A self-described “doer,” when Shirley Dimon, CPSM saw there was a need for a President-Elect for the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Tampa Bay Chapter, she seized the opportunity.

Dimon accepted the president elect position in April of this year. She and 23 other board members met Friday, Aug. 18, to kick off the new fiscal year before her one-year term officially begins Sept. 1.

“Since joining the organization at the start of my career, I always set goals for myself,” Dimon said. “After achieving my CPSM certification, then I thought, ‘Maybe someday I’ll be president.’”

Dimon is a senior marketing coordinator at RS&H’s Tampa office, working with the Transportation-Infrastructure Practice to lead pursuit efforts and support the group’s business development and sales goals. While she has only been at RS&H for a little over a year, she is a veteran of the industry, starting both her career and her SMPS membership in 1999.

Being part of such a unique – and sometimes fickle – industry, Dimon fell in love with SMPS and its narrow focus: to help marketing and business development professionals create business opportunities for their architecture, engineering, and consulting firms.

“SMPS has always been an organization I’ve felt passionate about,” Dimon said. “It’s such a niche organization; it’s just for us.”

That passion is why she’s thrown herself into her new role as president. “My term doesn’t officially begin for another week, but I feel like it began when I accepted the position back in April,” Dimon said.

That’s because she’s been busy planning. With considerable goals for her term, including increasing membership by 10 percent, holding at least four programs – ranging from a private education roundtable to an emerging technology panel – throughout the year, and increasing value to members, Dimon has a lot of work ahead of her.

Dimon recognizes how valuable SMPS has been to her career, and providing that same value to current and future chapter members is on the top of her to-do list. To achieve this and help increase membership, Dimon has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Providing free events to members is one such tactic.

“I want to show members that we appreciate them, and provide them with real value to better prepare them to be successful at their firms,” Dimon said. “We wouldn’t be here without our members.”

The free events include a six-part, in-person breakfast series called “Positioning to Win.” It will begin in January, be held once a month, and include speakers covering topics such as “RFP Diving.”

Beginning in September, the chapter will hold a mentoring series every other month that will include free lunch and focus on topics like work-life balance, building trust, and commanding the room.

Additionally, one of Dimon’s initiatives is to grow her board, creating teams of committees that can help support the many responsibilities that are typically designated to one person. At their Board Transition/Appreciation event that Friday, it was clear everyone was eager to support this year’s goals to grow and provide value.

“SMPS is what you put into it,” Dimon said. “I want our chapter members to see it as a great opportunity to network, gain professional growth, and understand the industry better, and hopefully build a support group that you can go to along the way.”