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SMPS BLACK & WHITE BASH: Save the date

SMPS Austin is proud to announce the upcoming Black & White Bash! This fabulous event will combine our annual marketing awards with a festive cocktail party, hosted on January 21. The party is open to both members and non-members and gives attendees a unique opportunity to network over cocktails and acknowledge the great work our members do throughout the year. We encourage you to invite firm leadership, your friends, colleagues, and significant others to help celebrate.

Save the date and stay tuned for future announcements and more information on the event and the awards competition!

January 21, 2016 at 7pm
The Highball

Tickets will go on sale in early November.

Interested in serving on the planning committee for this event? Reach out to Beth Sims at

Interested in finding out more about sponsorship opportunities for the SMPS Austin Black & White Bash? Reach out to Devin Williamson at

CLICK HERE for more information and updates on the event.


One of the first sessions of Build Business discussed the use of a client journey map, which is a way to walk in your client’s shoes and chart their course as they interact with your organization. The client journey map is from the client’s viewpoint vs. yours. It is created through collaborative efforts and should be shared across departments throughout the organization. It should serve as the backbone of your business development efforts.

Customer Journey Experience
The old sales funnel idea of awareness, interest, and desire is outdated. Now it is more of a cyclical process called the customer journey experience.

For each of the sections of the pie, there are different methods of achieving your goals, in order to move to the next phase in the cycle.

AWARENESS: Public relations, direct mail, trade shows, events, print, social, email
EVALUATION: White papers, website, site visits, qualifications packages, references
PURCHASE: Interviews, proposals, kick off meetings, contract negotiation
PROJECT: OAC meetings, email, site visits, RFIs, close-out
REPURCHASE: Email, direct mail, website, location, follow-ups
RAVING FAN (ULTIMATE GOAL): References, referrals, community events, social events

Client Journey Map Process
Once you understand the customer’s journey experience, you can begin the five-step mapping process.

  1. Develop strategy: Review company strategic plan and company values.
  2. Create the company view: Define the touchpoints and perceptions of the customer’s journey.
  3. Listen and learn: Ask customers about the experience they have with your company.
  4. Align for authenticity: Use customer input to refine the customer journey.
  5. Identify and resolve: Use new perspectives to create opportunities for deeper engagement.


The SMPS Austin Chapter kicked off the new board year with a networking happy hour at Rattle Inn on September 30. There was a great turnout at the event, which included prize drawings for members and non-members alike.

To see all of the event photos CLICK HERE

HAPPY HALLOWEEN: Austin's Haunted History

As most locals know, Austin is filled to the brim with haunted places. From parks to hotels to hospitals, this city has a spooky experience to fit any atmosphere. Here are a couple we wanted to draw your attention to:

The ever famous Driskill Hotel, located in the heart of downtown, was built in 1886 and was designed by architect Jasper N. Preston & Sons. It was then expanded in 1930 by Trost & Trost. As the story goes, two brides killed themselves on their wedding night 20 years apart in the same room, room 525. Guests have reported seeing the brides roaming the halls and slamming doors ever since.

The Austin State Hospital was built in 1857, designed by architect Charles Payne. The haunted story and history of this building go hand-in-hand. It is the third oldest standing public building in Texas as well as the oldest psychiatric hospital in Texas.

Littlefield House, located on the University of Texas campus, was built in 1893. It was renovated by currently active San Antonio architect/interior designer Volz O’Connell Hutson. The building was home to Major Littlefield and his wife, Alice, who supposedly suffered from agoraphobia. Passersby have claimed to see her ghost in the window of a turret in the attic.

The Inn at Pearl Street, built in 1876, was originally built as home to Judge Wilcox and his family. He and his wife lost two children at very young ages, and his wife can still be seen rocking her children or pushing them in a buggy.

Lastly, and perhaps the most unknown of these haunted places, is the Clay Pit, also known as Bertram’s Trading Post. Built in 1853, Bertram’s housed both the general store and the family home. Bertram’s son died in the home of typhoid fever and has been known to leave guests with the chilling feeling that someone is in the room with them. It is also reported that the Clay Pit staff have heard the commotion of a party upstairs when the restaurant is empty.

Photo credits:
Littlefield House :
Austin State Hospital :
Driskill :
Clay Pit:
Inn at Pearl Street :

ON THE BOARDS: Fareground at One Eleven

Fareground at One Eleven will transform the plaza and lobby of the prominent, tiered downtown office building at 111 Congress into an urban park, civic space, and food marketplace.

Fareground will feature a food court with local vendors, outdoor eating areas, green space, and a small amphitheater under heritage oak trees for live music and events.

The project broke ground last month and is scheduled to be completed in 2017. For more information CLICK HERE.

Owner: Parkway Properties
Architect: Michael Hsu Office of Architecture
Landscape Architect: dwg. urban landscape architecture
Branding: Look Think Make
Civil Engineer: KBGE
Contractor: Balfour Beatty 
Structural Engineer: Leap! 
MEP Engineer: EEA Consulting Engineers

MEET THE BOARD: Devin Willamson, President

Devin Williamson, Associate
Raba Kistner, Inc.
SMPS Board President

With offices all over Texas, Raba Kistner specializes in ENV, geotechnical, material testing and inspections, and project management. 

How many years have you been an SMPS Member?
9 years

What do you like about being involved with SMPS?
I like meeting people and connecting them with other SMPS associates to help elevate their position within their company. I love to hear or see someone get promoted in their company by something they learned within SMPS.

What do you think is the most interesting thing about our industry?
I build relationships for a living for Raba Kistner. I wish I would have known about our industry and that this was actually a job when I graduated from college.

Do you have any pets? What kind?
My wife and I have two dogs and two cats. I don’t think we will ever get more cats. :)

What are your hobbies?  
I like old cars. I like to ride bicycles. I love being in and around water and spending time with friends and family.

If your friends and family had to describe you in just 3 words, what would they be?
I just hope it is good.


Help us welcome SMPS Austin's newest members!

Raymond F. Castillo
PM/CM Greater Texas Lead

Shannon A. Melba
Communications Coordinator

Susan Selesky
Marketing Coordinator