Eric Keens, Stevens & Wilkinson, Atlanta GA
Associate, Director of Marketing and Communications

Firm’s Director of Marketing and Communications on Recent SMPS Atlanta Win and What It Means For the Future

ATLANTA (Oct. 14, 2018) – Stevens & Wilkinson, a full-service architecture, engineering, and interior design firm, with offices located in downtown Atlanta, and Columbia, S.C., is proud to announce that Eric Keens, CPSM, associate and director of marketing and communications, was recently named the 2018 Marketer of the Year by the Society for Marketing Professional Services’ (SMPS) Atlanta chapter (SMPS Atlanta). SMPS is a national organization that provides professional development, educational, and networking opportunities for marketing leaders in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.

We recently sat down with Eric to learn more about his involvement in SMPS Atlanta, and how it has shaped his approach to leading Stevens & Wilkinson’s Marketing and Communications Department.

Learning the Ins and Outs of the Industry

Like most individuals after college, Eric wasn’t entirely sure of where his career would lead him. “I didn’t know what was out there, or what I wanted to do,” he stated. He landed in the A/E/C arena when he started working for a local temp agency. They called him stating that there was an engineering firm looking for help with marketing and office management. “I went in as a temp, and eventually ended up being hired permanently,” he said. “I was there for 12 years and three days before moving on.”

As Eric described, service marketing is a career that people land in or gravitate towards and then stick with. So, what made Eric stay? For him, it was the strong family atmosphere of the firm. “Coming in not knowing much about the industry, the staff made it a part of their day and culture to teach people about what they do.” He describes everyone as being immensely passionate about what they were doing. “It was their passion that made me want to be a part of the team and, ultimately, this industry.”

“We never stop learning.”

Being a part of SMPS Atlanta for the last 10 years has allowed Eric to learn more about himself than he anticipated he would ever learn going into the organization. “I realized my passion is mentoring,” said Keens. “I also discovered that I am a process and procedure-oriented person.”

His niche for mentoring has helped shaped his approach to managing the Stevens & Wilkinson Marketing and Communications Department. “Prior to joining SMPS Atlanta, my boss at the time, really encouraged me to not only join but to also serve on a committee. That day she had me signed up and on my way to a committee meeting. That is the framework I use for people on my team, or anyone in the industry I am [working] with,” explained Keens. In this, his goal is to cultivate an environment for his staff where they are motivated and supported while working towards their career goals. “I came in looking to build on the success of what was a 98-year-old firm when I got here.” To Eric, that success is determined by the capabilities of his team.

When he first came to Stevens & Wilkinson, Eric began to observe what passions the Marketing team had that came out from taking on different tasks. He soon realized the importance of catering to those passions as they help move one’s company forward. “For example, our Marketing Coordinator Amber Kimbrell has a love for photography,” he said. “Well, that happens to go greatly with her role at Stevens & Wilkinson as managing photography shoots is part of what we do every day!”

Eric began to observe what passions the Marketing team had that came out from taking on different tasks. He soon realized the importance of catering to those passions as they help move one’s company forward.

As the Director of Marketing and Communications, Eric works to provide opportunities for the people he works with. A part of this is the constant reminder that as professionals, we never stop learning. “We must be a part of the educational opportunity, rather than only receive it,” said Eric. He compliments SMPS Atlanta’s targeted approach to education, as they listen to their members and tailor to what they need. “I was given the tools to perform my job, the confidence to perform it well, and the industry knowledge and best practices to be [truly] effective,” he claimed.

A New Perspective

Eric’s advice to those new to service marketing and the A/E/C industry is to find what motivates you to be successful. “You must be passionate about what you’re doing to work in this industry,” he said. “This is the secret to working here! If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life.”

“You must be passionate about what you’re doing to work in this industry,” he said. “This is the secret to working here! If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Eric also adds that you will begin to see things from a new perspective. “As I am talking to you right now, I am looking out the window at several of the buildings that Stevens & Wilkinson has contributed to throughout Downtown Atlanta, and I am envisioning the future,” stated Eric. “Before, I used to only see buildings; now I see so much more – I see an endless stream of possibilities.”

About Stevens & Wilkinson: Founded in 1919, and currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary, Stevens & Wilkinson is a full-service architecture, engineering, and interior design firm committed to providing clients with “Smart Design Solutions.” The firm’s combined design capabilities lead to projects executed with creative, innovative and holistic design solutions. Learn more: www.stevens-wilkinson.com.

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