Continental Breakfast/Registration – 8:00-8:45


Opening Remarks – 8:45-9:00


Keynote – 9:00-10:30

Pink Goldfish: How to Differentiate in a Sea of Sameness – Stan Phelps

True differentiation in business is rare. We are now living in an age of equivalency. Businesses need to find ways to stand out. This keynote presentation shows how to leverage what makes you unique to stand out in business. Based on over 200 case studies, Pink Goldfish provides an unconventional seven-part framework for achieving competitive separation by embracing flaws, instead of fixing them. As a result of this keynote session, participants will: get equipped with how to uncover differentiation in their DNA, understand how to design in order amplify uniqueness, and gain a deeper appreciation for the need to exceed customer expectations.

Speaker bio: Stan Phelps is the Founder of He is a TEDx Speaker, Forbes Contributor, and IBM Futurist that focuses on customer experience and employee engagement. Throughout his career Stan held many marketing leadership roles with adidas, International Management Group, PGA of America, and Synergy. He’s the author of seven books: Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish, Golden Goldfish, Blue Goldfish, Purple Goldfish-Service Edition, Red Goldfish, and Pink Goldfish. They all focus on the little ways to drive differentiation, increase loyalty, and promote positive word of mouth. He has spoken at over 300 events in 16 countries. Stan holds a JD/MBA from Villanova University and a Certificate in Achieving Breakthrough Service from Harvard Business School. He lives in Cary, North Carolina with his wife, Jennifer, and two boys, Thomas and James.


Session 2 – 10:45-12:00

The Human Connection®: Bring Your Presentations to Life! – Jen Hebblethwaite

Want to raise your shortlist interview hit rate? Want to better connect internally with your colleagues? Want more confidence when you speak in public? Strengthen your presentation skills in this highly interactive workshop. Through teaching/discussion, theater games and exercises, and individual coaching opportunities, you will learn to:

∙ Connect with your audience, large or small
∙ Identify & drop nervous habits
∙ Experience freedom & self confidence as a presenter
∙ Simplify & strengthen your message
∙ Make technical material interesting
∙ Prepare & practice your material
You’ll learn more than just public speaking skills. These principles apply to all types of interpersonal communication — from one-on-one and team meetings to networking/social events and phone calls/conference calls. Finally, due to our interactive approach, this teaching goes well beyond intellectual understanding. You will actually experience the presentation/ communication principles being taught.

Speaker bio: Jen Hebblethwaite, Champion of All Things Grace with Graceworks, heads up our Atlanta office. From commercial real estate to coaching Atlanta’s finest Men in Blue at the Forest Park Police Department, Jen is an experienced corporate trainer. She’s spent 10 years as a Teaching Artist for a Tony Award-winning theatre and has taught everything from playwriting to MBA Leadership/Communication on an undergraduate and graduate level. Jen is foremost a compassionate coach and trainer, but as our rogue academic, Jen also gets excited about things like semantics and semicolons. She leads our fun, interactive Gracewriting® program. Finally, Jen is trained in Whole Brain® Thinking, which is designed to use every last brain cell. Jen’s teaching style is big and bold, and she can’t wait to help you help your listeners!


Awards Luncheon – 12:15-1:45


Session 3 – 2:00-3:15

Welcome to CoachU! – Jen Hebblethwaite

Are you ready to take your coaching skills to the next level? Let us teach you how to coach The Graceworks Way®. We’ll equip you with advanced skills to educate, motivate, and bring out the best in your presentation teams. Building on the foundation of The Human Connection® we'll explore how to present as a team — an untapped weapon in presentations today. It’s one thing to SAY you are a team, but to act like a team — that’s totally different. Finally, we’ll cover how to coach from the inside out. Coaching from the inside out helps presenters focus on the right things, which fosters confidence, authenticity and real passion.


Session 4 – 3:30-4:45

Leading with Purpose: Team Retreats that Grow Relationships & Talent – Heather Davis

This program is for marketers who want to take ownership of the quality of experience they have on their teams. It focuses on how to cultivate authentic and high-functioning marketing team cultures through leading and contributing to team retreats and strategic planning that make teams stronger. The goal of this program is to give marketers the inspiration and tools to strengthen team relationships,  engage with each other at a higher level and grow connectivity to create the best outcomes for your firms. In addition to sharing the business case for why this is so critically important, this session also takes marketers through a team SWOT analysis, how to evaluate your workplace values, defining your leadership philosophy and shares ideas for how to create purposeful team leadership experiences through retreats. Come learn how you can inspire, connect, and engage your team for maximum impact and performance.

Speaker bio: The ongoing theme of Heather's professional life is a relentless drive to create an optimal work experience for others to be successful. Improving quality of life at work and empowering people to reach their highest potential is where she thrives. Her career is focused on the people operations of organizational change and development. In these roles, she develops employee engagement programs, drive organizational development enhancements, and lead efforts to improve and strengthen organizational culture that drives productivity and profitability. She serves as a champion and steward of culture, ensuring that it is reflected in people, processes, and systems. To facilitate this, she actively partners with other leaders to define, maintain, and communicate the brand and culture in capacities that directly influence the bottom line. She assembles and grows teams, sets up programs, streamlines internal processes and procedures, and strengthens communications efforts with a solid record of success and results. Her expertise and contributions have led to key roles in strategic brand development and organizational/cultural repositionings with some of Washington’s most respected professional service firms. Heather currently leads KGO’s Change Management + Employee Experience practice area.


Networking Reception at Southern Railway Taphouse – 5:00-7:00 



Day 2: FRIDAY, March 1

Breakfast – 8:00-8:45


Opening Remarks – 8:45-9:00


Session 1 – 9:00-10:30

Confessions of a Content Whisperer: Cracking the Code to Extracting Content from Technical Experts – Danielle Gray 

Marketers constantly juggle proposals, presentation development, external marketing campaigns and whatever else their team throws at them. However, in the AEC industry, marketers must rely on our technical experts for input in order to get these tasks done. There hasn’t been much insight into how to actually extract that content from a technical team... until now. This extraction (sometimes referred to as pulling teeth) has easily become one of marketing’s toughest challenges. If you’ve heard, “I’m too busy,” “I don’t know what to write about” or “Why can’t you do it?” when asking for content from your team, this session is for you. This session equips marketers with tools to get content from their technical team that help complete proposals, project data sheets, blogs, case studies, papers and all other content marketing pieces.

Speaker Bio: Known for her relatability and humor, Danielle Gray is a Content Marketing Strategist with over seven years of industry experience composing proposals, writing content, running email campaigns, and generating leads online. Along with developing proposals, she helped her former design-build firm grow website visits by 88% and contributed over $150 million in revenue from leads generated from the website in just three years. Now, Danielle is the owner of DG Marketing Company, a marketing firm committed to contributing and creating genuine, humanized digital marketing that listens and solves instead of tells and sells. She also speaks around the country about content generation, the importance of digital marketing and social media. Danielle is a former Division I Basketball Player at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida and holds both a Bachelor’s in Marketing and MBA from the institution. She now resides and runs her company in Atlanta, Georgia.


Session 2 – 10:45-12:00

Finding Your Voice: Make Your Brand Sing –Jen McGovern, Laura Ewan & Kate Attilio

Your brand is much more than just your logo—it’s what people think of when they hear your firm name, talk to your firm’s personnel, or read your marketing materials. Your brand voice links these elements, helping to share a specific message to your audience. In this
program, we’ll explore how to develop a brand voice that reflects your brand’s core values and attributes. We’ll use real-life examples to show brand voices in action across internal communications, social media, and pursuits. You’ll learn tactics to employ your brand voice consistently across all marketing materials, reinforcing your brand and consistently sharing your message with your audience. From the coolest projects to the everyday, from websites to tweets to SF330s, Kate, Laura, and Jen will share the secrets to infusing your brand voice throughout every aspect of your marketing program, making your brand sing!

Speaker Bio: For the 2017 Marketing Communications Awards Judging, our fearless presenters spent nearly 20 hours in a Honda Crosstour, roadtripping from DC to Detroit. That epic adventure crystallized our shared love of all things A/E/C marketing—and as marketers for a construction firm, an architecture firm, and an engineering firm, respectively, Kate Attilio, CPSM; Laura Ewan, CPSM; and Jen McGovern, CPSM, have seen it all, from proposal panic to digital media distress to branding burnout. They are ready to share lessons learned with SMPS Virginia Conference attendees—amid laughter instead of frustration!


Lunch – 12:15-1:15


Session 3 – 1:30-2:45

Beyond the Plan: Challenges and Solutions to Strategic Planning & Implementation Alex Jayjock & Kayla McCause

Strategic planning is a critical component for firms looking for ways to grow and thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. However, the development of creating the plan is only the first step. How does a firm take its plan beyond creation into successful implementation and execution? This interactive session will provide a platform to participate in meaningful guided dialogue with industry veterans and peers to discuss best practices on how to avoid common implementation mistakes, engage firm stakeholders, and measure and monitor progress.

Speaker Bio: Alexandra Jayjock is driven by a belief that the role of the AEC business development professional is changing. Her career in the AEC industry has exposed her to a broad range of markets, services and geographies. Since joining the AEC community in 2008, Alex has led strategic growth strategies at national architecture firms like RTKL and Payette. In 2017, she founded Dragonfly AEC Consulting. Alex believes in developing a strategic business development culture and process. Her skills and experiences prove invaluable in defining what business development can and should look like within AEC organizations.

Kayla McCause is well-respected leader in the AEC industry, who has held a variety of leadership positions specializing in developing and executing creative marketing and targeted business development strategies, implementation, and coaching. A passionate relationship builder, Kayla believes any successful strategy starts from within and works with clients to develop internal processes, build consensus, and coach technical staff. In her current role as a Business Development and Marketing Strategist, Kayla works with design and construction firms through a wide range of services including market research, situational analysis, branding/messaging, and target pursuit strategies and implementation.


Closing Remarks  2:45-3:00


Total CEUs: 9