Our Connectivity

Happy Holidays to each of you and your loved ones. This is a wonderful, but emotional time of year. A time of gatherings and good wishes. A time of year when people need people.

I hope many of you were able to join us for the Tacky Sweater Crawl. It was a great night to renew old friendships, meet new people, visit interesting businesses and learn more about what they do. I believe fun was had by all. Even more I think we were reminded what a close industry group we are. Our companies are so intertwined in the work we produce and relationships are so important.

It made me very proud to be a representative of SMPS. More than any other organization, we epitomize the variety and connectivity of the AEC industry. We bring together so many different types of companies, but are able to focus on our similar needs and build a strong network of support.

The Sweater Crawl was a great place to see our organization in action. Not only did we enjoy the time with our connections, but we were also able to help others connect. Thank you for being a part of SMPS and this wonderful network we have created to benefit us personally, professionally, and our firms as well!

Brandy Willett

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

Only Change is Constant

If there is anything I can take from the past year, it is that change is the only constant.

I began the year with a consolidation and rebranding in my firm.  As the year went on, we added a satellite office and bought out another small company.  We’ve reorganized some of internal structure and recomposed our leadership team.  All the while changing over to new accounting and time keeping software.  Now that it seems the dust is finally settling, I find myself leaving the firm to pursue an opportunity too good to pass up.

Life and business are ever changing and adjusting.  One of the best things about being a part of a group like SMPS is that it is changing and adjusting right along with you.

We have a national staff that is committed to being at the forefront of industry trends and best practices. Their goal is to make that information available and useful to their membership.  The release this year of the Markendium was just such a move.  It is a compilation of research put together in a way that make it easy to use — both to take the certification exam or on the job.

I have seen the same type of adaptation on the regional level.  I serve on the planning committee and program selection committee for next year’s MVRC.  There has been a real commitment to continue to provide two separate tracks for the conference: marketing and business development.  We strived to pick programs that fit clearly into one track or the other.  Marketing and business development are still very intertwined, but more and more we are asked to take on one role or the other within our firms.  The MVRC is committed to helping our members get programs that will help them in whichever discipline they need or allow them to choose programs from both sides if that is the best fit for their role.

On the local level, we continue to change and evolve as well.  We strive to put on programs and events that our members will benefit from and enjoy.  I encourage you to help us with that.  Unlike national, we are all volunteers, so as amazing as your board is, none of us can devote a fulltime effort to this organization. So if we are missing something, please let us know.  Help us continue to adjust and change in the ways that can benefit us all!

Brandy Willett

SMPS Wichita Chapter President


An Opportunity Too Good to Miss

I hope many of you were able to attend last week’s Marketing Plan Workshop.  It was a marvelous session.  Mindy and Carrie Ann not only gave us new ideas and tactics to approach next year’s planning, but they also gave us much needed time: to think, to analyze and to discuss.  In many ways, their session benefited me in the ways SMPS has benefited my career throughout my membership.

Without fail, every SMPS event I have attended has taught me something, and sometimes it has even been something about myself, but the knowledge is only one small part of what I gain.  Going to SMPS events is a rare chance to take a break from business as usual, and reflect on my role as a B2B marketer.  It’s an opportunity to reconnect with people who understand my day-to-day.  It’s a chance to laugh, to think, to share and to get some advice.

This group is my professional network.  The knowledge and insight we have as a chapter is amazing.  The variety of perspective is priceless. I have learned so much simply talking to our members, and even more when I remember to listen.

I hope that each of you has found SMPS to be as enriching as I have, but if you haven’t, please let me know.  I would love to help you connect the talented and entertaining people who are our membership.  They are really too good to miss.  

Brandy Willett

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

A Year On Fire

Let me begin my term by telling you a little story…

For those of you who don’t know SMPS holds an annual training session for their president elects, and I was lucky enough to attend in April.  Our session started off with the lighting of a fire beneath us all.  Yes, literally an hour before we were scheduled to begin a car burst into flames in the parking garage under our hotel.  We were all evacuated, and got the unique networking opportunity for meeting in a wide array of not quite readiness.  (I had wet hair and no makeup, but at least I wasn’t wearing my robe!)  Anyway, in true marketing fashion, we took this awkward start and created a positive identity – our class name became En Fuego.

I tell you this story not to have you start humming This Girl is On Fire, We Didn’t Start the Fire or Ring of Fire (depending on your generation and musical taste), but because ironically this chance identity fits amazingly well with my goal in becoming president of SMPS.  I wanted to stir up excitement for all SMPS is and can be, and what’s more exciting than starting a fire!

I know some of you didn’t vote for me.  In fact, no one did.  I’m became SMPS president by default, but it is something I am truly honored and excited to do.  When I moved to Wichita and joined the AEC industry just about four years ago, I had no idea how much I needed this organization.  Again and again, SMPS has connected me with the people and the information to help me better myself, my company and my community. It continues to challenge me and provide me opportunities to be more than I would have been on own, and I hope to give back just as much.

Luckily for me, I’m not in this on my own.  We recently had our annual board retreat to brainstorm and plan for the coming year, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to work with the incredible group of people you have elected.  We have an amazing mix of returning leadership and new volunteers.  They are full of great ideas and the commitment to make SMPS the organization we all want and need.  These are the people who can make it happen.

I really feel that we have an exciting year ahead with programs and activities that can benefit you if you are a newbie or a well-seasoned vet.  Our board is committed to befitting you as our member, your firm, and our community this year.  We also plan to have a lot of fun along the way.  SMPS is all about networking, learning, and being involved, and it is my hope to get you excited as well, to light that fire.

Thank you for letting me be the President of SMPS Wichita for 2016-17!

Brandy Willett

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

A Final Note From President Lindsay Young

As I wrap up my last couple of weeks as SMPS Wichita president, I reflect on all that our chapter has accomplished this year. We have delivered stellar programs, grown our membership and sponsorships, and increased value for our members. I am very proud of each one of our board members who have made this year seamless. Without their support, hard work, and dedication, we wouldn’t have had such a successful year.

Thanks to the 2015-2016 board members:

Brandy Willett, President-Elect, Central Consolidated

Steve Hauck, Past President, Professional Engineering Consultants

Brent Thomas, Treasurer, Ruggles & Bohm

Crystal Carroll, Secretary, LK Architecture

Brett Weller, Program Chair, Hutton Construction

Rebecca Ignowski, Communications Chair, Barkman Honey

Candace Wilson, Membership Chair, UCI

Jeff Weiford, Sponsorship Chair, GLMV Architecture

Tami Hadley, Education Chair, iSi Environmental and iSi Industrial

And the 2015-2016 committee members:

Vicki Boone, Finance Committee, Dudley Williams & Associates

Erin Koehn, Student Liaison Committee, Eby Construction

Lauren Clary, Student Liaison Committee, Professional Engineering Consultants

Bailey Clark, Programs Committee, Slawson Development

Catherine Rocky, Education Committee, Terracon

Erin Seghers, Communications Committee, Wilson & Company

Katelyn Calderwood, Communications Committee, Building Controls and Services

Susan Lentz, Sponsorship Committee, The Waldinger Corp.

Thanks to our members and sponsors who have supported by time and financially to our chapter’s success. Here is to an even better 2016-2017 SMPS Wichita year. Remember to get involved. You only get out of something what you put in it.

Signing off my last president’s note,

Lindsay Signature

Lindsay L. Young, CPSM

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

Help Us Reach Our Goals

Setting goals are always important. Last summer at our SMPS Wichita planning meeting, we set membership and sponsorship goals for our chapter. Half way through our board year, we re-evaluated our goals and looked at the market to determine if we needed to adjust our goals. We did adjust our goals for both membership and sponsorship.

For our board year, we are slightly below our goals. Our goal is to have 55 members by August 31, 2016, and we currently have 49. We’d like to challenge each our members to help us reach our membership goal by the end of August. If you know of someone who regularly attends or who hasn’t attended at all, but would be a good fit for SMPS Wichita, contact Candace Wilson, our membership director, at cwilson@ucict.com. She can get the individual membership information.

For our sponsorships, we still need to have a 2 more lunch sponsors for our programs. It’s a great deal at $300 per lunch and the company gets 3-5 minutes to talk about their products and/or services at the luncheon. Sponsorships help our chapter bring in top notch speakers and programs adding more value to our membership. For our all day marketing workshop in October, we are looking for sponsors for this specific event. If your company or a vendor/supplier you know would like to be in front of marketing and business development individuals, then contact Jeff Weiford, our sponsorship director, at jweiford@glmv.com, to get signed up. We are also open to custom sponsorship opportunities. Contact Jeff today!

I’d like to thank our current and sustaining members and sponsors for your continued support. We appreciate all our members and sponsors we currently have for SMPS Wichita! We couldn’t do what we do without your financial support. If you are a member and can utilize our sponsors, please do so! That’s what SMPS is all about.

Lindsay Signature

Lindsay L. Young, CPSM

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

The Many Benefits of Membership

For me the value of being a member of SMPS is priceless, and there are so many benefits to being a member of SMPS. The two reasons I’m a member are the education and the networking. Both have helped me in my career and my business.

The education is extremely important in not only developing myself but developing teams. Through SMPS education, one learns a plethora of information about the AEC industry. There are a ton of educational resources for members to take advantage of which include the Marketer (bi-monthly publication); mysmps.org (marketing resource center with lots of examples and templates for marketing documents); Blueprints (career guidebook); multiple reports, white papers, and research; webinars; lunchtime learning labs (FREE webinars); conferences (regional and national); workshops; Certified Professional Services Marketer designation (credentials to make you legit); and Markendium (online learning portal). I have used each one of these at least once, and many times monthly, in solving a problem.

From the networking standpoint, you meet a ton of people in the industry with similar goals as yourself. Many of us in the SMPS Wichita Chapter are the “only ones of our kind” in our firms. Most of us work for small to medium-sized firms that only employ one or two marketing and business development people. It’s nice to have a community that understands marketing and developing business for AEC services. Nationally, you can connect with other individuals to learn from those people by accessing the SMPS National Membership Directory. I can call any SMPS member and get a response back, many times within 24 hours. My SMPS network has helped me in good times and in bad. My SMPS network is like my second family.

If you aren’t a member of SMPS, consider joining our community. If you are a member of SMPS, please make sure you are taking advantage of all the wonderful benefits to being a member. Should you have questions about membership, please contact Candace Wilson (cwilson@ucict.com).

Thanks to our members who have invested in themselves and those principals that have invested in their people through the SMPS membership.

Lindsay Signature

Lindsay L. Young, CPSM

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

You Only Get Out What You Put In

Summer is just around the corner, and many of you are signing your kiddos up for summer activities, attending graduations, and planning summer vacations. May is a busy month, but what month isn’t these days? For those that didn’t attend this month’s speed networking event, you missed out… big time. We had a good turnout and those that attended gave raving reviews and asked for a repeat event. Both professional and fun questions were asked and answered. One was, “If you were a car, what car would you be?” I said a Ferrari; I guess because it’s fast and powerful.

Anyway, it was a fun and entertaining exercise and although we won’t immediately repeat this event, we are partnering with industry organizations for two upcoming programs in June. On June 28th , we will be touring the WSU Airbus building in conjunction with National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Wichita Chapter and Women in Commercial Real Estate (WICRE). On June 30th , we are partnering with the newly minted Wichita Design Coalition on the Second Annual Garden Party at the new Sedgwick County Zoo Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley Overlook. Please plan to attend both these events as there will be lots of time for networking.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars for October 12 for the all day MARKETING WORKSHOP! SMPS Wichita is bringing in AEC experts to help us write our 2017 marketing plans. You’ll have templates and a good outline to take back to the office and refine. We will be releasing more details this summer. If your company is interested in sponsoring the event, please contact our sponsorship director, Jeff Weiford.

Plan on attending these events and getting involved. Remember, you only get out of something what you put in.


Lindsay Signature

Lindsay L. Young, CPSM

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

Spring is Here! Time to Get Involved.

Spring is here! It’s a sign of new beginnings and summertime is just around the corner. SMPS Wichita is right in the middle of board elections for the 2016-2017 SMPS year. Be on the lookout for the polls to open. Please make it a point to get involved in our chapter, whether that be participating on a committee or being an active member attending our monthly luncheons. You only get out of something what you put in. Make sure to reach out to current board members with questions or ideas! Contact Brandy Willett, our current President-Elect, about being involved on committees.

SMPS Wichita has a lot of programs going on in the next several months. On May 11, we are doing a networking event with SMPS members and USGBC members, so make sure to sign up for that program. June is filled with jobsite tours to include the new Sedgwick County Elephant Exhibit and the second phase of the WSU Innovation Campus. We have also secured speakers for a marketing plan workshop on October 12. Make sure to mark your calendars and look for these program announcements and sign up!

Thanks to those of you who serve on the board and those that participate on committees. We appreciate your membership and involvement.

Lindsay Signature

Lindsay L. Young, CPSM

SMPS Wichita Chapter President

Connecting with the Next Generation of Marketers

Last month we had several SMPS members attend the Wichita State University Career Fair to represent the SMPS Wichita Chapter and the AEC industry. We had interest from students majoring in communications, marketing, and business stop by the booth and visit with our chapter. Our student committee of Steve Hauck, Lauren Clary, Erin Koehn, and Rebecca Ignowski are focusing their efforts to get students involved in our chapter. They talked to about thirty students and have invited them to our lunch programs. These students will start receiving information from our chapter. If you see them at a program or event, please make them feel welcome.

Our chapter knows investing in the future of our industry and introducing students to our industry will be important to educate individuals about how marketing and business development in the AEC industry is a viable option after graduation. We will show them how exciting our industry is and how we can help them professionally grow in our industry.

We will foster our relationship with WSU and hope to mimic that relationship with the other local schools in and around Wichita. This will only elevate our profession and allow students to know they have options besides working for an agency, public relations, or other marketing type firm. If you would like to get involved in the student committee or have other ideas to close the gap on this, please contact Lauren or Erin (lauren.clary@pec1.com or ekoehn@ebycorp.com).

We look forward to this relationship and mentoring and coaching our young talent to enter into the AEC world.

Lindsay Signature

Lindsay L. Young, CPSM

SMPS Wichita Chapter President