Member Spotlight: Megan Hinrichsen

AUTHOR: Jennifer Hasamear, Cole & Associates, Inc.

Tell me about your role with Development Strategies, how long have you been with SMPS and how long have you been Programs Director?

As marketing director for Development Strategies, my work is split between proposals, marketing and graphic design and review of our work products. After joining SMPS St. Louis nearly five years ago, I have been named Volunteer of the Year, served as Education Director for two years and currently serve as Programs Director. 

 Of the years you have served as Programs Director, what has been the favorite program that you initiated for the Chapter? And Why?

SMPS St. Louis is fortunate to execute many great programs each year. Without comparison, my favorite event was Graceworks because the energy from the speaker and audience was unlike anything I’d seen before — attendees soaked up every word, laughed and nodded in agreement, participated in the exercises and left empowered to do great work.  I also love the annual charity program, where our attendees generously donate items and money to a selected charity. 

If you could pick one SMPS program our members shouldn’t miss, what would it be and why?

Each program appeals to different personality types of positions. While I can’t pick just one must-attend event, I encourage everyone to attend the networking time. As an introvert, I often avoided networking opportunities in the past because they never felt natural. However, networking provides a great opportunity to connect with peers, share experiences and receive encouragement. 

What has been the best advice you’ve received regarding your career and/or working in the A/E/C industry?

“Keep going and never stop improving.” 

When the days seem never ending and my work consists only of pulling resumes, project sheets and completing government forms, I remind myself that it will pass. Constantly trying to improve my craft drives me to change things that aren’t working and soak up knowledge from web articles, books, or peers, mentors and friends I’ve found at SMPS St. Louis. 

What is your proudest professional achievement?

Since I’ve been with Development Strategies nearly a decade, I’ve witnessed and advocated for many changes. I’m most proud of the work I’ve done to weave storytelling elements into our presentations and elevate our work product – focusing more on strategies then just analysis, adding custom graphics and improving the visual impact without compromising clarity.  Many of our reports become guiding documents for our clients to make positive investments in their community — be it a single building, corridor, neighborhood or citywide. The genuine excitement and appreciation from our clients is the best compliment I can receive.

What do you look forward to most at the end of a busy week?

Spending time with my family bring me the greatest joy, consisting of my husband and two daughters (ages 12 and 14). While I’m only months away from both daughters surpassing me in height, my “mom means business” death stare is still strong. Watching them grow into young women with their own ideas, interests and talents is rewarding and deeply fulfilling. While we haven’t progressed deep into the tumultuous teenage years yet, I have plenty of wine and chocolate at the ready.

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