Member Spotlight: Allison Tivnon

How long have you been a member of SMPS, and how do you stay involved in the chapter?

I began attending SMPS events back in 2008 and officially became a member in 2011. I stay involved in a number of ways: attending events (both here in Portland and when I’m visiting our Seattle office); reading the newsletter and SMPS Marketer; participating in surveys; making good use of Blueprints; and (most near and dear to my heart) chairing the Business Development Roundtable. I also had the opportunity to present How to Make your Marketing Department Recession-Proof to the Seattle chapter a while back.

What is your favorite aspect of your current role at your firm? 

ECONorthwest is a very special place and a firm that put their trust in me to build a Marketing Department from the ground up back in 2013. Systems, databases, processes—all the fundamentals covered and created in tandem with each other. We built a solid department and have a fantastic, talented, hardworking marketing crew. I am so proud of the elevation in brand, hit rate, office morale, and overall profitability we have experienced since Marketing was instituted at this historic company. Such great rocket fuel to keep doing what we’re doing! 

If you could give one piece of advice to new marketers, what would it be?

Soak it all in. You are entering into a fascinating and important business-within-a-business. Really get to know your firm, the services provided, and start to understand exactly how important the contributions are that your firm makes. It’s easy to get overwhelmed (especially in the beginning) by the clashing deadlines and constant drumbeat of RFPs coming in the door. My friend and peer, Cheryl Nervez at Soderstrom Architects, recently said that “Marketing is the mind and Business Development is the heart.” She is so right. Spend your first several years getting to know the mechanics of the job, the vernacular, and learning to juggle deadlines with ease. With time, your appreciation and comprehension will bloom and you’ll find yourself ready to start engaging with clients and teaming partners in an increasingly outward-facing way. 

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

I would pay off every single family member and friends’ credit card, medical, and student loan bills and get them to zero. Wouldn’t that be one of the most amazing feelings in the world? To look someone you love in the eye and let them know they’re free of that?

If someone were to write a book about you, what would the title of it be?

Proposal Coordination is Like Clam Digging, and other Profound Allison Metaphors

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