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Spring 2020 SMPS CT NewsletterPrint

President's Report

Hi, SMPS CT members and Industry friends,

Back in August when I thought about my upcoming year as President, I knew I would face many challenges and make difficult decisions along the way. It’s laughable how I underestimated life’s unpredictability! For those of you who don’t know me, I like to remain positive and look on the bright side of things. Some may even call me a “Polly Anna.” Annoying, I know. Especially, if all you want to do is vent about how terrible something is and I respond with, “things could always get worse.”

Well, when things did "get worse” I almost let myself get swallowed up by the terror of it all. As tears began to form in my eyes, thoughts like “Why is this happening?”, “What if someone I love gets sick?”, “All my ideas and goals as president…,” and “I could lose my job,” ran through my mind. I was about 15 seconds into my pity party before I decided to give it an Irish goodbye and quickly exit.

Instead, I reverted to my tried and true coping mechanism – focusing on all the positives!

Here are just a few related to SMPS CT:

  1. Amazing Volunteers. Leading an intelligent and forward-thinking group is exciting. Even before the State issued the Shelter-in-place executive order, we were proactive and decided to reschedule our March in-person meeting and began reworking our April and May programming on virtual platforms.
  1. Community. I’ve been able to connect with other SMPS Chapter leaders and SMPS CT past presidents to collaborate and share ideas of how to move forward. Other industry organizations are facing the same set of problems. We’re all working through this together.
  1. Technology. If this happened 20 years ago, we’d all be in a very different place. Virtual meeting platforms have made it possible for us to continue providing our members content, as well as reach an even larger audience.
  1. Network. Thanks to all the SMPS CT volunteers’ connections, we were able to quickly connect with intelligent and insightful presenters to facilitate our virtual programs.
  1. Creativity. To keep the good vibes going we started an SMPS CT Facebook group. Daily questions are posed to the group to encourage engagement and positivity. We also started a contest in the group called #MayMemeMonday. Contest details appear later in this issue.

With everything wrong in the world, there is a lot going right. I realize coping isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of thing but when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, take a moment and focus on one thing that is good. Trust me you’ll feel a little better.

Keep smiling,

Nichole Petersen
President, SMPS Connecticut 2019/2020


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Calendar of Events

Brochures in the Age of Web | 05/27
Join SMPS CT for a timely discussion on digital vs. print for marketing. Presenter, Amy Graver will delve into topics including:

  • Online vs. offline content creation
  • Determining which platform is right for your audience
  • Differentiating your corporate personality and showcasing your unique attributes 


Amy will also detail how print supports digital and digital supports print. Relevant case studies will be included.

Virtual Short List Interviewing - From Surviving to Thriving | 06/10
The current world’s circumstance has forced us to transition from in-person meetings and presentations to virtual formats, and short list interviewing is no exception. Many firms have struggled to make this transition smoothly or effectively. Although the goal remains the same for virtual short list interviews, a firm’s approach to a virtual/video interview should be different than a traditional one. This 60-minute, free webinar will provide a roadmap to help your firm transition from just surviving the short list interview to thriving!

SMPS CT Virtual Annual Meeting + Webinar | 06/17
Join SMPS CT for our first virtual Annual meeting! President, Nichole Petersen will provide our Chapter's highlights from the 2019/2020 year and members will vote on the 2020/2021 slate of Officers and Directors. The board will also award up to 3 individuals for their contribution to the Chapter and/or A/E/C industry with SMPS CT Professional Development Awards.

After stay tuned for our June webinar, Prospering in a Virtual Environment. Presenter, Courtney Kearney will discuss how to have that virtual relationship with internal teams and for marketing in general with clients.

Annual Strategic Planning Retreat | 06/25
Help shape the future of SMPS CT. By attending this half-day, virtual, strategic planning session, members will:

  • Develop chapter initiatives for the 2020/2021 program year.
  • Better understand the Diversity and Inclusion initiative and why it is important to our Chapter’s growth.
  • Brainstorm ideas of how to operate in a post COVID-19 world.
  • Network, connect and more!


You can register for these events on our website.

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Chapter News

Join the SMPS Connecticut Facebook Group, a forum for the Society for Marketing Professional Services Connecticut Chapter (SMPS CT) to connect!

SMPS is recognized as the premier resource for advocating, educating and connecting leaders in the professional services industry. We welcome all who are interested in sharpening their marketing skills through education and networking while working together to build their businesses and further their careers.

At this point in time, we all know we could use a fun distraction. That's why SMPS CT introduced the social media contest, May Meme Monday! Members of the SMPS CT Facebook group posted hilarious memes based on their experience during the pandemic for a chance to win a $50 gift card to a place of their choosing. Here are just a few that made us laugh! Join our Facebook group to view the rest!

Head over to our blog post to learn the rules!

SMPS celebrated National Volunteers Week in April!

SMPS Connecticut would like to continually thank all our amazing volunteers for their hard work and commitment to the chapter. Learn more about some of their SMPS stories here.

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.

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!


Have you checked out the latest SMPS CT blog posts? Read on a variety of topics such as event recaps for the Mechanics of Marketing Webinar Series, SMPS CT Celebrating National Volunteer Week, the May Industry Calendar and much more!

Interested in contributing? Contact Marta Dabrowski.

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 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

SMPS CT Virtual Happy Hour
SMPS CT hosted a virtual happy hour in April to connect with familiar faces! Members brought their favorite drink, engaged in lighthearted discussions, and shared some laughs together!

Mechanics of Marketing Webinar Series | Think Like a Journalist - The AEC Marketer's Guide to PR
Members (and Non-members!) tuned in from their home offices to our first ever Mechanics of Marketing Webinar Series! Presenter Jason Simms, walked us through how to think like a journalist when understanding what reporters need and how our firms can be a part of their coverage. 

Check out our blog post to learn more!

Mechanics of Marketing Webinar Series | Responding to RFPs: Going Beyond the Submittal Requirements
Attendees learned about the process of responding to formal Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and tips for extracting what's really important to decision makers. Presenter, Lindsey Matheiu covered how to respond to both stated vs. not-so-stated requirements, and ways to tailor boiler plate materials for stronger proposals. 

Read more about this webinar on our blog!

Mechanics of Marketing Webinar Series | Creating an Effective Roadmap for AEC Market Research & Analysis
Presenter, Jon Schlesinger led this webinar about how research and analysis are critical for AEC firms seeking to maintain or gain ground in new or established markets. Attendees looked at both the internal and external investigations firms can utilize to understand where they are and where they want to go. 

Check out our blog to learn more!


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Member Milestones

Welcome New Member! 

Carly Olson
Marketing Specialist
The Lane Construction Corporation

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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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 social events throughout the year.


Opportunities include Annual Sponsorships which come with a host of great benefits that includes company logo on the SMPS CT Website, complimentary registrations to events, and a discount on a door prize sponsorship, just to name a few. Monthly Door Prize Sponsors receive company name recognition on specific program communications, the chance to introduce the speaker at the beginning of the program as well as talk about your company before the door prize drawing, and access to all raffle participants contact information. 


As the 2019-2020 program year draws to a close, we’d like to thank everyone who has helped SMPS CT through either an annual or door prize sponsorship. You are all amazing! 


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. Make sure to keep an eye out this summer for the early bird pricing for annual sponsorships for the 2020-2021 term! 


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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 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...

Business as we know it has changed, bringing us online instead of in person. Now more than ever, we need to stay connected and lean on each other. SMPS has always been a strong community, and we’re even stronger together.

Join SMPS HQ for a new series dedicated to bringing you valuable content, videos, and tools—all virtual and complimentary with your membership. The recordings will be made available to all members for each part of the series. SMPS CT member Ruth Millward of Millward and Millward, LLC is one of the speakers!

Congratulations to Bernice Bako (Newton), FSMPS, past SMPS CT President, for being appointed as SMPS - Society for National Professional Services President-Elect!

Congratulations to Megan Cleary of Tecton Architects on welcoming her baby girl, Anne Kathleen, into the world on November 4, 2019! Mom, Dad and baby are doing great!

Congratulations to Shelley Leone of WSP on welcoming her second daughter, Evalina Sophea! Mom, Dad and big sister Taelyn are doing great!

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