January 2018 Print

President's Message

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  (It's only the second week of January – I can still say that, right?)

Have you made any resolutions for 2018? Or maybe I should ask if you’ve broken any! I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions. But I do think the new year is a good opportunity to assess some things in my life. I tend put things in "buckets," so that's usually where I start. What do I want to change about my family life? What kind of changes should I make in my professional/work life? How about my social life? (Can I squeeze in a little more time for that?) But then I stop and think to myself, "Where does my volunteer life fall?" Is that a whole other bucket of its own, or part of another? I guess you could argue that SMPS is part of my professional/work life bucket. And yet it's optional, whereas having a job is not! So how much I put into it is really up to me. That's why it's called volunteering, right?

I am honored to serve as President of SMPS Central PA, and I hope you feel I'm doing a good job. Of course there's always room for improvement, so one of my commitments for 2018 (dare I say resolutions?) is to step it up a notch, and find new and exciting ways to TRANSFORM. this chapter. But I can't do it alone. I have an awesome Board of Directors and four great committee chairs, but we need more help to truly make a difference. As you ponder your own New Year's resolutions, please ask yourself what more you can do to support and grow our chapter. Can you help us plan a program? Maybe reach out to your network and recruit a new member, or solicit a sponsor? How about writing an article for our newsletter? Can you coordinate a charity event? Trust me – it’s a lot of fun when you get involved!

You know the old saying: The more you put in, the more you get out. Well, whoever said that is exactly right. I am living proof of that. The more I give our chapter, the more I receive!

Come on! Help us TRANSFORM. SMPS Central PA!




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Upcoming Events

We have a lot of exciting events coming up this year and we hope to see you there! Click on the hyperlink for registration details and visit our website often for updates!


Upcoming Events


Help us TRANSFORM lives in the New Year!

While everyone else is busily preparing for the upcoming holidays, SMPS Central PA is already looking toward the New Year!

Register Now


Don't miss SMPS CPA / AIA PA Joint Event! 1 LU Credit - January 24th in Harrisburg!

Risk Management for A/E/C Marketing Professionals: Lessons Learned from bidding and proposals.

Register Now


SMPS NorthEast Regional Conference 2018

Get excited to MERGE in Baltimore, Maryland, a city that is undergoing an exciting transformation of its own!

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Welcome New Members

Brett Smith, Marketing Manager
Providence Engineering

Francine Carb, President & CEO
Markitects, Inc.

Francine is the Founder, President & CEO of Markitects, Inc., a strategic marketing communications, research, branding and public relations agency serving technology, engineering, and life sciences/healthcare clients around the globe. Markitects’ specialties include brand development and launching complex innovative products and services worldwide. Through Francine’s unique Markitecture™ strategic marketing and assessment process, Markitects has been a catalyst for growth and realignment, allowing companies to successfully differentiate themselves and capitalize on new business opportunities. Markitects has served over 250 companies and organizations since its inception.

In her role as CEO, Francine facilitates strategic ideation workshops, gives creative director for brand and digital brand development, writes technical and business articles and blogs, develops inbound marketing campaigns, develops market research programs, interfaces with industry and business analysts, develops fund raising presentations, trains sales teams, mentor, and executive coach.


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Sponsor Spotlight of the Month

Founded in 1969, RETTEW began as a small, local firm; today, we have a national presence and employ more than 350 professionals across 11 offices. Our long list of technical expertise includes civil, transportation, environmental, and structural engineering; site planning and design; surveying; safety consulting; subsurface utility engineering; and design-build services. Spanning so many disciplines allows us to connect all the dots, to see how every piece of a project affects the other. RETTEW brings our clients’ goals and dreams to life on time and on budget, with an emphasis on quality and safety. We strive to understand our client’s vision for their project, and we anticipate needs to stay ahead of emerging trends. Our innovative approach means discovering solutions that may not have been thought of before — and finding more effective, efficient ways to put them into action.

RETTEW has continued to evolve year after year, embracing changing trends and adding new services to meet client needs. This commitment to growth has landed us on Engineering News-Record’s annual list of the Top 500 Design Firms almost every year since 2000. Other accolades, such as the Quality Achievement Award and the Quest for Business Excellence Award, affirmed our quality work and gave us confidence to continually expand our expertise year after year, while keeping our focus on what we do best: supporting our communities. RETTEW’s corporate culture provides a warm and welcoming work environment where employees can thrive, grow, and make a difference in their company and community. This positive atmosphere — and commitment to safety and excellence — contributes to our success in the field.

RETTEW was recently named a winner of the Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence at the 2017 Pennsylvania Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Conference. The award recognizes companies for their achievement of the highest standards in workplace safety.

Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, W. Gerard Oleksiak, presented the award to Luke Lazar, Safety Director, and Paul O’Donnell, Senior Health and Safety Consultant, both of RETTEW. “We are extremely honored to receive this award,” Lazar said, “Every employee has made a concerted effort to focus on and improve our safety practices, and we’re grateful the state has recognized RETTEW’s commitment.”

The awards program judges analyze safety standards such as workplace injuries and illnesses against industry averages, as well as reviewing safety program innovations and strategic policy development. The application process is highly competitive, and judging includes the awards submission as well as a site visit and presentation.

In developing its internal safety program, RETTEW earned a Pennsylvania Department of Labor certification for its Safety Committee, instituted a Safety One-Call Number, designed and implemented a Hazard Identification process, and reduced overall recordable injuries. For each achievement, staff feedback was continually incorporated to streamline procedures, and employee engagement in the safety program skyrocketed. Employee involvement in the program has been a hallmark of success.

“Safety is one of our core values, and workplace safety is a crucial element in our business,” said Mark Lauriello, RETTEW President and CEO. “We keep our focus on tasks large and small, and bring the same safety commitment to every client and project.”

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Committee Spotlight

Do you like to get out of the office to meet new people? Do you want the potential to meet new contacts in different companies? If so, the Membership Committee needs your help. We are focused on the recruitment and retention of members for Central PA.

Some of our efforts include:

  • Reaching out to non-members to tell them about SMPS
  • Bring and introduce guests at meetings
  • Following-up with members who have been absent
  • Helping to organize a recruitment campaign
  • Being a Mentor to those new to the industry or SMPS

We are open to new ideas to keep our group growing and moving forward. We typically meet by conference call once a month and/or communicate through emails.

If you are interested in becoming part of the Membership Committee, please contact Membership Chair, Heather Sweitzer, CPSM, at


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MCA Awards

New for 2018: The competition is COMPLETELY online! No folder, postage, or mailing of entries.

Also new for this year, for the first time ever, SMPS will recognize the chapter with the most winning entries from the 2018 MCA competition. An award will be presented to chapters based on their membership size (small, medium, large, and extra-large). One chapter from each size category may be recognized during the SMPS Evening of Excellence on August 16, 2018.

For more information, please visit or click on the image above.

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Help Wanted!

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The SMPS Central Pennsylvania Chapter is pleased to announce a new way to promote your business and support our chapter! Our new program sponsorship levels allow you to choose your level of support for whatever program you wish:

Your commitment as a Program Sponsor will help ensure we offer our member firms, and the broader A/E/C community, the valuable business development, networking, and educational opportunities throughout the year to help them TRANSFORM their business. Please consider promoting your firm and supporting SMPS Central PA! 

For information about how to become a program sponsor, please contact Matt Bachert, Sponsorship Chair, at



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2018 SMPS NERC MERGE Conference



The Central PA Chapter is planning a happy hour at MERGE. If you are planning on attending the conference and would like to attend the happy hour, please notify Melissa Yost ( so we can add you to the communications email list! We look forward to seeing you there!



MERGE brings together innovative thinkers from across multiple industries, geographies, and SMPS chapters to discuss the ongoing transformation of A/E/C marketing.

MERGE is the theme of the 2018 SMPS Northeast Regional Conference, a yearly event supported by SMPS chapters in Boston, Central Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Northern New England, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Upstate New York.

Visit for more information on the conference.

Visit the MERGE page on our website to stay up-to-date on Chapter-related information!


March 21–23, 2018
Four Seasons Harbor East
Baltimore, MD

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SMPS Central PA DVD Library

Attention CPSMers!

All those late nights reading the Marketing Handbook/MARKENDIUM and taking sample exams before work have paid off. You passed the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) exam and added those coveted CPSM initials after your name on your business cards and email tagline. Yippee! You are set for three years until you have to renew the certification. Three years to earn 50 continuing education unit (CEU) credits to maintain that CPSM status. Piece of cake, right?

But, it is amazing how fast those three years fly by. Even if you attend many of the SMPS Central PA educational events, you typically only earn one CEU credit per event. So, what is that, maybe 10 CEU credits a year? You could go to an SMPS regional or national conference and earn CEUs. Sure, that helps. But attending the national SMPS Build Business conference only earns you 10-12 CEUs.

We have a solution to your 50 CEU credits dilemma. Earn CEUs by watching the DVDs in our DVD Library. All you have to do is watch one of the DVDs, have a third party (your boss or subordinate) verify that you watched the DVD, and then forward the CEU form that comes with each DVD to SMPS National for credit. Each DVD in our collection earns you 1.5 CEUs. So, make this the summer of CEUs and start earning now! To borrow a DVD, just email Available titles include:

  1. The Art & Science of Proposal Leadership

  2. Become a Creative Superhero: How to Boost Your Creativity

  3. Beyond Proposals: Marketing Practices that Pay Off in a Down Market

  4. Beyond Strategic Planning: Competitive Strategies to Build

  5. Capitalizing on Referrals in Your Marketing Plan

  6. A Dozen Surefire Tips to Keep Your Audience from Tuning You Out

  7. The Introvert’s Secret to Networking

  8. It Takes a Village: Building Collaboration on Project Data Management

  9. Leveraging Client Needs in Marketing Sustainable Design

  10. Leveraging Your Skills: Building Value for Your Firm (and Your Career) Beyond the Marketing Role

  11. Making the Cut! A Key to Understanding the Unspoken Requirements of an RFP

  12. Marketing Research – What Does Your Competition Know that You Don’t?

  13. Mastering the Hidden Web: Uncovering Valuable Data about Clients and Competitors Us

  14. Natural Networking: 10 Tips to Increase Your Face-to-Face Mojo (Excellent for Introverts, Shrinking Violets, Geeks, and Shy Guys) Us

  15. Pitch to Win: A Complete Approach to Pursuing Business, Making the Shortlist, and Winning When Opportunities are Scarce

  16. Project Staff Getting Repeat Work

  17. Relationship-Based Business Development

  18. RFPs Suck! How to Develop Winning Proposal Strategies

  19. Selling Has Nothing to Do with Selling

  20. Strategizing Winning Proposals from Value Proposition to Differentiation – on Deadline s

  21. Using the Web to Brand Your Firm: Client and Consultant Recount a Major Website Overhaul

  22. Win Federal Contracts in an Uncertain Economy: SF330 Form Secrets to Getting Shortlisted

  23. Winning Strategies for Powerful Project Interviews, Q&A Sessions, and Owner Debriefings

  24. How to Write a Winning Proposal for Government

Consider gathering a group to watch the DVDs, as they serve as excellent professional development and skill building resources for all marketing professionals.


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Committee Schedules

Want to get involved with our chapter? Whether you are a new member or have been one of our treasured members for years, we welcome anyone and everyone that would like to help out in our chapter in some way! Not sure where you would like to assist? Attend one (or all!) of the committee meetings and see where you might be able to put your skills to use! We are now posting our committee meeting schedules on our website under the About Us>Committees and Chairs section, found here. If you would like more information, contact any of the committee chairs. Their information can also be found on the Committees and Chairs page.

Current Committee Meeting Schedule

Membership Committee: Conference call on the last Monday of each month, 2:00. For conference call information, please contact Membership Chair Heather Sweitzer,

Programs Committee Meeting: Beginning in October, the Programs Committee will meet directly following the board meetings. Please contact Programs Chair Cristina Barnes,

Communications Committee: Conference call, second Monday of each month, 2:00 pm. For information, please contact Communications Chair Melissa Yost,

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Career Advice

A/E/C Online Learning

Focused exclusively on marketing and business development for the A/E/C industry, MARKENDIUM: ONLINE LEARNING CENTER brings you the best of both worlds: e-learning and professional development.

The current catalog features a variety of courses, from content marketing and client-building to return on investment (ROI) and social media. When you participate, you can even earn SMPS CEUs, AIA LUs, and PDHs.

Consider sharing the course catalog with your bosses and telling them you have access to this training, because of their support of your SMPS membership. Another idea? Consider hosting a brownbag with your office and leading a follow-up discussion. If you have other ideas for taking advantage of the ONLINE LEARNING CENTER offering, be sure and share them with the rest of us!

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Expert Advice

The SMPS Central PA Chapter’s Board and Committee Chairs are always striving to improve and provide our members with more value through targeted, relevant programs and the latest industry information. One idea that we had was to ask you for your BIG IDEAS – what could we start to do or do better? What industry trend or challenge would you like us to explore? Could we communicate with you better or add a new section to this newsletter? No BIG IDEA is too small…the collective knowledge and creativity of our Chapter is truly tremendous, and we want to hear from you. So come on, share your BIG IDEAS with us. Send your BIG IDEAS to

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Cancellation/Refund Policy

We kindly ask that you adhere to our cancellation/refund policy to help us avoid unnecessary costs due to program no-shows. Even if a program is free, there are still costs involved with refreshments that we provide to attendees. The policy, which can be found under each program description on our website, states that cancellations made 24 hours prior to the event will be fully refunded. All other cancellations or no-shows will be invoiced for the full cost of the event.

Photos are frequently taken at our chapter events. The SMPS Central PA Chapter has the right to use photos from our events for any purpose, including but not limited to use in publications, on social media, in the newsletter, promotional materials, on the website. 

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Thank you to our 2018-2019 Annual Sponsors!