Member Spotlight: Kyle Kaufman

Kyle Kaufman, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Henderson Engineers

SMPS Member since 2013; Currently serving on the Programs and Gala Committees


How has SMPS helped you in your career?  I’ve always been an outgoing person, but SMPS has given me more confidence and shown me that I’m capable of way more than I give myself credit for. I don’t hesitate walking up to a complete stranger, no matter their title, when I would’ve been shaking in my boots at the thought of that a few years ago! It allows me to travel to other cities for conferences where I’m able to make connections with new or existing clients outside of my Houston bubble.

What is the biggest benefit of being active in SMPS?  I’m constantly advocating for Henderson, and as a business development manager, the more people I reach, the better I’m doing my job! Being an active member allows me to reach an infinite number of people across the country, which has led to professional growth and personal friendships, and to me, that is a huge benefit!

What has been your memorable SMPS event to date, and why?  I always enjoy Nationals. It’s fun traveling to other cities, meeting people from other chapters, and gaining information from the different sessions. Plus, the after-party is always a blast!

Describe your typical work day.  As everyone in our industry knows, there is no ‘typical’ day. Some days I’m putting proposals together, doing research, or have a full day of in-house meetings. While it’s not all peaches and puppies, I do enjoy all the aspects of my job, especially creating personal client gifts, making unique custom swag, organizing our annual volleyball tournament, coming up with ways to stand out in our market, and helping Henderson become the firm that changes the industry.

What do you love most about your job?  1.) My company. Henderson Engineers is such a great company for so many reasons. We have an amazing leadership team, our culture is so unique, and everyone is encouraged to voice their opinions, which I find is rare in bigger companies. 2.) All the people I get to meet! Building relationships is very important to me – some of my closest friends would say I never meet a stranger – so I’m pretty lucky to be doing something I enjoy for a company I love! I’ve developed a lot of great friendships, professionally and personally, while learning from others, hearing their stories, and ways they’ve overcome struggles within the industry. 

If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?  T.R.A.F.F.I.C.

What’s the best career advice you have ever received?  Learn to accept “no” and that developing relationships doesn’t happen overnight. I still don’t fully accept this, but I’m working on it! As an extremely competitive person, I don’t like losing – at all. Luckily, my boss knows me well enough to just say “suck it up, we’ll win the next one”. Having a good support system and teammates is very important.

What has been your hardest lesson learned?  See previous answer.

What would you do with a year off?  Honestly, I’d probably get bored. I’m sure I’d open an Etsy shop or something. Maybe take a couple of trips to a beach!

How do you kick-back?  Pinterest projects/crafts and playing volleyball

What is your favorite film?  I’m not your typical girl when it comes to movies – I’m all about the thrillers and movies that make you think. A few that come to mind are Taken, Salt, Wanted, Wild Card, and Inception.

What would we find playing on your iPod, or phone, etc.?  A lot of variety! Texas Country, 90’s Country, Rap, Classic Rock… along with a few throwbacks like Hanson, O-Town, and Robyn.

Where do you find inspiration?  I look to other firms in the industry. Whether it’s marketing collateral like brochures, pamphlets, etc., or promotional swag at conferences, it’s always fun to see what others come up with! Pinterest is probably my favorite website ever. Aside from the wedding boards, beauty tips, and fitness blogs, I’ve actually gotten a lot of awesome ideas for client gifts, gala themes, corporate party ideas, promotional items, and other stuff I can use for work.