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27 Aug, 2017

Q&A with 2017 SMPS DC Golden Tuba Winner Lauren Myers Young

Crystal Brackett

Member Spotlight  
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Read time: 2 minutes, 52 seconds

Golden Tuba Award Background

Our Washington, DC chapter of SMPS presents the Ginny Solomon Golden Tuba Award annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to professional services marketing and to the DC Chapter. Since the first Golden Tuba Award in 1981, our Chapter has recognized 33 leaders with the Golden Tuba Award for their contributions to marketing and professional services based on outstanding advancement of the marketing profession.

Many people ask “Why the Tuba?” Tom Page, the second recipient in 1982, bought this beat-up, old tuba at a Baltimore pawn shop after seeing it in a shop window. It is said that Page figured, “A successful marketer would be the individual carrying a tuba on the day it rained pennies from heaven.” Because as a marketer you have to be in the right place at the right time.

In 1995, the award was renamed to honor the memory of Ginny Solomon, a Chapter leader. Since that time, the award has been presented as “The Ginny Solomon Golden Tuba Award.” In 2017, we proudly continued this tradition by honoring Lauren Young, a member of our chapter who embodies all of the qualities necessary to carry on the prestigious tuba tradition.

The award evaluation is based on establishing and maintaining high standards of marketing, exhibited leadership in the community, outstanding contribution to their firm through their marketing efforts, demonstrated creativity and individuality in the field of marketing, and outstanding contribution to the SMPS DC chapter through their volunteer efforts.

Q&A with Lauren Myers Young

How has SMPS helped you in your career?
SMPS has helped me in so many ways! When I relocated to DC in the late 1990s and was job searching, I was encouraged to attend the SMPS awards program. It is through that event that I connected to my first job in the DC market (RTKL, now CallisonRTKL) and met some of my lifelong industry friends. My SMPS connections have helped me find the best pursuit teammates and potential target clients. The society’s educational programs have further developed my marketing skills to help me be better at my job.

What would you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Working with so many fantastic coordinators over the years and having a chance to mentor (and later get mentored) by these brilliant folks! I’m talking to you, Katherine Ollinger, Kathy Kleiver, Eric Sutton, Mark Thompson, Emily Boyd, Vanessa Jovel, Sandra Halling, Nikki Pollet, Marissa Tasho, Alina Boboc, and many others!

Who would you consider to be influential people in your career?
I have been incredibly fortunate to mentor under two fabulous women, both of whom have greatly influenced my career. Rose DelaVega hired me as a very green marketing coordinator at RTKL. She was tough, but fair, and an incredible leader both in her role as a VP at RTKL and within the AEC community. Rose placed a high level of importance on teaching and encouraging the younger generation of professionals. There is a large network of “Rosettes” and “Rosebuds,” a nickname for her many mentees, that still draw upon her lessons in our day-to-day work.

Carol Rickard-Brideau, Partner at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, is my other mentor. She is smart, positive, and a lot of fun to work with. She created an office environment that really engaged the staff, empowering everyone to tap into our strengths, and gave us tremendous credit for project wins and other office successes. Both Carol and Rose cared about the people they worked with, creating positive work environments.

I can’t leave this section without mentioning one other major influencer: Thom McKay, VP at CallisonRTKL. Thom breaks the mold when it comes to office humor, and I think back quite often on his thought-provoking questions and advice.

Helpful hints to share with your fellow SMPS members?
Make industry friends and use them as your sounding board for career advice. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to take on a senior role. If you’re good - you will get there!

What does being awarded the Ginny Solomon Golden Tuba mean to you?
Having my name added to a plaque with so many of my industry mentors and people that I respect is amazing! I feel proud to be a part of this special group. You better believe I have this tuba front and center in my office!