My CPSM Story by Carie Dunn

Almost 10 years ago, I was preparing for my annual review and setting goals for the coming year.  I had been in the AEC industry for some time, and thought that the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) program was something I should investigate further.  After reading about it online, I checked to see if the chapter had any CPSMs, and ran across Stacy Robben’s name.  I didn’t know her at the time, but I called her up to see if I could take her to lunch to pick her brain about certification.  It was at that meeting where I learned Michelle Yates was also interested in certification, so I met with her next and we decided to study together for the exam.  I added it as a goal for the next year and I was off and running.

Fortunately for me, Michelle worked right down the street (the benefits of working downtown), and we started meeting for lunch every other week to study.  We borrowed the books on the required reading list from the chapter library (a great member benefit) and set a reading schedule for each Domain of Practice.  We wrote practice questions for each meeting and quizzed each other to prepare.  Having a study partner really kept us both on track.  After months of studying, we took the exam with Stacy proctoring for us, and all of that hard work had paid off – we both passed.  I was relieved and overjoyed.

That seems so long ago, yet I continue to see the benefits of certification.  Earning the required 50 CEUs every three years to maintain certification is pretty easy, since I am constantly attending SMPS programs.  From the great local programs here in St. Louis to both Regional and National conferences,  I have learned so many new things and new ways of doing old things that I have been able to bring back to my job.  The SMPS website has a wealth of information on the value of becoming a CPSM (check out the fantastic infographic here).   If you’re a marketer in the AEC industry, the CPSM is the only certification you can earn for the type of work we do.  So why not?

SMPS St. Louis will be hosting a Meet & Eat in the coming months to discuss the certification process.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about the program or if you are interested in joining a study group, please contact me at or 314.446.5035.

Carie Dunn, CPSM is Director of Marketing at Trivers Associates. She is a Past President for the Society for Marketing Professional Services – St. Louis Chapter and is a Certified Professional Service Marketer.

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