Message from the President: Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership









SMPS Pittsburgh Chapter:

As the incoming President of the SMPS Pittsburgh Chapter for the Sept. 2018 through May 2019 year, it is my goal this year to encourage all A/E/C professionals to become involved in the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and fully realize the potential of what marketing and business development can do for this industry.  It is an exciting time to be taking on this role, as SMPS recently released a new, modernized brand to better reflect the direction of the organization.  Over the next few weeks and months, you will start to see some visual changes to reflect the new SMPS – a new logo, new colors (they’re referring to them as “business black” and “revolutionary orange”), and a fresh new feel to SMPS. If you haven’t seen these changes yet, you can watch the video reveal here:

All of these changes are being made to reflect the new SMPS vision: Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership.  Today’s most dynamic and successful A/E/C firms have realized the important balance between sellers and doers, between marketing and business development, and have used this important distinction to their advantage. Through networking, educational opportunities, and industry leading research, SMPS members gain a competitive advantage in positioning their firms successfully in the marketplace. On top of that, SMPS offers its members ongoing professional development, leadership opportunities, and marketing resources to advance their careers.

As an SMPS member, you are part of a dynamic network of more than 7,000 professionals (97 in the Pittsburgh Chapter!) from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. As the business world and built environment continue to evolve, SMPS and its members will be steadfast in staying ahead of the curve. And continuing to transform the way A/E/C firms do business.

Our mission is to advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the A/E/C industries, and as we kick-off the next year, my challenge to you is to help me grow our Chapter into the go-to organization for our industry in Pittsburgh: an invaluable community of connections who will get things done more efficiently, with many more successes, and see our Business Transformed through Marketing Leadership!

For those who don’t attend every event, I’d like to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone this year, attend as many events as you can, get involved on the Board, and also DO NOT MISS some of the excellent SMPS programming this year’s Board has already started lining up for you. And, please share these events with those at your company and in your network who might benefit from them:

Sept. 19, 2018 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – SMPS September Luncheon | Emerging Trends & Challenges in Developing South Western PA, Location: Rivers Club

Panelists:  Michaela Robbins, Regional Director, CORE Development; R. Scott Pollock, Vice President of Development, Oxford Development; Steve Whittingham, Director of Development, Burns & Scalo; Moderator: Jeff Burd, Founder and Owner, Tall Timber Group


Sept. 25, 2018 5:00 – 7:00 PM – SMPS Fall ‘Tee-Off’, Location: Topgolf Pittsburgh

Kick-off the new 2018-2019 SMPS year at the area’s hottest new attraction.


Oct. 4, 2018 8:30 – 10:30 AM – SMPS #theAECsofmarketing | The proof is in the publication, Location: Master Builders Association

Speaker: Emily Chiodo, Communications & PR Manager, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.


Also, I encourage you to get involved on the Society level.  Would you be interested in attending one of the SMPS Build Business Conferences?  You’ll find they are invaluable opportunities for professional development (such as hands-on software learning labs, business development roundtables, and of course the annual awards gala) and connecting and partnering with A/E/C professionals across the country.  If you were going to speak at the next conference, would that make attending even more worthwhile for you and your company?  SMPS is currently seeking speakers for Build Business 2019, being held in Washington D.C. If you’re a subject matter expert ready to inspire, challenge, and support attendees in their jobs and lives, consider submitting a proposal for a 75-minute breakout session. Submission deadline is September 30.

I’d like to end this message (and my apologizes for the length!) by giving you all a preview of what’s to come for this year – just a couple of the goals that came out of our annual planning retreat held over the summer break:

Broaden our Reach as a Chapter and Engage all A/E/C Professionals

  • Effectively communicate how SMPS applies to marketing, business development, leadership, and technical staff (seller-doers)
  • Continue to reach out to other chapters and geographic regions (for example, we plan to again hold a luncheon in Morgantown, WV after such a success last year!)
  • Find ways to partner with other local and industry organizations who can benefit from SMPS

Use the Society as a Resource

  • Don’t forget that there are a variety of resources available on – webinars, sample documents and templates, communities/discussion opportunities, industry articles, surveys and reports, Build Business presentations, etc.

It’s going to be an exciting new year for SMPS – and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together!

Sheena M. Sundin
SMPS Pittsburgh Chapter President

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