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Shepherd Charren

27 Nov, 2019

Veteran Member Spotlight: Charren Shepherd

Anne Morris

Member Spotlight  
Blog Types

Read time: 2 minutes, 21 seconds

For this month’s veteran member spotlight, we spoke with Charren Shepherd, Marketing Director for the Mid-Atlantic Division of HNTB Corporate. Find out why Charren stays engaged with SMPS and what drives her approach to our industry.


Name: Charren Shepherd

Company: HNTB Corporate

Title/role: Marketing Director, Mid-Atlantic Division

Alma Mater(s): Spelman College (Undergraduate); Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School

Family/pets: Husband and four (step) children

Favorite DC-area restaurant: RPM Italian

Favorite DC tourist destination: National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Portrait Gallery (tie)

Favorite travel destination: Corozal, Belize

Favorite book – business and/or pleasure: Built to Suck: The Inevitable Demise of the Corporation….and How to Save it?, by Joseph Jaffe (business); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the first trilogy of novels) by Stieg Larsson

Food you always crave: Black beans, rice, and avocado

Favorite celebrity/brand to follow on social: Tracee Ellis Ross

Favorite app: Pandora

Favorite movie: Under the Tuscan Sun and The Fifth Element (tie)

When I’m not at work you’ll find me: At home figuring out the next home project or in the Caribbean somewhere (I am currently completing this survey in Costa Rica)

Dream job: Travel blogger (if I were younger)

Let's Get To It.....

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

I entered by happenstance after ending a position at the American Red Cross, after which I began a temporary assignment as a marketing coordinator for a local general contracting firm. Working on significant projects in my community (DC) is what keeps me here.

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

I joined SMPS about 10 years ago looking to become part of a network of marketing professionals like me.

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

Take advantage of the training webinars and get to at least one Build Business conference in the next couple of years. I am going to take my own advice on this next little nugget...complete your CPSM certification!!

What has been your favorite SMPS DC or SMPS event?

My favorite event, of course, is Build Business. I try to attend each year, but often give those opportunities to my staff who may not have been able to attend in previous years.

Do you have your CPSM? If so, why did you get it and how has it impacted your career?

I do not have my CPSM, although I have made several attempts to focus and complete it! I do intend to complete it in 2020!

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

Advocate is most important to me. I am a little further along in my career and find it very important to support other marketing professionals as they work through both challenges and successes in various levels of their careers.

What is your favorite SMPS DC memory?

My favorite SMPS DC memory was the first time I became a mentor as part of SMPS’ mentor program, Guru Guidance. I am generally not known to be a networker, but I thrive in one-on-one connections and building specific professional relationships. If you are looking for a mentor or for mentor ship opportunities, I highly recommend!!

Best work-related advice you’ve ever gotten?

I have received so much work advice over my 30 year-career, but what has stuck with me in overcoming every challenge and validated in each success is a quote I read somewhere....”Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.”