October 2017 Print

President's Message

Carly DeThomasisIt feels like yesterday that I was asked to serve as president elect, but then again, it feels like just yesterday that I sat down to my first SMPS luncheon in Albany. It was October 28, 2010. I was just finishing my senior year at the University at Albany as a business administration and marketing major. My grandfather was asked to speak at the SMPS program on his soon-to-be-published book “It’s About THEM: Building the Market-Driven Organization” and asked me to join. Truthfully, I had no idea what SMPS even stood for at the time, but, nonetheless, I was excited that he thought to invite me to attend a professional luncheon of this nature. I met A LOT of people that day, one in particular that would be instrumental in shaping the next chapter and direction of my life.

Fast forward two months later. I was a college graduate and marketing professional for an engineering firm in Albany. I was one of few in my graduating class that received a job opportunity immediately after graduating, let alone in my field of study. SMPS helped me get there.

I was fortunate to work for a firm that supported SMPS and immediately allowed me to become active in the organization. I started attending programs and networking events regularly, and shortly after became a member. A few years later, I started volunteering on the chapter's board. Many of the professionals I met at that first Albany program and other early on events are people that I still talk to regularly and share laughs with (sometimes too many). The people that I formed these early relationships with are also the ones that have helped mentor me to get me to where I am in my career today. And with that, my connection to SMPS led me to becoming president.

Between the professional development programming and connections that I have made, SMPS has been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource for me. It has meant a lot to my growth in the AEC industry. I want SMPS Upstate New York to help get you where you want to be as well. There is a place for everyone no matter where you are in your career. The value of this organization is what you put into it. My goal is for SMPS Upstate New York to be that growth for your professional career and for your company’s productivity in the upcoming year. I want you and your company to see the benefits received by investing in your SMPS involvement.

As your new chapter president, I’m grateful to be working alongside a board of colleagues and friends who I admire and respect. I am excited to introduce the following 2017/2018 board members:

Immediate Past President: Becky Cahill, M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.

President Elect: Jessica Smith, Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture

Treasurer/Secretary: Kate Calder, Mosaic Associates Architects

Membership Director: Jill Shorter, Ryan Biggs Clark Davis Engineering & Surveying, P.C.

Communications Director: Teresa York, Creighton Manning Engineering

Public Relations Director: Derek Goodroe, Ashley McGraw Architects, D.P.C.

Metro Program Director – Buffalo: Jennifer Witnauer, Mach Architecture

Metro Program Director – Rochester: Helen Kashtan, Pathfinder Engineers & Architects LLP

Metro Program Director – Albany: Katie Villman, EYP Architecture & Engineering

Metro Program Director – Syracuse: Jessica Burch, N. K. Bhandari Architecture & Engineering, P. C.

State Agency PanelOur first program of the year was a tremendous success! Representatives from some of our State's top agencies discussed upcoming proposal opportunities, tips for securing contracts and industry trends that play a key role in the procurement process. Attendees left with new insights to help leverage their firm’s strengths and improve their future strategies to secure work.

Our upcoming programs prove to be just as strong and I encourage all of you to attend. There is no time like the present to jump in and get involved with SMPS! I hope to see you at some of the fresh and exciting events that our Chapter has organized.

Cheers to an amazing upcoming year!


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Member Spotlight

Jill Shorter has recently been named at Shareholder at Ryan Biggs | Clark Davis Engineering & Surveying. Ryan Biggs | Clark Davis recently changed their ownership structure to Design Professional Corporation (DPC) which allows the firm to offer ownership to critical non-licensed personnel in the firm.  With the firm since 2000, Jill is also an Associate and serves as Marketing Director, overseeing the marketing efforts of the firm’s three offices in Upstate New York. Specializing in structural engineering, civil engineering, and land surveying, the firm is a certified Woman-Owned Business (WBE).

I started in AEC marketing like most of our Chapter’s members, completely GREEN!  Over the years, SMPS has given me unlimited opportunities to learn, network and develop both personally and professionally, and has played an essential role in my journey to ownership.  Working for a firm that typically fills a subconsultant role, SMPS has provided me with project leads and introductions to potential clients and teaming partners that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. By attending programs locally, regionally, and nationally, I’ve been equipped with knowledge of the latest AEC trends, new software, emerging markets, and tip and tricks for every facet of what we do as AEC marketers.  Most of all, SMPS has always been about the people I have met along the way.  It’s been about building and most importantly, maintaining, a strong network of amazing AEC marketing colleagues; a tremendous system of confidants that for well over a decade, I’ve continually bounced ideas, questions, and concerns off of.  It’s also about the excitement I feel about the next generation of AEC marketers that propose new ways to look at what we do, and have the passion and desire to keep SMPS Upstate thriving in the future.  If you’re not involved in the Chapter, get involved – SMPS Upstate will provide you with the foundation you need for a journey you may have never thought was possible.

Jill has been a member of the Upstate New York Chapter of SMPS since 2004 and has served on the Board of Directors since joining.  She oversaw programming for the Albany and Syracuse regions for many years and later became President of the Chapter serving three terms.  Jill is currently the Chapter’s Membership Director and has also participated in the planning committees of the inaugural SMPS “UBER” Northeast Regional Conference in Atlantic City and the 2017 conference held in Saratoga Springs.  She has also presented to emerging leaders on marketing/business development/leadership on behalf of SMPS numerous times for the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACECNY).

“It has been great to witness Jill’s growth in the AEC industry over her 17 years with us and to welcome her into our group of shareholders. Her involvement in SMPS was a big component of that growth. Marketing, finance, and IT are integral to our business. We took advantage of changing our corporate structure to a DPC to recognize Jill and our other non-licensed associates’ contribution to our success by making them part of the firm ownership.” – Paul Rouis III, PE – Principal, Ryan Biggs | Clark Davis

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Calendar of Events


November 07, 2017
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
375 Essjay Road, Suite 200
Williamsville, NY 14221
Learn about the newest trends in media, from explainer videos and whiteboard animations, to high-end 3D visualizations that can be viewed in VR. Samantha Haney of Rebel One Studios will show you how to utilize these strategies to create engaging content that enriches your brand and presence.
Lunch will be provided. 

About Samantha Haney:

Samantha HaneySamantha Haney is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Rebel One Studios, an animation company that specializes in working with marketing teams in the A/E/C field. http://www.rebelonestudios.com/


$25.00 Member

$50.00 Non-Member

If you are paying via check for this program, please bring the check to the venue the day of the program.

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Support the SMPS Upstate New York Chapter and increase your company’s exposure to A/E/C firms!

SMPS Upstate New York strives to provide high-quality educational programming and networking opportunities to help our members succeed and be effective leaders. Your sponsorship dollars will be used to enhance these learning experiences, increase the frequency of networking events, and build awareness of SMPS and its value to new and seasoned A/E/C professionals. Through high visibility, low cost sponsorships, you gain exposure to top principals, business development professionals, and marketers who are key decision makers in their firms.

For more information contact our President-Elect, Jessica Smith, at jsmith@appelosborne.com

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