Being a SMPS Central Florida is a Slam Dunk!



Having just concluded our new membership drive, SMPS Central Florida won a championship victory with our new member MVPs. We had 13 new members join our chapter during our drive. We appreciate all of our new members, as well as those you have volunteered their time and expertise to make our season a success!

We also showed appreciation to our new and current members by hosting a members-only MVP suite at the Orlando Magic game on March 12. Rookie members mingled with our All-Star Marketers to understand the full benefits SMPS has to offer.

As part of our membership drive, all new members were entered into a prize drawing. Our winners are:

  • Erika Frey, Environmental Scientist with ECS Florida LLC wins the $50 Visa Gift Card
  • Michael Flemming, Marketing Coordinator with Barton Malow wins a complimentary SMPS Central Florida Program Registration


Don’t worry. The game isn’t over! You can still join SMPS Central Florida to end your season as a champion! Sign up on our website today and start receiving these benefits:

  • Networking opportunities with clients, industry professionals and your peers
  • Education, training, career enhancement, and recognition
  • Access to the online SMPS National membership directory at and online resource/community at
  • Subscription to the Marketer, SMPS National’s bi-monthly publication that offers marketing articles and the latest business development techniques
  • Reduced rates to attend all programs, access to local members’ only programs
  • Great volunteer opportunities to serve on a committee with your peers and potential clients
  • Sponsorship opportunities to expose and market your firm to the entire Central Florida Chapter and A/E/C industry

You can also attend any one (or all of) our upcoming SMPS Central Florida programs:

  • May 6th – Program: It’s All About Education-K-12, Higher Ed & P3
  • May 22nd – Marketing Mechanics: 101 Training for New Marketers
  • June 3rd – Program: Water Management
  • June 18th –Social: Trivia Night
  • August – Marketing Mechanics: ABC Awards Competition Judging
  • August – SMPS Central Florida Awards Gala

Sign up for any of these events at

Slam dunk your networking today!


Spring Ahead Education Event 4/16

SMPS Central Florida’s Spring Ahead Education event is right around the corner! Join us for a single one-hour session or enjoy the full day.

For registration details, please check “Spring Ahead Education Event” on our events page:

Interested in who will be speaking at our event? Here is an overview of the sessions and speakers:

Present Like the Pros

You’ve been shortlisted! Guess what that means…time to prepare your team for the presentation. What are the must do’s when it comes to designing the PowerPoint presentation? Ever feel like your team is trying to cram too much information in the presentation? Your client dreads that. What other visual aids should we prepare? Who should go?

Ever hear the saying “practice makes perfect?” Not true! Perfect practice makes perfect! How and when should we practice? We’ll include lots of tips on how to deliver a winning presentation, including first impressions, setting up for the presentation, engaging the audience, how best to deliver technical information, body language and voice tips, handling nerves, effectively using visual aids and handling Q & A. This session is designed for those who wish to improve their presentation skills (or help their teams to improve) and those looking for a good refresher. Presentations are how we win work!


CyndiSpeaker: Cyndi Gundy is an award winning Marketing Instructor at the University of Central Florida where she has taught for 14 years, teaching courses in professional selling, services marketing, sport marketing and other courses in the discipline. She is also an active business development consultant and professional development trainer with the majority of her clients in the A/E/C industry. She assists them with training in the areas of business development strategy, personal selling technique and delivering strong presentations. She is a long-time member of the Central Florida chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services and has the privilege of serving as the faculty advisor for their 80+ member student chapter.



Finance 101: What Marketers Need to Know for Career Success

To many of us in the exciting field of marketing, finance can be considered dry, boring and somewhat complicated. But in order to improve our firms’ profitability and advance our career goals, it’s important for marketers to have a basic understanding of business and accounting principles.

Have you found yourself asking these questions?

  • I have an RFP that is asking for my firm’s “overhead rate.” How is that calculated?
  • How does my firm come up with “hourly rates?”
  • What information is shown on the “Balance Sheet” and “Income Statement?”

This session answers these questions and, through information and examples, puts the field of finance in basic terms. You’ll learn more about the financial side of our industry, positioning your firm—and yourself—for future success.

ChrisSpeaker: Chris Rickman, FSMPS, CPSM joined ZFI Engineering in 1990 as a junior CAD technician. Since then, he has worked his way into a leadership role and is now a firm Principal and the largest shareholder in the firm, other than the two founders. His duties include coordinating all of the marketing and business development activities, managing the daily business operations, and overseeing the IT needs.

Chris is actively involved locally, regionally and nationally in SMPS.  His leadership roles for the Oklahoma Chapter include, President, Treasurer, and Executive Board Advisor. Nationally he has served as chair of the Certification Committee, where he helped develop version 2.0 of the CPSM study guide, and the Blueprints Taskforce, where he helped develop tools to assist members in advancing their professional careers. He recently served as co-chair for Build Business 2013 in Orlando, FL.

In 2011, he was honored by The Journal Record by being selected as one of Oklahoma’s top “Achievers under 40.”


Applied Resource Management Techniques for Professional Services Marketing Teams

In today’s competitive market, ensuring your marketing resources are yielding the maximum benefit for your firm is essential. Key to this objective is the understanding that the marketing function is a value-added professional role, not an administrative one. Transitioning your marketing teams from reactive to proactive will not only boost morale, but will lead the way to a strategic marketing approach that will ultimately help secure new work and support firm growth.

This session will highlight a case study focused on the evolution of a decentralized marketing department with a marketer-as-generalist staffing model to a highly organized and specialized department, all while substantially improving quality and value added without increasing overhead costs.

MattSpeaker: Matt Frankel leads the firmwide marketing efforts at Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P), a 650-person, full-service, multi-disciplined A/E firm headquartered in Nashville. Over the past eight years, with the aid of his team, he has helped spearhead the evolution of GS&P’s marketing culture from a reactive one to a strategic, proactive one, with significantly increased win rates and revenues to show for it. His background as a licensed commercial pilot and MBA contributes significantly to his non-traditional approach to marketing management. Originally from the Nashville area, Matt completed flight training at Middle Tennessee State University, followed by an MBA in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. He has been active in SMPS for eight years, including co-chairing the 2010 Southeastern Regional Conference in Nashville, serving as Communications Chair for the 2013 SERC in Birmingham, and speaking at a number of conferences and boot camp events throughout the country.


Market Research for a Strategic Advantage

Using case studies from leading architecture, engineering and construction firms, attendees will leave this session with practical ideas for incorporating market research that will impact customer acquisition driving revenue and firm growth.This information packed presentation will feature real world objectives, practices and outcomes pulled from specific programs including:

  • After conducting a five-year planning cycle that identified two specific practice areas for growth, an engineering firm utilized market research to develop actionable marketing plans.
  • An architecture/design firm incorporated market research into their strategic plan for penetrating the F1000 market to identify those entities contemplating significant changes to their corporate HQ and facilities infrastructure.
  • Following an aggressive acquisition strategy, market research was used to help an engineering firm determine where and how to allocate business development resources.

TriciaSpeaker: Tricia Washington is an Executive Vice President/Partner for MarketLauncher, Inc. an Orlando-based market research and business development consulting company. Tricia is responsible for overseeing operations which includes developing strategies and programs that impact MarketLauncher client companies. She is a native of New Jersey with a degree in Communications from Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University, and has 20 years of business experience including business-to-business marketing for various mid-size companies in a number of professional service industries including training/learning, leadership development, technology, management consulting, engineering, financial services, media/communications and logistics management.


Client Feedback Tool

Attendees will walk away understanding the value of measuring performance in their professional relationships. They will be equipped with simple process outlines and each attendee will see how to develop a roadmap to apply feedback in a process-oriented manner for continuous relational improvement. The session will demonstrate how to use feedback to improve the areas of leadership, staff performance, profitability, marketing, liability, and relational quality.

RyanSpeaker: Ryan Suydam co-founded Client Feedback Tool in 2004. Serving as Director of Operations, Ryan has developed client feedback programs for professional services firms of all types and sizes. Having built both tools and techniques specific to project delivery organizations, Ryan specializes in helping organizations and professionals collect, manage, and respond to client feedback. Ryan has spoken at both national and regional events and has presented online webinars with organizations such as PSMJ, Lean Construction Institute, ASQ and SMPS, as well as events produced by Client Feedback Tool.


Training Technical Staff to Maximize Client Relationships

Do you get a request for brochure from a project manager as he/she is heading out to a client meeting? Did you ever wish your project manager asked for a specific piece of information while talking to a prospective client? Do your project managers have a hard time getting repeat client meetings to discuss upcoming projects?

While clients have less time to meet with consultants to talk marketing, the need for a strong personal relationship is more important than ever. Marketers need to coach their technical staff to get beyond the “me, me, me” marketing fluff and dig deeper to build those relationships and deliver value in every interaction. We take a “train-the-trainer” approach to teach marketers not only the fundamentals of call planning, active listening, and value delivery, but put it into practice through interactive exercises and provide a self-starter kit to implement back at the office.  

BarbiSpeaker: Barbara Stiles, CPSM is a Marketing Manager for Jacobs Engineering Group.  She has over 25 years of marketing experience in the A/E/C industry and has extensive experience in program/project development and marketing, public relations, market research, and special event coordination.  Her primary area of responsibility is to provide expertise in marketing and strategic planning for the Florida Infrastructure group.  Barbara has been a member of SMPS since 1999 and has served on the SMPS Central Florida board for the past six years including a year as Chapter President.  

LindsaySpeaker: Lindsay Diven, CPSM is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for BRPH. She also manages the Marketers Take Flight blog, focusing on helping marketers new to the AEC industry acclimate to the proposal environment. Over the past eight years, she has specialized in developing marketing and business development teams with emphasis on creating workable processes and accountability measures. While her background has been transportation infrastructure, she recently joined a vertical design firm providing her perspectives from varying client and project types. Lindsay has been a member of SMPS since 2005 and is currently the Director of Membership for SMPS Central Florida.


Managing a Customer Relationship Management System and Beyond!

How many of us struggle with managing our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system?  To increase CRM systems’ adoption, a marketer must think about information that is most beneficial to their business. Easier said than done! Successfully implementing and managing a CRM system is one of those areas that can set you apart from the average marketer and positively impact the growth of your firm. In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Key steps to a successful implementation
  • What data is important to maintain
  • Best approach to clean-up existing dirty data
  • What data is critical to the success of a firm
  • Why finance should be your best friend and how to engage accounting 

SarahSpeaker: Sarah Gonnella, is Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Full Sail Partners. Her firm is a Deltek Premier Partner and 2012 Project Excellence Award Winner specializing in business consulting for project-based professional services firms seeking to utilize technology to improve business development and project financial management. A past president of SMPS Atlanta and SMPS Technology Committee member, Sarah currently serves on SMPS Atlanta’s Executive Advisory Committee and SMPS National’s Business Development Committee. She is a contributor to SMPS’s Marketer and blogger focused on educating firms on CRM best practices, technology trends and processes, as well as, measuring social media and marketing metrics. She can be reached at or @SarahGonnella on Twitter.


Time Management

Are you dealing with challenges such as completing your “to-do” list at the end of the day only to discover that you are nowhere close to achieving your goals or outcomes? Do you struggle trying to create a balance between your personal and professional life?

The RPM Time Management system will enable every peak performer not only to achieve their goals, but to feel fulfilled by creating a compelling plan for their life. In the RPM Time Management Workshop, you will learn the tools that will help you take control of the demands and responsibilities in your life and achieve your goals in the shortest time possible. Attendees will learn:

  • The difference between achieving your outcomes and completing a “to-do” list
  • Being in the “zone” while responding to the demands outside yourself
  • The “why” of achieving a goal is more important than the “how”
  • To prioritize what is truly important in your life
  • How to create SMART outcomes for your life
  • How to use the power of leverage
  • How to achieve 80% of your outcome by doing 20% of your action list
  • The power of chunking your actions
  • How to create a balance between your personal and professional life
  • How to schedule your daily, weekly, and monthly outcomes

Meet Your Speaker:

SaharSpeaker: Sahar Irwin, founder of Transition Coach Academy, believes that having a coach by your side in today’s fast paced competitive world is not a luxury but a necessity. Her presentation will cover strategies for addressing self-limiting behavior… behavior that often shows up the strongest just when people need the courage to take risks for the sake of change.  Sahar will challenge you, empower you, support you, and will be your accountability partner on the path as you continue to make important, life-giving and life-changing choices to live life at a higher level. She is not only there to celebrate every small victory on the path of achieving your goals, but to put you back on track and help you deal with your limiting beliefs, stories, and fears.

Sahar is also a former Results Coach for Robbins Research International, Tony Robbin’s company.  She is certified as a Strategic Intervention Coach and Marriage Education and Divorce Prevention Coach from the Robbins-Madanes Center for Strategic Intervention.  She brings a level of respect, openness, compassion, empathy, and a rigorous commitment to speaking the truth to her clients.


Key Note – Leadership through Community Involvement

TraciSpeaker: Traci D. Blue is the Director, Volunteer Resource Center for the Heart of Florida United Way, where she works with individuals, community-based organizations, businesses, government and staff to engage citizens in meaningful, quality volunteer roles that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people in our community. She has focused her life and career on volunteer and community engagement and has a passion for working with the community, specifically with youth issues. In addition to her work with the United Way, Traci is a member of the Orlando/Orange County COMPACT Board of Directors, and serves as the Vice Chair of the UCF Alumni Community Volunteers Chapter. She has previously served on the UCF Alumni Association Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida – Orange County Board of Directors, Athlete Connections Board of Directors, Vision Quest Advisory Board, former Secretary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade Committee, a former member of the YMCA Black Achievers Program Committee, and a former member of the Jones High School Academy of Business & Industry Advisory Board.

Traci’s leadership role has evolved through her many volunteer and service engagements. She recently served as the program director for the newly created Junior Achievement Academy of Leadership and Entrepreneurship (JA Academy) where she was primarily responsible for recruiting students and mentors, and arranging for community service opportunities. Additional roles have included serving as Volunteer Manager for A Gift of Teaching, Volunteer Program Manager for the City of Orlando, and Intern Relationship Manager for INROADS/Central Florida, Inc.