The Buzz

Meet Dana Birkes, CPSM | First Members of SMPS Utah

There are a lot of things we’ll remember about the year 2020. Dana Birkes should be one of them! This year, we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of SMPS Utah and Dana served as our first SMPS Utah President.

Dana’s service to SMPS began early. While she was living in Dallas, she belonged to the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. “My boss at RTKL was Laurin McCracken, one of the founders of SMPS,” she explains. “He served as national president one year that I worked for him—so I was pretty involved with the organization from the start of my career.”

She moved to Utah in 1988 and found work with Valentiner Architects (now VCBO Architecture). She met Stephanie Craft and Marianne Cook, who were members of SMPS National, but there was no local chapter. The three joined forces to start the Utah chapter. “We had some good programming and attendance from the very beginning,” recalls Dana. “I wrote an article on the organization that was printed in the local business journal. Stephanie and Marianne were very engaged and we got our membership numbers up pretty quickly.”

Dana moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1991, and owns AECorn Consulting where she helps design-build clients convert prospects to clients and opportunities to revenues. Over the years, she has continued her service to SMPS. She has served as national president of SMPS and the SMPS Foundation. She has been honored for her service, receiving the Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award, the SMPS Oklahoma Marketer Hall of Fame Award, and a prestigious PR Professional of the Year by the Public Relations Society.

SMPS continues to be a great asset to her successful career. “I’ve met so many wonderful, smart people that I admire—some of my longest friendships have come through my association with SMPS!” We’re honored to celebrate Dana as one of our own in Utah.


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