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Pflugerville, Round Rock and Georgetown November Election Bonds Update
Tuesday, October 9
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
UT Club President's Room
Save the Date!


Simple Pitch & Catch: Demystifying the Public Relations World
Tuesday, October 16
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Jones|Carter Engineering


Network with others in the A/E/C industry!

Thursday, October 18
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location TBD
More Details soon!

Volunteer & Sponsor Appreciation Happy Hour


Thank you to our tireless volunteers and generous sponsors for all their work to make the 2017-2018 SMPS year one of our best yet! 

Click the image above to see more photos from the event. 




I am honored to be able to serve as the SMPS Austin President for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. I truly believe this organization has provided me with invaluable resources to grow my firm as well as my own personal brand through the diverse educational programs, highly attended networking events, and unique luncheon programs. My hope is that you will benefit the same way that I have throughout this year with what we have planned for you.

Under the leadership of Beth Sims, the chapter achieved our goals for 2017-2018 and embraced the theme to engage. This year, our theme will be to ELEVATE. 

During our annual planning retreat, we reevaluated the strategic objectives that were set last year. Using the information gathered from your member surveys, we created measurable goals for each of these objectives, listed below, to make sure we are staying on track to better serve you. 

  1. Grow member participation and retention
  2. Elevate the perception of SMPS within the industry and community
  3. Elevate the perception of SMPS within the community
  4. Attract a wider and more diverse audience 
  5. Create new, intentional professional development programming 

Serving on the board this year are a group of forward-thinking men and women that I feel will propel SMPS Austin even further. This group has already kicked off this year like rock stars with 

  • Janki De Palma, CPSM, Education Director, hosting our first BD Roundtable that sold out; 
  • Bert Schnoebelen, Programs Director, hosting a luncheon on affordable housing that was unlike any other in the region; 
  • Marisa Jarmon, Special Events Director, hosting a unique networking event for you all to meet the board; 
  • Katie Evans, Membership Director, helping us with consistent chapter growth allowing us to surpass 175 members; 
  • Erin Bettison Rapp, CPSM, President-Elect, already thinking of how to make her impact in 2019-2020; 
  • Beth Sims, CPSM, Past President, making the transition seamless and continuing to provide guidance; 
  • Kelly Maxwell, Communications Director, jumping in to share the news of the chapter and its members;
  • Glenn Hart, Sponsorship Director; Debby Williams, Secretary; Lacey Proffitt, CPSM, Logistics Director; and Liz Lloyd, Treasurer, for taking care of all the behind the scenes tasks that make our chapter run so smoothly. 

In closing, I would like you to ask you: How will we elevate SMPS within the A/E/C industry? How will we elevate our personal brand within our firms? How will we elevate our chapter within the community as a whole? Stay tuned to see how we can help you do that.

Lyndsay Maclin Woods, CPSM
SMPS Austin President
Marketing Manager, Harvey-Cleary Builders



Manor Senior High School

Written by: Jena Naylor, Perkins+Will

Owner: Manor Independent School District
Architect: Perkins+Will
Civil Engineer: Jamison Engineering
Structural Engineer: Datum Engineers
MEP Engineer: Hendrix Consulting Engineers
General Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction
Landscape Architect: Coleman & Associates
Photographer: Leonid Furmansky Architectural Photography, LLC

Project Description: The new Manor Senior High School answers the increased population needs within Manor ISD and is intended to focus on launching students forward. As the first of its kind in Central Texas, the career and tech high school has multiple career options including: architecture, engineering, education, health science, law enforcement, agribusiness, audio visual production, radio broadcasting, film production, business, animation, gaming, culinary arts, cosmetology, and graphic design. The programs at Manor Senior High School allow students to graduate with not only a diploma, but a certificate of career training that will support their development beyond high school.


Luncheon Recap: Public & Private Experts Present: Austin’s Affordable Housing Crisis


Written by: Amanda Greenfield, HDR

After taking a break for a couple of months, our chapter hit the ground running with an excellent panel discussion regarding Austin’s Affordable Housing Crisis. Moderated by Colin Pope, editor of the Austin Business Journal, the panel featured experts in both the private and public sectors, including: Carla Steffen, 2018 Bond Development Lead for the City of Austin; Katy Zamesnik, 2018 Bond Development Coordinator for the City of Austin; Walter Moreau, Executive Director of Foundation Communities; and David Wallace, Presidium Group. Also joining the conversation was Rosie Truelove, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Director with the City of Austin.

Carla Steffen and Katy Zamesnik, both with the City of Austin, began with a presentation summarizing the upcoming 2018 Bond Election. There are seven propositions included in the election, each to be voted on separately. These include:
Proposition A: Affordable Housing ($250M)
Proposition B: Libraries, Museums, and Cultural Arts Facilities ($128M)
Proposition C: Parks and Recreation ($149M)
Proposition D: Flood Mitigation, Open Space, and Water Quality Protection ($184M)
Proposition E: Health and Human Services ($16M)
Proposition F: Public Safety ($38M)
Proposition G: Transportation Infrastructure ($160M)

They also discussed the tax implications of these bonds—if all bonds are passed, it will result in a 2 cent tax increase per $100 of property valuation for Austin residents. 

Next, Walter Moreau described his organization, Foundation Communities, and its goal of creating affordable housing in Texas to help families succeed. Walter provided an overview of previous affordable housing projects Foundation Communities has completed in the Austin area and debunked the preconceived notion that these projects are “unsightly” or “ugly.” He also spoke of the challenges he encounters when completing these projects.

David Wallace, with the Austin-based real estate development firm Presidium Group, closed the meeting with a discussion on economic considerations as they relate to the affordable housing crisis. David pointed to many figures and statistics supporting the assertion that the situation is in fact a crisis. Trends have shown that the rent and housing prices in Austin have continued to increase, while labor rates have stayed relatively flat. This creates an imbalance, causing people to shift outwards to the suburbs, which in turn damages the Austin market. 

For more information on the bond package, you can visit Also, as a reminder, the last day to register to vote is October 9, and Election Day is November 6.



BD Round Table Recap: Hybrid Marketing and Business Development Positions


Written by: Janki DePalma, CPSM, DCI Engineers

We kicked off the SMPS year with our first BD Roundtable, tackling the challenging nature of hybrid marketing and business development positions. Our panel of experts included Valerie Kelly, BGK, Glynnis Woolridge, BLGY, and Debby Williams, Jose I. Guerra. The sold-out event was a lively discussion lead by Brittany Hendrickson of DBR. Although the firm sizes and resources were different, there were some great takeaways that we can all use. 

  1. Maximize your time. After all, even the best multi-tasker cannot physically work on two things at once. Having a calendar and being organized can help you keep track of those “backburner” marketing and BD tasks such as social media, awards submissions, and CRM maintenance. 
  2. Let your strategic plan be your guide. Work closely with your firm leaders to create a strategic plan that lets you focus on the key areas of growth and development for your firm. This plan will also serve as a touchpoint to avoid chasing work that doesn’t align with your overall company strategy.  
  3. Stick to the facts. Remove the emotion of the decision and clearly present facts such as the true cost to pursue an RFP.  
  4. Marketing isn’t just proposals. Remember your brand is your promise. If you want to refresh items such as your logo or website, start by showing your team a competitor analysis and how your firm compares to others.
  5. Manage up! The more you do, the more you need to manage up. Communicate with your team, get input on priorities, and don’t be afraid to offer your opinion on strategic decisions (using tip #3). Learn the language of the different leaders in your firm to find the best way to communicate. 

Managing both marketing and business development is a challenge. It helps to have a clear understanding of your firm goals, your manager’s expectations, and their communication preferences. Finally, don’t forget to market yourself. Present metrics on your own success and how it affects the company’s bottom line. 


New Member Spotlights

Syed Jafar

Firm: HVJ Associates
Role: Sales & Marketing Administrator

Describe your role: HVJ provides Geotechnical Engineering, Materials Engineering & Testing and Pavement Engineering services. My prime focus within the firm is to develop business. 

Where are you originally from? I am from Karachi Pakistan. I came to the States after high school and completed my bachelors from the University of Houston in Civil Engineering. 

What do you like doing in your free time? I have four young kids (4 months to 11 years old) so I stay pretty busy with my time outside work!

What prompted you to join? Developing marketing and leadership skills. 

Morgan Stinson

Firm: EEA Consulting Engineers
Role: Chief Operating Officer

Describe your role: I'm the Chief Operating Officer at EEA Consulting Engineers. We're a 40+ year old MEP design and Commissioning firm operating in almost every major market sector, with particular emphasis on higher education, high-tech/semiconductor, commercial office, and national retail.

Where are you originally from? I was born in Orange, Texas but we moved to Austin when I was 6 years old, so I consider Austin my home. I was part of the second ever graduating class at McNeil High School in the Round Rock ISD, then got my Engineering degree at UT Austin.

What do you like doing in your free time? My most active hobby is music (I play bass in an old school honky tonk band), but I'm also a voracious reader, college football addict, and I do a decent job taking advantage of our current era of "peak TV." Integral to any and all of the above are my awesome wife and 8-year old daughter; we legit have a ton of fun as a family unit.

What prompted you to join? As COO one of my core responsibilities is to oversee our marketing and business development activities, and I want to make sure that I'm constantly improving in those areas. SMPS is a great source of education, as well as awesome, like-minded people. I'm looking forward to joining the broader conversations around marketing and BD for our industry and how we can all be better.

Amanda DeCicco

Firm: Cosential
Role: Event Marketing Manager

Describe your role: Cosential is a cloud-based CRM and proposal automation software built by and for the A/E/C industry. My primary responsibilities are all event and webinar logistics from planning to execution, and strategy.

Where are you originally from? My hometown is Queens, NY but I spent most of my child and early adulthood in East Brunswick, NJ. I went to college at Rowan University where I studied public relations and advertising.

What do you like doing in your free time? I love to play soccer, hike and camp. Don't let that first sentence fool you - I'm not crazy active - I also thoroughly enjoy indulging in the quest to find the best local IPA and burger.

What prompted you to join? My organization works closely with SMPS on a local and national capacity. I actually attended SMPS Build Business 2018 national conference for my first week of work at Cosential and knew it was an organization I wanted to be part of. Everyone was excited to be there and network - which is a rare, rare thing to find.


Members on the Move

Katie Evans

Firm: Flintco, LLC
Role: Marketing Coordinator

Katie Evans has joined Flintco, LLC’s marketing team as a new Marketing Coordinator in the Austin office, leaving her previous position as Marketing Coordinator at Texas Engineering Solutions. She has been active with SMPS Austin and serves as the Membership Director.

Heather Nixon

Firm: Perkins+Will
Role: Marketing Manager

Heather Nixon is the new Marketing Manager for Perkins+Will for their Washington, D.C. office. She was previously operating her own consultancy, Circle Line Marketing & Design, and served as the Communications Director for 2017-2018. She will be relocating to the east coast next month.  We wish her the best!

Bernie Siben

Firm: Chaparral Professional Land Surveying, Inc.
Role: Director, Marketing & Business Development

Bernie Siben, CPSM, has joined Chaparral Professional Land Surveying, Inc., as Director, Marketing & Business Development. Siben has 40 years of experience in A/E/C strategic planning and marketing. He has developed strategic plans, and managed and written SOQs, proposals, and presentations, as well as print and digital content. Siben is a frequent contributor to A/E/C publications such as the SMPS Marketer, The Zweig Letter, and Civil + Structural Engineer and writes the blog,, about A/E/C marketing-related subjects. His publications also include a book on A/E marketing to public agencies and eight eBooks on A/E marketing-related subjects.

Bert Schnoebelen

Firm: IE2 Construction
Role: Vice President

Bert Schnoebelen has been promoted to Vice President of Construction: Corporate Interiors at IE2 Construction. In his new role, Bert will lead the construction efforts of their Corporate Interiors team by developing and maintaining client relations, leading pre-construction services, and providing guidance and leadership for the operating team. 


SMPS Austin is proud to announce that we have surpassed 175 members! See some our newest below:

Presley Benzinger

Sr. Marketing Coordinator  |  Spire Consulting Group

Amanda DeCicco

Senior Event Marketing Manager  |  Cosential

Stephen Delgado, P.E.

Owner | Principal  |  Texas Engineering Solutions

Sommer Holcombe

Marketing Manger  |  Trimbuilt Construction, Inc.

Adrienne Horton

Marketing Manager  |  RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture

Julie Mastervich

Marketing Lead  |  Norris Design

Morgan Stinson, PE, LEED AP, CxA

Chief Operating Officer  |  EEA Consulting Engineers

Christina Anderson

Marketing Director  |  Coleman and Associates

Amanda Shanks

Marketing Manager  |  Halff Associates, Inc.

Syed Jafar, P.E.

Executive Vice President  |  HVJ Associates, Inc.

Erin Roberts

Marketing Assistant  |  Spire Consulting Group

Corinne Hillard

Director of Marketing  |  O'Connell Roberts

Megan Lesher

Marketing Coordinator  |  CobbFendley

Tracy Oshaughnessy

Founder & Lead Strategist  |  Branding & Beyond



Andrew Harrington, PE, LEED AP BD+C
 Senior Associate  I  WSP USA


Cody Powell
Architectural Intern  I  CTA Architects Engineers


Marisa Jarmon
Marketing Coordinator  I  American Constructors

Amanda Retallack

Marketing & Business Development Specialist  I  Lord Aeck Sargent


Adam Kohler
Director of Operations  I 
Structure Tone Southwest



Erin Bettison Rapp, CPSM
Marketing Manager  I  The Beck Group



Darla George
Marketing Coordinator  I  Flintco, LLC

Submit your Presentation Proposal for Build Business 2019, the annual SMPS Conference! 
The topics include: Build Yourself; Build Your Firm; and Build Your World.

The submission deadline for speaker proposals is September 20, 2018. 


TRW Family Companies
Product Consultants >

Walker Partners
Office Manager / Marketing Assistant >

Senior Marketing Coordinator >

Michael G. Imbers, Architects
Marketing / Graphic Designer >

Copyright © 2018 SMPS Austin Chapter, All rights reserved.

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