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Winter 2021 SMPS CT NewsletterPrint

President's Report

Hello Everyone,

As I look out my window, watching the snow fall, the thought of spring arriving next month seems inconceivable; however, warm weather for us New Englanders is on its way and we are here for it, let’s go!

Our chapter continues to forge ahead. By tripling our event offerings, we have created space for members and non-members alike to participate and network, virtually. Our Programs Committee has put together a diverse and dynamic calendar of virtual programming and fun socials ranging from client experience to crisis management to a madmen themed cocktail hour. Our Education Committee has created an educational series including Adobe InDesign training, A/E/C writing skills and LinkedIn training. Over the last six months, these committees have coordinated and completed 12 virtual events, with registration records in the 70s and attendance records in the 60s. 

As part of our programming, we offer CEUs to CPSMs (Certified Professional Services Marketers). Our membership currently has 14 CPSMs. Our Education Committee assists professionals interested in obtaining their CPSM, by offering study groups and literature so you can successfully prepare and pass the exam. To learn more, click here and contact our Education Committee to get started.

At the beginning of the program year, our Communications Committee strategized on how to create more engagement on our social media platforms, as well as reach more industry professionals outside of our membership. They were extremely proactive with developing content, making modifications to our website, creating ways for other committees and program speakers to assist with content generation and sharing and managing the load of media blasts due to our extensive offerings. The success of our event registration numbers is a result of the communications team’s efforts.

Over the past few years, our Membership Committee has worked diligently to keep our membership growing, having reached large chapter status with national, and creating opportunities for more professionals to join, including membership discounts. As a member of SMPS CT, you receive benefits from both the CT chapter and the national organization. The resources provided to you are significant and can be used for a variety of marketing and business solutions. Be on the lookout for our next membership discount and don’t forget, if you are a member you can Refer a Friend and receive a 3-month extension on your membership.

With the growth of our Sponsorship Committee, we have developed new packages including our education series sponsorship opportunities. Our Sponsorship Committee is working to get more companies involved with SMPS CT, including partnering with local associations, small businesses and developing customized sponsorship opportunities that work for industry and non-industry firms. We continue to offer our door prize sponsor package for each program which gives the sponsor five minutes on the screen to talk about their company. Due to virtual events, we have attendees from all over the country and Canada, so this is a great opportunity for companies to sponsor and maximize their exposure.

The Job Bank on the SMPS CT website has been a huge resource for industry firms in CT. During the last year, many professionals have been affected by job loss, and our job bank has been a resource for those who are looking for work. Not only do we post open positions in CT, but our Job Bank Manager, Allison Puzycki, has been an ear for many firms and professionals and continues to provide support and guidance. 

The SMPS CT Board of Directors continues to be extremely supportive of our goals. We are very thankful for their support, ideas, and commitment to the chapter.

As you soak in the accomplishments of our committees and read through the rest of this newsletter about the upcoming opportunities, consider volunteering with us. We can provide you a volunteer role description to review prior to your commitment so you know exactly what the expectations are. The benefits of volunteering with SMPS CT are immense and can be essential to your professional development.

We are very excited about the future of our chapter, with more growth and opportunities being developed. Thank you for your continued participation with SMPS CT. 

Stay happy and healthy,

Alicia Mojica Washington
President, SMPS Connecticut 2020/2021


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Calendar of Events

Define Your Brand. Enhance Your Credibility. Ignite Your Career | 03/17
In today's hyper-connected digital world, everyone has a personal brand and it’s one of the most valuable assets you can control. Having a personal brand helps you advance your career, establish credibility, and attract opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable. Whether you’re just starting out, looking to advance professionally, or seeking to make a career change, you are the Chief Marketing Officer of “You, Inc.” – act accordingly.

Proposal Writing Best Practices | 03/31
Writing is hard, and proposal writing is harder. Tight deadlines, multiple authors, vague requirements – it’s enough to make even the most experienced writers overwhelmed. And, for technical staff or marketers new to writing, proposals can feel impossible. The good news is, proposal writing doesn’t have to be so hard. With the right tools, anyone can write a persuasive cover letter, a thorough approach, or a compelling project narrative. Join SMPS CT for an educational session which demystifies the proposal writing process.

Be Prepared: Develop Your Systems, Procedures and Protocols Before A Crisis | 04/14
A detailed crisis communications plan will help you evaluate the scope and level of a crisis while establishing a uniform communications system, procedures, and protocols to help your company deal effectively with an emergency situation. This session will provide practical information around a range of crisis issues that you can immediately implement within your firm.

The 2021 Golden Gala: SMPS CT Marketing Communications Awards | 05/12
Prepare yourself for the marketing event of the year! Join SMPS CT as we recognize excellence in marketing communications by professional services firms in the A/E/C industry for their exemplary marketing projects, campaigns, and materials. In addition to the MCA entry awards, we will honor three non-entry awards that night!

You can register for these events on our website.

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Chapter News

Call for entries are now open the 2021 Golden Gala SMPS CT Marketing Communications Awards! 

This competition is held annually through SMPS HQ but only comes around every other year for SMPS CT. The event recognizes excellence in marketing communications by professional services firms in the A/E/C industries.

Benefits of participating in the Marketing Communication Awards Golden Gala include:

  • Exposure to potential clients and media
  • Feedback on your firm’s marketing projects
  • Inspiration for future campaigns
  • Opportunity to showcase your firm’s marketing successes

*Winning firms will receive one free registration.

Click here to submit your firm's entry! Entry deadline is Friday, March 26, 2021 at 11:59 PM

As part of our annual SMPS CT Professional Achievement Awards, we will award three individuals for their contributions to the SMPS CT chapter and/or A/E/C industry at The Golden Gala on May 12, 2021.  We are seeking your nominations for two of those awards:

  • Trail Blazer Award | Awarded to an up-and-coming Marketer/Business Development Professional who shows great promise for the A/E/C industry and possesses a positive attitude. This professional has less than 7 years experience in the industry.
  • The James Bancroft Lifetime Achievement Award | Awarded to a seasoned A/E/C Professional, who has made endless contributions to the Marketing/BD profession within the A/E/C industry, and has also acted as an advisor for the chapter. This professional has more than 15 years’ experience.


We'd love to hear your feedback! Please click on the link below to take our survey.

2021 SMPS CT Professional Achievement Awards (click here to access)

Nominations are due by Friday, March 05, 2021 at 11:59 PM

The SMPS Effect

Lights! Camera! Action! The SMPS Effect is your chance to star in our NEW CHAPTER VIDEO!

Create and submit a short video that shows your value -- how the things you do every day bring success to your firm.  

Show us how you or your team are total rock stars:

  • Do you plan epic company events?
  • Lead innovative teams? 
  • Host virtual training? 
  • Mentor new staff?
  • Stay up late perfecting presentations?  
  • Drop off proposals in the nick of time?


Not sure where to start? Check out this great submission from our immediate past-president, Nichole Petersen, for inspiration. This is your chance to let your creativity shine!

Submit your video here for your chance to win one (1) year of FREE membership!

Videos will be accepted until Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 11:59PM

SMPS CT Job Bank

Whether you are a seasoned professional or college graduate, SMPS has the resources and education available to grow with your career. The SMPS Job Bank is a forum for connecting companies seeking skilled marketing professionals in the A/E/C industry. If you are a 20-year marketing veteran or college graduate, the Job Bank is a resource for you!

The SMPS CT Job Bank is a data resource only and is not a referral or job placement service. The Job Bank welcomes postings for full-time, part-time and college internship positions. Please include instructions or a contact email in your posting so applicants can reply directly.

Available Positions Include:

Connect with Clients and Colleagues - Become an SMPS Committee Member

Are you an SMPS CT chapter member and want to get more involved? Are you looking to gain valuable industry experience, get exclusive access to speakers, or connect with clients and peers? If you answered yes then consider joining one of our committees - we are always looking for new members!


Have you checked out the latest SMPS CT blog posts? Read on a variety of topics, such as Relevance and Value - Keys to Business Development Success, the January Best Five, celebrate Membership Milestones, and much more!

Did you know SMPS CT has a YouTube Channel? Our library includes Messages from our President, Alicia Washington, Virtual Webinars from the 2019-20 program year, SMPS Principals Speak Series, and more!

Interested in contributing? Contact Jocelyn Taylor.

Call for Speakers!

We are always on the lookout for speakers for our upcoming programs and events. We invite and welcome new speakers to enlighten our chapter in a variety of topics relevant to the six domains of practice: Marketing Research, Market Planning, Client and Business Development, Proposals, Promotional Activity and Management. If you have a topic, idea, or work process that you think others can learn from fill out our online application.

Call for Industry Events!

SMPS CT is in the process of compiling an A/E/C industry event calendar. If you’re planning a virtual event or if you volunteer for another industry association and would like your event(s) listed on our calendar, please submit your request to [email protected].


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Past Program Recap

Virtual Socials | 11/19 & 12/16
Current and prospective members joined industry colleagues for a fun hour of networking and trivia. These events are a great opportunity to meet others in the chapter, and for current members to create new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

Fireside Chat with Cathie Reese | 12/02
Cathie Reese, President of Geomatrix Productions, shared an interactive, story-filled hour of inspiration sprinkled with a heavy dose of self-deprecating humor and photos. With humble beginnings as the first employee of an under-capitalized, home-based business called Geomatrix Associates, she now leads one of the longest-operating video production companies in Connecticut.

The Value of Diversity: Leadership Panel | 01/13
In this panel discussion, attendees heard from top executives from different industries around the country who addressed the value of diversity, how it affects your bottom line and how you should approach such significant change in your organization.

Adobe InDesign for Marketing | 01/27
This hands-on presentation by Betty Hackney, Assoc. AIA / AT • AT Design taught attendees some amazingly simple and easy tips and tricks within InDesign to help your workflow. This session covered ways to help you get the most out of InDesign, including working with frames, setting up pages, paragraph and character styles, getting Microsoft Word into InDesign and so much more.

Crafting Your Firm's Client Experience Workshop | 02/10
Janki DePalma, LEED AP, CPSM walked attendees through the Client Experience (CX) -- one of the latest industry buzz words. This program covered the basics of defining the client experience, understanding why it’s one of the single most important things a firm can focus on, and helped attendees determine how to start including CX into your world.

LinkedIn Company Page Management | 02/24
Sandra Long, LinkedIn extraordinaire, showed members (and non-members) how to make LinkedIn work for their company's brand. This interactive session shared the latest and greatest feature updates, how to create engaging posts, and best practices to grow your company's page.

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Member Milestones

Welcome New Members! 

Abigail Abram
University of Hartford

Lucas Cecchetto
Geomatrix Productions, Inc. 

Dajanise Martinez
Marketing Coordinator
Martinez Landholdings

Roger Marquis

Miles McDonald
Marketing Coordinator
BVH Integrated Services

Michaela Phonkhoumphon
Business Development Administrator

Skye Riss
Administrator & Marketing Assistant
Martinez Couch & Associates

Membership Milestone Anniversaries! 

Geryl Rose
Fuss & O'Neill
25 Years

Cathy DeFrances-Vittorio
Fuss & O'Neill
20 Years

Amy Ray
5 Years

Jocelyn Taylor
BL Companies
5 Years

Check out our Membership Milestone Blog to help celebrate these milestone anniversaries! We look forward to recognizing more members throughout 2021.

Did you know?

It pays to recommend new members! Current SMPS members receive a 3-month membership extension if they recommend a colleague who joins as a new member ($100 value). And it gets better! Current SMPS members who recommend a second colleague who joins as a new member will receive a $25 gift card.

For further information on how to proceed with membership referrals, contact Ruth Millward.

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Event sponsorship is a proven marketing tactic companies can use to increase brand recognition, raise product/service awareness, generate qualified leads, and establish relationships for business development purposes.

SMPS CT offers your company a wide variety of cost-effective event sponsorship opportunities to take advantage of, all of which can help your company build a greater presence in the local A/E/C industry, and drive business forward among its target audience.

The 2020-2021 year is shaping up to be another exciting year for SMPS CT’s members, as we continue to provide them with outstanding topical programs, new workshop and professional development events, up-to-date industry news, and a mentorship program. As our membership base continues to expand and diversify, we strive to offer them relevant, high-quality, and meaningful programs.

To learn more about SMPS CT’s expanded and improved sponsorship levels and benefits, and the opportunities which are available, please see our Sponsorship Catalog on the SMPS CT website for more information.

Your continued support through annual and program sponsorships is greatly appreciated!

NEW! Sponsorship opportunities are now being offered for our new series of Educational Workshops. The cost to sponsor one  workshop in the series is $200. Consider maximizing your firm's exposure by sponsoring all the workshops currently scheduled – The cost will be $600, a savings of $200!!

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Thank you Sponsors


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Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program Update!

For most, life has seemed to turn upside down or certain events have been put “on hold.” The SMPS CT Mentorship Program will no longer be one of them! To continue adding value to our members involved in this program, and to support new and/or emerging professionals, the mentorship/protégé program is moving to a group virtual format!

A kickoff virtual event will be scheduled in late March/early April, and will be open to all current and future mentors and protégés.

What to expect during this kick-off event:

  • Mentors and protégés will introduce themselves and get to know one another.
  • Committee chair, Nichole Petersen, will explain the new virtual format, go over details and answer questions.
  • A survey will be conducted to select future dates/times of quarterly meet-ups.


Keep an eye on your inbox for the kick-off meeting announcement. Have questions or interested in chairing the Mentorship Committee next year? Contact Nichole Petersen.

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In Other News...

Congratulations to Caitlin Porter, CPSM of PRIME AE Group, Inc. on welcoming her baby girl, Charlotte Jean, into the world on November 14, 2020! Mom, Dad and baby are doing great!

Congratulations to BL Companies for being awarded the 2020 WTS-Connecticut’s Employer of the Year Award!

This award celebrates an organization for recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in the transportation industry through career development plans, continuing education, and encouraging female students to entry the transportation industry through internships.

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