Upcoming Events

    Feb 13

    SMPS Indiana Annual Scholarship Fundraiser at Top Golf

    Join us for an afternoon of fun and networking at Top Golf as we raise funds for our student scholarships!

    May 29

    Heartland Regional Conference

    Join fellow SMPS members from regional chapters at the Heartland Regional Conference in Detroit this May!

    2015 Spring Newsletter Print

    Call for Nominations

    The SMPS 2014-2015 calendar year is coming to an end and we are looking for interested individuals to serve on the 2015-2016 SMPS Indiana Board of Directors. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2015-2016 term, which commences on September 1, 2015 and concludes on August 31, 2016.


    To be eligible to serve on the Indiana Board of Directors, you must have been a member for at least 1 year and have served on a SMPS committee for at least one year.

     Board Positions Include:


    • President Elect
    • Programs
    • Communications
    • Membership
    • Education
    • Sponsorship
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary


    If you are interested, please complete the self-nomination application attached and submit to President Elect, Cindy Culbertson, CPSM, by May 15th.


    If you have any questions, email Cindy at cculbertson@skillman.com



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    Building Skills: Lessons from Leaders

    Dear Fellow, How do you get targeted clients/prospects to follow you on social media?

    Seeking Social


     Dear Seeking Social, 


    There are many things to think about when it comes to connecting with clients and prospective clients on social media. Your social media efforts should be part of a bigger picture, strategic approach to communication. 


    Go where they are, and follow to be followed.

    A variety of social media platforms exist to help companies share content and connect with their audiences, and different individuals will use different tools. Rather than diving into any social media platform because it is the latest and greatest, determine which platforms are appropriate to your audience as well as your goals. Once you’ve determined the most appropriate platforms, connect with your clients and prospects—both the organization and the individuals, when appropriate.


    Content is king. Engage—don’t promote.

    When trying to gain more followers on social media, sharing quality content is one of the most important considerations. Don’t think of your social media platforms as another way to blast out messages about what your company is doing—think of it as another way to build a relationship through quality content and interaction. Learn about the challenges and issues your clients are facing and use that to generate content ideas. By creating and sharing valuable content—either through the social media platform itself or using social media to drive traffic to another online destination (a blog, whitepaper or video, for example), you’re providing valuable information, which makes you a trusted resource. Consider not only creating content, but also sharing content prepared by others. When you read articles that you feel would be helpful to your audience, share those, as well. In addition to sharing content, read the content shared by your clients and prospects. Engage with your connections regularly so you stay top of mind and make them feel appreciated and listened to. Look for opportunities to collaborate and share information with clients for their social media platforms.


    Don’t forget your advocates.

    When looking at companies with which to connect, don’t just limit your connections to your clients or prospects. We are in a reputation-based and often referral-based business, so connect with other companies that can be advocates for you. Engage with them, as well, so that you become a trusted source for quality information and interaction.


    Communicate your social media presence.

    If your firm is on social media, think about where you can include the platforms’ icons. Make sure that information is on your web site, but think about other creative ways to let people know what social media sites you’re using and what they can expect to find there. For example, you could integrate the use of Twitter into trade show efforts, put a link to your LinkedIn page in your email signature, or provide a special link to your Facebook page for bonus newsletter content.


    Building a rich social media presence takes some time and effort, but when approached with strategy and goals for quality content engagement, it can help you enhance your brand and build relationships.


    Good luck!


    Holly Bolton, FSMPS, CPSM  Director of Marketing, CE Solutions, Inc. – Structural Engineers


    Submit your burning questions to DearSMPSFellow@gmail.com. Your name will be kept anonymous and will not be published or shared.


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    Upcoming Events

    May 13, 2015 - Marketing FUNdaMENTALs: Fellows Forum

    Kentwood Office Furniture

    7226 East 87th Street

    Indianapolis, IN 46256

    4-5 p.m.


    June 17, 2015  - Cities and Towns Panel

    Skyline Club

    3:00-5 p.m.


    July 1, 2015 - Marketing FUNdaMENTALS: Prezi Interactive Session

    Somerset CPAs

    3925 River Crossing Parkway

    Indianapolis, IN 46240

    4-5 p.m.


    September 2, 2015 - Marketing FUNdaMENTALS: Build Business Recap

    Somerset CPAs

    3925 River Crossing Parkway

    Indianapolis, IN 46240

    4-5 p.m.


    September 16, 2015 - The New Justice Center and all of the Spin-off Projects

    Location TBD

    3-5 p.m.


    October 21, 2015 - Industrial Panel

    Location TBD

    3-5 p.m.

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    New Member Spotlight

    Carrie M. Sermersheim, Business Development Manager, Shiel Sexton

    From Cincinnati, Ohio Graduated High school from Oldenburg Academy Graduated from Purdue School of Engineering at IUPUI with a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management


    10 things you don’t know about Carrie M. Sermersheim

    1. Wonderful husband
    2. Two beautiful daughters
    3. A dog
    4. Four (outside) cats and a fish (inside)
    5. I Love to Garden
    6. I Love to Golf
    7. I am an active member of St. Christopher Parish
    8. Multiple best friends
    9. Dave Matthews Band Biggest Fan
    10. I’m very patriotic, my husband is a veteran w/ multiple tours of duty


    Chris Prauda, Business Development Manager, Blood Hound, Inc.

    Graduate of Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY)


    10 things you don’t know about Chris Prauda:

    1. Both parents are from Europe; he is first generation American
    2. He has one sibling, his sister Jen
    3. Chris is a native New Yorker
    4. He swam in college
    5. Been with wife, Kim since dating in college; together for 27 years, married for 19.
    6. Has a daughter, McKenna who is 14; she is a freshmen and plays lacrosse at Fishers HS.
    7. Chris has two dogs (Vizslas)
    8. He loves to cook
    9. When the weather’s nice, there’s a good chance Chris is in his yard playing cornhole with his buddies on his handmade cornhole boards
    10. When living in Dallas, Chris met Troy Aikman at (of all places) the gas station pumping gas! (He is one tall dude!)



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    To position your business for success, now more than ever is the time to invest in the promotion of your products and services. Sponsoring SMPS Indiana is a terrific opportunity that provides valuable visibility for your firm within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (A/E/C) marketplace. As a sponsor, your firm will benefit from connecting with our local industry’s top executives and decision-makers through meetings, events and social media - generating new leads and giving you access to potential customers.

    Sponsoring SMPS Indiana is your opportunity to connect with nearly 100 companies and more than 100 firm leaders, marketers and business developers in the design and building industry.

    Currently, we have several Program Sponsor opportunities available for the remaining year. Sponsoring a SMPS Indiana Program offers your company:


    • 2 free registrations to selected program
    • Up to 3 guest registrations to selected program at the member rate
    • 3 minutes to address membership at selected member program
    • Preferred seating at selected program
    • Name and logo on selected program signage
    • Name recognition at selected program meeting
    • Name and logo on selected program notices
    • Name badge with “Sponsor” ribbon at selected program
    • Opportunity to display marketing materials at selected program
    • Opportunity to network before and after selected program


    We are confident your sponsorship will provide your firm with a consistent presence and message to target industry contacts at an affordable rate. Our sponsorship program offers a variety of options for all budgets. If your goal is to develop business with Indiana’s leading A/E/C firms, we encourage you to find out more about our sponsorship program, sponsorship opportunities and associated benefits.

     For further information contact Mike Meddock, SMPS Sponsorship Chair at meddock@sme-usa.com or by phone at 317.874.5118.

     Download Info on 2015 Sponsorship Opportunities Here

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    Event Recaps

    Whose Shoes are You Looking at Anyway? How Introverts & Extroverts Can Effectively Work Together – January 21, 2015

    When tackling projects and working through day-to-day tasks, each person has their own way of processing information and even “processing the people.” Because of these differences, understanding personality traits can be key in working together – in particular, if one is an introvert or an extrovert. The January 21st event gave us tips for understanding introvert and extrovert personality traits and how to prepare to work with the opposite personality trait. There are tons of resources available regarding the introvert/extrovert subject, but a few key items from the presentation of Barbara Shuck, current SMPS President, and Adam Kilbourne stand out:


    • Learn to speak at the pace of the people you are with if you want your message to be received
    • Introverts tend to think more before speaking, so extroverts might need to “pre-sell” concepts before asking for decisions
    • Extroverts tend to “do” first, then think, and introverts can sometimes over think before doing due to them processing information


    Just because personality traits are different does not mean that effective teams cannot be formed – you simply have to know “whose shoes you’re looking at.”


    Marketing Fundamentals: Motivational Goal Setting - January 14, 2015

    Failing to plan is planning to fail! The first event of 2015 was a kickoff for the year as we discussed setting and achieving goals. Amy Porter, Executive Coach at Dale Carnegie Solutions, discussed SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results Oriented, Timely). Amy cautioned to keep your goals to a limit of 3. Revisit and reassess your goals often. See how you have progressed and adjust the goals if needed. Don’t be in a rush – it takes 66 days to create new habits. But be intentional about the goals you set. Plan steps that will allow you to achieve your goals.


    Speed Networking – March 18, 2015

    Ahh, networking… Some people love it, others cringe at the thought of trying to make relevant small talk with people they don’t know.  Seems like the perfect remedy for both types could be: Speed Networking. The SMPS Indiana Speed Networking event allowed strangers to sit down and talk to one another for about six minutes – giving each the opportunity to learn more about one another and the company for which they work. For this event, SMPS Indy co-hosted the event with several industry organizations: BOMA, NAWIC, and AIA Indy. This opened our organization up to additional participants who may not normally attend SMPS events and allowed for each organization representative to speak on behalf of their organization providing more insight to some of the benefits of the organization, and of course to answer any questions. As things normally go with our group, things quickly became lively and when the event was over, there were a few participants who chose to stick around to continue their networking efforts. Talk about building relationships! The SMPS Speed Networking event was definitely the start of some formidable partnerships.


    Marketing Fundamentals: Building Winning Teams through Ongoing Mutually Beneficial Relationships –

    March 4, 2015

    You always hear about the importance of relationships within the A/E/C industry, especially relationships with Owners, but what about the relationship that is necessary within the team that is working on a project? Yeah, it could be easily assessed that it is important, but just how are those relationships built and maintained throughout the project? What actually makes a good partnership? The March 4th event gave some pretty good advice: a) show the entire team to the owner early in the proposal process – this helps to build camaraderie; b) clearly define the roles of the project up front – use an organizational chart, this serves as a point of reference for the Owner and the team; c) create a matrix of responsibilities to ensure no one oversteps their agreed upon role during the project, and finally d) celebrate both wins and good losses. Although relationships have been forged since the beginning of time to tackle large projects, some lasting only for a moment while others have endured for decades, it seems that a key factor in building a winning team is knowledge of individual expectations, and to quote a recent adage “knowing is half the battle.”


    Build a Greater Market Position for your Company and Why it Matters – April 15, 2015

    During Deborah Hodges’ presentation, many helpful tips were shared on how to begin building a greater market position. The five most important tips she shared included:


    1. Think big picture – Determine what you want to accomplish and define what success is for your company.
    2. Set goals – Define, in writing, what you want to accomplish for your company and industry. This could include building your brand, obtaining feedback from clients, promote operational or building cost-savings plan.
    3. Define the value of your services – Clearly define what differentiates your services within the industry, market and competitors. Create a positioning statement and demonstrate your value.
    4. Think about your audient/clients – Determine target markets and what their channels are for receiving information to meet needs and offer solutions.
    5. Be committed – Determining the steps and channels you will need to take now and in the future is essential. Create a campaign, timeline and implement an action plan with a commitment to analyze results and be willing to make changes to improve results.


    These tips will help create a unified course of action so that you can link everything together to create a continuous personalized campaign that will be captured in all your marketing initiatives. Implementing this process to create a personalized campaign will help improve your ROI, provide a competitive advantage and capture the attention of target clients.




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