December 2018 Print

President's Message

Aside from the fact that it’s snowing, freezing, and we barely see the sun, I can’t believe it’s already December! Being your Chapter President has proven to be a welcome challenge, a rewarding experience, and an honor. I am grateful for your support and your investment in our Chapter.

I have much to be thankful for this holiday season, and that certainly includes our Chapter’s dedicated and hardworking board and committee members. They have been instrumental in the mechanics, logistics, and member experience of SMPS Upstate New York. Our Chapter’s leadership team includes:

  • Carly DeThomasis, Immediate Past President
  • Erin Bullard, President-Elect
  • Teresa York, Treasurer/Secretary
  • Becky Cahill, Chapter Advisor
  • Sylvia Gersbach, Communications Director
  • Michael Kirmse, Membership Director
  • Matthew Tremblay, Public Relations Director
  • Jill Shorter, Education Chair
  • Amanda Gonzalez, Albany Metro Program Coordinator
  • Jessica Burch, Syracuse Metro Program Coordinator
  • Brianne Byrnes, Rochester Metro Program Coordinator
  • Kim Mura, Rochester Metro Program Coordinator
  • Kyle Zawisky, Buffalo Metro Program Coordinator

It has been a privilege working with this group of people to help our Chapter excel. If you are interested in volunteering with our Chapter in any capacity, please reach out to me. Your participation will benefit you, as well as the Chapter.

Since September, we have had three speakers present to our Chapter. In September, Lisa Moretto taught us how to “Get to the Point!” with efficient and effective writing.   Her insights into technical writing helped us understand how to communicate successfully with technical staff members. In October, we were treated to a social intelligence and networking program with John Bourdage. His interactive program revealed intricate nuances to understanding non-verbal communication and how to address different situations in a social setting. In November, Lindsey Mathieu joined us to share her experience and knowledge in developing a marketing action plan that is useable, effective, and can guide our firms and marketing departments. Two of our programs were followed by a happy hour for continued networking.

We are holding a webinar in December in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo about writing in teams to produce dynamic proposals. I hope you can sit in at one of the locations and learn something helpful about the process.

You can also keep apprised of upcoming programs and other Chapter and SMPS National news through our social media outlets. We love to interact with you, so be sure to follow, tag, and share!

Our goal is to provide programming, education, and networking opportunities that benefit you as an A/E/C marketer. It is our priority to provide our members with the tools, resources, and network that you can rely on for your day-to-day tasks. Good, bad, or in-between, I welcome you to give us your input and tell us what you expect, need, and request from our Chapter. It is so important to me that we meet, and hopefully exceed, your expectations, and I need your feedback to measure that. We are a Chapter of brilliant and talented professionals, and our Chapter will only benefit from your active involvement.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and I hope to meet you or see you again soon.



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Member Spotlight

Why you proposed membership to your firm and why it is valuable:

I have been with BBL for about 3 ½ years now, while I was not a member in the past, I participated in SMPS events and have attended the national conference. The opportunity presented itself to get more involved with my local chapter and a membership made the most sense. My membership with SMPS is valuable because I have developed a number of relationships within the industry and can easily connect with other members throughout the state. Since being a part of the SMPS community I have created new friendships and working relationships.

Diving in with a volunteer position as an education committee member:

Volunteering with my chapter has been especially gratifying. It has given me the opportunity to plan strategically with others outside of my organization and work towards a common goal. It is rewarding to be able to offer my viewpoint on our programs from a business development perspective. The Upstate NY Chapter Committee is made up of a number of hardworking, knowledgeable and encouraging individuals - working with them has been a complete joy.

Insights about what you gain for your firm in the construction industry:

The A/E/C industry is so unique, and applying traditional marketing and business development strategies is not always viable. To have opportunities to collaborate with other professionals in marketing and business development is a valuable resource to grow professionally and bring value to my own firm. BBL is my first professional job after college. I started my career here as an intern and grew into a business development role as Business Development Coordinator. Not having a background in the AEC industry was a challenge on its own, but through support from a great team and a leader who constantly provides me with guidance, exposure and autonomy has allowed me to continuously grow. Having the resources, education, and relationships through SMPS is an added value. I am happy to work with a firm that recognizes that value.

Insights about what you gain for the BD side of things vs. marketing:

SMPS offers a number of resources for both marketers and business developers. Networking with other professionals in this industry and in similar roles as me, has provided me with meaningful insight and best practices. To collaborate with others who share similar challenges and can assist you in navigating those challenges is priceless.

My favorite workshop I have participated in was the Business Development for the A/E/C industries at the national conference. I took away so many new ideas and tools to share with my team as well as, making amazing connections with others in the workshop. I highly recommend this all-day interactive session for any business developer in the industry.


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Calendar of Events

We hope you can join us for an interactive Round Tables program to discuss issues we face on a daily basis in our roles as A/E/C marketers. This format is designed to allow everyone to give their input, bounce ideas off of each other, offer suggestions, and ask questions to get fresh insight on relevant topics. We will hold the program in four locations across the state. Each location will discuss the same four core topics and will have a designated moderator and scribe. Following the program, the notes from all four locations will be compiled and distributed to attendees. The main topics that will guide the conversation include:


Methods for Getting Project Information and Photos from Technical Staff
Debrief Protocols with Owners/Clients
Interview Preparation Methods
Business Development and Marketing – What is Integrated and What is Separate?

If time allows, we encourage the groups to discuss other topics that attendees will find helpful. Some suggestions include:

Marketing Strategic Planning
MWBE and SDVOB Requirements

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