June 2017 Print

President's Message

Thank you for such a successful 2016-17 SMPS CPA year!  During our Summer Social/Awards Night on June 7th, we thanked our Annual Sponsors, Program Sponsors and recognized our Award Winners, Melissa Yost - Horizon Award and Brooke Wenger - Keystone Award. And a big thank you to our board members and committee chairs for all of your time and hard work you gave to help this Chapter grow into something really special. It was so nice to see several of our members and to enjoy some great networking!

We have a few more summer networking opportunities coming, so check them out and I hope to see you there!!

Very truly yours,
Julie Hungarter
President, SMPS Central PA Chapter

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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!


Summer Kickoff Networking Event

Come network with members of the Central PA chapters of your favorite organizations!



A/E/C Golfing "Fore" Business 4-Person Scramble to benefit Youth Services Bureau

A/E/C Industry Golfing "Fore" Business 4-Person Scramble to Benefit Youth Services Bureau. Don't miss out on a great opportunity to get some one-on-one time with your clients and treat them to golf at the same time.

Register Now



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SMPS Central PA Awards and Summer Social Recap

Our Awards and Summer Social event, held on June 7th at Troegs Brewing Company, was a great time and allowed us recognize a number of our members for their contributions to the Chapter.

Horizon Award Winner – Melissa Yost
Keystone Award Winner – Brooke Wenger

Tenure Anniversaries:
Ashleigh Fiorino – 5 yrs
Shawn Barron, CPSM – 5 yrs
Traci Althouse – 10 yrs
Kathy Baldwin, CPSM – 10 yrs
Doug Cherry, CPSM – 10 yrs
Aimee DiStefano – 10 yrs
Lauren Herman – 10 yrs
Brooke Wenger – 10 yrs
Perry Heath – 15 yrs
Scott Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM – 25 yrs

New Members for this Past Year:
Tara Caudio, Director of Business Development, Summit Technology   
Kelly Freeburger, Marketing Coordinator Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (JMT)
Casey Herrmann, Marketing Manager, Nutec Group
Marcus Grimm, VP Market Growth & Innovation, Benchmark Construction
Alyssa Kurtz, Business Development Assistant, Benchmark Construction
Lauren Maxwell, Marketing & Communications, Director Benchmark Construction
Kristen Troxell, Marketing Coordinator, Benchmark Construction
Jamie Keener, AICP, Senior Sales Executive, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc.
Janet  Kolokithas, MBA, CGBP, Senior Marketing Strategist, Gannett Fleming
Elizabeth Walker, Business Information Group
Azirah Yi, Marketing Coordinator, McKissick Associates Architects
Jennifer Dangro, Director of Sales & Marketing, Business Information Group, Inc.
Sara Crimmel Miller, Marketing Communications Manager, Warfel Construction
Kristi Fahnestock, Marketing Communications Coordinator, Brechbill + Helman Construction Company Inc
Tracey Johnston, Director of Digital, Gavin
Susan Reinhart, Marketing Coordinator, Rettew
Dalida Camdzic, Student, York College of PA
Staci Cretu, Chief Marketing Officer/Owner, Uncommon Works Marketing Group
Kayla Resh, Creative Services Manager, Kinsley Construction, Inc

New Board Members for the Upcoming Year:
President – Shawn Barron, CPSM, RETTEW
President Elect – Cristina Barnes, Stahl Sheaffer Engineering, LL
Treasurer – Jennifer Smyers, CPSM, Boyle Construction, Inc.
Secretary – Casey Hermann, Nutec Group

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Welcome New Members

Dalida Camdzic, Student
York College of Pennsylvania

Staci Cretu, MS, Chief Marketing Officer/Owner
Uncommon Works Marketing Group

With over 15 years’ experience in integrated marketing communications, Staci helps brands find the story and medium that best fits their unique identity and objectives. She brings light to the importance of connecting every single marketing, branding, or advertising piece to ensure there is a cohesive integrated marketing communications plan in place.

Staci is Owner at Uncommon Works Marketing Group, with responsibility for developing compelling marketing programs that generate results for her clients. Prior to starting her own company, Staci worked for Westfalia Technologies, overseeing the strategic business marketing initiatives as well as serving in staff positions for the U.S Army. Staci holds a Bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.



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Member News

Congratulations to the following members on their recent re-appointments to the 2017-2018 SMPS Leadership Council!

Scott Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM will continue serving as At-Large Director during the 2017-2018 Board Year. Scott is a Vice President at JDB Engineering, Inc. in York, PA and has served in this role since September 2016.

Amy Collins, CPSM was re-elected as an SMPS Foundation member trustee for the 2017-2018 board year. Amy is a Marketing Manager for Wagman Construction in York, PA. Her term will end in August 2019.



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SMPS University

Congratulations to our SMPS Central PA 2017 graduates of SMPS University -- Esther Betancourt, CPSM, Amy Collins, CPSM, and Kristi Fahnestock!

Spring marked the sixth cohort of the SMPS University - Leadership Advancement Program. In partnership the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, the program examines the marketing, business development, and client service principles integral to the strategic operation of the professional services firm. We talked to Esther, Amy, and Kristi about some highlights.

Explain the framework of the program.

ESTHER: The program is a four-day, graduate-level program designed for A/E/C marketers and business developers who want to achieve the next level in their careers. Between Sessions 1 (in March) and 2 (in April), students worked independently and in small groups on assigned coursework. The graduate-level curriculum covered topics such as understanding financial statements, service blueprinting, survey research methodology, customer-focused marketing, and service innovation.


Tell readers about the Action Learning Project.

AMY: The Action Learning Project (ALP) is amazing opportunity to work with a team of SMPS U attendees to put what you learn in the first session into practice over the course of a several week project. My ALP team utilized the market research and survey development best practices we learned about into a brand perception survey template for AEC firms.  The ALP teams worked together extensively in between sessions and presented our project to the rest of the class at the second session. I was so impressed with the combined forces of our team members and the outcome of our project. Our team would be happy to share this template with SMPS Central PA members that would find it helpful.


As someone new to the industry, how did you find the program helpful?

KRISTI: I had just joined SMPS shortly before diving right in to the SMPS U experience. While I was more entry level than most in the class, I found the experience very beneficial. The concepts that were covered were well beyond what I would have experienced otherwise. Attending SMPS U was a great opportunity to meet some very experienced SMPS colleagues and advance my skills.


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Member Spotlight

Name: Matthew Bachert
Title: Business Development Manager
Firm: EDGE-Global Technology Solutions
# of years in the A/E/C industry: 10 years
Role with Central PA SMPS: Member

  1. How long have you been a member of SMPS? I have been a member of SMPS for 15 months.
  2. Why did you become a member? I was looking for an organization that would allow for me to engage and develop my skills professionally, while also helping me to grow personally. I felt that SMPS hit the mark, offering a great platform to learn our craft, but more importantly, was a community of like-minded marketing and business development professionals that were happy to share their experiences.
  3. Who, if anyone, invited you to your first meeting? That would be Julie Hungarter…I believe there was a headlock and twisted arm involved. I’m kidding! Julie was a tremendous help for me as I evaluated what SMPS could offer and she has continued to be an amazing resource for me as I navigated my first year with the organization.
  4. Do you have a mentor or guide (or have you had one in the past)? Professionally, no one person. However, there has been no shortage of people who have offered guidance and encouragement for me during my time in the industry.
  5. What is your favorite SMPS memory? There are quite a few memories from this past year that could make the cut, but the one that stands out for me is when Shawn, Julie, Casey, Loren, and I took part in the Guest Chef program at the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey. I enjoyed the time with our team flipping, tossing, and saucing chicken, shrimp, and veggies for our infamous stir-fry. We met some of the great people who volunteer their time at the Ronald McDonald House, learned about the great work they do for the families and children at Hershey Medical Center, and gained an understanding of what this cause means to our Central Pennsylvania Community.
  6. Of the other regular educational/networking events you attend, which would you recommend to SMPS members? Although scheduling conflicts have derailed my last few attempts to attend, the South Central Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (SCAEC) Networking event has been a staple event for many years. It is an extremely beneficial event for our local AEC Community and generates a great swath of firms across all disciplines and verticals.
  7. What is one thing that everybody knows you for? This is an easy one, my laugh. From the time I was young until just recently, the way I laugh seems to catch people’s ear and has earned me a few nicknames and comparisons to cartoon characters over the years.
  8. What is one thing that might surprise people to know about you? Long story short, I lost a bet as a senior in high school, tried out and was cast for the Spring Musical “West Side Story.”
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? Probably my ability to just slow down, turn it off.
  10. What did you study in college? Business Administration
  11. What would you study in college now? That’s a toss-up, but probably something in the line of Sports Management & Administration so I could pursue a career as an Athletic Director.
  12. What are your hobbies & interests outside of the office and SMPS? 

    I enjoy the outdoors. So, spring and summer, I spend what free time I have on the water, kayaking and fishing.  In the fall and early winter, you will most likely find me in a tree-stand hunting. I am also a college football junkie who happens to enjoy collecting sports cards and memorabilia.

    Most of all, when I’m away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids. My son will be five this summer and daughter will be three. They are at such a fun age, just try to soak up all the time I can before they grow up and Dad is suddenly not the fun, cool guy in the room.
  13. What is the one movie you have to watch if you run across it on your TV? Tough choice, but I’d have to say Pulp Fiction.
  14. Do you have any advice, secrets to success or guiding thoughts? First time I’ve had to answer this question, so I’ll leave a few guiding thoughts; be consistent in your effort to learn, invest wholeheartedly into your relationships, pay it forward, and enjoy the journey.

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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 webinars@smpscentralpa.org. 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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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!