June 2018 Newsletter - SMPS Central PA Print

President's Message

When I was at the gym last week, I saw a sign on the wall that’s probably been there for years.  And yet I never stopped to take the time to read it.  The sign says: “It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you implement that effort into your life…every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs. Keep going. Remember why you started.”  I thought about it for a few seconds, then quickly moved on.  However, about 15 minutes later, while running on the treadmill, the quote popped up in my head again, and I really started to give it some thought.  We all try, at various times in our lives, to make changes, to transform.  But our progress is often hindered by our desire to have everything just so, everything perfect.  We all know that’s practically impossible, yet we still allow our high standards and expectations to get in the way of true change.  Don’t get me wrong, high standards are a good thing!  But we need to find a balance, or we’ll get stuck…and eventually give up.  Nothing is perfect!

I took a photo of the sign because it relates to my life in so many ways, including my role as President of SMPS Central PA.  You may recall our theme of ‘TRANSFORM’ this year.  I am proud of the progress we’ve made to transform our chapter, and yet we’re not perfect.  We’ve made mistakes along the way, and gotten a little off track at times.  But if you believe what the quote says, it’s all about effort.  And we’ve had plenty of that!  I truly appreciate all the effort being made to give our members a better SMPS experience, but we can’t stop now.  We have some momentum and we need to keep going.  Things will slow down a bit this summer, but come fall, get ready to continue the transformation!


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SMPS Reef Build

SMPS Central PA hosted its first reef ball build and networking event constructing concrete reef balls for deployment into the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at the Susquehanna Heritage Columbia Crossing River Trails Center in Columbia, PA. The sold-out event had 19 teams, with nearly 100 volunteers participating.

This impactful oyster restoration project was designed to help transform the Chesapeake Bay into a clean water, oyster-friendly habitat. With water filtering capabilities of almost 50 gallons per day per oyster, restoring oyster populations improve water quality and transform bay floors into thriving marine ecosystems.





Following the reef ball build portion of the event, SMPS Central PA hosted a crab/oyster networking social. The reef balls were "hatched" the following morning and successfully transported to Maryland on Saturday.

SMPS Central PA would like to thank all of those who participated, especially our sponsors for making this event successful!

RGS Associates
Kinsley Construction
CCS Building Group
JDB Engineering, Inc.
Warfel Construction
Turkey Hill


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Upcoming Events

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!


Take It From The Top: Past Presidents Edition

It’s not every day that at least five past presidents are in the room. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet, engage, and learn from your most experienced SMPS colleagues!

Register Now


A/E/C Golfing "Fore" Business 4-Person Scramble to benefit Children's Home of York

SMPS Central PA, in conjunction with this year's premier sponsor, Stewart & Tate Construction, present our 5th annual Golfing Fore Business 4-person scramble. A portion of proceeds will benefit Children's Home of York (CHoY).

Register Now



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Sponsor Spotlight of the Month


Stahl Sheaffer Engineering, LLC (Stahl Sheaffer) provides multi-discipline civil engineering services from ten locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, including a geotech lab in southwestern PA. Services include transportation and traffic engineering, building structural design and rehabilitation, construction inspection, survey and reality capture, land development, geotechnical engineering, and environmental services.

Staff additions and new locations, as well as ongoing investments in technology including LiDAR and aerial scanning, have enabled us to expand our geographic reach and response times as well as provide more comprehensive solutions for our clients. Markets include transportation, higher education, municipal, private development, and oil and gas.

Stahl Sheaffer is one of Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms! Published annually in April, this list ranks the 500 largest ?U.S.-based designs firms based on design-specific revenue.


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Member Spotlight

Name: Ann Mark
Title: Business Development Coordinator
Firm: McMahon Associates
# of years in the A/E/C industry: 12
Role with Central PA SMPS: member, Incoming President-Elect

  1. How long have you been a member of SMPS? 2 years
  2. Why did you become a member?  I had been attending SMPS events once or twice a year for several years and my firm encouraged me to become a member and to get more involved.
  3. Do you have a mentor or guide (or have you had one in the past)? My mentor was Chick Babcock of CCJM. He offered me my first position in the industry and has taught me a lot of what I know. He introduced me to a lot of great people and has always encouraged me to grow in my career.
  4. What quality does that person possess that you wish you did? He can carry on a conversation with anyone.
  5. What is your favorite SMPS memory? I really enjoyed the golf outing last fall. I won a case of Eagles Bud Light. My husband drank one every 3rd quarter of the Eagles games last season and they went on to win the Super Bowl. Coincidence??? I think not! Hoping I win it again this year!
  6. Of the other regular educational/networking events you attend, which would you recommend to SMPS members? I enjoy the networking events, but the Meet and Eat’s are always informative and provide valuable insight as well. Outside of SMPS, I have enjoyed my involvement with ACEC.
  7. What is one thing that everybody knows you for? I grew up in Cincinnati and am a fan of all things Cincinnati – Reds, Bengals, UC Bearcats, Skyline Chili, Graeter’s ice cream, I could go on and on.
  8. What is one thing that might surprise people to know about you? My degree is in Nutrition & Dietetics and I was a nutrition counselor for several years.
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  I’m very non-confrontational. Sometimes I wish I would stand up for myself a little more.
  10. What did you study in college?  Oops! Already gave that away – Nutrition & Dietetics.
  11. What would you study in college now?  I always wanted to go to culinary arts school. My parents encouraged me to get a college degree first, so I studied dietetics. I never went on to culinary school but think I would love it.
  12. What are your hobbies & interests outside of the office and SMPS? I enjoy group fitness classes – Zumba, Spin, HIIT. I love the beach and laying out by the pool. I also enjoy watching sports – professional and collegiate, but especially my sons’ baseball and basketball games.
  13. What is the one movie you have to watch if you run across it on your TV? I prefer to fall asleep on the couch while my husband watches movies.
  14. Do you have any advice, secrets to success or guiding thoughts?  Stick to your priorities. For me, my family is my priority and I have been fortunate enough to work for firms that have allowed me to find family/work balance on my terms and still be successful in my career.

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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 48 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!