April 2018 Newsletter - SMPS Central PA Print

President's Message

Hello!  Happy Spring!

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the SMPS Foundation. For those of you not familiar with the SMPS Foundation, it is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established by SMPS in 1992 to promote research and education that advances the body of knowledge in the field of professional services marketing. The Foundation develops a greater understanding of the role and value of marketing and business development in the A/E/C industry. The Foundation identifies topics for research projects, raises money to fund the research projects, hires third-party organizations to conduct the research, and performs outreach to key stakeholders such as SMPS chapters, member firms, partner organizations, and media outlets to create awareness of the Foundation’s research efforts.

The SMPS Foundation is currently working on a project focused on: Understanding the Neuroscience Behind Client Decision-Making and How It Can Be Applied to Marketing and Business Development. They just hired a researcher to work on this project, and the results will be shared at the Build Business conference. More details will be shared about this in the coming months. In the meantime, the Foundation is challenging every chapter to make a contribution to its research efforts via the Chapter Challenge. All chapters that make a contribution will be recognized at Build Business and on the SMPS Foundation website. The SMPS Central PA chapter will participate in the Chapter Challenge by making a $250 donation. We encourage you to participate as well by making a personal contribution. To donate online, please visit the SMPS Foundation webpage: Or you can donate via text message, directly from your phone. Simply text “Give 25” (to give $25 – but you can enter any amount) to 703-991-6181 and follow the prompts. Every gift makes a difference in the Foundation’s research efforts!

The Foundation is committed to delivering top notch research to help you  your businesses through marketing leadership. Thank you for your support!


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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


SPEAKERS CONFIRMED!! 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.



Spring Networking Event

Last year was such a hit, we're doing it again! Join the Central PA area chapters of your favorite organizations for a spring networking night at Cafe 1500.



Meet the Press: Building Strong Media Relationships

SMPS Central PA, Keystone Contractors Association, and Public Relations Society of America Central PA are joining forces to bring you an inside perspective on getting your news published. Join your peers on May 2 to hear a panel of media professionals.

Register Now

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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 April 23 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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Member Spotlight

Name:Rick Elyar
Title: Business Manager – Food & Beverage Design/Build
Firm: Hansen-Rice, Inc.
# of years in the A/E/C industry: 23 years
Role with Central PA SMPS: member

  1. How long have you been a member of SMPS? 1 year
  2. Why did you become a member?  I was looking for ideas and strategies that could enhance the effectiveness of my presentations and networking skills.
  3. Who, if anyone, invited you to your first meeting? A few years ago, I first attended a couple seminars the Maryland chapter was hosting while working with an A&E firm in Owings Mills. I saw immediate value in the collaborative approach SMPS was promoting and kept saying I need to join this organization and engage with peers who represent many different A/E/C industries.
  4. Do you have a mentor or guide (or have you had one in the past)?I’m a sales guy at heart, always have been. I once had a sales manager that taught me it’s not how successful your product is, or in our case, how successful our firm is that makes people want to buy from you, it’s all the little things that you do consistently well over time that will allow them to see value beyond the cost of the services or product you are offering. Clients notice the little things we do well (and not so well) along the way.
  5. What quality does that person possess that you wish you did?Time management without a doubt.
  6. What is your favorite SMPS memory?  It is likely going to be inspiring our chapter members and sponsors to engage in our Chapter’s upcoming reef project and being able to show them that no matter where we live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, we can all make an impact on restoration.
  7. Of the other regular educational/networking events you attend, which would you recommend to SMPS members? All of the events have value for growing our skill sets, but I would recommend that members learn from others in SMPS how to embrace the concept of sharing information and growing into more of a thought leadership role within your industry to bring more value to your clients.
  8. What is one thing that everybody knows you for? My passion for fishing and how that motivated me to support restoration efforts for our Chesapeake Bay.
  9. What is one thing that might surprise people to know about you?I really enjoy being in the classroom teaching kids. I’m most proud of having created a STEM educational initiative in the Maryland public school systems where students continue to learn about the need for restoring our Chesapeake Bay by building these concrete reef balls each year in their classrooms.
  10. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  If I could change one thing, it would have to be learning to say “No” to certain things that over commit my available time.
  11. What did you study in college?  International Politics
  12. What would you study in college now?  Construction Engineering
  13. What are your hobbies & interests outside of the office and SMPS? Fishing and Camping
  14. What is the one movie you have to watch if you run across it on your TV? For me it’s not a movie, it’s the slew of fishing shows I DVR; many of which I watch over and over again. Many times, I’ll just have them on in the background while doing something else.
  15. Do you have any advice, secrets to success or guiding thoughts?  Develop an open-minded approach that allows you to embrace other people’s creative ideas and leadership so that you are better positioned to tackle whatever opportunities are in front of you.

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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 Shawn Barron,



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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, first Monday of each month, 1:30 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!