SMPS Houston Chapter News

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT | Doug Parker, FSMPS, CPSM

Doug Parker, FSMPS, CPSM
Managing Principal & CMO of Zweig Group

Our very own, Doug Parker, is the new incoming Society President! For long-time Houston Chapter members, Doug is a familiar face; for those new to SMPS or Houston, we invite you to “virtually” meet him here as a talks about his new role and his love for SMPS.

Doug Parker, FSMPS, CPSM, is a strategic marketer and brand champion with more than 23 years of experience specializing in professional services marketing and firm management. He has developed award-winning brand strategies to position firms and key stakeholders as thought leaders and industry experts to gain market share and increase revenue. Doug began his career in AEC marketing in 1996 and has served as Associate Principal/Marketing Director for A/E firms ranging from a 30-person sole proprietorship to a 250-person national firm with nine offices. In 2009, he joined a 45-person law firm where he served as Chief Marketing and Operations Officer. Today, after taking a year-long sabbatical, Doug is a Managing Principal & CMO of Zweig Group, the leading research, publishing, and advisory services resource for firms in the AEC industry. He is the current President-Elect, and former Secretary/Treasurer, of the SMPS Society Board of Directors, a two-time Chair of the Southern Regional Conference, and a past president of the SMPS Houston Chapter. Other organizational service includes the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, SEARCH Homeless Services Community Advisory Board, Levy Park Foundation Board of Directors, East End Foundation Board of Directors, and DiverseWorks ArtSpace Board of Directors. Doug holds BA degrees in Communications and Psychology.

Why did you want to be President?
During my PLS experience when I was the Houston Chapter incoming President-Elect, I knew that I someday wanted to serve on the SMPS Society Board. But, I never really wanted to be President. After my term as Secretary/Treasurer a few years ago, I thought I’d fulfilled my desire to contribute to the Society at “the highest level”. But, when Melissa Lutz was elected as President-Elect last year, I had a change of heart. Melissa and I have literally grown up in SMPS at the national level, stair-stepping our SMPS roles over the years with her chairing a committee or task force and me as her incoming chair – or vice/versa. The idea that we could do this again in the Presidency roles together was something I had to shoot for. Melissa and I have always been very aligned and supportive of each other. Together, I’m confident we’ll tackle big issues facing our Society – and profession – and consistently provide leadership for SMPS. Also, in my new role at Zweig Group, I have a platform I’ve not had before. Zweig Group’s client base is the C-Suite of AEC firms. That’s obviously an important audience for SMPS. I hope to use my position at Zweig Group and SMPS to champion for the importance of marketing and business development with the C-Suite and continue to raise awareness that business truly can be transformed through marketing leadership.

What do you hope to accomplish as President?
In addition to my comment above about advocating for the value of marketing leadership to the C-Suite, I really want to challenge SMPS to take a hard look at the certification process. The CPSM designation is important to our profession. The credentials have value and help to level our positions in firms where credentials are important. But, we have a long way to go in my opinion to refine the certification process – from the exam itself to the study materials to how firms value the certification to the recertification process. There are other initiatives that are important to me, but I’ve listened for years to frustrated peers who I believe excel in their roles as marketers and business developers, but struggle to pass the certification exam. We must align our process so that capable, experienced professionals can achieve the CPSM.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming involved in SMPS on a National level?
First, start at the local level to gain experience and exposure to the organization. My time with SMPS Houston was some of the most rewarding volunteer work of my life. It’s where I literally got free on-the-job training in a volunteer environment and applied that training to help advance in my career path. When you are ready for more, watch your email for requests from the Society Board or Headquarters Staff to volunteer as a member of a task force focused on a specific initiative. Also, you can always reach out to a Society Board Member of HQ Staff Member to express interest. Involvement with the Southern Regional Conference (SRC) is another great way to give back to the Society and expand your role beyond the local chapter. And, the SRC planning committee is ALWAYS looking for help! 

Why do you love SMPS?
SMPS is and has been the single-most important professional influence in my life. I owe my career to the education, information, and network provided by the Society. Actually, it’s been pretty dang important personally too. SMPS is an amazing, crazy tribe. I’ve literally walked into rooms of complete strangers and within minutes made connections with people just because we immediately get each other. And, some of those people have become my very best lifelong friends. 

 

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