What’s Happening in the West Valley – March Program Recap

Posted by smpsarizona on April 02, 2014
Marketing/PR / No Comments

What's Happening In The West Valley, March Program

What’s Happening in the West Valley – March Program Recap

The spring events season kicked off on Thursday, March 20th at the Phoenix Country Club for a breakfast program featuring a panel of speakers representing Arizona’s West Valley.

Cheryl Covert from the City of Avondale’s Economic Development division was joined by Christian Green, Business Development and Marketing for the City of Goodyear and Justin Miller, Vice President of The Alter Group. The program was moderated by Eric Larson of AVB Development Partners and current president of the Arizona Association for Economic Development.

The discussion focused on current and future projects in the West Valley and housing trends that will lead to expanding business opportunities in this quickly growing area of Arizona.

Highlights from the presenters:

Cheryl Covert – City of Avondale:

  • Residential housing is starting to come back
  • Future Development: Healthcare & Office Space
  • Looking to bring higher wage jobs to the community with a focus on creating a healthcare corridor

Justin Miller – The Alter Group:

  • Alter Group owns approximately 2,000 acres in the Phoenix Metro area for future development
  • Alter Group owns approximately 1,500 acres in the West Valley
  • Office Developments
  • Creating Residential Communities

Christian Green – City of Goodyear:

  • Future Development: Data Centers and the Airport
  • High Technology Community- Luke Air Force Base
  • Working with GPEC on a campaign to bring California companies to Arizona

Overall key growth factors for all the panelists included:

Low interest rates
Vibrant master planned communities
Renewed employment opportunities
A very pro-development attitude.


Very special thanks to our program sponsors Rosendin Electric and Metal-Weld Specialties.

Please join us next month for What’s Happening in the East Valley – Thursday, April 24th 8am-9am at the Phoenix Country Club. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/whats-happening-in-the-valley-series-west-east-and-beyond-tickets-10724159249


Written by:
Julie Solomon, CEP, CCS Presentation Solutions
SMPS Arizona Events Director

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Four Qualities of Leadership

Posted by smpsarizona on April 02, 2014
Professional Development / No Comments


Brad Thurman, CPSM, FSMPS SMPS National President

Brad Thurman, PE, CPSM, FSMPS
SMPS National President

Four Qualities of Leadership –
A Conversation with Brad Thurman, PE, FSMPs, CPSM, President of SMPS

Brad Thurman led a discussion with the SMPS Arizona Leadership team during the annual mid-year board retreat. As president of the SMPS National Board, Deirdre Gilmore, CPSM, SMPS Arizona’s President, asked him to talk about leadership. Brad’s discussion centered on the four qualities of leadership described below.

1. Commitment:  people want to be committed to something bigger than them. We should not focus on measuring what is still to come but on measuring what has been accomplished. Brad encouraged us to have a mindset of service and figure out what people need – not what they want. We can accomplish this by figuring out where the pain is and helping people fix the pain. We need to be focused on others as leaders, being part of the greater good.

2. Integrity: when something is whole, people want to be part of the whole. As an example, Brad talked about having a broken spoke in a bicycle wheel. One broken spoke causes the wheel to be out of round and you have to fix the spoke so that you don’t break anything else. The same is true in organizations; you can only put so much pressure on one person without breaking down the entire system.

3. Authenticity: be true to yourself and the organization. This is critical because people can see right through it if you’re faking it and they will not trust you. Not following through is deadly in both our volunteer and paid roles.

4. Respect:  do you know what the technical staff members do all day long? Brad said that you can’t be a victim of “they don’t know what I do” unless you understand the dynamics of the technical world and how to get what you want from them. Help people understand what you need to do your job. You give respect and trust first – then you can receive both back.


Tags: , , , , ,

Mid-Year Review: 2013-2014: The Year to THRIVE

Posted by smpsarizona on April 02, 2014
Organizations / No Comments

The Year To THRIVE

Advocate, Educate, and Connect to THRIVE!

Greetings SMPS Arizona!

We are already half way through our annual calendar and fresh off of our mid-year leadership retreat; so I thought it was time to give everyone an update on the organization. In my kick-off Letter from the President, I laid out our strategic plan and the major goals this leadership team wanted to accomplish. Well, I am here to tell you we have already achieved many of these goals! Your leadership team has worked incredibly hard to provide you all with the following:


  • Salary Survey, completed and sent to membership.
  • SWRC Scholarship.
  • Inaugural Arizona Marketing Awards are in progress, with Gala set for April 3rd.
  • Social media and blog are being used for individual and firm promotion.


  • Established two distinct programming tracks: one for Business Development and another for Marketing. These programs are selling out due to their popularity. Did you know we offer:

    ¤   Low cost software training
    ¤   Mentoring program
    ¤   AEC Bootcamp
    ¤   CRM Users Group
    ¤   Marketing Council to sharpen your skills
    ¤   Monthly client-driven programs to further your business development efforts


  • We improved email marketing, hope you have seen the difference!
  • Increased usage of MySMPS to help foster connections and provide resources.
  • Holiday Mixer / Fundraiser for Maggie’s Place.
  • National President Brad Thurman, and 2013 Chapter President of the Year, Kate Mullaney spoke at our mid-year retreat.


  • We have provided extended outreach to new members.
  • We rebranded the chapter and revamped how messages are communicated.

So, what’s left you ask? So much more!

♦  We will be awarding another Build Business Scholarship in April.
♦  The Vendor Fair is back in June.
♦  The National SMPS Board will be here in June for a meet and greet.
♦  Brand new, user-friendly website coming soon.
♦  Opportunities for you to promote yourself and your firms through the blog/social media.

But now that I have regaled you with what SMPS has provided over the past 6 months, it is time for me to ask something of you…. Get Involved.

If you are not actively engaged within the organization you are losing out on its #1 benefit, the network of amazing people willing to share their experiences and skills with you. We have 16 different committees looking for new people to help us provide all of the offerings listed above, as well as a regional conference we are hosting February 2015. Not sure where you fit in? Call me. Email me. After 14 years of being a part of this great organization, and working within almost every committee we have, I can provide you some insight on what might be a good fit and connect you with the folks you need to know.

To the SMPS Arizona Leadership Team, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the hard work you have put forth these past few months. The entire membership owes you a standing ovation.


Deirdre Booth, CPSM – SMPS Arizona President
TankGirl Marketing

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tools of the Trade: Managing Your Inbox – How To Set Up Email Rules To Keep You Sane

Posted by smpsarizona on March 24, 2014
Professional Development / No Comments

Email Rules image


Do you wake up every morning to a hundred or more new emails in your inbox? It can take hours just to sift through everything—and it’s very easy to miss the most important ones. Out of all the listserves, spam, and emails from actual people, it gets overwhelming to keep track of everything.  It also becomes difficult to follow a thread of emails and not increase your level of confusion.

There’s has to be a better way, right?

If you have never used the “rules” feature in your inbox, let me introduce you to a busy person’s paradise. Rules, neglected by most, will direct emails to folders that you would otherwise file manually. This is assuming you already have folders (Please say you do).

As a Marketing Coordinator, I specifically have to keep track of procurement listservs, proposals, award submissions, public relations, social media, and of course SMPS notifications. Therefore, I already have a folder for each category and subfolders underneath. Think about what types of emails you get weekly and the best way to categorize them. Then, create a folder structure that makes the most sense for you. Remember, you can always add, delete, and move around folders later on.

The trick is not spending a lot of time to set this up. I suggest creating a few rules initially, but updating them as you receive new emails. When I get a new email that I think should fit into a folder, I create a new rule for that specific email address.

For Mac Mail people, click on File, Preferences, Rules. To start, add a rule. Title it a folder name. If you have a specific email selected, it will fill in what it suggests for you. My most frequent condition is “From,” “Contains” [the sender’s email address] and “Move Message” to mailbox: [folder name]. You can make as many rules as you want by clicking the + button. For example, in the rule titled “SMPS,” I have two conditions:

  1. From Contains Deirdre@…com [I list her full email address]
  2. From Contains @smps.org [it does not have to be a complete email address]
    Perform the following actions: Move Message to mailbox SMPS

Once you do this to all of your frequently received emails, you know immediately when opening your inbox exactly the type of emails you have received. While you still have to read all of them, you probably have a good feeling of what is important and what can wait.

Another benefit of this organization is that your main inbox almost becomes a To-Do List, because anything that hasn’t been filed still requires action and/or a response.

Gmail also has a rules feature. Under “Settings,” “Filters,” you can create new filters.

To create rules in Outlook, courtesy of Microsoft Support:

  1. In the Outlook Inbox, on the “Tools” menu, click “Rules Wizard.”
  2. Click “New.”
  3. Click either “Start creating a rule from a template” or “Start from a blank rule.”
  4. Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard.

In the end, it matters how you want to be organized and the best system that works for you, but email rules can work for people in all different professions. It’s a way to predict the future based on patterns and organize things to increase your efficiency. Once you get to the point when things rarely make it to your main inbox, you’ll feel quite accomplished.

Hayley Magerman, Marketing Coordinator

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Get to Know: Becky Hornack

Posted by smpsarizona on March 21, 2014
Interview, Marketing/PR / No Comments
Becky Hornack Marketing Manager Concord General Contracting, Inc.

Becky Hornack
Marketing Manager
Concord General Contracting, Inc.

1. Where are you from and what is your background?

I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Arizona in 2000. I’m the youngest of six children and my parents celebrated their 60th anniversary in February 2014. My professional background has always been in the marketing field, but with different industries such as higher education, non-profit, and Fortune 500 companies.

2. What is your new board position? Why did you get involved with SMPS?

I am the Social Media Chair (are you following SMPS Arizona on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?!) and I’m serving as the Logistics Chair for the 2015 Southwest Regional Conference in Scottsdale on February 25-27. Last year was my first year in the A/E/C industry so I joined SMPS to understand the trends, best practices, and relevant issues impacting marketing. Additionally, it allowed me to network with fellow marketers and develop both professional and personal connections.

3. What are you the most proud of?

One thing that I am most proud of is my career. Looking back on my adolescence I knew I was destined for a career in the marketing field. After paying for my college education and relocating to Arizona, I know how to be resourceful and relentless in my pursuits. Along the way I was fortunate to work with some amazing people and organizations. I also had the love and support of family, which I am grateful for everyday.

4. What has been your favorite SMPS program or event?

For anyone new to the A/E/C industry, I would highly recommend the SMPS Mentoring Program. My mentor helped me set measureable goals which were reviewed during our monthly meetings. The knowledge, accountability, and confidence that I gained has been invaluable! The program also allowed me to bond with fellow “newbies.”

5. If someone asked you to give them a piece of advice, what would you say? (industry-or life-related)

Identify someone to be your mentor (either officially or unofficially). There is nothing better than person-to-person information sharing and the insightfulness that comes from real life experiences. Here are a few other pieces of advice that I have found inspiring: Take time to celebrate your successes; learn from your mistakes – don’t dwell on them; and, invest in a great pair of shoes!


Becky Hornack works as a Marketing Manager for Concord General Contracting in Mesa and serves as Social Media Chair on the Publicity Team for the SMPS Arizona Chapter.