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Duke Carol 1

01 Apr, 2020

Veteran Member Spotlight: Carol Duke

Courtney Messick

Member Spotlight  
Blog Types

Read time: 2 minutes, 36 seconds


Name: Carol Duke

Company: DLR Group

Title/role: Principal, National Business Development and Strategy for the firm’s Cultural + Performing Arts Studio

Alma Mater: Randolph-Macon Woman’s College

Family/pets: Great husband Robert and daughters Rebecca and Laura (both 24); unfortunately, allergies force us to be a pet-free zone

Favorite DC-area restaurant: Del Mar – sit at the bar

Favorite DC tourist destination: Sadly, it was the Newseum but second place is the Hirshhorn

Favorite travel destination: Chautauqua Institution in western New York

Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: I’m a huge reader. Find me on Goodreads!

Food you always crave: Bread

Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: Currently @dogsworkingfromhome on Insta

Favorite app: Waze

Favorite movie: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: Reading, at the theater, on the golf course, or in the garden

Dream job: I’d love to be a travel writer / food critic.

Let's Get to It...

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

When my husband and I moved to Dallas, I found temp work to best learn how to navigate and understand the city and to take my time finding a full-time job. I temped at HDR’s Dallas office and, one year later, started as a marketing coordinator. I love that each day is full of adventures, with opportunities to brainstorm and strategize. It might be a new industry to explore, a new client to meet, an exciting RFP to respond to, or the celebration of a win.

When and why did you first join SMPS, and what keeps you coming back?

I joined SMPS 24 years ago to understand the industry, learn new skills, and meet as many new colleagues, friends, and mentors as possible. Along the way, there have been so many creative programs that helped enhance my critical-thinking skills. These skills helped me get promoted, which then required different SMPS engagement. In addition, the Marketer is a great publication, filled with excellent strategies for professionals no matter their career trajectory.

What advice do you have for our newer SMPS DC members about getting the most out of their membership?

Soak up the knowledge, network like crazy, and share what you learn. Think beyond your current responsibilities (that you’re likely doing really well). How can you further help your team, your firm, your industry, your community, and yourself? And during this difficult health crisis, use this time to connect with your industry colleagues, especially those you have meant to get back to. We can get through this uncertainty with empathy, respect, and communication.

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?

Guru Guidance has been my SMPS DC compass since 2009. Thirteen wonderful partners have helped me best understand marketing processes from a wide variety of lenses (landscape architect, graphic designer, marketing coordinator, marketing manager, PR specialist, construction manager, etc.) The basic marketing tenants are constant, but each firm and person apply the strategies differently. The program has helped me better understand the needs of early- and mid-career marketing professionals and made me a better advocate for their continued success. It has also led to long-lasting friendships, which I very much appreciate.

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

That’s a tough question, but an SMPS education is the key to building skills and confidence, finding success, making great connections, and sharing it with others. Use your SMPS education to pay it forward.

What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?

Wow, there have been so many, but I loved a higher education program years ago where the speakers not only shared their knowledge (and leads), but also enjoyed happy hour with the members.

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?

My first boss at HDR said marketing professionals are like managers of the rock stars. Over the years it has held different meanings for me, but overall our knowledge and best advice helps all rock stars succeed, including ourselves.