Member Spotlight: Daniel Voss

20161008_abc_02712-e1516977073806.jpgMarketing Coordinator at Energy Air, Inc.

SMPS Member since: 2016

SMPS Committee: Programs

How would you describe your role/job? At Energy Air, my role is varied and very flexible. The responsibilities of a marketing professional for a subcontractor vary somewhat from that of my general contractor counterparts. Developing marketing collateral, bid packages, calendar management, and lots and lots of one-off projects make up my work. For me, the focus is on managing the input from several departments and synthesizing everything into a coherent and structured presentation.

What have been the challenges and rewards of your career? The biggest challenge is being the single point of contact for Energy Air with our member associations, advertising outlets, merchandise providers, and clients. However, it is also extremely rewarding because my team allows me the flexibility to get involved in these pursuits and establish myself as a fixture with our company.

What has been your most meaningful or interesting project? It’s more nostalgic than anything else, but I treasure my first EIC awards submission. I was brand new to the A/E/C industry and it was my very first project I did for Energy Air. The pedigree established by my predecessor was one that added plenty of additional pressure. However, I did what I always do – I say “yes”, do my best, and forget the rest. Winning the Marketing Award of Excellence in my very first attempt was precisely the confidence boost I needed to dive deeper into my work. It still motivates me to take on new challenges within my role today.

How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm or your career?
I can easily say that my involvement with SMPS has been singularly meaningful in my career advancement. In my short time with Energy Air and SMPS, I have learned countless skills, tricks, terms, and strategies to make my work better. From workshops to networking opportunities to a sense of community, SMPS membership has provided plenty.

What’s one thing you’d teach someone in your industry? I recently had a student job shadow me. We went to a committee meeting, looked at projects I’ve worked on, discussed the nuances of the position, and talked about what goals either of us has for this type of work. My biggest piece of advice that I gave her was to participate, not to anticipate. Getting your hands dirty and trying something new, even if it’s beyond your skills and means, can look a lot better than remaining stagnate and comfortable. Usually, coworkers and superiors address these types of failures as great attempts rather than condemnable offenses. So say “yes” to participation.

Which of your personal attributes has made you most successful in your career?  I have always been rather personable and easy to talk to. I’m pretty comfortable with talking, and more importantly, listening to others. I enjoy learning and asking questions through conversation and giving pieces of my experience as well.




Member Spotlight: Ben Parrish

ben parrishMarketing Specialist at Turner Construction Company 

SMPS Member since: 2012

Where are you from? Orlando.

How long have you been with your firm? I started with Turner in 2010.

What inspires you? Great work.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Palau. Some of the greatest scuba diving in the world!

What is or was your most interesting deal? As marketers in this industry, we can create a swath of work that can have practical applications for the companies we work for. It’s not uncommon for me to do everything from a job site photo shoot, some video editing, page layout, rehearse for a massive presentation, get final documents out to the printer, and then update our charity website. The only limit is how many YouTube tutorials you can get through. The whole process fascinates me and keeps me coming back for more.

Which of your personal attributes has made you most successful in your career?  My eye for design and ability to defend it. I have developed both over the years. As a young designer, I used to think that people would just gravitate towards great work. I learned that’s not always the case. Especially in the AEC industry. Some of my greatest work was questioned and I had to defend it. Nothing worse than having great ideas but lacking the skills needed to pitch them.

What’s your favorite Central Florida restaurant and why? Right now, I love Eden’s Fresh. They make this salad called the Daisy. It’s amazing and I can’t get enough of it. As a bonus, it’s a nice walking distance from the office.

What’s one thing you’d teach someone in your industry? The power of InDesign Styles! Use styles for all the things!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from a mentor? I had a professor in college that constantly delivered one message to me: “push your work.” It didn’t matter what I did or how long I spent on it. His initial response was always “now push it.” I still tell myself that every day.

Favorite book? “Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!)”

Ben Parrish is an award-winning creative leader who helps set the vision for clients to bring creative projects to life while crafting stories that drive value for clients.

A gifted photographer with over seven years’ experience in marketing at Turner, Ben routinely designs and produces corporate presentations and business proposals valued at $100-900 million; including projects for NASA, JPMorgan Chase, Orlando International Airport, and Blue Origin. Ben was honored with the ABC Marketing Excellence Design Award in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

Ben also provides advertising, web design and marketing production support for Kim Parrish Creative Services. KPCS clients include global brands like Walmart, ADP Small Business Services, Universal Studios and others. Ben is a true creative resource, utilizing a keen eye for design and advanced software skills to develop responsive websites, manage massive print projects and beautiful identity packages for companies of all sizes.

When he’s not designing proposals, and building brands for clients, Ben is fulfilling his desire for travel, having already explored a wide range of destinations including Micronesia, France, Italy, Germany, the Pacific Northwest, and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Slow Down

Well, here we are in the first days of 2018. Another year has slipped through our grasp, and we’ve set about making plans for positive change and growth in the new year. But with newly laid, ambitious plans moving forward, where do we find the time to fit in personal growth on top of our existing responsibilities? While working to make a #NewMe to accompany the new year, we’re going to have to find ways to work more mindfully. While instinct may tell you to work faster to accomplish more, I’d argue that by slowing down, reclaiming your morning, taking the time to stop and think, and taking breaks, you can increase your productivity and find more time to accomplish all your goals for 2018.

Reclaim Your Morning
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my phone. While I am scrolling through the morning notifications, I can already hear the morning news reports blaring from my roommate’s bedroom. I have to wonder – why do we do this to ourselves? I don’t want to start my day buried in a Facebook newsfeed, or hearing about the latest Presidential tweet, but I do it to myself every single morning.

Here’s my radical idea – go screenless. No phones, no TV, just you and your thoughts. Think about what you want to accomplish for the day. Check in on your #NewMe progression. Maybe even put pen to paper and craft a plan for the day ahead. Reclaim your morning, and begin your day with a clear headspace. You’ll walk into work feeling brighter, and ready to take on the challenges ahead.

Stop. Think.
When starting a new task, it is easy to set your sight on the end goal without giving yourself time for proper planning. I recently jumped into an interview with one of PCL’s field engineers about our use of a Robotic Total Station to assist in self-performing concrete on a high-rise apartment tower in downtown Orlando. A few minutes into the interview, I realized I understood almost nothing about what this engineer was saying to me. Slab edges, concrete forms, established controls, placing sleeves…I was lost. By asking a lot of questions and taking diligent notes, I got myself through the interview, but afterward I thought to myself, why didn’t I Google “pouring concrete slabs” and “Robotic Total Stations” before going into this interview?

The lesson here is: slow down. Take some time to stop and think about what you know and what you need to learn before going into a new task. If I had pumped the breaks before initiating the interview process, I could have spared myself the embarrassment of some truly naïve questions, while ultimately saving time for myself and my gracious interviewee. Stop and think. Do your research. Google is your friend.

Take a Break
Don’t let your goal-oriented mindset get in the way of taking care of yourself throughout the work day. Sometimes walking away from your task at hand is the best thing you can do for yourself to reset and return to work with a clear and focused mind. Literally walk away. Get up and move. Your Fitbit is begging for it. Take a quick walk outside, or a lap around the office, stretch those legs, and come back feeling refreshed.

Need a quick break but you already got your 10,000 steps in? Introduce some yogic breathing into your day. Even when meeting the demands of a busy day in the office, it is important to take care of yourself, to keep yourself operating at peak performance.

Despite our busy lives and the rapidly evolving world pushing each of us to constantly move faster, faster, faster – slow down. Think carefully. Be mindful. Know where you’re going before you’re on your way there. Protect your headspace, treat yourself to tranquil moments and plenty of breaks. With each passing year we navigate a path of continual self-improvement, but we can’t get where we are going without pacing ourselves. Take the time to give yourself what you need. Be patient and appreciate the journey. Slow down.

– Michael Porter, Marketing Coordinator
PCL Construction