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Summer 2020 SMPS CT NewsletterPrint

President's Report

Hi, SMPS CT members and Industry friends,

To say, “It’s been a year!” would be an understatement! Despite the current world’s circumstance, SMPS CT has sustained and delivered on our mission to ADVOCATE for, EDUCATE, and CONNECT leaders in the building industry, while receiving recognition as a trusted resource for building business and achieving success. I invite you to look at the  2019-2020 SMPS CT Year in Review for highlights of our initiatives and accomplishments.

Although I am extremely proud of everything our Chapter has accomplished, I wouldn’t be a good leader if I didn’t want to strive for more. I have been working hard with incoming President, Alicia Washington, and the current and incoming board and committees to establish a successful path forward.

Unfortunately, in-person programming will be temporarily halted for our Chapter, but we view virtual programming as an opportunity to bring our members and industry friends the best of the best, including an increased frequency (2 per month), speakers and panelists from all over the country, new and interesting program topics, and the ability to network and engage with industry professionals outside our typical geographical reach. Let’s not forget that virtual programs are easily recorded and can be viewed at any time on our YouTube Channel.

Keep an eye out for these other exciting initiatives over the next year.

  • #SMPSCTWeek – October 5 – 9, 2021
  • Educational/Technical training – starting January 2021
  • Student membership program
  • Customized sponsorship opportunities
  • And more!


When I began my presidency, I had the goal of creating an environment for SMPS CT members and our Connecticut AEC community where learning, collaboration and inclusion were at the forefront. Based on the feedback I’ve received; it is safe to say that goal was accomplished! Not bad for operating during a pandemic. For better or worse this proves the old saying, “If you want it done right – give it to marketing.”

Ending my term as SMPS CT President is bittersweet. It has been an amazing experience. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity.

Stay happy and healthy,

Nichole Petersen
President, SMPS Connecticut 2019/2020


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Calendar of Events

Memory Power | 09/16
In today’s business world, having the ability to remember names and faces, beat absent-mindedness, and recall facts and figures puts you at the head of the pack. In this fun-filled session you’ll learn time-tested techniques for recalling names, speaking without notes, and gaining control of your day without the fear of forgetting. When you're skilled in memory all your other skills get better. This program shows how.

Zoom Production | 09/23
Meetings on Zoom don’t have to be boring. In this interactive session you will gain Zoom tips to make your own meetings more interactive, engaging, and memorable. You will learn exercises to bring back to your team that build relationships, trust, and community -- even when not in the same physical space. We will show you that going online does not have to be a lesser version of the in-person experience.

Tough Talks & Climbing the Ladder | 10/14
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. Join SMPS CT for a candid career development panel discussion centered around having tough talks while climbing the corporate ladder.

The Art of Influence and Negotiation | 11/18
Effective influence and negotiation skills aren’t just for lawyers and salesmen. By learning and leveraging these skills, business professionals at every level can realize winning outcomes for themselves and their companies. In this session, we’ll explore the dynamics of influence, dispel the myths and fears associated with negotiating, and present ideas to help attendees utilize their personal power with confidence. During this session we will:

  • Identify the six principles of influence.
  • Develop a strong ASK and delivering it with confidence. 
  • Learn about different negotiation frameworks.
  • Understand the role that time plays in negotiations


You can register for these events on our website.

SMPS Build Business Virtual Conference | 10/05-10/09
Have you heard SMPS Build Business 2020 is going virtual? Build Business is the premier business development, marketing, and management conference for design and building industry professionals.

SMPS Connecticut's incoming President, Alicia Mojica Washington, will be a guest speaker for the, "The A/E/Cs of Diversity" program. You won't want to miss it!

Visit the Build Business 2020 website for more information!

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Chapter News

Meet the 2020-21 Board of Directors!

  •  President | Alicia Mojica Washington, HRP Associates, Inc.  
  •  President-Elect | Marta Dabrowski, CPSM, WSP USA, Inc. 
  •  Immediate Past President | Nichole Peterson, FlowTech, Inc. 
  •  Treasurer | Julia DeFrances, BL Companies
  •  Secretary | Cynthia Colon, QA + M Architecture
  •  Director | Jocelyn Taylor, BL Companies
  •  Director | George Jacobs, KS Engineers, P.C.
  •  Director | Luke Glendening, Turner Construction
  •  Director | Patrick Delany, O&G Building Group


There's still time! In celebration of Summer, SMPS CT is offering our third annual Thank Goodness It's Summer (TGIS) Membership Drive with discounts for new and returning members. Take advantage of all the benefits TGIS has to offer before August 31st!

Congratulations to the recipients of the SMPS CT Professional Achievement Awards!

  •  Grace Waldvogel Member of the Year |  Hannah Sullivan, Marketing Coordinator with Standard Builders, Inc. (SBI)
  • The Trail Blazer AwardCynthia Colon, Marketing Coordinator with QA+M Architecture
  • James Bancroft Lifetime Achievement AwardMaria A. Loitz, FSMPS, CPSM, Chief Marketing Officer with BVH Integrated Services (BVH)

Did you know SMPS CT has a YouTube Channel? Our library includes Virtual Webinars from the 2019-20 program year, Show Us Your Notes, SMPS Principals Speak Series, and much more!

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!

*NEW COMMITTEE* The newly formed SMPS Connecticut Education Committee, previously the CPSM Committee, provides outreach, experience, and education for all career levels – from high school and college students just entering the industry to experienced professionals. Programming consists of highly focused technical trainings covering a range of topics that strengthen professional skills and our virtual approach to marketing in the A/E/C industry. The Committee will also provide the tools needed for CPSM exam success, as well as opportunities to earn Continuing Education Units.   

The Education Committee will be developing its first slate of educational trainings over the next few months, with an official launch date of January, 2021. If there’s a specific topic you’d love to see covered or you’re a subject matter expert who’d like to share their know-how, please reach out to our Co-Chairs, Carly Olson and Katelyn Birge.


Have you checked out the latest SMPS CT blog posts? Read on a variety of topics such as event recaps for the Brochures in the Age of Web Webinar, Virtual Short List Interviewing Webinar, and SMPS CT Virtual Annual Meeting + Professional Achievement Awards Ceremony, and much more!

Interested in contributing? Contact Jocelyn Taylor.

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

Brochures in the Age of Web
Members (and Non-Members) tuned in for this timely discussion on digital vs. print for marketing. Amy Graver, Principal and Creative Director of Elements, dove into topics such as:

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


Check out our blog post here!

Virtual Short List Interviewing - From Surviving to Thriving
Due to the current world's circumstance, professionals have been forced to transition from in-person meetings and presentations to a virtual format. Presenter Gilda Bonanno, Owner of Gilda Bonanno, LLC, provided a road map to navigate the transition from just surviving the short list interview to thriving. 

Learn more about her helpful tips and tricks for bettering virtual presenting skills, here!

SMPS CT Virtual Annual Meeting + Professional Achievements Awards Ceremony
SMPS CT closed out the 2019-20 program year with our first virtual annual meeting! President, Nichole Petersen provided chapter highlights from the year as well as introduced the 2020-21 slate of Officers and Directors which members voted on. 

The board also honored three individuals for their contributions to the Chapter and the A/E/C industry with SMPS CT Professional Achievement Awards!

Annual Strategic Planning Retreat
The Annual Strategic Planning Retreat was virtually held on June 25th. Incoming President, Alicia Mojica Washington led the discussion on the future of SMPS CT post pandemic and the importance of diversity and inclusion. 

This session was facilitated by The Bolder Company and included Key Note Speaker, Joy Woo, Associate Vice President of AECOM. 

Prospering in a Virtual Environment
Presenter, Courtney Kearney, CPSM led this webinar about how to ditch quarantine "survival mode" and start to prosper again.
Attendees learned the tools needed to take back control and start to thrive again in this digital world.

Check out our blog to learn more!


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Member Milestones

Welcome New Member! 

Patricia Bilotto
Manager, Marketing and Business Development
Van Zelm Heywood & Shadford, Inc. 

Sandy Collins
Marketing Coordinator
O&G Industries

Martin Fenicien
Recent Graduate
Southern Connecticut State University

Susan Fisher Plotner
Marketing Director

Jenna Gabrielson
University of Hartford

Dajanise Martinez
Marketing Coordinator
Martinez Landholdings

Maura Richards
Vice President of Business Development
Wohlsen Construction

Skye Riss
Administrator & Marketing Assistant 
Martinez Couch & Associates

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 2020-2021 year looks to be another exciting year for SMPS CT. SMPS CT will continue to provide our members with outstanding programs, support, up-to-date industry news, and a mentorship program. We are also planning on expanding and diversifying our membership base and continuing to provide high quality, relevant programs.

To help facilitate these initiatives, SMPS CT has improved our sponsorships levels and benefits to provide better opportunities to our loyal and new sponsors. Please see our Sponsorship Catalog on the SMPS CT website for more information.

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

Purchase a SMPS CT 2020-2021 Annual Sponsorship by Monday, August 31st at 5 PM and receive a discount on your sponsorship!



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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, Nichole Petersen with questions and more information. 

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In Other News...

Congratulations to Jennifer Saari of Tecton Architects on welcoming her baby girl, Moxie Mae, into the world on May 7, 2020! Mom, Dad and baby are doing great!


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