Katie Smith

Proposals, Process Systems and Solutions

Describe a typical day

Does a typical day really exist? My schedule depends entirely on what opportunities we’re currently pursuing. As part of the Process Systems and Solutions Business Unit, I am involved in all aspects of proposal management, technical writing, business development, and sales support activities. As the Local Business Partner for Western Canada, we work closely with our Principal company, Emerson Process Management. Typically, I work with Application Engineers, Solutions Architects and the Account Management team to deliver competitive and strategic proposal responses to our customers’ needs. Right now, we’re focused on a number of continuous improvement initiatives that keep me busy including template and tool development and re-design as well as improving processes and procedures.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

The best part about working at Spartan Controls is the people, hands down. I work with incredibly intelligent, collaborative and friendly people; coming to work every day is a blast. In my immediate team, I am the only woman, so I like to think that I bring a nice balance to the group dynamic. The other thing that makes Spartan a great place to work is the corporate culture. Spartan has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies since 2001. As a private company, Spartan views its employees as ‘owners’, and encourages an entrepreneurial mindset. In my time at Spartan, they have been very supportive of my community involvement.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

My proudest accomplishment professionally has been being offered the opportunity to travel internationally for business, opening my eyes to how business is conducted on a global scale. Outside of work, I have a passion for community-building, communications and professional development. Through my involvement on the Operations team with YWE and on the Board of Directors with IABC Calgary, I am proud of how I have been able to help build communities of like-minded professionals who share the same passions.

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

The future of the Energy industry will be directly impacted by technological advancement and innovation. The companies that Spartan represents have invested millions of dollars in research and development to engineer best-in-class products. The field of Automation and Instrumentation will see a continued focus on efficient, cost conscious solutions that we will deliver by leveraging new technology and ideas including wireless, process optimization and maintenance and reliability planning. A strong understanding of customer needs will be crucial and our business development cycle will focus on communicating our value as a trusted advisor to our customers.

Current community involvement efforts.
I’m currently the External Relations and Communications Committee Lead for Young Women in Energy and the Co-Director of Professional Development/Events for the Calgary Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).  I'm also participating as a Mentor in the Chic Geek Mentorship Program.  
Why YWE?

YWE is where my personal and professional life can blend. I have met so many driven, ambitious and like-minded women through this network that it only motivates me to work that much harder towards my own goals. Being part of building this community has been extremely fulfilling. I can’t wait for all the initiatives we have in store for 2015!

What are you reading?

I’m currently reading ‘Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It’ by Peggy Klaus as it’s the book for our next YWE Book Club on March 19th. I’ve also just started the ‘Power of No’ by James Altucher, because if you know me – I need help in this area.