September 2019 Print

A Note from the SMPS Virginia President

Happy New Year! Yes that is correct…the SMPS year begins September 1 so CHEERS to the New Year! I encourage each of you to look at this as an opportunity to reengage and recommit yourself to SMPS Virginia. A new year brings new opportunities and trust me this new year should get you excited!

I am honored to serve this chapter for the upcoming year and cannot wait to share with you many of the exciting programs and events we have coming up. Last year’s Board of Directors did a phenomenal job brining new and engaging events and we hope to only build on that momentum this year.

It was wonderful to see so many SMPS VA members at Build Business in DC last month. The excitement for SMPS and our VA Chapter was contagious. Those of us that attended left with a renewed sense of enthusiasm to continue to grow and strengthen our Chapter in the coming year.

Our first event is new this year and will be our Annual SMPS VA Kickoff Event on September 26th. You spoke and we listened. So many people expressed wanting another event similar to our annual conference to be able to come together and connect. After all our annual conference is only once a year. Our hope with this event is that it will grow into a full day event at the beginning of each SMPS VA year. Since this year is our inaugural year we are keeping it to a half day but still plan to pack the punch with networking and learning. We will hear a NEW presentation from our own SMPS VA member, Tim Asimos, that he is presenting to our VA chapter for the first time. We will also deliver the SMPS VA State of the Union and introduce our Board of Directors and Committee Chairs for the upcoming year.

I hope to see each and every one of you on the 26th for our Inaugural SMPS VA Kickoff Event and Happy New Year!

For more information or to register for the Annual SMPS VA Kick Off event, please click here:  SMPS Annual Kick Off

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Betsy Loeb, Senior Marketing Coordinator for Stewart Inc., has been a member of SMPS Virginia for four years and serves as Treasurer on the Board. Betsy recently earned CPSM certification in March of this year and has graciously shared her experience and insights regarding what it takes to earn the Certified Professional Services Marketer designation.

What made you decide to earn the CPSM certification?
I came to AEC marketing from the landscape architecture world, although I also have a degree in communications, so I felt like I wanted to learn everything I could about the marketing side of the business. I decided to read the Markendium books and then figured I might as well get serious about it and take the test. I also liked the idea of having the credentials that show the technical people in my firm that I’m dedicated to my marketing craft just like they are in their fields.
How did you go about studying for the test? 
I was part of Jodie Day’s super-helpful CPSM study group that started in about September of last year and wrapped up in January. The study group was great for making sure I stayed on task with my reading and keeping up with studying because we had calls scheduled by which we were supposed to have read the next book. It was great to have a group to chat with about what we had read.
How long did it take you to prepare for the test?
We took about 3-4 months to get through all 6 books with the holidays mixed in, then it took about 2 months for the registration and scheduling process, during which time I was hoping they’d hurry up so I wouldn’t forget everything!
What advice would you give others who are pursuing the CPSM certification?
Join Jodie’s study group! It would have been very easy to feel like I was too busy, as we all are in this business, and put the books aside. Having that study group with reading deadlines, a knowledgeable person to lead the discussions each time, and lots of practice questions helped me feel prepared.
Do you have any other thoughts, insights or advice you would like to give?
Unfortunately, I don’t really think it’s a test that you can get through just based on your knowledge that you’ve learned on the job. I believe you have to do the reading. The test covers so many aspects of the field that not many of us work in on a regular basis, so some of the things I studied were not areas I had been involved in with my job to that point.  

For more information on the CPSM Certification, please visit the SMPS Virginia website:

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Welcome New Members

Welcome New Members

Catherine Baldwin, Marketing Coordinator, VHB
Preeti Karnik, Marketing Coordinator, AKF Group  
Mary Hawthorne, Business Development, Branscome
Elizabeth Johnson, Moseley Architects
Ashlin Royer, Marketing Coordinator, Moseley Architects
Elizabeth Dooley, Marketing Director, Design Source
Erin Merkin, Marketing and Proposal Coordinator, Quinn Consulting
Kate Aten, Proposal Coordinator, Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers

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Happy SMPS Anniversary

SMPS Virginia recognizes the membership anniversary of the following chapter members:

Kate Cerone, WPL | 8 years
Asa Eslocker, VMDO Architects | 2 years
Miles Evelyn, Bowman, Foster & Associates, Inc. | 3 years
Shawana Ford, W.M. Jordan Company Inc. | 16 years
Kelley Giannotti, Turner Construction Company | 10 years
Stacey Higgins, JMT | 21 years
Jennifer Hubbard, EEE Consulting Inc. | 5 years
Valerie James, W.M. Jordan Company | 13 years
Sally Lang, Draper Aden Associates | 6 years
Danielle Ruble, RRMM Architects | 3 years
Katrina Spinner-Wilson, VHB | 4 years
Karen Tasch, WSP USA, Inc. | 22 years
Jennifer Wolfson, Schnabel Engineering | 18 years
Katie Huger, Clancy & Theys Construction Company | 6 years
Tim Klabunde, Timmons Group | 15 years
Crystal Newman Jones, Glave & Holmes Associates | 16 years
Sarah Rogers, A. Morton Thomas and Associates Inc | 13 years
Kristina von Tish, Quinn Evans Architects | 5 years
Kayla Wynn, Martin Horn, Inc. | 2 years
Justin Ballard, S.B. Ballard Construction Company | 3 years
Stede Barnes, Draper Aden Associates | 13 years
Crystal Bennett, VHB | 2 years
Christopher Crouch, S.B. Ballard Construction Company | 3 years
Merle Keener, Guernsey Tingle Architects | 7 years
Chelsie McKittrick, Q-Free | 3 years
Keli Ratcliffe, Thomson & Litton | 13 years
Timothy Asimos, Circle S Studio | 14 year

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