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Danielle Kerkes : Member Spotlight

What year did you become an SMPS member?

2018

Do you currently hold a board or committee position?

Yes, I’m a member of the Marketing Mechanics committee.

If Yes, what do you help with on your committee and why do you suggest someone to be involved with one?

I support the committee by helping to plan our monthly events, which includes reaching out to potential speakers and advertising ahead of the event on LinkedIn and within my company. I also attend most of our events and, along with other committee members, assist with registration, taking photos, and collecting program reviews.

I came from a different industry—my background is in creative writing—so being a part of this committee has helped me learn more about SMPS, A/E/C marketing, and the industry. It’s also allowed me to network and see/learn what other firms and marketers are doing currently. I highly suggest joining a committee for this reason, but I think it’s especially helpful for those who are new to the industry.

How would you describe your role/job?

I’m a marketing specialist with Tetra Tech and I spend most of my time leading proposals in the water and wastewater engineering field. I also support my team by providing content writing support and by training new hires in our processes and procedures for proposal writing.

What have been the challenges and rewards of your career?

As an outsider to this field when I joined Tetra Tech in 2017, my biggest challenge was learning about the industry and proposal writing in general. This was a brand new discourse community for me, and I wasn’t familiar with the language (especially all the acronyms!). I find it rewarding that three years later I’m helping to train new hires.

We have marketing specialists in offices across the US, and I love how my team cross-shares work, especially when we’re busy and quickly reaching a submittal deadline. It’s always rewarding to help a fellow teammate and receive their support in return.

What has been your most meaningful or interesting project?

In 2018, I helped support another marketer on my team who was leading a large pursuit out of our California office. The project would close a gap in the bike path that runs through Los Angeles. This was my first time supporting a transportation proposal, and it was also the largest pursuit I had worked on. We had one lead marketer as well as me and one other marketing specialist working on this submittal in addition to several technical leads and subconsultants. We also hired an outside graphic design company to assist with graphics for this proposal. While we didn’t win this particular job, I’m immensely proud of the final product our team put together. It was a great opportunity for me so early in my career, and I’m grateful that I was chosen to support this project.

How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm or your career?

As a new member, it’s been great to meet others in my field, and it has also encouraged me to start planning for CPSM certification. I love knowing that other SMPS members know exactly what I do and the challenges that we each face.

What’s one thing you’d teach someone in your industry?

Organizational skills – find what works best for you and use it for success.

What’s your favorite Central Florida restaurant and why?

I feel like my answer to this question is always changing! Right now, I’d have to say Tako Cheena. 1) I really enjoy their food, and 2) I associate the restaurant with my good friends who have moved to Atlanta. My husband and I often ate there with them, so there’s a bit of nostalgia wrapped up in this answer.

Favorite book?

Like my favorite restaurant, I find it hard to pick one favorite book, so I’ll just tell you what I’m reading currently. I’m listening to the audio version of Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and I’m also finishing up a hard copy of Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett.

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