Tough Talks & Climbing the Ladder - Career Development Panel + Annual Meeting

June 17, 2020
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
 Add to Calendar

Glastonbury Hills Country Club
239 Country Club Road
South Glastonbury, CT 06073
Venue website

Career development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future. Developing your career is not something that stops when you get a job or once you've achieved your dream position. It is a work in progress and something that you should always be improving.

While striving for greatness there are many challenges and obstacles that can make an already difficult process even harder. Join SMPS CT for a candid career development panel discussion centered around having tough talks while climbing the corporate ladder.

Topics will include but are not limited to:

  • Interviewing etiquette
  • Negotiating for a raise
  • Having uncomfortable conversations
  • Career advancement
  • Advocating for yourself
  • Setting career goals
  • And more!


Who should attend?

  • A/E/C industry members seeking career advancement or a promotion
  • Employees satisified with their firm but looking to make an internal change
  • Professionals seeking career guidance
  • Employers and/or employees seeking HR advice on how to handle a tough situation
  • Job seekers
  • Anyone interested in achieving their career goals


Meet the Panelists:

Gil Brindley - Director, UHPC Solutions

Gil Brindley serves as the Director of UHPC Solutions, Posillico’s specialty concrete division focused on Ultra High-Performance Concrete for bridge rehabilitation projects. He also serves as Program Manager and Director for Federal projects. In his role, he oversees the development of two of Posillico’s newest ventures including oversight of Army Corps of Engineers infrastructure projects.

Throughout his 35-year career in the AEC industry, Mr. Brindley has worn hats of the owner, engineer and contractor. His experience in bridge and highway construction management has included large projects like the third lane widening of the Ohio Turnpike, construction of the Dulles Toll Road Extension, and placement of the first machine paved UHPC overlay in the United States.

Mr. Brindley is an Army veteran with a B.S. from the United States Military Academy and a MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in several states and a Certified Professional Service Marketer.

Dave Dunning - Vice President of Marketing & Human Resources, S.W. Cole Engineering

Dave Dunning, SHRM-SCP, SPHR worked one summer as a lab technician at S.W. Cole Engineering, Inc. before he graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Environmental Technology. He has now had an over 33-year career with S. W. Cole Engineering, Inc. based in the corporate office in Bangor, Maine. He was an Environmental Scientist for 30 years while also serving in other capacities including Health and Safety Officer, Marketing Director, and he was appointed to Vice President of Marketing and Human Resources in 2010. He has been part of the leadership team instrumental in the firm’s growth to 9 offices in New England and 130 employees. He is also a shareholder and he has served on the Board of Directors since 2002.

An SMPS member since 1993, Dave served ten years on the Board of Directors of the SMPS Northern New England chapter, including 2 years as President, 6 years as Treasurer as well as serving on several committees. He is currently Chair Elect of the Board of Directors of the 800 member Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce and a member of several Human Resources professional associations.

Stephen Duvel - Sr. Vice President, New England Division, Gilbane Building Co.

As Senior Vice President of the New England Division at Gilbane Building Company, Steve Duvel is a leader in the business and construction industry. He is responsible for operational, sales and administrative functions for Gilbane’s New England division, which encompasses 365 staff in offices located in Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Glastonbury, CT; Stamford, CT; and Merrimack, NY. With over 25 years of experience, one of his passions is mentoring young individuals in the field of construction.

Steve received a BS degree in Civil Engineering in 1993 from the University of Massachusetts. Early in his career Steve traveled nationally, working for a company which remediated hazardous waste sites in the public and private sector. In 2000, Steve relocated to Rhode Island and since that time has provided leadership for many large-scale commercial building projects, including the URI Ryan Center, Connecticut Convention Center, Dunkin’ Donuts Center Renovation (formally known as the Providence Civic Center), and the Worcester Psychiatric Hospital. Most recently he served as the company’s Rhode Island District operations manager where he demonstrated a major focus in cultivating successful teams through workforce development, inclusion and diversity.

Steve is the Co-Chair of the Governance Committee of the Roger Williams University Construction Management Professional Advisory Board. Steve is currently a member of the Rhode Island chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, Construction Management Association of America, and American Society of Civil Engineers. He graduated Leadership Rhode Island in 2012, was selected as the class speaker for his graduating class, and currently serves on the Board of Governors as the Vice Chair. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the New England Council.

Throughout his career at Gilbane he has earned several awards and accommodations. He was nominated by Gilbane for the Iver Johnson Builder of the Year in 2008 and 2012 for demonstrating leadership in construction. In 2011 Steve was awarded the Class A Safety Award for outstanding performance in safety leadership. He was nominated for the Manager of the Year in 2012, representing the Gilbane New England Business Unit. In 2016 Steve earned the President’s Innovation Award as well as the prestigious John J. McCoy Award for exemplifying Gilbane’s core values.

Heather Halotek - Executive Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications, Principal, BL Companies

Heather Halotek is the Executive Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications and Principal at BL Companies. With over 20-years of experience and success in marketing, communications and business development, Heather knows the key to getting results is having the true belief in your brand (love what you do), planning (a lot of it), and communication (listen!). Having a strong team, creative mindset and respected corporate culture only makes her job easier. As part of the executive team at BL Companies, she helps facilitate the leadership training, spearheads initiatives that help sourcing and understands that the people who work for BL are truly what make the company successful.

Kathy Nanowski, CPSM- Vice President, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Fuss & O'Neill

Kathy Nanowski, CPSM has played a lead role in transforming the Fuss & O’Neill’s marketing and sales practices at the firm, instituting consistent, proactive approaches to relationship-based business development. Recently made both an owner and appointed to the Board of Directors, Kathy helps identify new opportunities and works directly with all levels of staff to bring in new business.

A graduate from Connecticut State University, Kathy has helped the firm use more data-driven processes, a subject upon which she has written and spoken about at a national level. She is a sought-after contributor to written content for both the Marketer and PSMJ journals. She completed a term as President of the Connecticut Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services and now services on the Board of Connecticut Main Street.

With nearly two decades of experience, Kathy understands the value of prepositioning. She has taken proactive strides to change internal processes to improve win percentages. Communication, strategies, client relationships, and metrics have all improved under her change management.

Furthermore, Kathy is a proponent for new client development, while recognizing the importance of maintaining relationships with existing clients. Kathy has used her experience in Business Development to facilitate both internal and external training. She has spoken numerous times at the National Deltek Conference, various Regional SMPS conferences, created a national webinar for SMPS, and most recently provided sales training for one of our important clients.


Meet the Moderator:

Samantha VanSchoick - Marketing & Business Development Manager, CIL

Sam lives every day passionately, which sometimes means passionately napping, but mostly means passionately & meticulously infusing creative energy into high impact marketing and business development campaigns. Her favorite thing to think about is how to add value into an experience. She calls it "strategic surprise." As Marketing/Business Development Manager of CIL, a nonprofit real estate development company, she seeks out opportunities to help the communities CIL serves. As Immediate Past President of the SMPS CT, she is chair of the Leadership Committee and oversees the SMPS CT Mentorship Program. 

Event Details:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

11:00 AM to 11:30 AM - Registration and Networking

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Lunch & Annual Meeting

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM - Panel Discussion

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM - Q&A and Closing Remarks


Glastonbury Hills Country Club, 239 Country Club Road, South Glastonbury, CT 06073

Door Prize Sponsor:

Continuing Education Units (CEUs):

This program is eligible for 1.5 SMPS CEU credits in Domain 6 (Management).


Please register by Friday, June 12, 2020.

Please note:

Late registrations and walk-ins will be charged an additional $10.

Cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance to receive a refund.

No shows are responsible for payment in full.



$65.00 SMPS CT Member
$75.00 after 5:00 pm June 12

$35.00 Past SMPS CT President (Member)
$45.00 after 5:00 pm June 12

$0.00 Member Sponsor

$85.00 Non-Member
$95.00 after 5:00 pm June 12

$45.00 Past SMPS CT President
$55.00 after 5:00 pm June 12

$0.00 Non-Member Sponsor