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2020 SMPS CT Professional Achievement Awards

Through these changing and challenging times, one constant emerges: the dedication, innovation, imagination, and hard work our fellow SMPS volunteers put into supporting SMPS CT’s mission—to advocate for, educate, and connect leaders in the building industry. This year, the SMPS CT Board of Directors honored three individuals for their contributions to the Chapter and/or A/E/C industry with SMPS CT Professional Achievement Awards. SMPS CT virtually honored and celebrated our accomplished peers during our annual meeting held on June 17, 2020.

This year’s Grace Waldvogel Member of the Year award honors Hannah Sullivan, Marketing Coordinator with Standard Builders, Inc. (SBI), for going above and beyond as an active SMPS CT member and volunteer on both the Communications and Programs Committees. Hannah has been with SBI for almost five years, having joined the marketing team as a college intern. Hannah handles both internal and external communication and enjoys the creativity her job entails. In her free time, she runs a gourmet dessert business as an additional creative outlet. Hannah is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a degree in Communications and is a participant in the Construction Institute’s continuing education certificate program.

The Trail Blazer Award honors an up-and-coming Marketer/Business Development Professional who shows great promise in the AEC industry and possesses a positive attitude. This year, the award goes to Cynthia Colon, Marketing Coordinator with QA+M Architecture. Cynthia joined the A/E/C industry and SMPS in 2019 and is known for her continuous efforts to learn and grow as a marketing professional. With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Professional Writing from Southern Connecticut State University, Cynthia enjoys finding the balance between creativity and conciseness to deliver clear and thoughtful results. She is an active member of SMPS Connecticut's Communications Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce and will be Secretary to the Board of Directors for the 2020-2021 program year.

Maria A. Loitz, FSMPS, CPSM, Chief Marketing Officer with BVH Integrated Services (BVH), is this year’s recipient of the prestigious James Bancroft Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors a seasoned Marketing/Business Development Professional who has made endless contributions to the profession and A/E/C industry and has also served as an advisor for the chapter. With 25 years of experience, Maria directs the marketing and communications efforts for BVH, a leading consulting engineering firm in the Northeast.

Inducted as a Fellow by the Society for Marketing Professional Services in 2016, Maria continues to contribute to SMPS on local and national levels. A member since 1995, she has served in many roles, including committee chairperson, board member, regional conference chairperson, and chapter president. Crediting the tremendous impact SMPS has had on her career, she continues to serve as a mentor and chapter advisor.

Recognized as an industry leader throughout Connecticut, Maria tirelessly promotes careers in architecture, construction, and engineering to high school students. For the past 15 years, she has held leadership roles in the ACE Mentor Program of Connecticut, currently serving as its President. She also co-authored Addressing the AEC/O Workforce Shortage: How to Attract and Retain Women in Today’s Talent Pool, published in 2018. Maria was the recipient of the Hartford Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2010 and received the Construction Institute’s Distinguished Achievement Award for her contributions to the advancement of Connecticut’s construction industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bryant University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.

The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) was created in 1973 by a small group of professional services firm leaders who recognized the need to sharpen skills, pool resources, and work together to create business opportunities. Today, SMPS, nationally, represents a dynamic network of 7,000+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. The Society and its 60 chapters benefit from the support of 3,250 design and building firms, encompassing 80% of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors.

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