CU Grow Adds New Marketing Resource for Program Participants

November 07, 2022

“Our new partnership and honorarium program, in collaboration with Columbia University Facilities and Operations, is indicative of our chapter’s ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Brian C. Ferry, Immediate Past President of SMPS-NY. “Having previously implemented discounted event admission prices and sponsorship perks over the last several years, this new initiative represents an opportunity to further engage typically underrepresented organizations, creating new opportunities for networking, growth, and continued education within the broader AEC industry.”

SMPS-NY identified Columbia University as a potential partner for the program due to their existing efforts to uplift previously underserved communities. The University’s CU Grow: Vendor Development Program is a multi-dimensional coaching program developed to assist minority, women, and locally owned (MWL) firms by expanding their existing portfolio of business and contracts with large clients. The partnership will create next-step involvement for CU Grow program graduates who pursue the scholarship, and provide additional touchpoints with post-graduate firms including the opportunities to attend and network at SMPS-NY meetings and having a past SMPS-NY president as a mentor for a year, resulting in a significant step in elevating the education and capability of underutilized businesses throughout the Tri-State area.

“By participating in SMPS NY, CU Grow alumni will have the opportunity to learn about marketing efforts of larger construction companies, join a network of built-environment marketing professionals, and be mentored on how to better market their own firms,” said Tanya Pope Assistant Vice President of Columbia University Supplier Diversity.

“Our Society has taken great strides in recognizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we’re proud to introduce this scholarship, in tandem with a globally recognized university at the chapter level,” said Nathan Reyna, current President of SMPS-NY. “SMPS-NY remains committed to amplifying the conversions and opportunities for our industry.”

Applications for the grant officially opened on October 18th, and will be accepted through Friday, November 18th. Five individual applicants will be selected from the application pool and will receive a complimentary year-long membership to SMPS-NY, in addition to an accelerated program that includes mentorship opportunities, committee appointment, workshops and more. Applications are now open to all certified M/WBE, SDVOB, and select LBE firms in Columbia's catchment area.

For more information on AccessAEC, including eligibility requirements and the application process, please click here.

You can find more information on SMPS-NY at

SMPS New York (SMPS-NY) is a dynamic, welcoming community where like-minded professionals share ideas, best practices, and business development opportunities. Serving the Greater New York City Metropolitan area, we host several dozen events each year, from networking opportunities and educational programs to client panels with key industry leaders. These enhance the corporate reputation and individual careers of our members and supporters. In addition, we have established affiliate committees in Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester Hudson Valley to provide additional support for our members. Visit for more information.

The CU Grow: Vendor Development Program is the core of a multi-dimensional approach to assisting minority-, women- and local-owned (MWL) vendors in the built environment to expand their existing business portfolio and contracts with large clients. Visit our website to learn more:

Media Contacts:
Natalie Dargham
Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

Matt Marin
Associate Communications Director
[email protected]