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Q&A With Senior Marketing Proposal Specialist, Jeanette Scarsdale

by Kat Phelps, Marketing Manager

Jeanette Scarsdale serves as the Senior Marketing Proposal Specialist for DBR and joined the firm in 2012. A graduate of Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, Jeanette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. In her role on the Marketing team, she primarily focuses on all stages of the Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) process while supporting the firm’s Marketing and Business Development strategic initiatives. Jeanette is on her third year of serving as a member of the Communications Committee for SMPS San Antonio and is responsible for the chapter’s monthly newsletter and assisting with external communication efforts.

When Jeanette is not hard at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Allen, snuggling her dog Basil, doing science and art projects with her 4-year-old niece, reading, planning future trips, and adding to her brass collection.

Jeanette’s dedication, positive attitude, and commitment make her a valued leader at DBR.

Q&A with Jeanette:

Q: How has your role in Marketing developed and how do you manage to work with multiple deadlines on a regular basis?

A: My role has changed and developed so much since I started in 2012. I was initially a Marketing Assistant and had a hand in several different marketing tasks, but over the past five or so years I found my niche in proposals and qualifications and focus on that tremendously. In my role, I manage all the RFQ efforts for DBR’s six offices. We’re always working on multiple qualifications packages at a time and have short notice requests come up regularly. It can sometimes be a struggle to manage the deadlines and different items that are needed for each request. I’m an organized person by nature and try my best to plan out when I’m working on the materials, when I need to have drafts, when I’m finalizing, and so on. We also have another Proposal Specialist on our team, Sara Krezinski, she’s my right hand and goes above and beyond to put packages together. We’re also lucky to have an incredible Graphic Designer, Kat Phelps, who is extremely creative and brings our ideas to life. It’s definitely a team effort.

Q: Describe your approach to proposal writing and how your strategy has adjusted with the current business climate.

A: I’m not an engineer, so this can also be a struggle as a non-technical person in the AEC industry. My approach is to try to understand exactly what the client is asking for. I believe that at the most basic level, an RFQ comes from an issue or problem that needs to be solved. When I’m putting our materials together, I’m trying to show that we understand their need and explain how DBR can create a solution. I also rely on our engineers and technical staff to provide their perspectives and input. They’re our experts so I reach out to them frequently, which is also a great tool for me as I continue learning about the technical aspects of engineering.

Q: What have you found yourself focusing on most during the last few months given the current industry challenges?

A: Over the last several months we’ve responded to several K-12 RFQs to improve indoor air quality. These projects are being funded through the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) grant to help schools respond to COVID-19. While I wish the circumstances around these projects were different, it’s made me happy to know that DBR can play a part in reducing virus transmission for students and teachers. We have also seen an increase in non-public projects, such as commercial developers, private schools, and religious organizations requesting qualifications along with fee proposals to make their project team selections. In the past, non-public entities seemed to primarily request fees and use price to make their selections, so it’s been exciting to see that shift and know that our experience and qualifications are also being taken into consideration.

Q: What do you see as key opportunities for DBR in the next 5 years?

A: DBR is always striving to grow and improve and over the next 5 years I know we’ll be working towards fine-tuning our Business Development and Marketing efforts so that our market sectors, including industrial, multifamily, and commercial offices, can continue to expand. We’ve also made significant efforts towards sustainability and have made it a goal for all projects to be designed Net Zero Ready, where they’ll produce about as much energy as they consume. I think people will continue to greatly value renewable energy over the next several years.