Twitter icon Forward icon


Join SMPS Austin for our Membership Drive Happy Hour on April 28! Bring a prospective member as a guest, and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing for a prize!

Thanks to our drink sponsor, JQ!



Everyone that interacts with their clients and colleagues has the opportunity to impact their firm’s brand and help build their own professional network. Networking within the AEC industry is not limited to your firm’s professional marketing staff. This inclusive workshop developed exclusively for SMPS Austin is intended for both technical doer-sellers and marketers looking to polish their networking skills. We encourage you to invite your technical staff. 

Speaker Andrew Hunt, PE, CFM serves as a doer-seller and is skilled at networking and developing new client relationships while balancing his project management duties. Andrew will guide attendees through networking etiquette and offer invaluable tips on how to engage others during professional events. He will use humor and his experiences “networking as a nerd” to teach attendees about the core principles networking, reading body language, maintaining integrity, being purposeful while networking and staying consistent in these endeavors.

Registration opening soon!

For more information, CLICK HERE

SRC RECAP: Client Care Programs

Written by Amy Hageman, BIG RED DOG

Rebecca Lavezzary and Sarah Nolan Hoff presented on client care programs, a topic that is often an afterthought for many firms. However, as we learned at the SMPS Southern Regional Conference in February, it is critical for retaining clients and gaining repeat work.

A client care program should focus on the client for the life of a project, and everyone in the firm is responsible in executing and following through with the strategic plan for the program. Why is this important? Because they keep your firm in business!

Lavezzary and Nolan Hoff encouraged the group to focus on the needs of your client on a human-to-human level: to look at client care as an opportunity to have a “return on relationship,” not solely for the business-to-business or ROI benefits. They explained further by stating that 50% of the project experience is emotional and developed a useful client journey map (shown below) with touchpoints for you to track your interactions with the client through the project life cycle.

The journey map allows you to track the client’s emotional responses to your firm’s work, which can offer insight to your team regarding the level of service being provided and show immediate areas for improvement. Constantly tracking client satisfaction can help you to repair negative perceptions and win over a disgruntled client before the project is over. 

In order for a client care program to be successful, there must be buy in on all levels within your firm. Encourage different team members to call, email, and check in with the client at various times throughout the duration of the project. The client care program is not solely for the business developer or the project manager - the leadership learned from this program can be applied to all levels of team members.

Define your client and determine what their challenges are. Once you understand the client, create the journey map and track progress.


Stitch Fix, a fast-growing, online women’s virtual stylist and personal shopping service, opened its third U.S. location in downtown Austin. Phase 1 of the project included 8,793 SF, and to accommodate continued growth and success, Stitch Fix added an additional 15,044 SF in Phase 2. Materials, furniture placement, workstations, and common areas were selected to emphasize openness while providing optimum work environments for individuals and groups. The design features open work areas and multiple multi-purpose rooms in which employees can relax and socialize. Both phases of the Stitch Fix project reflect its brand and support a collaborative team environment. Key features include the rope wall in the entry, floating wood ceiling, a turquoise wood slat wall, and an impressive AV package.


Architect: STG Design
Project Manager: JLL
Construction Manager: IE² Construction, Inc.
MEP Engineer: MEJ & Associates, Inc.
Photographer: Rachel Paul Photography


This month we were joined by Christie Garbe, Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer and Juan Garza, Vice President of Finance and Development from Central Health. Attendees learned about the recently-approved Brackenridge Campus Master Plan and the next steps in the process to redevelop the campus into an innovative mixed-use development. 

The Brackenridge Campus is a 14.2 acre site that encompasses six city blocks just south of the new Dell Medical School at UT Austin.  The master plan establishes a basic site planning framework and planning parameters for the property and provides the criteria that will be incorporated into the future RFP for a development partner. The master plan was lead by Gensler and McCann Adams Studio.

Central Health hopes to release the developer-led RFP by the end of May and expect to have all of the designers selected by the end of the year. For more information and to see the latest updates, stay tuned to Central Health's website HERE.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:
Sabre Commercial, GSC Architects, and Walter P. Moore.


Name: Kristin Clark
Board Role: Treasurer
Firm: Stantec (formerly Bury)
Title: Marketing Manager
Brief description of your firm: The Stantec community unites more than 15,000 employees working in over 250 locations. We collaborate across disciplines and industries to bring buildings, energy and resource, environmental, and infrastructure projects to life. Our work—professional consulting in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics—begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships.

Years as an SMPS member:
5 years

What do you like about being involved with SMPS?
I love the people. SMPS has offered more than networking and connections…it’s a support system and a group of people that are friends.

What do you think is the most interesting thing about our industry?
Our industry has the honor of shaping the communities in which we live and work. It’s interesting to see all of the moving pieces of a project and how our service lines work together internally, as well as with other consultants on the team, to create a space for people to enjoy. 

Where are you originally from?
Austin (it’s rare to come across people born and raised here these days). It has been fun to watch the ever changing landscape of our city.

Do you have any kids?
I have two kids–a compassionate, yet stubborn, four-year-old and a charismatic 17-month old. They are the light of my life and make every day filled with laughter, love, and pure enjoyment.

What is the best vacation you have been on?
Fiji. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon. I can’t think of another trip where we both have truly checked out and gotten some good R&R. Beyond the picturesque beaches and scenery, the South Pacific culture is like no other. We hope to go back one day!


Glynnis Woolridge 
Marketing Manager | BLGY Architecture

Micah Mills 
Marketing Assistant | STG Design

Heather Nixon 
Marketing Director | Broaddus & Associates

Patricia Stepaniuk 
Marketing Coordinator | Spire Consulting Group LLC

Bryan Willows 
Sales Engineer | Johnson Controls

Kate Clark 
Senior Associate | Norris Design

Amanda Suehs 
Business Development Manager | Gessner Engineering

Julia Mrnak, PE 
Project Manager | Garza EMC


Katie Evans
Texas Engineering Solutions 

Katie Evans is the marketing coordinator for Texas Engineering Solutions, a civil engineering and land development firm that offers a complete range of civil engineering, maser planning, and subdivision services. Katie is a native Austinite and graduated from UT Austin with an Asian Studies degree and Business Foundations Certificate from the Red McCombs School of Business. Katie is an animal lover, travel fanatic, and film enthusiast. Outside of the office and home, you can find her at Alamo Drafthouse or on a hike and bike trail with her dog. Katie is excited to be a new member of SMPS Austin and looks forward to networking and learning new techniques to stay at the forefront of the AEC industry.


Marlie Keeling

Marlie Keeling works for Aerotek, the largest privately-held staffing and recruiting firm in the U.S. Her role as account manager for the Engineering, Environmental, and Construction division, partnering with companies in the greater Austin area in the AEC industry to provide them talent on a contract or full-time basis. Marlie is from Baraboo, a small town in Wisconsin, and went to school at The University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. Marlie enjoys spending her time outdoors and spending time with her fiancé, family, and puppy. Being fairly new to the AEC industry, she joined SMPS Austin to meet other professionals, learn, and get involved in the community.


Katie Burks
K. Friese + Associates

Katie Burks is the marketing coordinator for K. Friese + Associates (KFA), a civil engineering firm that provides consulting services to public sector clients with a special emphasis on water, wastewater, transportation and drainage planning, design, and management projects. In her role as marketing coordinator, Katie aims to serve KFA with the same dedication they provide to their clients and staff. Katie Burks relocated to Austin from San Diego in 2015, bringing with her a decade of experience in the AEC industry and a passion for visual communication. Katie’s new connection to SMPS Austin is an extension of her commitment to her profession, and she is looking forward to supporting the chapter.



Haley Bartly | Marketing Coordinator, RVI

Liz Hansen | Events Manager, RECA

Abby Fine | Proposal Coordinator, Gensler

Ashley Rust | Marketing Coordinator, Legacy DCS


Amy Jones | President, O'Connell Robertson

Past SMPS Austin Chapter President, Amy Jones has been promoted to president at O'Connell Robertson. She is the first woman to serve in that role. With nearly 20 years in the A/E industry, Amy will continue to focus on client relations, strategic partnerships, and community engagement while overseeing the communication and implementation of the firm’s vision, mission, and strategic plans.


Nalini Chandran, PE of KPFF Engineers has relocated to Portland, Oregon, transferring within her company. We are sorry to see her go from the Austin Chapter, but we wish her the very best on the west coast!

Debby Williams of Jose Guerra, Inc. will serve as the Interim Director at Large until the next board elections. 


It is with great sadness that we share the loss of a dear friend, SMPS Past Member, and Land Development Engineer, Jim Brewer.  Jim passed away peacefully on Friday. April 8 at his home, surrounded by his family and loved ones. He was a strong supporter of Austin SMPS, playing a pivotal role on the Membership Committee for several years. He was a mentor and leader to SMPS and the AEC community. During his brave fight with pancreatic cancer, he never wavered in his faith or joy of life. He had an infectious smile and was always willing to help. He is truly an example of a life lived in honor, integrity, and with humility. We feel honored and blessed to have had Jim in our lives.