SMPS Chicago Blog

Coming Soon – Dine & Shine “How to Respond to an RFQ/RFP”

Stay tuned for date and location of SMPS Chicago’s next webinar on “How to Respond to an RFQ/RFP” brought to you by SMPS National.


When it comes to responding to proposals, there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle— and, if you choose the wrong ones, you could lessen your chances of winning the business.

It’s time to take a closer look at what you put into your firm’s proposals and how you respond. Discover how to create a “win theme” and why it’s important to use that theme throughout your proposals’ content and layout. Figure out what information the client really wants to see by taking a look at typical solicitation language. Plus, learn how building a strong relationship with the client can help tilt the playing field in your favor.

Learning Objectives

During this Webinar, you will learn how to:

  • Discover why the client relationship helps determine what the selection committee is really looking for.
  • Be aware of “the fool with the checklist” and understand how reorganizing the submittal, no matter how more logical you think your structure is, might not be a great idea.
  • Write a benefits-based proposal to ensure members of the selection committee—both technical and non-technical individuals—recognize and understand the benefits your team brings.
  • Incorporate your win theme into the page layout as well as the content.

About the Presenter:

Bernie Siben, CPSM, Owner/Principal Consultant, The Siben Consult, LLC

Bernie Siben has three decades of industry experience in strategic consulting and marketing document production for public and private sector pursuits. He has managed and developed strategic plans, SOQs, proposals, and other print/digital materials. SOQs and proposals include transportation; utilities; park/recreation facilities; water quality; asbestos abatement; land planning/development; and environmental permitting/compliance for single projects and ID/IQ contracts. He has written articles for the Marketer, The Zweig Letter, A/E Rainmaker and other industry periodicals.

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Build Business Early Bird Registration Ends May 30

There are only a few more days to register for the SMPS National Conference to be held in San Antonio this year.  Don’t miss the opportunity to save some dollars and boost your skills to meet the business challenges of tomorrow while performing optimally today.








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May New Member Lunch – BOD Spotlight: Carrie Mandelin, Sponsorship Director!

Welcome to our New Member Lunch spotlight! Each month, a guest from the Board of Directors will be joining us at the new member lunch (NML) to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about their role and background. This month, we’re joined by Carrie Mandelin, CPSM, Sponsorship Director of SMPS Chicago!

The Sponsorships Committee oversees the development of the Sponsorships Program. The Committee fosters relationships with existing and prospective sponsors and presents to them opportunities to reach various audiences and receive benefits and exposure through financial support of the Chapter. The committee supports the other committees by identifying potential sponsors for individual events.

In advance of this month’s NML, here’s a little bit about Carrie:

Where do you work and what’s your role?

I am the head of marketing for Mortenson Construction’s Chicago office. I manage the internal marketing and graphics team with additional responsibilities of communications and PR.

Why did you join SMPS Chicago?

I joined SMPS Wisconsin when I began my career in the AEC industry. I joined to broaden my marketing knowledge and industry network.

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

Getting involved in SMPS was the best career decision I ever made. The individuals I interact with at events, on committees and being a board member are my friends, not just industry partners. Without the professional development gained through SMPS ‘s  educational programs and technical presentations, I would not be where I am in my career.  

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

Get involved. Get involved. Get involved.

What was the most fun event you attended for SMPS?

Too many to choose just one – everything SMPS does is amazing!

What do you do to kick back and relax?

I love to read.

What is your favorite musical group/performer?

Honestly, I don’t have just one. I like all kinds of music.

What is the most interesting place you’ve visited?

Saint Lucia

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

Hasn’t happened yet.

If you could spend 15 minutes with any living person, who would it be and why?

Chelsea Handler. I find her hilarious.

About the program: Exclusive to our new members, we have a monthly lunch program for the entire first year of membership!  These lunches are designed to familiarize new members with the chapter, expand their networks, and demonstrate the various ways to become involved.

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