April 2017 Print

President's Message

Being President for the SMPS Central PA Chapter has been one of my most rewarding experiences. Not only have I been able to attend so many great programs that our members have put together and the professional development opportunities that has been offered, but the relationships that I was able to build upon has been amazing. And I’m not talking about just for business. The friendships that I’ve made are most memorable. I truly appreciate everybody that has volunteered at one time or another for our chapter. And it has been an honor to be this year’s Chapter President.

We’re more than half way through this year’s programs and I promise that it’s only to get better. We have many more exciting things coming so keep your eye on our emails and website!! We’re finishing up with a bang!

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Call to Action!

Your SMPS Central PA Board of Directors and Committee Members work hard to provide resources, programs, and opportunities to help you advance your career in the A/E/C industry. We value your input and regularly look to our members for help!

We are currently looking for volunteers for the 2017-2018 SMPS Central PA program year to serve on a committee, be a committee chair, or serve as an officer on the Board of Directors. If you want to develop and practice your leadership skills, this is the opportunity for you! We are looking to fill the following positions:

  • President-Elect

  • Treasurer

  • Director-at Large

  • Committee Chairs and Members

Check out our website under About Us for the position descriptions. If you are interested or have any questions regarding the position, please feel free to contact our current President-Elect, Shawn Barron, at sbarron@rettew.com by the end of April!

In addition to the above positions, we are currently for a Registration Coordinator. This position allows you to attend every event and helps us ensure our registration process runs smoothly. For more information, please visit the Careers page.

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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!



Building Your Company's Growth Engine From First Contact to Close


Join SMPS Central PA for our half-day workshop as Eric Kazda, Craig Kazda, and Lucas Stacey from Quantum Dynamix, and Debbie Andrews from Marketri, discuss how to Build Your Company's Growth Engine From First Contact to Close.

Register Now




The international food charity competition Canstruction® is coming to State College courtesy of Hoffman Leakey Architects, Nittany Mall, and Wegmans; a food charity competition that will benefit the State College Food Bank. It starts with one can to feed the hungry.

This charity event requires its participating teams to design and build a visually-exciting free-standing structure comprised entirely of full cans of food! Most importantly, all of the “building materials” will be donated to the State College Food Bank for distribution to families in need, helping in our local fight against hunger.

In the first annual competition, 6 area teams will work to build their designs from 9am to 8pm, on April 20, 2017. Structures will remain on display for the public to view and vote for their “People’s Choice” winner until April 30,2017. Structures can be viewed Monday through Saturday from 10:00am – 9:00pm and on Sunday from 11:00am – 6:00pm. The Presentation of Awards will be held on April 28, 2017 at the Nittany Mall.  


2017 SMPS Northeast Regional Conference

Rejuvenate your career, your passion, your lust for life, your yearning to learn….what do YOU want to breathe new life into?

Click HERE for more details or to register!









Sales and Marketing Topics: The Art and Skill of Persuasion

Persuasion: Science or art? How is persuasion different than selling? How can we as sales and marketing professionals take the Scientific Laws of Persuasion and use them in the Marketing to Leads Sales process?

Register Now


SMPS Maryland chapter event:

Developing the Leader Within: Lessons in Building Professional Credibility and Taking Your Career to the Next Level


Whether you are new to the AEC industry, an emerging leader in your firm or currently hold a leadership position, this workshop will provide inspiration and real-life examples of the challenges and successes that leaders face today as well as the practical assessment and planning tools to help chart your path and reach your personal and professional goals.  You will leave the workshop inspired and armed with a collection of resources and tools that you can reference and utilize throughout your leadership journey.

Register Now



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Sponsor Spotlight of the Month

CORE Design Group is an architectural and engineering company headquartered in York, PA. Founded in 2005, CORE is a firm that believes the greatest contribution of architecture is to strengthen and vitalize our communities.  Our goal is to create projects with truly inspired designs. We enjoy collaborating with our clients to discover their overall vision and develop the best long-term solution within each unique budget.

Specializing in all types of buildings designs (commercial, industrial, corporate, churches and residential), the company is comprised of 20 plus team members including registered architects and structural engineers who are LEED and NACBD certified. CORE, regularly provides services from design through construction administration including clients move-in and occupancy.

For more information on CORE Design Group, visit www.core-designgroup.com.


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Welcome New Members

Kristi Fahnestock
Marketing Communcations Coordinator, Brechbill & Helman Construction Company

Kristi Fahnestock is the Marketing Communications Coordinator for Brechbill & Helman Construction Company, Inc. She studied at University of Phoenix to obtain her Associates degree in arts. Wanting to continue her education, she went to Shippensburg University and received her BSBA in marketing. Passionate about marketing and design, Brechbill & Helman was the perfect fit. With encouragement from a close friend, Kristi was nominated and selected to become the ABC CVC YPG Marketing and Communications Chair for 2017. She is a member of the 11/30 Young Professionals Network, located in Chambersburg, PA and is also a member of GenNext-a Hagerstown-Washington County Area Young Professionals Network. In her free time, Kristi volunteers regularly and is also a committee member for Scoop-A-Palooza through the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce. She also enjoys the winter (especially when it’s snowing), painting, catching up on her favorite shows and spending time with her friends, family and destructive, yet adorable cat, Noel. On a more exciting note, Kristi tied the knot in October of 2016 at one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands, Jamaica. Ya mon! 

Learn more about some of our newest members:

Sara Crimmel Miller is the Marketing Communication Manager for Warfel Construction – one of Central Pennsylvania’s oldest and largest providers of construction management, design/build and general contracting services. At Warfel Construction, she is responsible for executing the company’s online media strategies, including their website and social media. Previously, Sara worked in marketing roles for Lebanon County-based businesses in the HVAC/Plumbing industry. A graduate of Elizabethtown College, Sara lives in Lebanon, PA with her husband Christopher.



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2017 SMPS Membership Campaign

Our chapter is once again participating in the 2017 “SMPS Derby – Run for the Roses” membership campaign, which started on March 1st and ends on May 31st. This campaign is brought to you by our SMPS Headquarters and each chapter had a chance to submit an application.

Our contender, appropriately named Susquehanna Slew, will be racing against chapters of similar size, hoping to bring home a prize package worth betting the farm! We are racing towards a growth goal of a 8% increase.

How can you help?
We need your help in recruiting new members during this time! To help sweeten the pot, we have added our own incentives:

All CURRENT members who recruit new members during the drive will receive:
A $25 gift card

All NEW members who join in the timeframe will receive:
*One free program of your choice

Together, we can help make Susquehanna Slew the champion for Central PA!

If you have any questions, potential recruits, or ideas, please contact Heather Sweitzer, Membership Chair, at hsweitzer@ntmeng.com or 717.432.4425.


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RMH Dinner

(pictured left to right: Casey Hermann, Julie Hungarter, Matt Bachert, Loren McClosky, and Shawn Barron)

A big THANK YOU to our team of volunteers who participated in the Guest Chef program at the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey on March 21!  Our team of five whipped up a delicious stir-fry dinner for the RMH staff and residents who were very appreciative…and hungry!

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SMPS Central PA DVD Library

Looking to jump into “spring” with your marketing or business development staff? Why not pick a topic, borrow a DVD from the SMPS Central PA Library, and brainstorm with your team on how to grow your business. Our DVDs come with handouts and are FREE for members to use.

The SMPS Central PA DVD Library offers 25 SMPS National webinars on a variety of topics, providing education for newbies and refresher courses for CMOs. Want to research winning proposals? We have a webinar on that. Ever wonder how to network even though you are shy? One of our webinars covers that. How about some strategic planning for your firm? We have that covered, too. Our list of available DVDs includes these titles:

  • The Art & Science of Proposal Leadership

  • Become a Creative Superhero: How to Boost Your Creativity

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

  • Beyond Strategic Planning: Competitive Strategies to Build

  • BIM and the A/E/C Marketer: Positioning Your Firm for Success Capitalizing on Referrals in Your Marketing Plan

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

  • The Introvert’s Secret to Networking

  • It Takes a Village: Building Collaboration on Project Data Management

  • Leveraging Client Needs in Marketing Sustainable Design

  • Leveraging Your Skills: Building Value for Your Firm (and Your Career) Beyond the Marketing Role Tammie Making the Cut! A Key to Understanding the Unspoken Requirements of an RFP

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

  • Mastering the Hidden Web: Uncovering Valuable Data about Clients and Competitors

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

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

  • Project Staff Getting Repeat Work

  • Relationship-Based Business Development

  • RFPs Suck! How to Develop Winning Proposal Strategies

  • Selling Has Nothing to Do with Selling

  • Strategizing Winning Proposals from Value Proposition to Differentiation – on Deadline

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

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

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

  • How to Write a Winning Proposal for Government

To borrow a DVD from the SMPS Central PA Library, just email webinars@smpscentralpa.org. Please note that there is also a list of these DVDs on our website under Programs & Events>DVD Library or click here: http://smpscentralpa.org/Educational_Programs. We only ask that you return the DVD after viewing it to give other SMPS members the opportunity to borrow it.

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Uber Conference 2017

Registration Now Open for the 2017 SMPS Northeast Regional Conference

Register now for the 2017 ÜBER Conference and members can save $50 off the regular cost of admission.

The 2017 Conference promises to be our best ÜBER ever with exciting programming on the horizon. Keynote Peter Shankman, social media, marketing, and customer service expert, will kick things off and don’t forget about our very own horse race and lots of other fun events planned for networking in the evenings in beautiful Saratoga!

Early bird registrants will receive a follow up email once our programming schedule is released to select their session and networking preferences.




For more information on the conference or pricing, please click here.

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Build Business 2017


Build Business 2017 will bring together A/E/C clients, content experts, principals, business developers, and marketers to historic Indianapolis, IN, from July 12–14, 2017 to learn from and challenge one another to think differently about business. As a participant, you will experience your choice of never-before-seen breakout sessions, provocative keynote speakers, and plenty of networking to make priceless business contacts. The JW Marriott Downtown, located in Marriott Place Indianapolis, and connected to the Indiana Convention Center, is the site of the 2017 Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Build Business conference.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting? Take a look at our early rate flyer, with savings through January 31, 2017. Contact Christine at 571.348.2251 for details.

Central PA Chapter

If you are planning on attending Build Business this year, please contact one of the board members or email Julie Hungarter at president@smpscentralpa.org so we can form a team and get a discount for our chapter.

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Consider promoting your firm and supporting SMPS Central PA! 

We invite you to explore our sponsorship benefits which are designed to provide your firm with the highest level of visibility and awareness.


SMPS Central PA is the premier source for education, resources, networking, and information exchange for marketers in the A/E/C industry.

Almost half of our members hold senior level positions with their firms, meaning our sponsors receive prime exposure to many potential business partners and decision makers. In addition, our email distribution list includes more than 700 friends.


Sponsoring SMPS Central PA means supporting your firm in its efforts to gain maximum exposure throughout the Central Pennsylvania A/E/C community. Now is the time to cultivate new and existing relationships and promote your firm! SMPS Central PA could not survive without the support of our sponsors. and we are extremely grateful for their generosity.

Check out our sponsorship brochure to learn more!

Thank you to those firms that have already offered their support of SMPS Central PA for the 2016-2017 year: Rettew, CORE Design Group, Providence Engineering Corporation, and Stahl Sheaffer Engineering as annual platinum sponsors, and Triad Engineering andRS Mowery & Sons as annual gold sponsors. 

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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, membership@smpscentralpa.org.

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

Communications Committee: Conference call, second Monday of each month, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm. For information, please contact Communications Chair Melissa Yost, publicrelations@smpscentralpa.org

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Career Advice

New Benefit

The Society recently launched ECAMPUS, which combines e-learning and professional development in a "when you want, where you want" format. From content marketing and relationship-building to ROI and social media, ECAMPUS focuses exclusively on marketing, business development, and leadership.

Watch the short tutorial, and you'll receive a coupon code for a FREE class. Then, 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 ECAMPUS 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 president@smpscentralpa.org.

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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!