April/May 2020 Print

President's Message

As I sat down to write the president’s message for this month’s newsletter, I couldn’t get the profound words of wisdom of the great David Bowie out of my head.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don't want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
There's gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

 

We are certainly in a strange time. In a very short period, our “normal” was anything but. While the world focused on essential services, sheltering at home, and adapting to an immediate pivot in daily life, I threw in a major intentional change for myself…a new job (I KNOW RIGHT?). The board’s flexibility and support while I got my feet under me at WGI (still getting my feet under me some days) and through this entire changing, strange time has been amazing.

A few things I have reaffirmed during these ch-ch-ch-ch-changes:

  • Control is an illusion for all of us. Have you met me? I can control everything or so I keep telling myself. I know I am not alone in this and it is a lesson I seem to have to re-learn regularly and there’s been a lot of re-learning lately. I imagine our clients are also re-learning this lesson.
  • No offense to David Bowie, but I do want to be richer. Not monetarily specifically but rich in relationships. Exploring/using technology to check-in with people both personally and professionally has been a lot of fun. More than ever before, we need our connections with people. Is there any better insight into someone then by their Zoom background choice?
  • Great things can happen through flexibility, the five Florida SMPS chapters are collaborating to offer virtual programing to all members at a reciprocal rate and cross promoting so everyone knows about these opportunities. The Southeastern Regional Conference (aka SERC) took much of the programing to a virtual platform and it has been great.
  • Patience is vital. This one should not be new by any means but as we have shifted to more robust virtual communications, technology isn’t perfect. I know I just said it was fun a few sentences earlier but it can also be challenging. Even after all the preparing and practicing, just know there will probably be some kind of glitch and roll with it. People on the other side are experiencing the same thing. We are all dealing with different circumstances and patience with each other goes a very long way. I am looking at these as bonding opportunities. I’ve met a lot of pets and children. I even took a virtual tour of an animal sanctuary in the beginning of a meeting. Hanging out for a few minutes with a llama and a bunch of goats was truly relaxing, seriously.
  • Empathy is everything. We do not have a complete understanding of what is going on with each other in the best of times let alone in the current environment. It takes nothing to approach each other from a place of kindness, from supervisees to CEOs, clients to family, strangers and everyone in-between.
  • Laughter will get us through. Laugh with your family, friends, co-workers and clients. We all need some levity. Things are serious, there’s a lot of upheaval and uncertainty but laughter is truly the best medicine.

 

Turn and face the strange. There is general uncertainty throughout the industry and COVID-19 has hit some markets hard. It is having a negative impact. Now is the time to use your SMPS membership to its fullest. We are here for you. Locally, our chapter’s Career Alliance Program is in full swing. Do not hesitate to reach out to myself or Casey Crone for help with filling an opening or looking for a new job. HQ is working with members on membership and CPSM recertification extensions. I can guide you to someone at HQ for assistance.

There’s gonna be a different man [or woman]. Recruitment for the upcoming 2020-2021 board of directors is in full swing. Incoming chapter president, Kristin Downer still has plenty of ways for you to get involved. There is something available for every level of time commitment.

Like everyone, SMPS Tampa Bay is monitoring federal, state, local, and company guidelines. We are continually evaluating programing and have had to postpone or reschedule some annual events and upcoming programs that were in the works. There are still plenty of ways to connect, learn and grow! In addition to what I have already discussed, every week in May there is a virtual networking activity. Each week we are alternating between a SMPS Morning and Happy Hour, grab your beverage of choice and connect.

Are you following us on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter to stay in the know for all things SMPS Tampa Bay? Now you can follow us on Instagram too!

As always, I am here for you and happy to chat. I have some fun Zoom backgrounds I would love to show off. I hope you and yours are staying safe.

Thank you,

Jenni Nix-McGerald, CPSM

2019-2020 SMPS Tampa Bay President

PS: I always thought the last line of the chorus was “but I can’t change time.” I learn something new every day.

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Upcoming Events

Virtual SMPS Mornings

SMPS Mornings

May 19, 2020
8:30 AM

Video Conference Call

Join us for a relaxed, small-scale virtual coffee hour to reconnect with your colleagues and friends!

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Virtual Happy Hour

Happy Hour_5-28

May 28, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Video Conference Call

Join us for a relaxed, small-scale virtual happy hour to reconnect with your colleagues and friends!

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June Board Meeting

June 10, 2020
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Zoom Meeting - Contact Jenni Nix McGerald to learn how you can attend!

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Webinar: Get Your Firm Ready For Generation Z

June 23, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Zoom Meeting

As your firm braces itself for the Z invasion, this webinar will help you prepare. It will cover aspects related to understanding, attracting, engaging, and retaining the next generation of employees and clients so your firm can continue to grow.

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July Board Meeting

July 08, 2020
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Zoom Meeting - Contact Jenni Nix McGerald to learn how you can attend!

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Welcome New Members

Joy Austin | Marketing Coordinator | Whiting Turner Contracting

Thank you for renewing

Elizabeth Brookins | Senior Marketing Coordinator | Willis Smith Construction

Jennifer Nix-McGerald, CPSM | Team Leader - Proposal Coordinators | WGI

Jennifer Stutts | Vice President - Communications, Marketing & Strategy | RS&H

 

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