Board Member Blog: My SMPS Story

By Bonnie Temple, CPSM
President-Elect, SMPS Orange County Chapter
Marketing Specialist, Tetra Tech

Hi, I’m Bonnie Temple, President-Elect for our Orange County Chapter, and I’m delighted to share my SMPS story with you. My first job out of school was for an insurance company. I quickly learned that no one calls insurance companies for good news, and since I’m generally a very positive and happy person, I realized it was not the place for me. When I was interviewing for roles outside of the insurance industry, I found and was hired by A/E/C firm out of Amherst, New York. By A/E/C I mean they had all three - Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. What an exciting place to start in this industry!

I learned so much about the built industry—market segments—such as power, commercial and government buildings, transportation, other types of infrastructure, and some very unique entertainment projects for the private sector (confidential major theme parks)! Beyond the day-to-day work, I was fascinated by the worldview this industry gave me. I learned what makes up a building, a roadway, a power plant, a drainage ditch—I learned what riprap was! I’ll never forget the first time I saw that term and thought, “This has to be a typo!” So, I asked and learned what riprap was, and over my career, I kept asking and learning.

This intrigue and curiosity are still with me today! I found my calling in those first few years, and I found SMPS in 1995. By 1998 I became a member and by 2005 obtained the coveted CPSM. Over the years I moved to several states with family and was fortunate enough to have a local SMPS chapter nearby. I don’t know what I would have done without the people, education, programs, and networking events that the chapters hosted. I also can’t say enough about the mentors I was so fortunate to have. The organization and people helped me grow professionally much faster than if I stayed behind the monitor and safety of the office walls.

My SMPS career went from attendee to committee member to Chair and then Director and now, here I am, preparing to serve as President of the Orange County chapter! I was always encouraged to go beyond my comfort zone, to believe in myself. I discovered that every time I did, something wonderful happened. Last year, I took a leap of faith to trust my abilities and apply for the path of Presidency.  Currently, in the first year of this three-year commitment, I am so excited to lead this impressive group of people.

Thanks to the many people reading this who made a huge difference in my professional life. It is because of you that my core goal for the coming term is to give back what has so graciously been given to me—to share our collective experiences and knowledge, to provide support and encouragement, to connect people to what and who they need to know to be the best they ever imagined.

To say I am grateful for SMPS is an understatement. It is much more than an organization; it’s a family to me. We go through the good and bad times together, we support one another, and sometimes we even kick each other out of the comfortable nest we’re in for the sake of growth and discovery. Although there is much uncertainty in the world today the vision of SMPS will continue through our efforts and determination! I look forward to leading us through these challenges as we look to the future. 

The SMPS vision is Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership – learn more at or