Member Spotlight: Allison Chalifoux

Chalifoux, AllisonMarketing Coordinator at DRMP

Member Since: 2017

How would you describe your role/job?
I help prepare internal and external marketing and communications for all 15 of our offices. In any one day, I help develop, coordinate, and write proposals and presentations and QC letters and marketing documents. I have also recently begun partnering with corporate communicates. Currently, our firm is celebrating our 40th anniversary, so I am working with a team to research social media trends and create a campaign to increase our firm’s presence in the online world and improve recruiting efforts.

What have been the challenges and rewards of your career?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced so far in my career is learning how to deal with the many personalities of the engineers I work with every day. Some are used to doing it one way, while others may prefer a different method. Staying on top of the constant changes in the industry and firm while learning to work effectively with my project managers and their various styles of work has kept me on my toes.

It’s hard to choose just one reward, as they are many reasons to love what I do. One of the biggest rewards is the pride I feel when my firm is chosen for the project that I spent time pulling together a proposal and presentation for. I might not be the one designing the bridge or the roadway, but I still know I had a hand in helping them achieve that work and success. They make me feel just as much a part of it.

What has been your most meaningful or interesting project?
When I first started, I worked a lot with our office in Tampa. They hadn’t won a project in District Seven for years. I helped them submit a few letters and proposals, but still nothing. Finally, after almost a year later, I helped them put together a proposal for a huge job they really wanted to win. The hours were long, and we looked over it so many times our eyes began to hurt, but a few weeks later we received the email that our firm was chosen. It was such a great feeling to know, after years of trying, our hard work had finally paid off and we landed the elusive client.

How has membership in SMPS helped you to advance your firm or your career?
Since I just joined SMPS at the end of 2017, I am still exploring all the ways to get the most out of my membership. However, I feel that this society has helped me come out of my box and increase my networking skills. I have already met some wonderful people and I have joined a few committees to help learn and grow even more. I look forward to getting even more involved.

What’s one thing you’d teach someone in your industry?
Don’t let the pressure of deadlines overwhelm you. There will be things that come up last minute. There will be time crunches, and headaches and early mornings with a lot of coffee to try to get something out on time. But don’t let that frustrate you. Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath, step outside, walk a lap around the building, and come back refreshed with the attitude that you can tackle anything.

Which of your personal attributes has made you most successful in your career?
I am an extremely positive person and try to keep a constant smile on my face. I think this has helped me connect easily with my fellow team members. It has helped create a trusted environment among my project managers, so they feel comfortable coming to me with whatever they need. I am someone that will take on any task without complaining.

What’s your favorite Central Florida restaurant and why?
Hands down, Buttermilk Bakery. I went to pastry school and do a lot of baking in my free time, so I had to choose a bakery. They bake everything fresh that day and serve donuts, scones, muffins, quiche, and brunch on the weekends. Their pastries are so good I won’t get anything else – and they aren’t just plain croissants – I recently had one with Gouda cheese and poblano peppers. There is a line out the door on the weekends, but it is worth the wait.

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