Join SMPS for a day-long BD workshop!

Business Development for the A/E/C Industries

Do you know where to find new project leads and connect with clients?

Whether you’re a new or seasoned business developer, Business Development for the A/E/C Industries will provide you with the skills and tools to build more business for your firm in any economy. Led by seasoned, active A/E/C practitioners with responsibility for bottom-line contractual results, this program will strengthen your business development skills to position your firm for success in 2017. During this interactive, day-long workshop you will gain the special skills, techniques, and tools necessary to develop and maintain a successful business development program for your professional services firm.
Visit our Events page for more information.

Marketing Professionals Converge on St. Louis for the Missouri Valley Regional Conference in April

St. Louis, MO – For decades St. Louis has been known as the Gateway to the West. For the upcoming Missouri Valley Regional Conference (MVRC), St. Louis will become known as the “Gateway to Success.”

On April 5-7, St. Louis will welcome Architecture/Engineering/Construction (A/E/C) industry professionals from St. Louis, Kansas City, Nebraska, Wichita and the Missouri Ozarks in marketing and business development. These participants will network receive training from top professionals in the industry during this year’s three-day conference at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch.

MVRC is proud to welcome St. Louis native, Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop and Teach for America Chair, as one of the conference’s keynote speakers. Clark is a true innovator in the retail industry. Throughout her career, she has leveraged her ability to spot emerging business trends and keen consumer insights to propel herself to success and to develop into a leader and mentor. Clark will address conference speaking about “Customer Centered Leadership” to an anticipated 100+ audience on Thursday, April 6.

“We are extremely proud, honored and excited to have Maxine Clark speaking at this year’s SMPS Missouri Valley Regional Conference,” said Amanda Payne, MVRC Co-Chairman. “We feel her message will resonate among those attending the conference motivating them to enhance their knowledge of marketing trends in the industry and grow their network throughout the three-day conference.”

Also this year, MVRC welcomes Michael Geary, the CEO of SMPS, as a keynote speaker on Friday morning. He’ll speak to many SMPS members and conference attendees about the key factors of success and the future of SMPS.  Mike will also facilitate a new Chapter Leaders Workshop for SMPS volunteers.  With more than 20 years of management experience, Geary has served as president and chief executive officer at AmericanHort, the horticulture industry’s trade association; the executive director of the independent American Institute of Architecture Students and the senior director for the National Association of Home Builders.

The conference also features eight MAX sessions, which are short 15-minute motivational presentations, and a compelling mix of eight breakout sessions.  Evening social networking events hosted in Downtown St. Louis at HOK and Kemoll’s Top of the Met round out the conference experience.

Visit for more information about the conference regarding session topics, events going on throughout the conference and additional details.


About the Society for Marketing Professional Services
The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) is the only marketing association offering A/E/C professionals the network, knowledge, and training to build business. SMPS offers members professional development, leadership opportunities, and marketing resources to advance their careers. SMPS represents a dynamic network of 6,300+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms. The Society and its chapters benefit from the support of 3,650 design and building firms, encompassing 80% of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors.

2017 MCAs Call for Entries!

SMPS Kansas City Marketing Communication Awards Program 2017

Please note materials completed between January 2015 and December 2016 will be accepted for the 2017 competition. We run our local competition with the same entry guidelines as the national SMPS organization. We encourage everyone to make a duplicate of their entry and also submit to nationals.

All entries are due IN HAND by March 21, 2017.  Entries should be sent to the attention of Emily Fors, JE Dunn Construction 1001 Locust Street, Kansas City, MO 64106. Questions: Emily Fors – or 816.292.8520

2017 SMPS MCA Entry Form

2017 SMPS MCA Category Definitions

2017 SMPS MCA Entry Guidelines


A separate folder is required for each entry category. All materials must be submitted in one 8.5-x-11-inch, plastic pocket folder, including:
1.    entry form (print ONLY PAGE 2 of entry form)
2.    entry fee payment (if you paid by credit card, print out receipt of payment from online registration, if paying by check, place check in inside pocket of folder)
3.    table of contents
4.    print out of section 2 of entry form (includes Questions 1-6)
5.    exhibits/samples of project being entered

You may incorporate a cover sheet on the inside, in front of the table of contents.

For larger items that do not fit into folder, use large metal binder clips or rubber bands to secure the items to your folder (e.g., book, poster). Any materials that cannot be placed in a folder (e.g., clothing, hard hats) must be illustrated with a photograph and the photograph included in the exhibit section of folder. Inclusion of such materials in their actual form is elective, not mandatory.


Each folder must contain the following items in the following order.

  1. Entry Form

Complete entry registration form. Once you have completed and paid your entry fees, print out one copy of entry form and place in inside front pocket of folder along with payment (either your credit card information on the form or a check made out to SMPS KC).

Entry Questions

The following 6 questions are to be answered on the entry form. The word count limit is next to each question. You WILL be judged on your responses.

  1. Marketing Objectives (75 words or less)
    Identify your marketing goals by answering the following questions:
    •    What did your firm hope to achieve with the piece or program?
    •    How did you plan to measure your results against your marketing goals?
    Include the following:
    •    Marketing objectives
    •    Specify time frame
    •    Budget information
    •    Methodology for collecting and evaluating result
  2.  Target Audience (50 words or less)
    Define the audience for this piece or program.
    Answer the following questions:
    •    Who was your target audience?
    •    How many pieces were sent via mail or e-mail? If web site or video, what were your analytical goals?
    •    Characterize the composition, size, and location of your target audience (example: 250 CEOs and senior managers of the top 500 leaders of the California high-tech industry).
  3. Research and Planning (75 words or less)  Describe the market research conducted prior to planning your piece or program. Summarize your marketing plan efforts. Explain the production and delivery method.
  4. Messaging (30 words or less)   What is the intended message of this entry?
  5.  Results (75 words or less) Please answer the following questions:

•    What was the ROI?
•    Which actions did the target audience take after receiving your materials (testimonials/feedback)?
•    What was your break-even goal for profit/loss, and did you achieve it?
•    Did you meet your specific sales goals?
•    Did you gain new clients as a result?

6. Creative Brief (250 Words or less)
Please give a 250 word or less creative brief on your entry to convey to their jurors why your entry should win.

2. Entry Fee Payment

Fees: $150 for the first firm entry (includes ONE complimentary ticket to the Gala!); $75 for each additional entry. If you are paying by check, include the check in the envelope with a copy of your entry registration form. Please make checks payable to “SMPS KC”. If you are paying by credit card, please include your credit card number, expiration, and name on the form. These will be run through TicketLeap and then the forms will be destroyed to protect your credit card number.

3. Table of Contents

Including the following:

  1. Print out of Entry Form
  2. Entry Questions (includes questions 1-6)
  3. Exhibits/SamplesPlease include at least one hard copy of the marketing piece you are submitting for judges to review. (Some categories require more than one copy; review the individual requirements for the category you are entering to confirm the quantity.)  To submit digital entries, please be sure to include a web link to view entry online. Make sure that the link is accessible using Google Chrome and test your web link prior to submitting your entry. Submitting printout of screenshots of digital entry is encouraged.

All entries are due IN HAND by March 21, 2017.  Entries should be sent to the attention of Emily Fors, JE Dunn Construction 1001 Locust Street, Kansas City, MO 64106. Questions: Emily Fors – or 816.292.8520

Read more about the 2017 categories here:


A note from our 2016-2017 President

I often travel for my job, and on those planes, trains and automobiles, I take time to pause, reflect and plan. As I began my role as president of the KC chapter of SMPS, I asked myself a lot of questions: what could I expect, what would the commitment be, what exactly would be expected of me? How would I fulfill the duties and the commitment as president AND meet the demands of my communications role at my GC firm? The answer was simple – why WOULDN’T I do it?

There is so much happening in the A/E/C industry these days and so many more people joining each day.

As a communicator and marketer, I have spent my career focused on uncovering stories. I often find the best part of each story is always about the people. Now, I have the honor of uncovering more stories about the local SMPS community – our colleagues, our members, our board members, our volunteers and our firms.

Each firm has a story and we as marketers and communicators work to amplify those details. I find that our industry often is about creativity and how privileged are we to be the storytellers of that creativity? As we move into the days and months ahead, I urge you to stay engaged with SMPS and find more moments to create your story. I hope our programming uncovers new ways for each of you to build upon your work as storytellers and marketers.  I look forward to seeing you – whether it’s at a luncheon, happy hour or on an upcoming jobsite tour.

More to come…  Emily

Emily Fors is Vice President of Communications at JE Dunn Construction, Inc.

Build Business 2015 – A Look Back

By Barry Sutherland

The happenings of August 19-21, 2015 in Los Angeles represented 18 months of planning and preparations finally coming to fruition. If you were not in attendance, then you missed out on the opportunity to “go beyond” with the rest of the 2015 SMPS Build Business attendees.

The premise behind the theme of “go beyond” was to challenge ourselves and our firms to push the limits. Beyond your dreams. Beyond merely embracing change. Beyond getting out of your comfort zone. It’s about upping your game, and living-and doing business-like you mean it.

The festivities began on Wednesday, August 19, with the Chapter Leadership Forum, First Timer’s Orientation, where we welcomed KC chapter newbies Amy Schieber, Nicole Lane, and Lauren Kepler, and the Welcome Reception. These initial networking opportunities primed the attendees for the educational programs and firstnote and endnote speakers that we lined up for Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, August 20, jumped out to solid footing aided by the presence of firstnote speaker, Tim Sanders, an internet pioneer, best-selling author and former chief solutions officer for Yahoo!. Tim spoke to us about branding, mentoring, networking, collaboration, dealstorming, and so much more. Tim set the foundation for the rest of the programs that day, which was closed out with the MAX (Marketing. Act. eXchange.) sessions. In these sessions, attendees heard from four presenters (industry legends, newbies, and some outsiders) that told their story in a compelling way in only 18 minutes, tying it to business concepts. The response was overwhelming from all four tracks of MAX, so much so, that they’re likely to be featured next year and years to come.

Thursday and Friday both saw a lineup of general session speakers that aimed to compel the attendees to start having their firms be marketing-led. So many A/E/C firms are operations or design-led, the conference committee thought it was time that we turned that concept on its head. From financials to corporate communications, higher education panels to a marketing legends panel, there was something for everyone.

After starting Friday, August 19, with the aforementioned general sessions, the day and the conference was closed out in an inspiring, challenging way by Chris Bashinelli, aka “Scooter Man”. An actor and host of Bridge the Gap, a national TV series on PBS, Chris invited us to “go beyond” our typical way of thinking and to imagine our communities as a stoop, much like the one Chris grew up on in Brooklyn. He also asked us to start imagining our lives in other people’s shoes – truly imagining what it would be like and painted the pictures of those he’s encountered in his world travels.

Mixed throughout the entire conference was a myriad of networking opportunities, one of the most beneficial aspects of membership in SMPS. Having attended for six straight years, Build Business is always an exciting event to see the national connections I’ve built through the years and make new ones. I’m already looking forward to next year in Philly, when I get to see them all again.

From my vantage point as the co-chair of the conference, everything went as planned and the entire committee was pleased with the outcome. Judging from the initial feedback we have received, the attendees were equally as pleased, meaning we satisfied our goal of putting on the best conference possible for the membership.

If you would like to learn more about this conference, be sure to ask one of the attendees from the KC chapter: Amy Schieber, Nicole Lane, Robin Broder, Lynn DiPlacito, Emily Fors, Lauren Kepler, Katie McKenzie, Katie O’Donovan or myself.

Mentorship Program Applications due January 6

The objective of this program is for mentors to provide individual professional guidance and support to the protege to facilitate their growth and development in marketing and business development in the AEC industry. In terms of measurable objectives, the program seeks to help the protege with:

  • Focus on person career growth, leadership and aspirations
  • Commitment of face-to-face monthly meetings (12-month duration)
  • Development of connections among smaller group of leaders in diverse roles
  • Development of marketing and business development skills for AEC professionals

Forms and questions regarding the program need to be submitted to Ann Melton, Application due date: January 6, 2015. Review the forms below for more information.

Program Overview (pdf)

Mentor Application (pdf)

Protege Application (pdf)

2014 Fall CPSM Study Sessions

Time to crack the books!

Have you been thinking about sitting for the CPSM exam? Not sure what to study or how? Or are you maybe just needing a little extra support and motivation from your peers? If so, join your fellow SMPS members to help you prepare for the exam and increase your chances of passing!

Click here to learn more about the CPSM program and certification.

***Contact Courtney McCoy with questions, or to RSVP for this three night study group!


  • November 18
  • November 25
  • December 2


Time: 5:30p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Affinis Corp
8900 Indian Creek Parkway
Suite 450
Corporate Woods Building 6
Overland Park, KS 66210


2014-2015 Call for Nominations

2014-2015 Board of Directors

Call for Nominations

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2014-2015 term, which commences on September 1, 2014 and concludes on August 31, 2015. Currently both the Education and the Programs Committee have an opening for a Chair position, along with a Co-Chair position for the Communications Committee. In addition, we are looking for someone to fill a few new Committees’ Chair positions: Chair of the Striving for Excellence award submittal and Chair of the Annual Principals Round-Table event. Members in good standing may be nominated for any of the positions that are currently available.

The positions are elected for a one (1) year term with a maximum of two (2) terms in each position. The Treasurer is elected to a two (2) year term with a maximum of two (2) terms in each position. The President-Elect serves in that office for one (1) year and then automatically assumes the office of the President in the subsequent year.  At the end of that term, each President remains on the Board for another year as immediate Past President.

Nominations for any of the elected positions may be self-proposed or by petition, and must include all data as outlined in the attached Nomination Form. The closing date for submissions is Monday, July 7, 2014. The Nominations and Elections Committee will evaluate all nominations in accordance with the parameters and procedures outlined in the chapter’s by-laws. The Committee will then identify a qualified slate of candidates for approvals as required.

Refer to the attached Nomination Form for details on the nomination process, Board responsibilities and eligibility requirements. Please also note that additional volunteer opportunities are available and some Board appointments do not require a vote by the membership.  For questions regarding volunteer opportunities or the nomination process, please contact me directly at (816) 729-0765 or

Thank you,

Robin Broder, CPSM
2013-2014 SMPS Kansas City Chapter Vice President
2014-2015 SMPS Kansas City Chapter President
Chair, Nominations & Elections Committee



In order for your nomination to be valid, you must provide all information as outlined below. You may make nominations for more than one position, but each nomination must be submitted separately.

The deadline for submission of all nominations is 5:00 PM on Monday, July 7, 2014. Submit nominations by email to  Please include SMPS Kansas City Nominations as your subject header.

Please indicate the position for which you are making this nomination:

  1. Director-at-Large: Education Committee
  2. Director-at-Large: Programs Committee
  3. Co-Chair: Communications Committee
  4. Director-at-Large: Striving for Excellence Award Submittal
  5. Director-at-Large: Principals Round-Table Event

Nominee Contact Information

Name & Title
Phone No.
Email Address

Eligibility and Qualifications

Please prepare and attach to this form a typewritten response to the following:

1. In what year did the nominee become a member of SMPS? This includes membership in any SMPS chapter.

2. Has the nominee ever been an officer of an SMPS Board of Directors? This includes participation on the Board for any SMPS chapter. If so, please indicate what position, dates of participation and chapter name.

3. Has the nominee ever served on an SMPS committee? This includes participation on committees for any SMPS chapter. If so, please indicate what committee, dates of participation and chapter name.

4. How many years of experience in the A/E/C industry does the nominee possess?

5. Has the nominee participated on a Board of Directors or committee for another professional organization? If so, please indicate what organization, capacity served and dates of participation. Please provide a brief overview of that role.

6. Personal Statement – In 50 words or less, please describe why the nominee would be a good candidate for the position. Include details regarding their current level of participation as a member of SMPS, as well as their views on current chapter issues and special areas of interest.

Nomination Form – Supplemental Information

A. Roles and Responsibilities

All Board members must participate in monthly Board meetings and meet the minimum participation requirement as set forth in chapter by-laws. Additionally, Directors and Chairs are expected to conduct monthly meetings with their committees as necessary to successfully meet their respective goals.

1. Director-at-Large / Education Committee

The Education Director is responsible for planning and organizing chapter education seminars to meet the CEU requirements for SMPS CPSMs from the six domains of practice. This includes recommending relevant topics, contacting and procuring appropriate speakers, identifying program goals and most effective format and coordinating necessary details with accommodations, sponsorship, and communications committees. The Education Director also solicits feedback and prepares seminar evaluation summaries, which are used at the end of the term to assist the President in preparing the Annual Education Report for the National office.

2. Director-at-Large / Programs Committee

The Programs Director works with the Educations Director on planning and organizing chapter events including socials, job site tours, and other events. This includes recommending relevant topics, contacting and procuring appropriate speakers, identifying program goals and most effective format and coordinating necessary details with accommodations, sponsorship, and communications committees. The Programs Director also solicits feedback and prepares seminar evaluation summaries, which are used at the end of the term to assist the President in preparing the Annual Education/Programs Report for the National office.

3. Co-Chair / Communications Committee

The Communications Co-Chair works with the Communications Chair to assist the chapter with aprogram of communications and public relations (PR). In its most basic form, communication brings SMPS Kansas City’s message to the attention of an audi­ence. A solid communications program builds a more effective organization.  This person will be the spokesperson for the chapter and may speak on behalf of the chapter. This person will need to keep abreast of ongoing chapter activities and the chapter’s mission. The Communications Co-Chair will be responsible, with the assistance of the Communications Director, for developing and disseminating both internal and external communications to include:

  • Chapter website
  • Newsletter/letters
  • social media
  • monthly communi­qué (eblasts, etc.)
  • membership surveys
  • press releases to local, state, regional and national media

All Chapter communications will strictly adhere to SMPS Identity Guidelines.  The Communications Co-Chair will also serve as an Industry Liaison and maintain ongoing communication with affiliated industry and business organizations, which may include:

  • Exchange monthly newsletters.
  • Volunteer to write guest articles for their newsletter.
  • Put them on your chapter’s mailing list.
  • Offer to provide speakers on topics of common interest.

4.  Director-at-Large / Striving for Excellence

The Striving for Excellence Director works in collaboration with the board to prepare and submit the annual Chapter Awards Application.  This person will meet with respective committee members throughout the year to ensure that the Chapter is meeting the requirements of the National submittal and continually pushing forward the standards of excellence for the Chapter.

5.  Director-at-Large / Principals Round-Table Event Director-at-Large

The Principal Round-Table Event Director will plan a special event to target Principals of member firms and provide them an opportunity to work through a series of problem-solving activities for local Owners and Facility Directors.  This event may be held more than once per year and will hopefully become an annual event for the Chapter.  This person will work closely with the Chapter President and Board, and recruit members from the Chapter to serve on this committee.

Marketing Communication Awards Winners & Best in Show

Best of Show Winner: Burns & McDonnell
Internal Communications Category – United Way Giving Campaign
Entries were judged by 12 jurors, assigned to several categories with no conflicts of interest. Two firms received perfect scores on their campaigns – MMC Corp and Burns & McDonnell. Of these two firms that tied for Best of Show, a new set of six jurors were selected, and chose the winner of Burns & McDonnell for its United Way Giving Campaign.

Burns & McDonnell faced the challenge of maximizing participation in the United Way campaign in all offices around the country. Their audience consisted of 4,300 employees nationwide. The message: Give Together – dedicated to making a difference. The tactics selected were emails and reminders, environmental signage and graphics, promotional video, assorted signage. The results were astonishing. The company raised $2.1 million for United Way (almost double from 2012) and exceeded goals by over half a million dollars. The participation percentage was 73 percent, up from 62 percent in 2012.

Full List of Marketing Communication Award Winners:

First Place – Burns & McDonnell

Annual Report
First Place – JE Dunn Construction
Second Place – MMC Corp

First Place – MW Builders
Second Place – Affinis

Holiday Piece
First Place – Henderson Engineers
Second Place – GBA Architects Engineers

Internal Communications
First Place – Burns & McDonnell
Second Place – MMC Corp

Internal Newsletter 
First Place – JE Dunn Construction
Second Place – Crossland Construction

First Place – MW Builders
Second Place – Burns & McDonnell
Media Relations Campaign
First Place – JE Dunn Construction

External Communications
First Place – JE Dunn Construction
Second Place – SKW

Promotional Campaign
First Place – Burns & McDonnell

Social Media
First Place – Terracon

Special Event
First Place – MMC Corp
Second Place – JE Dunn Construction

First Place – JE Dunn Construction

First Place – JE Dunn Construction
Second Place – Williams Spurgeon Kuhl & Freshnock Architects