities for me to meet some of my best life-long friends. It has always been there for me throughout my career and I have always found that I can rely on this group to give me support and help when I needed it.

Mentor you most admired? The one person that comes to mind is Rose DelaVega from RTKL. She took me under her wing and coached me throughout my career. She always made time for me when I needed to bounce ideas off of her or just chat. She was well respected in the industry and I always looked up to her and strived to be just like her. I still reach out to her even though she is retired now. I was lucky to meet and connect with Rose early in my career.

Do you have any advice for the younger members in the A/E/C industry?My advice would be to jump in right away and get involved on a committee. The more you give to the Association, the more you will get out of it. Plus, you will build your network, learn new skills, and make industry friends for life.

What would you consider your greatest achievement during your term as SMPS DC’s President? Back when I was President, our Chapter did not have much money in our bank account. I actually used my personal credit card to pay for the room deposits and events. I eventually got reimbursed later so that our account balance could remain positive between programs. My big achievement was to host our first ever SMPS Golf Outing. I had put on several golf events for other Associations in the past and I thought “how hard can it be”? I was pretty crazy to take on a golf outing and the Chapter Presidency at the same time, but it was a success. We had almost 50 players (which was a lot for a first-time outing) and made around $10,000. That was HUGE success for us and we started the momentum for future SMPS Golf Outings.

Interview by: Shaylee Carmona SHW Group