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Fall 2020 SMPS CT NewsletterPrint

President's Report

Hello Everyone,

We are six weeks away from the ending of an unforgettable year. 2020 has been challenging, to say the least. SMPS Connecticut understood the challenges we were facing, but we also understood the vast amount of opportunity. Our board and committees have been working diligently, focusing on what will best serve our industry and community. 

Our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) taskforce was organized almost two years ago, with a focus on diversifying our membership, industry participation and geographical reach, along with creating an inclusive environment. With these initiatives as the driving force, we have implemented the following:

  • Closed Caption on all virtual programming
  • Education committee (class schedule opening in January 2021)
  • Community outreach and programs (K-12 and Colleges/Universities)
  • Diversified program speakers and topics
  • Membership onboarding process for Students and Young Professionals
  • Job postings to include internship opportunities
  • Win More Work Conference


The team of volunteers at SMPS Connecticut is the only reason we have been able to get as far as we have in 2020. The commitment, creativity, and positivity from our volunteers is what will get us on the other side of these challenging times, bigger and better than ever. I am forever grateful for their time and efforts.

When it comes to community, I think we all have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to support, contribute and encourage growth and success. The importance of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in our community is essential to success, innovation, unity, and equality.  As SMPS Connecticut continues to forge ahead with growth and opportunity in mind and diversity and inclusion as the foundation of who we are, SMPS Connecticut will:

  • Continue to show technical professionals, principals, and c-suite executives the value in participating in SMPS Connecticut;
  • Maintain our community outreach activity to support the growth of minorities in the AEC industry;
  • Give access to members and firms who are located in every corner of Connecticut;
  • Collaborate with other organizations to support diversity and inclusion efforts;
  • Create an inclusive environment by acknowledging disparity and working together to create safe spaces and opportunities.


With 2021 in clear sight, let us all continue to work together and support one another as we head into a new year with new challenges, but more importantly, new opportunities.  

I wish everyone a very safe and enjoyable holiday season. 

Stay happy and healthy,

Alicia Mojica Washington
President, SMPS Connecticut 2020/2021


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Calendar of Events

Virtual Social - An Afternoon in Hawaii | 11/19
If you are a current or prospective member, or someone looking to network within our industry, join us for a fun hour of networking and trivia! This event is a great opportunity to meet others in the chapter, and for current members to create new relationships and strengthen existing ones. This networking event is open to both members and non-members.

Note: The New Member Social portion of the event is being postponed for a future date TBD. We welcome you to still join this networking social!

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

“Nimble” and “pivot” are not new concepts at Geomatrix, and Cathie will challenge you to recognize and say “yes” to opportunity.

Save the Dates for 2021 Events!

  • The Value of Diversity: Leadership Panel| 01/13
  • Adobe InDesign for Marketing | 01/27
  • Crafting your Firm's Client Experience Workshop | 02/10
  • LinkedIn Company Page Management | 02/24
  • Define Your Brand | 03/17
  • A/E/C Writing Best Practices | 03/31


You can register for these events on our website.


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Chapter News

#SMPSCTWeek2020 was celebrated the week of October 5-9th! We would like to thank everyone who participated in SMPS CT Week! A very big thanks to our communications committee for handling all the content for the posts and a special thank you to Martin, Jessica, Cynthia, Chris and Maria for taking the time to share their stories on our blog

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.

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 the October Best Five, November Industry Calendar#SMPSCTWeek2020 highlights, 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 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

Memory Power
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. Members (and Non-members) tuned in for this fun-filled session that shared time-tested techniques for recalling names, speaking without notes, and gaining control of your day without the fear of forgetting.

Zoom Production
Many of us are no strangers when it comes to Zoom, but did you know meetings on Zoom don’t have to be boring? This interactive session demonstrated timely Zoom tips to make your meetings more interactive, engaging, and memorable. Presenters Mallory Penney and Reggie Harris of Better Together Labs shared exercises to build relationships, trust, and community -- even when not in the same physical space. 

Tough Talks & Climbing the Ladder
SMPS CT offered an amazing candid career development panel discussion centered around having tough talks while climbing the corporate ladder. Attendees learned that career development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure and transitions to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future. 

Special thanks to our panelists!

  • Dave Dunning | S.W Cole Engineering
  • Steve Duvel | Gilbane Building, Co.
  • Heather Halotek | BL Companies
  • Kathy Nanowski | Fuss & O'Neill
  • Kim Thompkins | Cumming

The Art of Influence and Negotiation
Maisha Hagan of Beauty & the Boss, LLCexplored the dynamics of influence, dispeled the myths and fears associated with negotiating, and presented ideas to help attendees utilize their personal power with confidence during this amazing session!

Key takeaways from this program included:

  • Identifying the six principles of influence.
  • How to develop a strong ASK and delivering it with confidence.
  • Learning about different negotiation frameworks.
  • Understanding the role that time plays in negotiations.



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Member Milestones

Welcome New Members! 

Elyse Fernandes
Pursuit & Proposal Specialist

Susan Plotner
Marketing Director
Martinez Landholdings


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 is shaping up to be another exciting year for SMPS CT. SMPS CT continues to provide our members with outstanding programs, support, up-to-date industry news, and a mentorship program. We are expanding and diversifying our membership base and continuing to provide high quality, relevant programs.

To help facilitate these initiatives, SMPS CT has expanded and 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 about the opportunities available.

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

Doorprize virtual sponsorship opportunity is available for our December program, Fireside Chat with Cathie Reese! Visit our Sponsorship Catalog for more information. 



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Thank you Sponsors





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Mentorship Program

Calling Mentors and Protégés!

Years ago, SMPS CT’s commitment to our members’ personal growth and professional development sparked the idea of a mentorship program. To go along with the theme, “Pivot & Focus”, we are working on redeveloping this program to fit the needs of more young professionals and to capitalize on our experienced mentors!

If you’re interested in participating or in helping develop this updated program, contact Leadership Committee Chairperson, Nichole Petersen!

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In Other News...

Congratulations to Alicia Mojica Washington, Nichole Petersen, and Samantha VanSchoick for being nominated and selected by the National Professional Women in Construction for their 40 Under 40 Outstanding Women in Construction award! 

This honor for outstanding work is a testament to not only the importance of marketing in A/E/C, but also how amazing the SMPS CT Chapter is! Each of these incredible marketing professionals are active members of SMPS CT, and all have served the chapter through committee chairing, board seats and presidency.

Celebrate with them on December 10th, 5:30-8:30 PM for the virtual 40th Anniversary Celebration!

Shout-out to some of our members' firms for being awarded 2020 CT ABC Excellence in Construction Project Winners!

  • C.E Floyd Company, Inc. | First Place (Pre-Engineered Building) Big Y Warehouse Distribution Center
  • Petra Construction Corporation | First Place (Institutional) Church of St. Michael the Archangel Restoration and Renovation | First Place (Renovation) Sterling Hall of Medicine Library Renovation
  • SLAM Construction Services | First Place (Healthcare) Lighthouse Surgery Center
  • Wohlsen Construction Company | Award of Merit (Residential) Sunrise of Fairfield


Congratulations to Standard Builders, Inc. for being awarded #3 as a Top Workplace 2020 - an honor they have consecutively won for the past 13 years! 

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