MENTOR: Gail L. Kroll, Executive Vice President, Marketing, FINFROCK
Length in the industry: 40 years
SMPS member since: 2000
Why did you apply to the mentorship program?
I realized a few years ago my involvement with SMPS was decreasing, but that I still wanted an opportunity to stay connected with others in our industry. I’ve learned a great deal from a variety of fantastic mentors through the years and thought the Mentor/Protégé program could give me a chance to be a sounding board and to share a little of my insight the way others did for me.
What do you hope to learn from each other? I’ve been with FINFROCK 20 years, and I sometimes forget how other companies operate. Spending one-on-one time with Michelle, I hear another viewpoint. Also, not only do I market to potential clients, I’m responsible for our internal marketing efforts too. After working for the past 40 plus years, it’s no surprise my coworkers keep getting younger and younger. Michelle can give me a youthful perspective that I hope to use to foster an enthusiastic workforce at FINFROCK.
How did you (or plan to) structure your mentorship? Do you meet at the same time every week? Do you have an agenda for each meeting? We share our available dates and pick a mutually convenient time each month, usually lunch. If schedules don’t allow, we arrange a phone call. We try to pick a topic that Michelle is interested in learning more about and where I can impart some knowledge. Then we discuss it.
What do you like best about working in the A/E/C industry? I’m a pretty task-oriented person and derive the most satisfaction from seeing things take shape and having tangible evidence of my efforts. When I watch building designs develop, products manufactured and then construction as well as our company growing and prospering, I’m not just satisfied that I have the opportunity to play a role in it; I’m excited.
What is your biggest strength in your current position? Understanding our company’s strategic differentiation, how that benefits clients and being able to articulate that to others.
PROTÉGÉ: Michelle White, Marketing Coordinator, BRPH
Length in the industry: 4 years
SMPS member since: 2016
Why did you apply to the mentorship program? The desire to learn new things, career satisfaction (becoming better at my job), and coaching from another marketer in the A/E/C industry.
What do you hope to learn from each other? Insight on the ways other marketing departments support BD efforts before the RFP is issued and after the project is won.
How did you (or plan to) structure your mentorship? Do you meet at the same time every week? Do you have an agenda for each meeting? I live in Brevard County, so we decided to meet in person once a month. We’ve also had an in-depth phone conversation. For the initial meetings, we decided to follow the “possible topics of discussion” in the SMPS Mentoring Information Packet.
What do you like best about working in the A/E/C industry? It’s exciting to be such a crucial part of bringing in revenue to my firm, learning something new, and being productive and valued.
What is your biggest strength in your current position? I’m a resourceful employee. I started working for BRPH at the front desk and have since worked on the project side, as Marketing Assistant, and am now a Marketing Coordinator. I’ve done a little bit of almost everything in the company so I understand the big picture.