March 2018 Print

President's Message

Hello!  With spring just around the corner, I feel this is the perfect time to talk about new beginnings.  March 1 was my 6-month anniversary as your President, and officially marks the beginning of the second half of my year leading this great organization.  Yes, I know that sounds kind of silly, but for many professional sports teams, the second half is the most important part of the game!  We accomplished a lot in the last six months, but there is still much work to be done, particularly in the area of member engagement.

What is “member engagement?”  Good question!  Engagement has become a bit of a buzzword for companies, non-profits, and member organizations like SMPS.  There are countless definitions for the word engagement, but think of it this way: If SMPS were a car, engagement would be the gasoline that fuels the car…and keeps us moving in the right direction.  For organizations like SMPS, members are our reason for being, so getting and keeping members truly engaged in the organization is critical to our survival.  As I’ve said before, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a strong Board of Directors who, along with our committee chairs, work tirelessly to keep SMPS Central PA moving forward and TRANSFORMING.  But we can’t do it alone – we need your help!

In the next week or so, you’ll be receiving a member survey from SMPS Central PA.  It’s a short survey of less than 20 questions about how you feel we’re doing as an organization.  Please take a few moments and complete the survey – we truly value your input and perspective!

After doing a quick Google search for “member engagement,” this was the best definition I found: Member engagement…is the investment of time, money, attention, and participation by both the association and its members, in order to provide meaningful, long-term, mutually beneficial experiences and relationships that advance the profession.  The leaders of this organization are committed to providing meaningful experiences for our members, but that is a two-way street.  We need you to invest your time and attention to make SMPS Central PA the best it can be!

Happy spring!


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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


Meet & Eat: Can Conferences Solve your Marketing Problems?

Conferences and trades shows are a tried and true marketing tactic. Most firms understand the investment they are making in attending these events, but not all firms maximize the event for current and future marketing endeavors.

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!



Higher Learning Paradigm Shift & the Effects on Capital Projects

Universities and colleges around the country are facing a myriad of diverse challenges as they look toward the future. Changes in traditional enrollment and student demographics, learning and teaching pedagogies, and affordability ripple through the highe

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Board News

SMPS Central PA is now accepting nominations for positions on the 2018-2019 Board of Directors.

SMPS Central PA is seeking motivated individuals interested in getting more involved in chapter leadership with the goal of advancing education, networking, and business development opportunities for members. Serving on the Board of Directors can help advance your career, bring visibility to your firm, and create valuable and lasting connections with people across the industry through collaborative relationships sustained through coordination and participation in chapter initiatives and events. Nominations may be made by individuals (self-nominations are allowed) or by petition. All Board members are required to participate in monthly Board meetings and are expected to conduct monthly meetings with their committees as necessary to successfully meet their respective goals. Please submit nominations by March 30 to SMPS Central PA President-Elect Cristina Barnes:

All nominees must:

  • Be a member of SMPS and affiliated with the Central PA Chapter
  • Have served on a committee or as a volunteer in the past year.  
  • Not hold a current directorship with SMPS Headquarters
  • Not have served as SMPS National President

Positions open to nominations for the term beginning September 1, 2018 include the following:PRESIDENT ELECT (one-year position followed by one year as President and one year as Past President)

The president-elect assists the president in overseeing the board and serves as an additional resource for all positions and committees. The president-elect also serves on the executive committee of the chapter, and stands ready to fill in for the president in their absence.

President Elect Tasks:

  • Attends all board meetings.

  • Initiates the process of assembling and electing the board for the next fiscal year.

  • Attends the SMPS Chapter Presidents’ Leadership Symposium (PLS) each spring.

  • Initiates planning for upcoming program year.

  • Supports the president, as needed in overseeing chapter activities.

TREASURER (two-year position)

The treasurer is primarily responsible for accurate and timely keeping and reporting of financial activities of the chapter. The treasurer also serves on the executive committee of the Chapter.

Treasurer Tasks:

  • Attend all program meetings.

  • Maintains knowledge of the organization and personal commitment to its goals and objectives.

  • Manages the board’s review of and action related to the board’s financial responsibilities.

  • Ensures that appropriate financial reports are made available to the board on a timely basis.

  • Presents the annual budget to the board for approval.

  • Reviews the annual audit and answer board members’ questions about the audit.

  • Prepares and ensures timely filings of IRS tax forms/reports.

  • Prepares and files the chapter financial report with SMPS Headquarters, due September 30.

DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE (one-year position / maximum two-year term)

The Director-at-Large develops and/or coordinates special events and projects, depending on the goals and initiatives of the current Board of Directors. He/She also assists other board members with projects, based on his/her own skills, interests, and the strategic needs of the chapter at the time. The Director-at-Large represents the interests of the membership and conducts projects and accepts duties as assigned by the President and the Board of Directors.

Director-at-Large Tasks:

  • Participates as a member of the Board of Directors, attending regular board meetings and special meetings as scheduled.
  • Provides advice and input to the Board of Directors and participates in important discussions.
  • Conducts projects to further the goals of the chapter, or to develop services for the membership.
  • Serves as chair of any ad hoc committee formed to develop projects or as chair of existing committees not represented by a Board position (i.e., Programs, Sponsorship).
  • Provides reports of projects to the Board and/or committee.
  • Assists as needed at programs and meetings.
  • Attends SMPS national conference, if able.


For more information on roles and committees, please visit:

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Welcome New Members

Chelsea Carl, Marketing Coordinator
Spotts, Stevens and McCoy

Dave Calnon, Account Manager


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Sponsor Spotlight of the Month


Structural Engineering Confidence

Providence Engineering, a building-focused structural engineering firm, provides structural design and drafting services for new construction and adaptive reuse building projects. For over 25 years, we have committed to providing constructible, affordable and timely solutions. This commitment has earned the trust of architects, owners and contractors throughout Pennsylvania and continues to provide our clients the confidence they need to pursue their vision.

In-House Expertise

At Providence Engineering, our success starts with our people. Our engineers and drafters are adept at blending engineering requirements with the aesthetic demands of bold building design. As such, we strive to maintain a workplace where this skilled team works directly with the client and is empowered to make immediate decisions for their project. We believe the direct involvement of our engineers, from conceptual planning through building design and construction administration, is a necessary ingredient in the pursuit of ambitious goals and ultimately leads to timely responses and on-time and on-budget project delivery.

Visit us at to learn more about Providence Engineering and to see how we can help you achieve your building-design goals.

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Help Wanted!

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MCA Awards

The 41st Annual Marketing Communications Awards (MCA) program is now open. Earn recognition for your marketing team! There are over 23 categories to choose from and the competition is now completely online: no more mailing in entries! Projects completed between January 2016 and January 2018 will be accepted for the 2018 competition.

LAST CALL! The final entry deadline is March 23. For details, visit

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 Shawn Barron,



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2018 SMPS NERC MERGE Conference



The Central PA Chapter is planning a happy hour on the first night of MERGE (Wednesday evening). If you are planning on attending the conference and would like to attend the happy hour, please notify Shawn Barron ( ASAP so we can add you to the reservation! 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 second Monday of each month, 1:30. 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 Programs Chair 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 2018-2019 Annual Sponsors!