SMPS Chicago Blog

SMPS Chicago New Member Event - August

As this month's official guest, Matt Rebro, CPSM, answered a few questions on how SMPS has helped his career and professional growth. Join him at the lunch August 27 to learn more.

For questions regarding the lunch, contact: Lauren Mead, Matthei & Colin Associates, LLC at [email protected]

Where do you work and what’s your role? 
ASI Signage Innovations (Designers, manufacturers & installers of interior/exterior architectural signage).  I am the general manager of the Chicago operations.  Previously spent 16-years in a business development capacity for construction managers.

Why did you join SMPS Chicago? 
Initially I was intrigued by the opportunity to pursue the CPSM designation, but also to improve my knowledge of the A/E/C industry and expand my network. 

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

SMPS has provided me the education to be a more knowledgable, networked and efficient employee.  It’s provided me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.  Revenue opportunities have been developed/captured as a result of being a member of SMPS.  

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

Get involved as much or as little as your employer supports.  Always be conscious of demonstrating to your employer the return on investment into you/SMPS.  Explore the viability of getting your CPSM designation and attending SMPS University.  Embrace walking into uncomfortable settings.

What was the most fun event you attended for SMPS?

Difficult to pinpoint, but I would lean towards the 2012 SMPS National Conference in San Francisco.  I was wrapping up my SMPS Chicago presidency.  I was also a speaker for two sessions.  It felt like I was “coming home” to a family reunion amongst my fellow chapter presidents whom were also wrapping up their program year.

What do you do to kick back and relax?

Golf • Cook •  Live Music •  Exercise • Family Time

What is your favorite musical group/performer? 

Jack Johnson

What is the most interesting place you’ve visited? 


Name the most famous person you’ve had a face to face encounter with (“brush with greatness”)? 
Cardinal George, Mayor Daley, Dan Gable

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

My father.  He lives in Arizona now and I don’t get to see him very often. 


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Call for Mentors - Future City Competition

Chicago-As part of the 2016 National Future City® Competition, the Illinois(Chicago) competition is calling for mentors to work with school teams in the upcoming competition titled "Waste Not, Want Not" which will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago in January 2016. The regional competition is part of the national competition of National Engineers Week. This year's concept asks the nation's sixth, seventh and eighth graders to design solid waste management systems of the future. We are currently seeking team mentors to work with students when they start their projects in the fall of 2015. Specific experience in the concept is helpful; however, experience of how to evaluate ideas and problems is desired and valuable to the student teams.

Mentors are asked to coach their teams for the regional competition which requires meeting about two-four times per month with the team at their school. Your participation, from the fall to the competition, will strengthen problem-solving, promote teamwork, and encourage citizenship while building a unique relationship as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) mentor.

To register as a mentor and for more details, to to to view the schools registered via a Google Map and to complete the online form.  Registration is open through Oct. 1, 2015; however, teams are launched in early September with their school's mentors. 

"This year's competition requires students to create a vision for the future regarding solid waste management systems with the concept of "Waste Not, Want Not." This is an important topic and new solutions to waste management are critical to the survival of urban environments globally. This is the 23rd  year of conducting this regional competition and we are very proud of the students, schools, and all of the mentors involved each year," said Future City® Competition Regional Coordinator Don Wittmer, P.E., Transportation Manager with HNTB.

The winning team from the Illinois competition will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete int the national competition held in February during National Engineers Week. The top three teams from the region will present their models at the Annual Chicago Engineers Benefit in Feb. 2016. 

For more information, contact Future Competition® Regional Coordinator Don Wittmer, P.E., HNTB at [email protected], or Matthew Miller, P.E., HNTB, at [email protected]

As a mentor, you will be part of a special group of professionals. On a national basis, the Future City® Competition expects 1, 400 schools across the United States will participate again. There are 37 regions involved in the competition nationwide. Begun in 1992, the Future City® Competition is part of the rich history of DiscoverE. 

The 2015 State of Illinois winners and schools can be found here

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