February 2018 Print

President's Message

Hello, and welcome to February!  Do you have cabin fever yet?  Are you counting down the days until spring?  Would you like to hop on a plane to somewhere (anywhere!) warm?  Every year I say to myself, “How can February be the shortest month of the year when it seems to drag on forever?”  Well, all I can say is hang in there – we’ll get through this together!  We just need to think positive thoughts and focus on the good things about February – like Valentine’s Day!

No, I’m not going to get all sappy and talk about red roses and chocolate candies for your sweetheart.  But in keeping with the theme of love, I thought I’d pose two questions: Do you do what you love, or do you love what you do?  Let that sink in for a moment, and then read the question again.  Do you do what you love, or love what you do?  They may sound like the same question, but there is a difference.  Doing what you love is all about finding a career that fills you with passion.  It’s like the quote from Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Easier said than done, right?!  We all have dream jobs – astronaut, photographer, zoologist – but are they realistic?  Probably not.  Doing what you love (i.e., finding a career that fulfills a need) is not easy.  But loving what you do, well that’s a different story.  With a little bit of work, and a shift in attitude, loving what you do is probably much more realistic.

How can we, as marketers, love what we do?  Research shows that great work is produced when people focus on doing something others love. Its starts with asking the question, “What difference can I make that other people will love?”  If we focus on making a difference that someone else would love, rather than the actual work we’re performing, loving what we do will come much easier.  Think about a big proposal you just worked on.  You probably experienced things like poor communication, missed deadlines, and last-minute changes.  When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see why loving what you do can be a challenge.  But if you stop and think about how your work on this proposal impacts others – your coworkers, your teaming partners, and even your clients – you’ll start to think about the value you bring in a new and different way.

Loving your job is one thing—the activities and responsibilities you have on a day-to day basis.  But loving the impact your job has on someone else is another.  TRANSFORM your thinking!

Shawn M. Barron
President, 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


CPSM Test Prep Program - Kickoff Meeting

Join us for a kickoff meeting to prepare for the 2018 CPSM Test Prep Program.

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

Todd Stager, Associate Vice President

Brett Smith, Marketing Manager
Providence Engineering  

Brett is the Marketing Manager with Providence Engineering and a past member of SMPS Colorado. Brett has worked in the A/E/C industry since 2013, and currently works with the Engineers and Business Development team at Providence to develop brand strategy. Brett is a 2006 graduate of Penn State University. He is excited to be back in Pennsylvania and looks forward to being active in the SMPS Central PA chapter.

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Sponsor Spotlight of the Month

Multi-Discipline Civil/Structural Engineering

Stahl Sheaffer Engineering (Stahl Sheaffer) provides multi-discipline civil and structural engineering services, including building structural design and forensics, bridge design and NBIS inspection, transportation and traffic engineering, land development, survey, and construction inspection and administration.

Expanded Staff Capabilities

In the last year, Stahl Sheaffer has grown from 100 to more than 150 employees located in nine locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. We offer specialized services to augment these disciplines, including GIS experts, a licensed drone operator, and a geotechnical lab. We have individuals with the following licenses or certifications: Professional Engineer (P.E.), LEED AP, Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE), sUAS Pilot, Professional Land Surveyor (PLS), Certified Bridge Safety Inspector (CBSI), Nationally Certified Tunnel Inspector (NCTI), Revit Structure Certified Professional, Confined Space Entry Certification, Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS), environmental scientists, and all PennDOT inspection certifications.  

Ongoing Investments in Technology

In addition to staff investments, we have acquired more technology tools to support our clients’ projects, including a mid-sized drone and a fourth laser scanning system, the Leica Pegasus:Two. This DOT-approved system is survey grade with an extremely high resolution and operating rate, allowing us to collect much more detailed data and perform more long range/high end mapping projects such as interstate corridor mapping and state highway survey contracts. Stahl Sheaffer has scanned thousands of miles of roads in eight states, as well as university campus facilities.

Visit our website to find out more about these services and the projects we have completed for public agencies, higher education, oil and gas, hospitality, senior living, and other market sectors:



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Help Wanted!

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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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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: The Programs Committee will meet directly following the board meetings. For more information, please contact Brooke Wenger at

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 2016-2017 Annual Sponsors!