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Half-Day Workshop on June 17

Bring Your Presentations to Life

Register today for the June 17 Half-Day Workshop, presented by Graceworks. The SMPS Austin Chapter is pleased to offer our annual half-day workshop aimed at removing the fear, nerves, and hesitation around public speaking.

Whether you want to raise your shortlist interview hit rate, be more confident when speaking in public, or just drop nervous speaking habits, this workshop is for you. You will strengthen your presentation skills in this fun, interactive workshop through teaching, discussion, interactive exercises, and coaching. You will learn to engage and energize your listeners, prepare and practice your material, use props and graphics wisely, and breathe life into "boring" technical presentations!

CLICK HERE for more information and to get registered for the workshop!

June Networking Happy Hour June 17

There will be a networking happy hour directly following the workshop at Mercury Hall, which is open to non-attendees as well. Workshop attendees will receive one complimentary drink ticket. We hope to see you there!

CLICK HERE for more information about the June happy hour!


Written by Janki DePalma, DCI Engineering

If you are like most marketers/business development professionals in the AEC industry, you simply fell into your position. Most of us didn’t know such a career existed, let alone majored in it in college.  While the marketing staff at most AEC firms are self-taught, the professional staff lives in a world bound by certifications and licenses. Our industry is flooded with various letters that follow your name, and you may wonder why would you want “CPSM” to follow you? CPSM stands for “Certified Professional Services Marketer”.  When you pass your CPSM test, you are showing everyone that you are, indeed, an expert in marketing!

What is the test? Like many other certifications/license programs, there are some minimal requirements to take the test: namely years in the industry and a degree (or some combination). Ideally, if you join a study group, you can stay on track and learn from each other.  Since most of us were self-taught, there are some areas that we are weaker in, depending on the needs of our position. 

Why take the test? Taking the test has both internal and external benefits. Internally, it’s a great way to take inventory of your own marketing knowledge base and see where you need more work.  You can’t help but get jazzed about various aspects of marketing when you read these short articles or more in-depth books by experts. Externally, the benefits are simple: CPSM after your name means you are an expert. Additionally, as you expand your career, the certification is a tangible way to stand out.

Finally, when you pass the CPSM test you belong to an elite group of marketers! As a newly-minted CPSM, you will be able to walk across the stage at the SMPS national conference gala to thunderous applause. You have access to the CPSM LinkedIn network and have a snazzy pin to wear. You do need to keep up with the CEUs and retake the test every few years, but all of that is fairly simple. If you’ve been thinking about taking the test, talk with our resident study group leader, Mike Wong. He has a 100% success rate and helps our chapter study and churn out CPSMs.

Book Review: The Confidence Code

Review by Erin Bettison, Beck

The Confidence Code combines cutting-edge research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition with examples and everyday tips and tools to build your confidence, personally and professionally. Don’t let the targeted female reader demographic dissuade you; The Confidence Code is primarily gender neutral, and if nothing else, it will serve as sound advice for the daughters, female colleagues, etc. in anyone’s life.

Written by two journalists, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, the book starts with a scientific hunt for the confidence gene and reveals surprising new research on its roots in our brains. The authors interview leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into their personal confidence. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.

The second part of the book yields good news; while confidence is somewhat influenced by genetics, it is not a fixed psychological state. However, you won't discover it merely through positive thinking or just squaring your shoulders and faking it. Enhanced confidence requires daily choices and habit-building in the way of less people pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk taking, and openness to fast failure.

This book is an easy read and offers inspiration and practical advice to build and practice exhibiting greater confidence in all types of professional situations.

SMPS Mix & Learn Recap

Written by Jennifer Finch, Kiewit

May’s Mix & Learn/Networking Event really shook things up with a Rum tasting at Habana Restaurant and Bar on SoCo. Habana has been an Austin institution for the past 14 years and serves traditional Cuban-American cocktails and fare. The owners, Ron and Yasbel Flores, still make an annual trip to visit family in Cuba and take notes on every meal, snack, and drink, so when they are back in Austin can make sure they are still doing it right!

Each attendee had a placemat that detailed the four types of top-shelf rum selected for the group, and our rum aficionado talked us through each tasting: Pyrat XO, Atlantic Private Cask, Mount Gay Extra Old and Ron Zacapa Centenario 23. The best was saved for last: the Ron Zapaca Centenario 23 from Guatemala. Our guide explained that it was known as the cognac of rums; some even say it’s the world’s best rum. This world-renowned spirit begins life as virgin sugar cane honey in the mountain region of Quetzaltenango. It was a smooth, full-bodied rum with aromas of cocoa and orange and notes of honey, vanilla, and almonds on the palate.

Attendees were also served a spread of empanadas, thinly-sliced fried plantain chips, and Cuban tamals – a perfect complement to the tasting. A big thank you to the programs committee for coordinating another successful and memorable event!

New Member Breakfast June 25

Our next new member breakfast is scheduled for Thursday, June 25 at Kerbey Lane Cafe! New members should have already received their invitation.

For more information, reach out to membership chair, Marisa Jarmon at

Luncheon on July 14

Save the date for our next luncheon! The Texas Facilities Commission will be providing an update on planned State of Texas facility improvement projects, funded as part of the 2015 legislative session. Harvey Hilderbran (Executive Director) and members of the Facilities Design & Construction group will be offering a general overview of the individual projects as well as information on timelines for implementation.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Lunch and Learn on July 30


Save the date! Our next chapter Lunch and Learn has been scheduled for Thursday, June 30 and will cover the basics of writing and distributing press releases.

Attendees will get insider information on successful pitches from Austin Business Journal editor, Colin Pope. 

CLICK HERE for more information!

New Member Spotlight

Christina Gonzalez

Christina is the business process coordinator for GarzaBury, a full-service engineering firm located in downtown Austin. The firm serves clients at local, state, and federal level and serve both public and private sectors. 

Christina was born and raised in San Antonio (Go Spurs Go!). She attended Incarnate Word High School and graduated from the Unversity of Texas at San Antonio in 2012. In addition to her favorite hobby of napping, Christina and her husband love to take their dog to the lake, go kayaking and attend as many music festivals as possible. 

New Members

Jamie Crawley
HA Architecture

Britt Dougherty
Alliance Transportation Group, Inc.

Dharmesh Patel
HA Architecture

Rachel Paul
Rachel Paul Photography 

Stephanie Tsen