SMPS Houston Chapter News

Mentor/Protégé Spotlight | Khris House & Tess Doumas

MENTOR: Khris House
Director of Business Development at Affiliated Engineers, Inc.
Length in the industry: 19.5 years
SMPS Member since:  2015, currently on the Programs Committee                

Why did you apply to the mentorship program?  A way to help a younger professional’s grow in the business development/marketing industry.

What do you hope to learn from each other? I want to learn more about how my mentee navigates the growth of her role as a business development professional at her firm and glean any suggestions she has on how to encourage her technical staff to take on a seller-doer role at the company.

How did you (or plan to) structure your mentorship? I spent the first meeting discussing and getting feedback on what my mentee wanted to get out of our meetings, and we structured the format of our future meetings based on those ideas/goals.  We decided to meet once a month, and based on our schedules/availability, that meeting date varied.  We don’t have a formal agenda for our meeting.  We spend 1/3 of the meeting talking about work/life balance, and the remaining 2/3 discussing marketing/BD victories as well as challenges, and how to overcome those challenges.

What do you like best about working in the A/E/C industry?  The relationship building with various people/firms, and how those relationships can create a team that designs and constructs some of the most innovative buildings in the world.

PROTÉGÉ: Tess Doumas
Marketing Manager at Terra Associates Inc.
Length in the industry: 1 year, 2 months
SMPS Member since: September 2018

Why did you apply to the mentorship program? I’m brand new to the industry and I don’t have a marketing background. I’m also in a unique position as the only marketing staff in my company. I felt very fortunate to have the chance to get marketing advice and mentorship that might not have been available to me otherwise.

What do you hope to learn from each other? My goal is to learn how to maximize my resources and marketing effort as part of a small marketing team, and to chart my career path forward. Khris has been a wonderful resource as a longtime veteran of the field who has taught me how to manage clients and project leads efficiently and has helped me figure out the next steps to take in my career.

How did you (or plan to) structure your mentorship? Because of busy and ever-changing schedules, we have been meeting opportunistically when both of our schedules allow. We try to meet at least once a month. I will usually outline a personal agenda or talking points ahead of time, but typically things flow so well that I don’t have to refer to the document during our meetings.

What do you like best about working in the A/E/C industry? I love that the job is varied and that there are always new challenges. I also love how self-driven my work is. My company has given me a lot of freedom in the things I want to pursue, whether they are new leads or career-development and continuing education opportunities.



Return to list