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SMPS Austin hosted a New Member Breakfast on June 8 to welcome our recent additions to the chapter. We had 25 new members join us at Torchy’s Tacos in Mueller to enjoy a scrumptious breakfast and receive an overview of benefits and how to get the most out of their membership.

SMPS Austin has reached an all-time membership high of 142 members, which is a 30% growth in just the last year! In addition, we placed second in the SMPS National Membership Drive, bringing in 24 new members from March 1-May 31. Thanks to all who joined or referred new members to chapter. We couldn’t have achieved this milestone without you!

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the breakfast. 


Build Business: Synthesis will bring together A/E/C clients, content experts, principals, business developers, and marketers to historic Philadelphia, PA, from August 10–12, 2016 to learn from and challenge one another to think differently about business. As a participant, you will experience your choice of never-before-seen breakout sessions, provocative keynote speakers, and plenty of networking to make priceless business contacts.

Build Business 2016 will celebrate the power to IGNITE, INNOVATE and EXECUTE through an integration of ideas to create SYNTHESIS.


SMPS Mix & Learn Featuring Whiskey

Wednesday, June 22
5:00pm - 7:00pm

The most exciting thing about whiskey is its diversity of flavors. Join us at Chicon, a neighborhood restaurant and bar in East Austin brought to you by the people behind Contigo, to take your taste buds on a journey exploring bourbon, rye, and scotch whiskey. To compliment the tasting, expect tasty bar snacks focused on fresh and local ingredients.

Space is limited to the first 50 registrants, so reserve your spot now and join SMPS Austin on a whiskey aromas and flavors exploration. 



On May 26, SMPS Austin gathered for its annual Half-Day Workshop. This year’s topic, Networking for Nerds, was geared toward developing the business development skills of technical/operations professionals in the A/E/C industry. The speaker, Andrew Hunt, PE, CFM, serves as a seller-doer for Project Control. Andrew is well-known for his skills in networking and developing new client relationships while balancing his project management duties.

Andrew guided the attendees through networking etiquette and offered invaluable tips on how to engage others during professional events. He used humor and his past (sometimes awkward) experiences to teach attendees about his core principles: caring about networking, maintaining integrity, being purposeful, and staying consistent. Attendees gathered at the Porter Ale House & Gastropub immediately following the event to practice the skills that Andrew preached.

SRC RECAP: 5 Ways Firms Have Lost Money

LeAnn Nowak presented at the SMPS Southern Regional Conference in February and outlined nine areas where AEC firms lose money and how in your role as a marketing/business development professional, you can make a difference. Here is a brief review of some of the areas: 

  1. Cumbersome Proposal Process 
    Implement a detailed process for proposal procedures and have a shared database or client relationship program (CRM) with integrated proposal software between offices. Having a well-organized system speeds up the process. 
  2. Scope Creep 
    Understanding the importance of communicating scope to both clients and the entire team will prove to be essential to eliminating scope creep. Project managers need to take the initiative up front to set client expectations and manage the scope of the project.
  3. Poor Project Management 
    It is vital that a firm has a process of checks and balances in place to hold team members accountable throughout the life of the project. Having the ability to forecast hiring and report future opportunities and projections will give team leaders a greater ability to plan and manage project flow.
  4. Flawed Estimating Process.
    Working closely with a project manager, being proactive by having well-managed proposal templates, and utilizing an integrated database can help to eliminate a flawed estimating process. Review estimates, budgets, and potential scope items with team leaders.
  5. Cost of Lost Opportunities
    Having a good CRM, along with a successful CRM implementation plan, will contribute to retaining quality clients. Make sure your firm has a clear go/no-go process and procedures for managing potential project opportunities and scope creep.

Ensuring marketing and business development professionals are well informed in both client and project issues on the front end of proposal writing can help prevent your firm from unnecessary costs or lost revenue. Teamwork makes the dream work!


Bazaarvoice, one of Austin’s foundational tech companies, has moved into their new headquarters in the Quarry Oaks III building. The new 137,615-square-foot building features outdoor balconies, a curtainwall with Lueders split-face stone, and a veneer of exposed steel and exposed concrete. The interior space’s key elements include a faceted wood reception desk, four-story monumental staircase, relaxation pods, and collaboration nooks. There is also a Whole Foods Café that serves daily hot lunches and provides other on-the-go snacks. Overall the building is somewhere the Bazaarvoice team members are “proud to come to work everyday in this new space.”

General Contractor: Harvey-Cleary Builders
Shell Building Architect: HKS, Inc.
Interiors Architect: lauckgroup
Shell Building Project Manager: Construction Services of Texas
Interiors Project Manager: LML Group
Civil Engineer: LJA Engineering 
Structural Engineer: Brockette Davis Drake
Shell Building MEP Engineer: BIG RED DOG
Interior MEP Engineer: MEJ & Associates, Inc.
Photographer: Casey Dunn Photography


Alexandria Quinones
Regional Manager │ Clark Land Resources, Inc.

Kelly Daacon
Construction Manager │ BIG RED DOG Engineering/Consulting

Elise Lampert
Marketing Specialist │ Stantec 

Lionel Feliz
President │ Felix Media Solutions

DeWayne Krawl
Vice President │ MLAW Engineers


Micah Mills
STG Design 

Micah Mills is the marketing assistant at STG Design, a multidiscipline design firm with offices in Austin, Houston, and Nashville. Micah is from Midland, TX, attended school at Texas A&M University, and recently relocated to Austin. He has been spending his time exploring everything the city has to offer. Micah looks forward to meeting new people and learning more about the AEC industry.


Heather Nixon
Broaddus & Associates 

Heather Nixon is the marketing director at Broaddus & Associates, a collective of firms that provide leadership on all phases of a project from conception to completion. Heather Nixon is from Rhinelander, Wisconsin–Go Hodags! (She suggests you look that up on Wikipedia for some entertainment.) Heather enjoys running, practicing yoga, reading, grilling with friends, and watching football. Heather joined SMPS Austin to get more involved with people and events in the AEC industry.


Patricia Stepaniuk
Spire Consulting Group 

Patricia Stepaniuk is the marketing coordinator for Spire Consulting Group, which is a multi-disciplined construction engineering consulting firm serving a variety of industries and project types. Patricia is from Bedford, TX, and attended school at Texas A&M University. Patricia recently relocated to Austin after living in England for six months. In addition to traveling, she also enjoys running, hiking, walking, eating, cooking, being outside, reading science fiction books, and watching science fiction TV shows. Patricia hopes to gain a fuller understanding of all that can be accomplished as a marketing professional in the AEC industry.