Co-Mentor: Kristin Kautz, CPSM, Director of Marketing at LJA Engineering
Length in the industry: 15+ years
SMPS Member since: 2007
Co-Mentor: Lori Grubbs, CPSM, Visual Communications Manager at LJA Engineering
Length in the industry: 9 years
SMPS Member since: 2009, current Communications Director
Why did you apply to the mentorship program?
KK: I rotated off the SMPS Houston board in 2016, and I knew this was a great way to stay involved and give back to our industry. I was a mentor several years ago, and it was very rewarding (Hi Erin Bettison Rapp!).
LG: I have volunteered in many roles with SMPS Houston, but I had never been involved in the Mentor/Protégé program. When Kristin asked me to co-mentor with her, I saw it as a great opportunity to get to know and help another member. I knew I would also learn more from Kristin, so my motive was a tiny bit selfish!
What do you hope to learn from each other?
KK: I think everyone approaches a challenge in their own unique way. I am old enough to know I don’t know everything (funny how that happens when I thought I knew EVERYTHING in my 20s and 30s, ha!), so it is interesting to learn from another’s perspective and work through creative solutions to age-old problems.
LG: I agree with Kristin. We all have different backgrounds and experiences that shape how we see things. Learning from the successes and failures of others helps us make better decisions and possibly saves a little heartache!
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?
KK: We decided to meet once per month. Our protégé usually brings questions, and Lori and I do our best to provide guidance.
What do you like best about working in the A/E/C industry?
KK: When you find your tribe, you just know it.
LG: Without being too cliché, it’s definitely the people! Many of the colleagues that I have worked with for years have become close friends. When I need encouragement, inspiration, or advice, I have so many incredible, talented, and passionate marketing professionals who I can turn to!
Protégé: Danica Tyler, Marketing Coordinator at Jackson & Ryan Architects
Length in the industry: 3 years
SMPS Member since: 2014
Why did you apply to the mentorship program? Marketing is such a fast-paced industry and I am so blessed to have Kristin and Lori as my mentors. Their deep and varied experience of doing things well has been invaluable. It is energizing learning from the dynamic duo. I am inspired by their inquisitive nature which allows them to be at the leading edge of our industry.
What do you hope to learn from each other? Kristin and Lori guide me in my quest to do the best job for Jackson & Ryan Architects. I have learned about new tools, resources and an approach to strategic marketing. The Business Development Playbook has helped me plan a customized approach to marketing. The Playbook is a tool to create a plan, to implement and a process to evaluate.
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? Kristin and Lori have an incredible range of expertise. At each meeting, we address the questions from the last get together and make a plan to build on new topics.
What do you like best about working in the A/E/C industry? I have always enjoyed the creative and technical challenges of architecture. My degree and work experience in architecture gives me an appreciation of the design and construction process. Marketing in the A/E/C industry is an exciting way to combine my understanding of architecture with the fast-paced strategic approach to marketing. At Jackson & Ryan Architects I work with incredibly talented architects who are designing amazing projects, with great clients and knowledgeable consultants. Our teams thrive under the leadership of our principals producing innovative and award winning projects. It is an honor to share our work, hear the praises of our clients and enjoy the respect of our peers.