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We are proud to announce the 2015-2016 SMPS Austin Chapter board of directors:

Devin Williamson | Raba Kistner, Inc.

Adam Kohler | Sabre Commercial, Inc.

Joe Reyes | MEP Engineering, Inc.

Beth Sims | dwg. landscape architecture
Director - Communications

Jennifer Finch | Kiewit
Director - Sponsorship

Mike Wong | Tom Green & Company Engineers, Inc.
Director - Programs

Marisa Jarmon | American Constructors, Inc.
Director - Membership

Amy Hageman | BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting

Kristin Clark | Bury

Nalini Chandran | KPFF Consulting Engineers
Director at Large


SMPS relies heavily on the generous donation of time and talent from our many wonderful chapter volunteers, and each year, the SMPS board selects one volunteer who we feel went above and beyond for our Member of the Year Award. This year's honor went to Amy Hageman of BIG RED DOG. Amy has served as the SMPS education chair, in addition to handling myriad tasks and projects while serving on a variety of committees (programs, communications, and golf tournament). She has proven to be an absolute asset to our organization.

Amy received the award at the luncheon on August 6 and was surprised by a table full of BIG RED DOG colleagues who attended to celebrate with her. We are very glad that Amy will be joining the board in the 2015-2016 year as secretary. 

Congratulations, Amy! Thanks for all you do!


SMPS Austin Chapter members and guests had a great time at the networking happy hour on July 23 at CU29 Cocktail Lounge. Special thanks to the membership committee for organizing the happy hour.

Keep an eye out for upcoming chapter happy hours!

CLICK HERE to view more photos from the event.


On July 30, Colin Pope, editor of the Austin Business Journal, spoke at the SMPS Lunch & Learn event. He discussed how to get your business into the Austin Business Journal, media sources in general, and the importance of building relationships with the media. To get your business featured in the media, you must first and foremost provide something newsworthy to write about.

What makes something newsworthy?

1. Something that just happened or is happening in the future
2. Involves a celebrity or recognizable name/firm
3. Involves controversy
4. Involves money

Do you think you have something newsworthy to share?

The next step is weeding your way through the hundreds of emails that editors receive each day. Pope said the best way to make sure your email is seen is to establish relationships with writers and editors. He suggests calling whenever you have a new story but also just calling once a month to check in and offer any help you can provide. For instance, if you are an architecture firm, you can offer help on any architecture-related articles they may be currently working on.

Another way to make writers aware of your business is to give positive feedback when you are mentioned or featured. Pope joked about how they always receive negative feedback from businesses (if they were not mentioned in an article when they should have been, etc.), but they never hear the success stories. Just a quick call to say how you got a job because the article helped to generate new leads and calls to your firm makes a difference.

These subtle gestures help develop your relationship with writers and makes them more aware of your business and willing to feature you.

Contact Colin Pope: Editor | | 512-494-2521 and Jan Bucholz: Senior Real Estate Writer | | 512-494-2523


Our August luncheon covered the upcoming Travis County Family and Civil Courts Complex project. Speakers included Belinda Powell, the strategic planning manager for Travis County Planning & Budget Office, as well as Genevieve Van Cleve, the president for Vanvella Industries and campaign manager for the Courts Complex Bond Election.

CLICK HERE to view more photos from the luncheon.


SMPS members Beth Sims, Lyndsay Woods, and Marisa Jarmon represented the organization at the 2015 Summer Shindig on July 30 at The Cedar Door Restaurant and Bar.

The annual event, which had more than 150 people in attendance, was put on by Pierpont Communications and was co-hosted by SMPS and six other professional communications organizations in Central Texas, including the American Marketing Association, Austin Advertising Federation, International Association of Business Communicators, North Austin Influencers, Public Relations Association of America, and Women Communicators of Austin. All proceeds from the event benefit the American Red Cross Serving Central Texas.


SMPS Austin is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 Mentor/Protégé program! The 9-month program is a unique professional development opportunity that is offered to Austin Chapter members only. Participants (protégés) are paired with experienced AEC marketing and business development professionals in mutually beneficial mentoring relationships.This program is an excellent way to deepen your understanding of the industry and learn from a colleague.

For more information, or to find out more about becoming a mentor or protege, CLICK HERE


The Southern Regional Conference committee is looking for presenters! Speaking at SRC provides members with a great opportunity to gain exposure, represent the Austin chapter, and share your valuable expertise. The call for presentations closes on September 4.

CLICK HERE for more information on presenting.


If you can’t beat the heat… join it! Check out our recommendations for summer fun in the Austin area.

  • Rent kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards on Lake Austin: An alternative when this area gets crowded is to head up to Lakeway and rent jet skis or speed boats. Lakeway Marina, for instance, has a ton of options to get you out on the water.
  • Take a tour at any of our local breweries and wineries: A growing favorite is Hops and Grain on the East side of town. If you’re looking to travel just a bit, check out the Fredericksburg Winery just an hour and a half away. The best aspect of these tours is that most of them offer indoor relief from the hot summer heat.
  • Enjoy an outdoor movie showing: From Auditorium Shores to Alamo Drafthouse to many local bars, there are plenty of venue options that show movies outdoors.
  • Walk the grounds of Laguna Gloria: As home to The Contemporary Austin’s sculpture garden, these grounds host beautiful and artistic sights. In addition to the sculpture garden, there are hiking trails, lake views, historic monuments, and a neighboring peacock farm and garden.
  • Have dinner on the porch of Hula Hut on Lake Austin: Enjoy a uniquely Hawaiian-inspired menu as boats and jet skis race by. There’s also Mozart's coffee shop nearby with its own porch where you can enjoy an iced coffee and dessert.
  • Take a dip in Barton Springs: For a quick way to cool off in a beautiful setting, visit Austin's most popular watering hole, located in the heart of the city.


Jacob Kondo

Regina Munson Washburn
Anchor-Ventana Glass