SMPS Chicago Blog

Thank You Annual Sponsors

SMPS Chicago Members and Friends,

SMPS Chicago is pleased to announce our 2015 Annual Sponsors featured below. We couldn’t do it without firms like all of these behind us all the way. 2014 was a very successful year for SMPS Chicago. Thank you all for your continued support. We were able to bring new benefits to our members including nationally recognized speakers, programming, professional development, and scholarships. Here’s to another outstanding year!








For more information about sponsoring specific events and programs in 2015, please visit

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two Free Lectures on Flooring - 1/29 and 2/26

LECTURE 1: Thursday, 01.29.2015

Flooring Failures: Discoloration, Blisters, Delaminations, & Related Issues
presented by Emily Hopps & Neal Anderson


  • Owners
  • Facilities Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Attorneys


Click here to sign up or for more information

LECTURE 2: Thursday, 02.26.2015
Informed Flooring Design: Design Details, Specifications, & Materials for Successful Flooring Installations
presented by Emily O’Keefe & Connor Bruns

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January 2015 Lunch Program Photos

To see more SMPS Chicago photos from the Build a Greater Market Position for Your Company event at the East Bank Club click here.

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2015 Transport Chicago Call for Abstracts

Transport Chicago invites transportation and planning professionals, practitioners, researchers and academics to submit an abstract for consideration for our 2015 30th Annual Conference.

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Register Now and You Could Win

We are very proud to have a fantastic group of speakers presenting at our conference. In fact, we have updated our website with information on each speaker including a bio and an overview of their presentation. In addition, we have added a complete schedule to the website.  Lastly, our conference would not be possible without wonderful sponsors. Please check out our sponsors page for a list of participating sponsors. 

It's 2015 and that means the SMPS Heartland Regional Conference is just around the corner. If you haven't registered yet, please register now. You'll get the "Early Bird" rate and you'll be entered in our contest for a chance to win 4 tickets for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's River Cruise. This tour is a “must” for out-of-towners and Chicagoans alike. More than 50 buildings along the Chicago River are interpreted, revealing how the city grew from a small back-country outpost into one of the world’s most important crossroads in less than 100 years.

The SMPS Pinnacle Awards are all about recognizing and honoring excellence in marketing and communications within the A/E/C industry. If you have created some effective and amazing marketing initiatives, please submit your entries and you just might win a coveted Pinnacle Award. 

All members in good standing are eligible. Award winners will be presented with their honors at the Heartland Regional Conference Pinnacle Awards Ceremony hosted at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois. 

Check out our Pinnacle Awards Page to learn more. All submissions are due by March 2, 2015, so please submit your entires as soon as possible. 

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SMPS Chicago Supports Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana

SMPS Chicago and AIA Chicago presented a $1000 donation, $500 on behalf of each organization to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC-CNI). SMPS Chicago President Megan Muter, CPSM and AIA Chicago Events Manager Kelsey Kirkley presented the checks to Ronald McDonald House this week. RMHC-CNI cares for families of children with serious medical conditions. SMPS Chicago and AIA Chicago used proceeds from the Hollywood Holiday event to support RMHC-CNI at holiday time. Click here for more information about Ronald McDonald House.


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Coming Soon: CPSM Study Group and Scholarship

The CPSM credential is a voluntary certification designed to elevate the professional standards in marketing and influence the future of this vital field. Furthermore, the CPSM designation serves as a mark of distinction for professional services marketers and business developers, raising their standing with their employers, peers, and the public.

SMPS Chicago will be assembling a study group led by Caroline Brogan, CPSM to start early this year.

If you are definitely interested or looking for some more information, please email Caroline at [email protected].

In addition, SMPS Chicago have CPSM scholarship opportunities. For additional details about the certification and 2015 Scholarship Application see

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SMPS Chicago New Member Event - January

As this month's official guest, Shelley Finnigan, S.E., President-Elect of SMPS Chicago, answered a few questions on how SMPS has helped her career and professional growth. Join him at the lunch next week to learn more!

For questions regarding the lunch, contact: Lauren Mead, RTKL Associates, Inc., [email protected]

Where do you work and what’s your role?                                                                       

I work for ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, as a technical sales engineer.

Why did you join SMPS Chicago?

I joined SMPS Chicago when I made the switch from engineering to marketing/business development.

How has SMPS been beneficial to you, your firm, and/or your career?

SMPS has positively impacted my life, both personally and professionally, in many ways! I have formed many great friendships, learned how to better manage my time and polished my always improving never done leadership skills. My firm has gained a lot of exposure to the design community, both locally and nationally, a benefit that is invaluable when compared to the cost of membership. And, it gets to focus on developing my skills related to its own interests, rather than general skills related to marketing/business development, by allowing me to attend the great programs and professional development seminars hosted by SMPS Chicago.

How can a new member of SMPS get the most out of their membership?

New members can get the most out of their SMPS membership by jumping in and getting involved. SMPS Chicago has lots of great committees – Communications, Membership, Professional Development, Programs, Special Events, and Sponsorship – and executive Board positions that offer members unique opportunities to learn life skills, contribute their great ideas and connect with their SMPS peers! Don’t be shy about telling members of the Board what you are looking to get out of your involvement – our goal is to help you achieve that!

What was the most fun event you attended for SMPS?

Well, there certainly have been many, but by far the greatest for me was the 2013 Build Business in Orlando, Florida. The speakers – especially keynotes – were top notch and the event offered great opportunities for me to not only connect with SMPS colleagues on a national level, but it also helped me bolster relationships with my SMPS Chicago colleagues. I would encourage everyone to attend, at least once, as the event is very well done and educational.

What do you do to kick back and relax?

When I’m ready to relax you’ll find me at the gym, at the pub playing trivia, on an airplane (no bother the destination, sitting in that seat with nowhere else to be is a Zen-like state for me!) or snuggled up at home with my cat and my hubby watching British TV shows on Netflix!

What is your favorite musical group/performer?

I really struggle to answer this – I don’t even have a favorite genre of music, I love it all! If I really had to say just one group, though, I’d say Matt Nathanson. I’ve followed him since 2000 and am always awed by his musical talent, his stage presence and his commitment to maintaining a connection with his fans – it’s unwavering, even as he has grown in fame throughout the years!

What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? 

Gosh, this is another difficult one to answer. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have a father from another continent (resulting in close family members scattered throughout the world) and to have met amazing people who live in international locations and have always opened their doors to a visit. I’ve definitely taken advantage of that and thus find it impossible to pinpoint one place as the most interesting – they’re all spectacular to me! I will say that one place I’ve always wanted to see is the city of Petra in Jordan. Early in my career, I read about Petra in James Michener’s The Drifters and I’ve always wanted to see it. I’m lucky enough to be headed there later this month, so ask me this question again in February and I’ll let you know if it is, indeed, the most interesting place I’ve ever been!

Name the most famous person you’ve had a face to face encounter with (“brush with greatness”)?

How are we measuring fame here and how do we define “met”? The most famous athlete I’ve met is, well, my father, who was an Olympic athlete, but I guess my opinion on his fame is a little biased, so I’ll also say Drew Brees. The most famous musician I’ve met is Matt Nathanson. And, the most famous actor I’ve walked side-by-side with was Patrick Swayze, but unfortunate for me, I was too wrapped up reviewing my grocery receipt to even notice he was next to me before I needed to cross the street!

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ISO: Great candidates for marketing and BD positions

Think for a moment, don’t you know some folks looking for a new opportunity but thought holiday time was too busy to talk to them? Or what about some stand-outs in your network not yet lured to the AEC community? The SMPS Job Bank has a variety of positions available from new grads to seasoned pros. Maybe you are happy where you are but these excellent firms are looking for candidates and need our help.

So help out a friend and area firms by exploring the postings.

SMPS Chicago Job Bank

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Call for Judges

The State of Illinois Regional Regional competition is seeking judges for its 40+ schools registered for the 2015 competitions which will be held on January 24, 2015 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There are a record number of schools this year and more professionals are needed to help evaluate the student teams. 

Student teams will present their projects and solutions on "Feeding Future Cities" to a panel of judges at the Regional Competition. After the judging, awards will be presented in the afternoon. For more information and to volunteer as a judge, contact Future City® Regional Coordinator Don Wittmer, P.E.,HNTB at [email protected],or Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB, at [email protected]

The winning team from the Illinois region will receive a fully paid round-trip, travel and hotel accommodations, to compete in the National Finals held in Washington, DC on Feb. 22-28, 2015 during National Engineers Week. The four-day national competition will result in one team receiving the top national prize of a trip to U.S. Space Camp for one week stay in Huntsville, AL and $7,500 for the organization's STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program. The top prize is awarded by Bentley Systems, Inc. 

The top teams from the region will share their transformative ideas at the Annual Chicago Engineers Benefit on Feb. 27, 2015.

Over the past few months as part of the Future City® Competition, the student teams designed a virtual city and proposed solutions using SimCity™ software. The students researched the defined city wide issue and are asked to submit an essay with their findings and solutions. The team builds a tabletop scale model of their city using recycled materials with a budget no greater than $100 and they write a brief narrative promoting their city. All teams have the same budget and have access to the software.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support. Our Gold Sponsors are: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Illinois Section, ASCE- UIC Student Chapter, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Golden Square LLC, and HNTB.  Our Silver sponsors are: CivCon Services, Perkins and Will, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, Inc. Our Bronze Sponsors are: American Concrete Institute-Illinois Chapter, Associated Steel Erectors, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., Civil Tech, Conestoga-Rovers & Associates and Weldy/Lamont Associates, Ltd.

To become a sponsor of this incredible competition that supports young students and to find out more information, contact Future City® Regional Coordinator Don Wittmer, P.E., HNTB at [email protected],or Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB, at [email protected] 

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