Laura  Ewan E1476915712403 170624 194239

09 Mar, 2017

President's (b)Log: March

Laura Ewan

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For those of you who don't know, I'm from Raleigh, NC – home to the epic Tobacco Road rivalries between the Wake Forest, NC State, UNC, and Duke basketball programs. That means this time of year, my Facebook feed is FILLED with the smack talk, high hopes, and crushed dreams that accompany March Madness season. But this year, for me and the rest of the 2016-2017 class of SMPS chapter presidents, the month of March has taken on a whole new meaning – marking the halfway point in the SMPS calendar year, and our time as president.

Like every team who stepped out on the court for their very first practice together back in the fall, our board had big dreams for this year. Dreams of doing and achieving more for this chapter and our members. Dreams of being the best team out there. I'm proud to say that at this point in our journey, like the teams prepping for next week's tournament, those dreams are still alive and well.

Over the past six months, our wonderful board and growing team of devoted volunteers have tackled every task and challenge with the enthusiasm, creativity, and ambition that I believe define SMPS DC. I couldn't be more proud of or more grateful for all of their hard work and dedication to serving this chapter and our members. That's why I'm so excited to finally share with you two new initiatives that have been months in the making.

Getting Up Close and Personal with Transportation in the DMV

It's no secret that President Trump has made major investments in infrastructure, to the tune of $1 trillion, a key priority for his new administration. As residents of a city notorious for one of the worst commutes in the country, I'm sure we're all curious about how these investments will impact local transportation agencies' plans for expansions and improvements – and how these plans will translate into opportunities for our firms. That's why our Procurement and Principal's Round Table (PRT) committees have partnered up for the first time ever to present a two-part series focused on transportation in the DMV.

If you missed yesterday's Lunch + Leads program, which focused on the current transportation procurement pipeline, we hope you can join us for the second installment on March 22nd – a PRT featuring David Birtwistle from Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, Roger Natsuhara from Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and Tom Hickey from Virginia Railway Express, who will share their perspectives on the impact of infrastructure investment and the current political climate on their organizations and the region at large.

Introducing the SMPS DC Leadership Development Program

Last year, current SMPS DC Past President Katie Garrett introduced a new committee to our local board focused on Career Advancement. The goal of this committee is to support SMPS DC's mid-level professionals with programs focusing on career development, professional growth, and mentorship. Committee Director Amy Cuddy, CPSM and her team have been hard at work over the past year and a half doing just that, and are proud to introduce SMPS DC's first ever Leadership Development Program. A four-part series devoted to professionals with five to ten years of experience, this program will help participants explore the role of leadership in their career, and gain the tools and training to help them grow their confidence and impact as an emerging leader within their firm and the industry at large. The program is limited to 12 participants, and seats will fill up fast, so be sure to register soon to be a part of our first class of graduates.

Just like the 68 teams preparing for the start of next week's NCAA tournament, your SMPS DC team will continue to dream big. That's just who we are and what we do. With preparation, and a little luck, we hope to continue providing you with the support you need to dream big as well – for our profession, your firm, and you. As always, we welcome your input on how we can improve, and will be sharing upcoming opportunities for feedback in the coming weeks.

Until then, go team SMPS DC!

Laura Ewan
President, SMPS DC