February 2018 Print

President's Message

You know it’s a bad winter when these weeks’ worth of single-digit temperatures makes 30 degrees seem like a heat wave! Thankfully, even though were in the midst of a cold winter, things are ready to heat up for SMPS Upstate New York. In alignment with SMPS’ mission to advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry, it is our Chapter’s goal to engage and celebrate with you throughout the coming year. We aim to give back to our members, get to know one another better on a personal level, and celebrate the successes we will accomplish. SMPS Upstate New York will continue to look at programming that helps your firm win work, hear about the newest best practices and industry trends, and expand your network.  We have some great events coming up in the next few months:

March 15th: Virtual Reality Program (Syracuse, NY) - Virtual Reality (VR) is currently in a transition phase in the AEC industry; it is recognized more than a trend, but it’s not yet a standard for AEC firm's workflow. While the incorporation of VR into AEC has already begun, the options for immersion levels, user interfaces, and places for it in the project workflow can easily overwhelm and discourage firms from adopting it early on. Our presenters are here to help! They are merging their experience to develop a live demonstration of what a high-quality VR experience looks like. Their presentation will familiarize attendees with the world of VR as it relates to the AEC industry and beyond; advise attendees on how to incorporate it into project workflow and marketing materials; and inform attendees about expectations and best practices when using it with both clients and other firm members.

March 21st-23rdSMPS Northeast Regional Conference (Baltimore, MD) - Don’t miss this year’s conference as we MERGE in Baltimore! Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore overlooking the beautiful Inner Harbor, the conference will attract over 350 of the region’s top AEC marketing, business development, and firm leaders for three days of learning, networking, and inspiration. It will certainly be an information-packed and inspiring few days! (www.smpsnerc.org)

April 17th: Planning Successful Client Events (Albany, NY) - Event planning is probably something that you have been asked to take on at least once, and probably more often than that! This makes sense, if you think about it, since client relations and business development are closely tied to events. Seriously, what better way to get your technical staff in front of your clients and prospects than to have them give technical presentations? Add to that some free food, drinks, and interacting – and you end up with a magical combination called a successful event! Join us as we discuss not only tips for planning client events, but how to take your client events to the next level! You’ll learn how to implement efficient, scalable processes to be able to develop event programs to meet your firm’s needs.

Potential May Program: Improv Workshop (Syracuse, NY) - Our Chapter would like to gauge interest in hosting an improv program centered around team-building and sales, management, and presentation skills development.  This would be a four-hour event held in Syracuse with lunch provided.  It December Webinarwill be a great opportunity for technical staff to refine these skills as well. Please help us scale the potential interest by taking this brief survey: Improv Program

We hope you’ll join us at our upcoming programs, and maybe even consider sponsoring one of our events, or volunteering to become a committee member. Our chapter continues to grow and thrive because of the hard work of those who volunteer their time and I encourage those who may have an interest in being involved to do so. Thank you again for your continued support of SMPS and stay tuned for an exceptional 2018!

Carly DeThomasis

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Member Spotlight

Jill SawyerCelebrating 18 years in the Professional Services industry, Jill Sawyer began working as a Marketing Coordinator for SJB Services, Inc., where she spent more than three years learning about the industry and making new connections.  “I never considered professional services as a career direction.  In College we were taught to market widgets,” recalls Jill.  She never imagined how much she would enjoy building trusted relationships with clients, developing marketing collateral and proposals, and “celebrating the wins”. 

Jill joined TVGA Consultants in 2003 as Marketing Director where she was tasked with development and execution of strategic marketing plans, creating marketing materials, executing marketing campaigns, implementation and maintenance of Deltek Vision as well as business development.  Through working closely with municipal clients, Jill soon began managing and pursuing grants for clients as well as serving as project manager for various projects. 

In 2013, TVGA was acquired by KHEOPS Architecture, Engineering and Land Survey, DPC, a Minority-Owned Business with offices throughout the United States. At KHEOPS, Jill continues in the same role, but in larger markets.

In addition to her duties at KHEOPS, Jill is a Board Member for the Buffalo Area Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM), serves on Membership and Events Committee for the Construction Exchange of Western New York and is heavily involved with the Western New York Branch of the American Public Works Association.

When asked what she most likes about her job, she lists:

  • The close friendships I have made with clients, colleagues and competitors.
  • No two days are ever the same. 
  • I learn something everyday about the technical aspects of our industry.

Jill lives in Tonawanda, NY with her husband, Kevin and two children, Kaleigh (10) and Jacob (7).

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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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