2019 SMPS CT MAX Event

April 17, 2019
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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The Mark Twain House Lincoln Financial Theatre
385 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Venue website

Are you ready to be inspired? This stellar line up of speakers will share their creative ideas and stories that will provoke, inspire and excite the audience. After the program, join us at the networking cocktail hour for an opportunity to connect and engage with the speakers and other attendees.


130 Feet Below the Surface

Kayla McCause, CPSM - Business Development & Marketing Strategist, Dragonfly AEC Consulting

In life, I’m a daughter, a sister, a wife. In business, I’m a Strategist, a Marketer. a Business Developer. But what you may not know about me - I’m a PADI certified rescue scuba diver. I’ve been diving for around 8 years, and have been fortunate to dive all over the world. I’ve seen a lot of things, some big and some small, and almost all of them absolutely breathtaking. Diving is one of those activities that changes you in so many ways, not just through the training, but also by what you see and experience. It has a lasting effect on how you relate to life in the world above. These are just a few of the life lessons I've learned from 130 feet below the surface.


Fill Your Heart with Active Giving.

Gail Lebert - Director of Partnership Development, Klingberg Family Centers

Philanthropy is not just writing a check. Sure, that will make you feel good. But in this session we will explore ways to energize your giving. The session’s takeaways will apply to both individual and corporate giving. Using examples from my business-to-business career and my nonprofit career, I’ll open your mind and your heart to explore ways to improve your individual and corporate giving, how to choose a cause that is right for you, and how to leverage your current assets (time, relationships, talent) to make an impact.


Learning From Ornament: Key Features In Architecturally Integrated Artwork

Ioana Barac - Founding Partner, Atelier Cue, LLC

Removed from architecture in an ideology of purity of design and transcendence to "space", ornament finds its way back in the built environment today as architecturally integrated art. More than bringing content that is locally relevant, architecturally integrated art follows certain rules and captures certain qualities specific to traditional ornament: it is designed for a particular location, tailored to the structure and scale of its carrier, and it connects the adorned object to the world beyond itself. Thus integrating meaning and memory with architecture, ornament makes the universal locally relevant, and transforms a neutral space into a unique place. Through this lens, we will look at the making of "Keys", a place-making art set of multi-layered, laser-inscribed and cut panels, composed and assembled by hand.


Re-Focus. Re-Design. Re-Bloom. One woman's journey of recreating life after loss.

Anne Crowe Kroger, FSMPS, MBA - President, Kroger Grant Consultants, LLC

You spent your life building a career with great jobs and leadership roles. You have a family. You have a good life. What happens when one leg of your stool - family, work, community – falls off? How do you pick yourself up and move on? How do you learn to live with a broken leg? Could you define and create an even better stool? Can you dream that big? Anne will share her story of rebuilding a life, not just a career, after her husband died from cancer in 12 short weeks. She’ll talk of her explorations of the world, which allowed her to define what really mattered to her personally and professionally, and how she recreated herself and built the life of her dreams. She’ll inspire attendees to define what matters most to them to create a life they aspire to and may not yet know is even possible.

Get pumped for this program by viewing last year's MAX Talk Speakers on our YouTube Channel

Event Details:
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
   3:00 PM – 3:30 PM   Registration
   3:30 PM - 5:00  PM   Program 
   5:00 PM - 6:00 PM    Networking & Tours of The Mark Twain House  

The Mark Twain House Lincoln Financial Theatre 
385 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Free on-site parking is available.


Please register by 5:00 PM on  April 12, 2019.

SMPS CT Members: $65 
SMPS CT New Members: $0* 
*Complimentary price only eligible to members who joined since 2018. Please email Nichole Petersen to receive your complimentary registration. We highly encourage you to attend the New Member Social prior to this program. 
Non-Members: $85
Past SMPS CT President (Member): $35
Past SMPS CT President (Non-Member): $65

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.

About MAX:

MAX events are creative programs, centered on short-form sessions meant to be a showcase for speakers exchanging great, well-formed, marketing-led ideas and inspiration, through storytelling, presentations, and media.

MAX: Market.Act.eXchangeMembers of the SMPS community are changing their businesses, communities, and the world in positive ways every day. MAX provides a creative, fresh platform to celebrate and exchange marketing-led innovations, big ideas, and inspiring stories. MAX helps open our minds to possibilities. MAX promotes SMPS community members as leaders to inspire others to think and act.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 
Please check back for information about this program's CEUs.


Thank you to our Generous Sponsors!

Videographer Sponsor:

Presenting Coach Sponsor:

Drink Ticket Sponsor:

1 Available.

Door Prize Sponsor:

1 Available.

About the Emcee:

George Jacobs, PE - Vice President, KS Engineers, P.C.

George Jacobs, PE is a transportation engineer having more than 38 years of experience in New England, across the country and around the world. Major projects that he has been associated with include the Franconia Notch Parkway in NH, the "Big Dig" in MA, the Q-Bridge Program in CT and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in DC. Additionally, he has managed branch offices and regions for firms employing industry-leading business development and marketing practices. George's charisma and ability to engage a crowd will be sure to captivate the MAX Talks audience!

About the Speakers: 

Kayla McCause, CPSM - Business Development & Marketing Strategist, Dragonfly AEC Consulting

Between being a student pilot and a PADI certified rescue diver, it is rare to find Kayla McCause on land. While on solid ground, Kayla has had a multi-faceted career that includes theater performance, corporate marketing for one of the nation’s largest banks, and now a Marketing and Business Development Strategist for design and construction firms at Dragonfly AEC Consulting. A passionate relationship builder, Kayla believes any successful strategy starts from within, and specializes in developing and executing creative marketing and targeted business development strategies. Currently residing in the Philadelphia area, she is an active member of SMPS serving as Director-at-Large for the Philadelphia chapter. Kayla has also been seen speaking at multiple SMPS chapters across the US, as well as in San Diego for Build Business 2018.

Gail Lebert - Director of Partnership Development, Klingberg Family Centers

As Director of Partnership Development for Klingberg Family Centers, Gail works with a talented team whose mission is to help build healing relationships that empower children and families. Last year Klingberg Family Centers, located in New Britain and Hartford, served over 3,000 individuals whose lives have been traumatized by abuse, neglect, and severe family problems.

Gail, formerly Publisher of the Hartford Business Journal, led the innovative HBJ team to evolve from a weekly newspaper into a business information company. Gail has a lifelong passion to learn and share knowledge.

Gail serves as a Consultant to the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, is on the Board of Directors of CRIS Radio and is an Ambassador for the University of Saint Joseph and Connecticut Community Care.

Gail graduated from Ithaca College and lives in Glastonbury with her husband Jeff. She loves spending time with her family, daughter Angel and two granddaughters.

Ioana Barac - Founding Partner, Atelier Cue, LLC

Ioana is a designer, fabricator and educator with a strong command of conceptual creation and spatial development, from 2D pattern and shallow relief to elaborate, large scale 3-dimensional sculptural work. Ioana has a Master of Architecture from Yale University where she received the Moulton Andrus Award for Excellence in Art and Architecture.

Ioana (pronounced Yoanna) has garnered extensive sculptural design and fabrication expertise as well as architectural design experience, and built a practice that straddles the fields of art, architecture, making, and teaching.

In 2017 Ioana started her own art and design-make studio and partnered with long-time collaborator and friend Marissa Mead to form Atelier Cue, currently working on projects in CT, MA, and NJ.

Anne Crowe Kroger, FSMPS, MBA - President, Kroger Grant Consultants, LLC

Anne is the consummate relationship builder. If she doesn’t know you yet, she will! She lost her husband in 2013 after a 12-week battle with lung cancer. Over the following years, she explored the world and a few different careers to define her personal ‘what matters’ plan. Today, remarried and living on her own mountain in New Hampshire, she works with AEC clients and individuals to develop winning strategies for work and life.

A Fellow of SMPS, she is a two-time president of SMPS Maine, winning the President of the Year Award in 2007. She has served on numerous SMPS National Committees and has provided mentoring to several SMPS Chapters. She sits on boards for both of her alma maters. Anne is a regular speaker and guest lecturer for Northeastern University and SMPS National, Regional, and Chapter-level events.



$250.00 MAX Talks 2019 Door Prize Sponsor

$350.00 MAX Talks 2019 Drink Ticket Sponsor