September 2017 Print

President's Message

Hello and Happy New Year!  Why am I wishing you a Happy New Year?  Well, September 1st marked the beginning of the 2017-18 program year for SMPS Central PA, and it is most definitely a time for celebration!  We have so many exciting things planned for our chapter this year, and lots of changes in store.  Our first official event of the new year is tomorrow – our annual A/E/C Industry Golfing “Fore” Business tournament.  We’ve changed the location of this year’s event to The Country Club of Harrisburg, and our new beneficiary is Youth Services Bureau in State College, who will receive a portion of this year’s event proceeds.  Other exciting changes you’ll see this year include a new mentorship program, new and improved sponsorship packages, and a continued focus on providing higher quality programs and events to benefit the whole chapter membership.

You may have noticed multiple references to “changes” above.  That was intentional.  In the past few years, SMPS Central PA has experienced a number of positive changes, and the 2017-18 year will be no exception!  As a matter of fact, we’re making that the theme of this new year.  Borrowing from the newly revised vision statement of SMPS HQ, “Business Transformed through Marketing Leadership,” our chapter’s theme for 2017-18 is: TRANSFORM.  I will talk more about this theme in the coming months, but for now I just want to set the stage for a year of exciting changes.  I invite you to be part of these changes by joining a committee, attending our programs, becoming a sponsor, or volunteering your time at one of our charitable endeavors.  There are so many ways to get involved!

I am truly honored and humbled to serve as your President this year, and I look forward to working with the other volunteer members of the Board of Directors, as well as our committee chairs, to ensure you get the best return on investment for your SMPS membership.  But the only way you’ll really maximize your ROI is to jump in and be a part of the fun!

Shawn M. Barron
President, SMPS Central PA

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Welcome New Board Members!

Meet your 2017-2018 SMPS Central PA Board of Directors!

Back row, left to right: Immediate Past President, Julie Hungarter; President, Shawn Barron, CPSM; President-Elect, Cristina Barnes; Director-at-Large, Loren McClosky

Front row, left to right: Treasurer, Jen Smyers; Secretary, Kristi Fahnestock, Director-at-Large, Melissa Yost

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Member News

Membership Committee News

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” (Milton Berle).

Our committee continues to provide many opportunities for you to grow in your business, as well as personally. If you are interested in learning all the benefits of SMPS, locally and nationally, plan to join us on September 19th for the Member Orientation. We will review the best ways to get the most value out of your membership, as well as answer any of your questions. Please register for the event on our website.

Want to be part of our committee? We are looking for volunteers to focus on Retention and Recruitment and we need your new ideas. If you love to meet new people and/or interested in finding new contacts for your business, please join us.  Commitment is one committee call a month, with small tasks and goals to accomplish throughout the year.

Finally, do you have sage Marketing or Business Development advice you can share with someone new? Perhaps, you are new to SMPS or the A/E/C industry and are looking for someone to help guide you along on your new path? SMPS Central PA is embarking on a new Mentorship Program, which will begin in October 2017 and end June 2018. Professionals at all stages of their career should consider participating - either as protégés or mentors. Contact information below for an application.

Please feel free to contact Heather Sweitzer, Membership Chair, or 717.432.4425, to learn more about any of these opportunities.

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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!


TOMORROW! 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



You're invited to join 2017-2018 President Shawn Barron, CPSM, and Membership Chair Heather Sweitzer, CPSM for our member orientation and benefits refresher session!

Register Now




Join us for SMPS Central PA's Marketing Summit 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



A casual exploration of how to enhance your personal and team efforts with Microsoft OneNote and Slack.

Register Now


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Help Wanted!
















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The SMPS Central Pennsylvania Chapter is pleased to announce its 2017-2018 Program Year Sponsorship Opportunities. We are offering several sponsorship levels to fulfill every marketing need and budget. Please 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.

Read more by downloading our sponsorship brochure. To purchase your sponsorship, please visit "Our Catalog" under Quick Links on our homepage or click here.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Matt Bachert, Sponsorship Chair, at


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2018 SMPS NERC MERGE Conference


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 last Monday of each month, 2:00. For conference call information, please contact Membership Chair Heather Sweitzer,

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

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!