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Fall 2019 SMPS CT Newsletter Print

President's Report

Happy Fall,

I am honored and excited to be your 2019-2020 SMPS CT Chapter President! I can’t believe that I’m going on my 3rd month in this role already. Time flies when you’re having fun or when you’re crazy busy. I consider myself a glass half-full type of person and to me, crazy busy really means accomplishing initiatives. And boy oh boy do we have initiatives!

In this message I’d like to review what we’ve achieved so far and discuss some exciting things to come.


We opened the year with #SMPSCT week, an awareness campaign to help promote SMPS as a critical resource for those in the A/E/C industry. The week ran from September 9 – 13, 2019, and the goal was to get members and firms engaged with SMPS CT on social media and demonstrate that business is transformed through marketing leadership. Each day had a theme and companies and individuals were encouraged to post something involving that theme. For example, the last day of #SMPSCT week was #FutureFriday. People were encouraged to post about something regarding a future trend, project or anything innovative that they see occurring in the future of the A/E/C industry. Our social media engagement and metrics were up and I’m happy to report that #SMPSCT week was a success!


Collaborating with other industry organizations is a big initiative this year. We kickstarted the collaboration by exhibiting at AIA CT’s CACX Conference hosted September 12-13, 2019, at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. As an added benefit to attendees we offered Marketing Audit appointments. Attendees could sign up to meet with one of our Certified Professional Services Marketers (CPSM) to discuss a new website, brochure, social media, etc. Our CPSMs offered professional advice and insight to participants for free.

Two Roads Brewery

Offering non-traditional client interactions and programming is another goal of ours. Our September Two Roads Area Two Project Tour was a great example of offering something a little different. Attendees were able to learn about this award-winning project from the architect and construction manager, tour the facility then network over delicious BBQ.

WMW Summit

Bringing diversity into our Chapter and being inclusive is a huge mission that was initiated last year and continuing this year and beyond. Although most of our member and program attendees are marketers and business developers, we want technical professionals to know we offer training and support to them too. It is from this mission that the inspiration for the Win More Work Summit (WMW) was born. Hosted on October 2, 2019, WMW brought together architects, engineers, marketers, BD professionals, business owners and more from near and far to develop the skills needed for their firms to win more work! Get the full recap here!

Fireside Chat with Cathy DeFrances-Vittorio

On December 11, 2019, Cathy DeFrances-Vittorio, CPSM, Director of Business Development for Fuss & O'Neill, Inc., SMPS CT Past President and recipient of the 2017 SMPS CT Lifetime Achievement Award, will speak about her experiences, career path, and the opportunities that have helped her achieve success during her career in the A/E/C industry. This luncheon will be a conversation-based, intimate chat, providing an open forum for attendees to benefit from her knowledge and ask her advice.

Call for volunteers

We’re working on many exciting things and could use some extra help! The best way to maximize the return on your membership investment is to volunteer. We’re currently working on a volunteer job board to list specific tasks our committees can use help with. In the meantime, if you’re interested in getting involved, contact me and I’d love to find you a position both rewarding and fun.

I’m very proud of all we’ve accomplished so far and even more excited about all that is yet to come! Thanks for being a part of SMPS CT.


Nichole Petersen
President, SMPS Connecticut 2019/2020


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Calendar of Events

Fireside Chat with Cathy DeFrances-Vittorio | 12/11
Cathy DeFrances-Vittorio, CPSM, Director of Business Development for Fuss & O'Neill, Inc., SMPS CT Past President and recipient of the 2017 SMPS CT Lifetime Achievement Award , will speak about her experiences, career path, and the opportunities that have helped her achieve success during her career in the A/E/C industry. This luncheon will be a conversation-based, intimate chat, providing an open forum for attendees to benefit from her knowledge and ask her advice.

Social Media & Content Marketing | 01/22
Save the Date - More info to come!

Be the Firm Your Client Can't Live Without | 02/19
Join us for our principals’ program with Fathom and learn how to be the firm your client won’t take a project without. Attendees will leave this workshop with:

  • A multi-dimensional way to design efforts that invite ideal client partnerships
  • State-of-the-art, readily applicable relationship building practices
  • Knowledge of three key relationships that if cared for, vastly improve your ability to be indispensable for your clients


Volunteer Appreciation & New Member Social | 02/19
SMPS CT would like to welcome new members and thank our volunteer members with a night of fun! Save the date – more information to come. The social will be held following the conclusion of the Principals Program.

You can register for these events on our website.

NOMA Holiday presented by NOMA CT | 12/10

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Chapter in Connecticut is working hard to spread the word about this great organization.  You are invited to NOMA's Holiday outreach event.  Click to learn more.

Construction Institute Women Who Build Summit | 02/19-02/20

 NERC Conference | 05/06-05/08
Save the dates for the SMPS Northeast Regional Conference - May 6-8, 2020!

Don't forget to sign up for The Big Pitch where you can showcase your big vision at NERC 2020. A kickoff webinar will take place on February 13, 2020. Make sure to register today!



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Chapter News

On Friday, November 15th, Chapter leaders, Nichole Petersen, Samantha VanSchoick and Alicia Washington showed their appreciation to SMPS CT volunteers with a special delivery. The trio spent the day traveling across the state hand-delivering homemade pies (Pumpkin, Tollhouse Cookie and Apple Cinnamon Bun) to Chapter volunteers. They were able to thank half the volunteers in one day! Special arrangements have been made to give the remaining volunteers their pies. SMPS CT is a volunteer-run organization and without our volunteers we’d be nothing. Thank you again to everyone that supports our Chapter by giving their time and energy!

Win More Work Summit

SMPS Connecticut's Win More Work Summit was a success! Over 100 professionals gathered at the Hartford Marriott Downtown on October 2, 2019 to learn critical lessons and strategies to help position their firms to #winmorework! Read the full event recap here

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, connect with clients and peers? If you answered yes then consider joining one of our committees - we are always looking for new members!

NEW!!! | Awards Committee

If you think our Chapter does an exceptional job with our communications, programming, member outreach and more, consider joining our newly established Awards Committee! Benefits of joining the Awards Committee include:

  • Network and develop relationships with other members
  • Understand the inner workings of our Chapter
  • Gain valuable award submission experience - our industry is filled with award programs
  • Help our Chapter get the recognition it deserves
  • Experience working on team outside of your firm


For more information, or to volunteer, contact Chapter President, Nichole Petersen.


Have you checked out the latest SMPS CT blog posts? Read on a variety of topics such as How to Focus in a World of Distraction, October's Best Five Marketing Articles, and the recap of SMPS Connecticut's first-ever Win More Work Summit!

Interested in contributing? Contact Marta Dabrowski.

SMPS CT Job Bank

An important part of the SMPS CT’s mission is to support our members' career development and advancement. In addition to educational events, seminars, networking and mentorship opportunities that help contribute to our members' career success; we also provide a forum for locating career opportunities and for companies to seek skilled marketers in the A/E/C industry. The SMPS CT Job Data Bank is a data resource only and is not a referral or job placement service.

Call for Speakers!

We are always on the look out 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 an 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

CPSM Marketing Audits at the Connecticut Architecture Conference + Expo
SMPS CT members lent their marketing expertise to firm's who signed up for 20-minute marketing audits! Attendees were able to bring their firm's marketing materials and recieve professional feedback from Certified Professional Services Marketers (CPSM's). 

Brewery, Beer & BBQ - Project Tour
Members checked out the award-winning, new Area Two Experimental Brewing facility at Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, CT to kick of the 2019-2020 programs year!

The event started with a presentation from the project team about the unique design, challenges and special features of the project followed by a tour and concluded with a networking session where members enjoyed Area Two's unique tap offerings and BBQ! 

Win More Work Summit
The first-ever Win More Work Summit was a success! Over 100 attendees gathered to hear presenters and panelists deliver critical content which both inspired and positioned firms to #winmorework.

Inspired by our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, this event was in perfect alignment with SMPS Connecticut's mission to advocate for, educate and connect leaders in the building industry. Check out the full event recap on our website!



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Member Milestones

Congratulations to Kristin Torvinen on her promotion to Senior Marketing Coordinator at Loureiro!

Welcoming our new members.

Welcome New Members! 

Cathy Ann DellaValle
Marketing Coordinator
Hoffmann Architects, Inc. 

Patrick K. Volk
Geomatrix Productions, Inc. 

Katelyn J. Birge
Manager of Business Development & Administration    
Sustainable Engineering Solutions, LLC

Regina N. Sibilia
Marketing & Communications Specialist  
Tighe & Bonde

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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Looking for new ways to gain exposure for your firm? Interested in supporting SMPS CT? Become a sponsor!

The SMPS CT Sponsorship Program provides opportunities for companies to introduce or re-introduce themselves to decision-makers from major design and construction firms at programs and events throughout the year.

Opportunities include Annual Sponsorships, which come with a host of great benefits such as your company logo on the SMPS CT Website, complimentary registrations to events, and a discount on a door prize sponsorship, to name a few. If annual sponsorships aren’t the right fit for your firm, we also have Monthly Door Prize Sponsorships available for our December, January, February, March, April and May programs. These are a great opportunity to gain exposure for your firm – you’ll receive company name recognition on specific program communications, introduce the speaker at the beginning of the program, speak about your firm prior to the door prize drawing, and receive access to the contact information for all raffle participants.

Please see our Sponsorship Catalog on the SMPS CT website for more information. And remember, the sooner you purchase a sponsorship, the more exposure your company receives!


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Thank you Sponsors


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Mentorship Program

Calling Mentors and Protégés!

One of the foundations of SMPS CT is our commitment to our member’s personal growth and professional development.This members-only benefit will connect experienced professionals with aspiring talent of any age or at any stage of their career development in a supportive, one-on-one environment. Your experience will be unique, based on your needs and availability. This is not a no one size fits all program.  If you are looking to build a strong personal and professional relationship with someone in our industry, please contact Leadership Committee Chairperson, Samantha VanSchoick with questions and more information. 

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In Other News...


Allison Puzycki, Marketing Director of CES welcomed her second child into the world! Maxwell Jerome Puzycki was born 7 lbs. 9 oz., 21 inches on October 28, 2019. Mom and baby are doing great and we congratulate Allison on her newest addition!

Cynthia Colon of QA+M Architecture headed back to her Alma mater, Southern Connecticut State University, and participated in an Alumni Panel on November 14th. She was able to share how she's using her English degree in the professional world, and gave SMPS CT a shout-out!

Lynn DiGiovanni of Luchs Engineering participated as a panelist on November 14th at the Legacy City event in downtown Meriden, hosted by the Connecticut Main Street Center, Inc. 

Congratulations to the winners of CT ABC's 17th Annual Excellence in Constructions Awards! Some of our members' firms took home first place!

  • Petra Construction Corporation: Area Two Experimental Brewing
  • SLAM Construction Services: Chapel Haven Residential/Education (REACH) Building Project
  • KBE Building Corporation: Consolidated Public Works Facility
  • CE Floyd: Connecticut Children's Infusion Center

BL Companies' new Harrisburg, PA office is officially open! On Wednesday, October 23rd, BL celebrated the improved and expanded space. Congratulations, BL! 

Last month, Flow Tech, Inc. hosted their 6th Annual customer appreciation event – Flowtoberfest. Chapter President, Nichole Petersen was happy to see several SMPS CT members in attendance! Read the event recap blog post to view pictures and learn more about the event.

Congratulations to Millward and Millward, LLC on their National Graphic Design Award! Millward and Millward were recognized with a 2019 American Health + Wellness Design Award for their displays created on behalf of Turner Construction Company.

Are you a member with news to share? Email us at [email protected]! Communications Committee reserves the right to edit member news submissions for length and clarity.  


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