September 2018 Print

President's Message

It’s hard to believe that it is already September! These last twelve months in SMPS Upstate New York have flown by. Serving as president has been such a wonderful opportunity and I truly thank you all for going on this journey with me.

It was certainly a busy year, which is probably why it passed in the blink of an eye. To recount, we had successful programs in all four of our major chapter cities. These ranged in topic from upcoming opportunities with NYS agencies to utilizing virtual reality and animation to create engaging content to event planning and tradeshows. We also continued to host effective multi-city webinars during the winter months and showed a strong presence at both the Northeast Regional Conference in Baltimore and National Conference in San Diego.

The Upstate New York Chapter has had increased participation and membership in all our major metro areas. In fact, I am so excited to announce that this year, our chapter has seen astounding growth thanks to our hard-working volunteers. Since last September, we have witnessed membership grow by more than 13%!

While there is still much to do, the new board of directors is invigorated and motivated for what lies ahead in the upcoming year. Our board is working hard to continue to bring educational events and industry opportunities to all our members. Going forward, it is clear to me that SMPS Upstate New York will be in great hands under the leadership of Jessica Smith, CPSM from Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture and President-Elect Erin Bullard, CPSM from Vertical Access.

As my term comes to an end, I would like to take a minute to thank the individuals who served on the board this year with me. I have learned so much from each of you and appreciate the time and commitment you have given to our chapter. I have been so lucky to work with you!

Thank you for allowing me to serve you as president over the last year. It has been an honor, a joy, and an experience that I will always cherish. I have met many new colleagues that continue to inspire me, made new friends, and enjoyed it to the fullest. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events in the fall.

Carly DeThomasis

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Attendees at the SMPS National Build Business conference were treated to an official unveiling of the Society’s rebrand. A press release from Josh Miles, SMPS Vice President of Marketing, summarizes that the Big Reveal introduced “...the refreshed SMPS brand, which includes a new brand identity, brand messaging, and member-focused website.” The overall message of the rebrand is to ‘Flip the Script’ and challenge ourselves as marketers to chart new paths for the future. I encourage you to visit the new and see the improvements for yourself.

While a new look is exciting, I am most excited about the new mission and vision statements. The Vision is: Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership. The Mission is: To advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the A/E/C industries. While these are concise statements, they truly say so much.

The vision is empowering. Business TRANSFORMED through MARKETING leadership. For me, the concept that marketing is not just a byproduct of a successful A/E/C firm, but instrumental in achieving it, is POWERFUL, and it offers the validation we all deserve as hardworking team members at our firms. We need to work, speak, and think with conviction that we provide value to our firms, and SMPS supports our endeavors in doing so.

Throughout my years as a member of SMPS, I have felt that our organization does make advocacy, education, and connection a priority. This was recently reiterated for me at the National Conference in San Diego. We entrust SMPS to provide resources and opportunities that benefit our professional development. My experience with the programming, networking, and camaraderie with fellow A/E/C marketers at Build Business was that this mission is taken seriously.

SMPS is embracing the rebrand as an opportunity to reaffirm to its members that they consider you, and our profession, important. As is the case with many professional organizations, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. It is our goal as a Chapter to provide you with a variety of opportunities to advance your career and personal development, and I hope you take advantage of them throughout the upcoming year.

Our Communications Director, Sylvia Gersbach, will be working with our Board of Directors and SMPS National to roll out the rebrand guidelines on our Chapter website in the coming weeks.

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Welcome to our Newest Sponsor

Vertical Access specializes in hands-on inspections and existing conditions documentation of historic structures using industrial rope access and drones. We collect data in the field using our proprietary TPAS®, or Tablet PC Annotation System, offering clients direct-to-digital documentation of conditions.  Our affiliated company, Alta Access, provides specialty contracting in challenging locations. We’ve worked on hundreds of landmarks and historically significant buildings as well as bridges, dams, towers and smokestacks, assisting architecture and engineering firms with all phases of projects.

Learn more at

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Calendar of Events

Social Intelligence and Networking

Come fine tune your Social Intelligence and Networking skills with John Bourdage. Strengthen your social intelligence by learning the essential principles and skills that focus on developing and strengthening interpersonal relationships during social interactions.  After the session stick around and put your new networking skills to the test over cocktails at Dinosaur BBQ (cash bar).

Register soon - seating is limited!  

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm:  Registration/Networking
12:30 pm -  1:00 pm:   Lunch
 1:00 pm -   3:00 pm:   Presentation
 3:00 pm -    ?              Please join us for a cocktail at the cash 
                                   bar downstarirs to practice what you've learned.

About John Bordage
John Bourdage, founder of Bourdage Consulting, has dedicated his life’s work to the improvement of interpersonal relationships, whether casual or business, through a renewed understanding of social skills and personal brand. John teaches the skills that are critical for success in this image-conscious world; skills that are necessary yet commonly overlooked by other programs.

Mr. Bourdage is a graduate of the internationally renowned Ivor Spencer School for Butler Administration and Personal Assistants in London, a Five Star Diamond award winning school. Ivor Spencer, recognized as the foremost expert of entertaining, etiquette and protocol, was toastmaster and event coordinator for Buckingham Palace.

Register Here.

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Member Spotlight

While Jennifer has been a member of SMPS for only three and a half years, she has been attending SMPS events and supporting education events in Buffalo for 15 years.  She spent two years on the SMPS Upstate NY Board as the Buffalo Metro Program Coordinator. 

Jennifer started her career in the A/E/C industry with BHNT Architects as a Marketing Coordinator.  There she learned to navigate the intricacies of working with New York State agencies.  She left there 11 ½ years later as Director of Marketing.  For the last 3 ½ years Jennifer has been the Marketing Director at Mach Architecture located in Tonawanda in Western New York.  Mach focuses exclusively on education projects working in both K-12 and Higher Ed across upstate New York.

With over 15 years marketing in the A/E/C industry, Jennifer still finds the job fun and challenging.  When asked what she likes best about her job, she lists:  “I love the diversity of tasks involved and skills utilized in marketing an architecture firm.  It means that my job is never boring.  New technologies and social media mean that I’m always learning.  And the ability to be creative in a job is something I couldn’t live without!”  

When asked what SMPS has meant to her, she replies:  “Without a doubt the friends that I have made in colleagues around the state!  Because we are all doing variations of the same things, we understand one another’s triumphs and frustrations.  A/E/C Marketers are friendly, caring and supportive.  SMPS has provided me with the support and education I need to continue to do well in my job.”

Jennifer lives in Amherst, NY with her engineer boyfriend, their three children, one cat and (the world’s best) dog.

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