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Presidential Thoughts: Aspire

December 1, 2014

Benjamin Sawa is the Corporate Development Manager at GEI Consultants and the President of SMPS Boston. This is his second Presidential Thoughts column of the year.

SMPS Boston recently held its first New Member Orientation Program of the year – and, as far as we can tell, it was the first in our Chapter’s history as well!

Out of the 30 or so attendees, there was quite a mix of people in attendance, including recently minted members, people who had been members for a year but maybe never made it to an event, and even prospective members. I was amazed at the diversity of the group and how many new faces were out there. I couldn’t help thinking that somewhere in this group were the future leaders of this organization. But I also felt concern that left to their own devices, these people might merely represent untapped potential. My biggest takeaway from the Orientation event was that our chapter needs to show each person the value of SMPS: what it can do for them both professionally and personally, and what it can do for their firms.

This brings me to SMPS Boston’s mission for 2014-2015. Over the course of the summer, the Board of Directors met three times to discuss overarching strategy and planning for the upcoming year. A central theme that kept coming up was the need to move the Chapter forward by investing in our members, our programming, and the chapter as a whole.

SMPS-Aspire-Logo-2014-15So we came up with simple word – Aspire – to reflect this charge. We thought collectively: how can we strengthen our membership and create meaningful value for you? How can we grow a more engaged group of members and volunteers? How can we advocate and promote our members’ achievements in their firms? How can we, as an organization, aspire to be the best that we can for our membership? And how can we inspire YOU to aspire to be the best that you can be?

We have an exciting New Year coming up at SMPS, full of programs that support this goal. Here are just a few of the things that we have planned for you in the months to come:

  • Launch of the new SMPS Boston website, which will be much more user-friendly.
  • Continuation of our successful Building Leaders Series and other educational programming that will help you build skills and knowledge
  • Increased scholarships and other member investment activities
  • An assortment of networking opportunities, from regular Mix@6s to our Annual Holiday Party
  • A super regional conference that represents the collective efforts of 9 SMPS chapters, right here in Boston.

Stay tuned for even more, and I hope to see you at an upcoming event!

Questions or suggestions for Ben? He can be reached at

For more from Ben, check out his Career Ideas series.

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