Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

Learn about fellow SMPS Alaska Chapter members!


R Carlson mugshot

Title: Anchorage Marketing Manager
Firm: PND Engineers, Inc.
SMPS Member Since: 2011
Number of years in the A/E/C industry: 6.5

Rachel, who has been with PND Engineers since early 2008, leads the marketing and proposal-writing efforts for the firm’s Anchorage branch. Before PND, she worked as the copy editor and occasional writer for a weekly newspaper in Missoula, Montana. Prior to that, she was employed as an editorial intern and copy editor for a newspaper in Fort Collins, Colorado; a construction company office manager in Santa Barbara, California; and an administrative/marketing assistant for a software company in Scotts Valley, California. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Rachel lives in Anchorage with her fiancé Chad, their 5-year-old son Josiah, and their two hairless sphynx cats Boone and Clyde.

Community Activism: I support various community organizations in Alaska, including the United Way’s March For Babies, the Alaska Literacy Program, and the Alaska Innocence Project.

How has SMPS helped you in your career? SMPS has provided my firm and me with a valuable network of peers and colleagues in the A/E/C industry, and has broadened my understanding of this industry as a whole. I always leave the SMPS monthly luncheons having learned something new.

Helpful hint to share with your fellow SMPS members: Take advantage of the SMPS Alaska scholarship opportunities! I applied for one a few years ago and was able to use the money toward an Adobe InDesign class.

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you. I spent my formative years overseas. I attended middle school in the Netherlands and high school in Jakarta, Indonesia. I’m very grateful that I was afforded the opportunity to see different parts of the world and gain a broader life perspective.

What I did at work yesterday: I worked on four different proposals – so a typical day for an A/E/C marketer!

Are you interested in seeking a CPSM; and if so, how do you expect the certification to benefit you? I hope to sit for the CPSM exam sometime in the next year or so. I joined the CPSM study group last year and found it was a fantastic way to get through a ton of study materials.


Board Position: Programs Chair
Title: Vice President, Corporate Marketing
Firm: Coffman Engineers
SMPS Member Since: 2008
Number of years in the A/E/C industry: 8

Skip stumbled into the A/E/C marketing profession after he was unable to find a job using his degree in graphic design (mostly because he was a terrible graphic designer). Fortunately, he was able to find a marketing assistant job with a Utah architecture firm while he pursued his master’s degree in communications. He enjoyed the various tasks that came with the position and, upon completion of the master’s program, he was offered a marketing job with Alaska engineering company Coffman Engineers. Skip immediately found a home at Coffman and has spent nearly all of the last six years as a Coffman marketer. He was recently promoted to Vice President of Corporate Marketing, a role that allows him to work with Coffman’s talented marketing and technical professionals to set the strategic direction of the company’s marketing.

What does your board position entail? As programs chair, I developed a program plan identifying the luncheon program topics for the year. I worked with the education and mentorship committee chairs to make sure the luncheon programs are in-line with the various other Alaska Chapter events. Once the program plan was approved Alaska Chapter board of directors, I moved forward with arranging speakers and logistics for the various events. This position is much bigger than just one person, and I have to thank all the other Alaska Chapter board members for the constant support and assistance. 

Community Activism: Through Coffman Engineers and SMPS I have been involved with many community-oriented activities including CANstruction, Fur Rondy, Bike-to-Work Day, and various fundraisers for the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, Beans Café, etc.

How has SMPS helped you in your career? The A/E/C-specific marketing information and education provided by SMPS is unrivaled. From that standpoint, I owe much of my career to the ideas, techniques, and research available through SMPS. Networking is the other big piece offered by SMPS. You can very easily identify and reach-out to thousands of other A/E/C marketing professionals throughout the country.

Helpful hint to share with your fellow SMPS members: Join a committee or seek a board position to fully enjoy all the benefits SMPS has to offer. I know this has been said before, but it is definitely worth repeating!

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you. Even though my last name is “Bourgeois” and my blood runs thick with French-Canadian heritage, I do not actually speak a lick of French.

What I did at work yesterday: On any given day I get to work with coworkers and clients throughout the Pacific Rim, and yesterday was no exception. My day consisted of completing a final proposal quality control proofread, coordinating a strategic pursuit, finalizing and distributing our bimonthly internal company newsletter, researching a new market sector, preparing some last minute proposal information, and various other discussions with Coffman marketing staff. Each of these actions was completed for a different Coffman office.

Are you interested in seeking a CPSM; and if so, how do you expect the certification to benefit you? I am very interested in seeking my CPSM and am about 18 months behind my initial plan for taking the test. I plan to test for the certification within the next year. The certification helps to further A/E/C marketing jobs as true professions and validates your knowledge and years in the industry.

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