CPSM Spotlight


Cindy Sears-Clemmons, CPSM

Inside Sales Manager | Jacobs Engineering Group

Why did you pursue CPSM certification?

Since my college degree is not in field directly related to marketing, I felt it would add to my credibility as a professional.

Did you participate in a CPSM study group? If so, what did you gain? If not, how did you study?

Yes. I see two real benefits of a study group: 1. You are held accountable for the assignments and keeping up with the reading. 2. The test covers the application of best practices as documented in the readings. If you are at a small firm your processes may not be as structured or as aligned with best practices. Being in a study group lets you hear how folks from other firms apply best practices or processes that they may have developed that will help affirm what is in the readings.

What would you recommend to anyone considering taking the exam?

Participate in a study group and focus the reading on the Marketing Handbook. Go to study group even if you didn’t finish the reading – you will gain benefit from the discussion of the application of the topics.

Now that you’ve earned your CPSM, what is your next big personal or professional goal?

I would like to become a PMP and/or a SMPS Fellow.

Fun Fact About You / Hobby

I broke my leg this winter running on a treadmill. I didn’t fall or trip – just a regular treadmill run. I didn’t even know I broke it and continued running until the swelling and limping was too much to ignore. I’m going crazy and want to get back to my regular workout routine.

Jacobs has given me a lot of travel opportunities this year. Working for a global firm may give you a chance to apply your company’s proposal process on an international basis. I recommend it!


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CPSM Spotlight


Courtney Kearney

Owner | CKearney Consulting, LLC

Why did you pursue CPSM certification?

I pursued the CPSM certification for the professional benefits. I was pleasantly surprised to experience a great deal of personal and professional growth and the knowledge gained while studying for the CPSM is priceless.

Did you participate in a CPSM study group? If so, what did you gain? If not, how did you study?

In 2013, I joined the SMPS Fort Worth CPSM Study Group. I committed to see it through and sit for the exam even though I was pregnant and had a three-year-old at the time, which took up the majority of what little free time I had available. I am so thankful to the study group and those that held me accountable to prepare and follow through to the exam. I took the CPSM exam nine months pregnant and learned I passed just days before giving birth.

What would you recommend to anyone considering taking the exam?

Through trial and error discover how you learn best. Some of us can read the Markendum once and ace the exam, others of us need to read it, take notes, re-read things, hear others talk about it, visualize it and all these resources are there at your fingertips. Take the time to try out different techniques so you can ace the exam too!

Now that you’ve earned your CPSM, what is your next big personal or professional goal?

My goal is to rock it as President of the 2017-2018 board and lead this chapter in the pursuit to best serve our awesome members.

Fun Fact About You / Hobby

My family is my hobby and gets any available free time! My Irish, bagpipe playing, fireman husband of ten plus years and our two amazing daughters (ages 7 and 3) keep me challenged and well loved.


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Program Recap


January 20, 2016

Janell Broyles, Senior Marketing Coordinator for Freese and Nichols, presented techniques to make our writing sharper and more effective. She also shared some basic grammar rules, industry styles/standards and much more. 


Don't overemphasize your words with CAPS, colors, bolditalic and underlines. little goes a long way.

Many people don't know that it's best, unless one hasn't any choice, to avoid too many contractions. When in doubt, spell it out.

Our industry LOVES acronyms so always remember A.E.Y.A.T.F.T.Y.U.T.. It is important for the reader to know what you are referring to with acronyms. For example, I'm sure you are wondering what A.E.Y.A.T.F.T.Y.U.T. means and what you should always remember when using acronyms! 

Wait no longer! When using acronyms remember to A.E.Y.A.T.F.T.Y.U.T. (Always Explain Your Acronyms The First Time You Use Them).

Alright is considered nonstandard English so do not use it. It's not all right to use alright!

Try not to:

• overuse

• bullet

• points


• it cabecome

• distracting









E.G. VS I.E.







With 5 star reviews from the 25+ attendees, Janell's Writing Workshop was a big success. Thank you to Janell and to our Silver Sponsor, Frees and Nichols for sharing their resources with the chapter. 

Here is just some of the feedback we received on the surveys:

"GREAT program - very useful information. I got the most from the grammar section and tips for better writing."

"What did I enjoy most? Handouts! Worksheets! This helps me reference material for the future and show my team."

"The 'polish' worksheet was most helpful, combing all the information we learned."

"The session on professionalism was what I most enjoyed."

"Loved the activities, very hands on!"

"The social media part stood out the most for me."

"I most enjoyed the interactive sessions and handouts."

"The examples of rights and wrongs was the highlight for me"

"I learned a lot of things I didn't know."

"This was an open discussion that I enjoyed, a nice collaborative opportunity."



Grammar and Style

AP Stylebook: http://www.apstylebook.com/editors/

Subscription required to access content. Does have Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Center for Writing Studies Grammar Handbook: http://www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/

Scholarly but good for trying to find higher-­level grammar answers. Facebook and Twitter accounts

Grammar Girl: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl

A great quick resource. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest accounts.


Business Writing Blog: http://www.businesswritingblog.com/

Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Lynda.com: http://www.lynda.com/

Has a wide variety of marketing and business tutorials around writing, graphics and communications. Facebook and Twitter accounts. 


Technical Editors' Eyrie: http://www.jeanweber.com/

A decent resource though not updated regularly.

How to Write a Style Guide: http://www.jeanweber.com/printer/styleguide.htm



Check out the wonderful handouts that Janell shared with us to help improve our writing skills.

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Member Spotlight

andi sims

Director of Marketing | HPM Hoar Program Management

Why did you join SMPS?

To network with other marketing professionals, to obtain continuing professional education and resources and to build equity in my company’s brand in the A/E/C industry.

Fun Fact About You / Hobby

A self-admitted Mickey Mouse fanatic, I’ve been fascinated by all things Disney including the parks, cruises, movies, books, music and the classic Walt Disney "signature" -- his attention to detail. My fanaticism even led to my being selected out of tens of thousands of applicants to serve on the Disney Moms Panel and working as a contract spokesmom for two years for Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. Now, I invoke that magical training, exposure and experience into many aspects of my professional and personal life – including working with engineers and architects in the construction industry!

What is a marketing challenge that you overcame and how?

My marketing challenges face me on a daily basis – from laying the foundation on brand awareness for a new office to teaching and encouraging professionals to step outside their comfort zones and sell their services. My preference is always to stay ahead of marketing challenges by planning strategically. However, in this industry, much of what we do is reactionary. Therefore, my key to overcoming daily marketing challenges is to begin by keeping the end in mind. I ask a LOT of questions – what are you trying to accomplish with this marketing collateral, sponsorship or trade show attendance? Who are your target audiences? What are their biggest fears or challenges? By leading my internal clients to their ultimate goal, I am marketing in the most effective and efficient manner. We’re not responding to what we think we need, but we’re creating a message based on what we can provide our clients. That’s our unique value as a company and mine as a marketing professional.

What is your top marketing tip?

Remember the value we bring to our industry as expert communicators. Hone your skills and talents by interpreting technical information into the verbal and written word to impart the unique value our professionals bring to their clients. You are the conduit between your professionals and their clients.

What is your personal professional goal for this year?

To serve as a key advisor to the business unit leaders within our company to grow their individual business units and ultimately grow the overall size of our company.

What was the best tip anyone ever gave you regarding your profession?

Market yourself. Find your own brand. Stay true to what that is and humbly and consistently promote who you are and what you do.


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New Member Lunch

SMPS Fort Worth Style Welcome

February 26, 2016

Gold Sponsor Joeris General Contractors hosted the new member welcome lunch on Friday, February 26, 2016. This great opportunity was extended to our newest members to privately connect with SMPS Fort Worth board members, other new members and learn how to get the most out of being a member of SMPS Fort Worth. The following new members were in attendance:

Nicole Arapis

Marketing Coordinator at Campos Engineering, Inc.

Education: Tarleton State University

Why She Joined: Seeking to help grow their Fort Worth office 

Cornell Yancy


Director of Business Development at Crimson Building Company  

Previous Experience: Owner of ECY Consultants for 11.5 years

Why He Joined: New to his company and is interested in networking events

Sarah Kuehn

Landscape Architect at Mycoskie+McInnis+Associates, Inc.

Education: University of Texas at Arlington 

Why She Joined: She joined for the educational resources and has already taken advantage of webinars, mysmps, etc. 

looking forward to the next new member lunch

Our next lunch will be in late May or early June to wrap up the Membership Derby. We hope to celebrate a win in the derby and welcome eight new members!

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Member Spotlight

Katherine M. Thomas

Marketing Coordinator | VLK Architects

Why did you join SMPS?

To help connect with other industry marketing professionals and learn more about how to effectively market for my company.

Fun Fact About You / Hobby

I absolutely love animals and to be outdoors.

What is a marketing challenge that you overcame and how?

Learning how to market for the A/E/C industry has been fun and full of obstacles. You have to step aside from “stereotypical marketing” and really dive deep into what our industry is all about. It’s about relationships and client care and that has been challenging to learn
yet exciting.

What is your top marketing tip?

Make sure you fully understand what message you are trying to convey. Even though you are marketing the same company
remember what the message is and who is hearing it.

What is your personal professional goal for this year?

My goal is to continue to grow in my profession and gain a better understanding of architecture terminology in order to make it easier to market and engage in intellectual conversations.

What was the best tip anyone ever gave you regarding your profession?

“Remember you are not a sales person. You are creating an image to represent what your company’s true values are to help people connect to your brand and your company’s name.”


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SMPS Fort Worth Team Brought Home a 4th Place Win

Friday, September 25, 2015

Our SMPS Fort Worth team competed in the Oktoberfest Olympics this past Friday. 

Attendees pictured below (left to right):

  • Chrisine Jacoby | Business Development Manager for JQ
  • Jenny Moore
  • Ryan Barrera | Events Coordinator for Texas Health Resources
  • Tara Anderson | Marketing Manager for Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors
  • Jamie Knox | Senior Associate, Director of Business Development for BURY


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Ready for a change?

SMPS Fort Worth is a great resource for your next opportunity! We've added new career opportunities!

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Event Recap: TxDOT Proposals 101

Did you know: NLCs are pass/fail and will be elminated within six months; good formatting is critical; use of headings is encouraged; there are new exciting details on electronic submissions? Read more to find out!


Event Recap: How to Brand People

"Your brand is what Google says it is.” - Cathy Hutchinson, CPSM


2017-18 Slate for Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce by acclamation the Approved Officers Slate for the 2017–18 year. The following officers have been reviewed and confirmed by our Nominating Committee and will assume the following positions...


Education Recap

Monday August, 7 2017 we hosted Janell Broyles, Sr. Marketing Coordinator for Freese and Nichols, as she gave us tools to help manage both internal and external writing tasks, from simple cover letters to complex and detailed technical documents.


Member Spotlight

Please give Eleanor Gach, Marketing Manager at Empire Roofing, a big Fort Worth welcome. Read on to learn more about Eleanor and her top marketing tip - it's a good one!


Member Spotlight

Amy took the CPSM exam because she wanted to challenge herself. Read more about how beneficial the CPSM study group was when she was preparing for her exam and her recommendations to anyone considering taking it.


Member Spotlight

Lindsey shares helpful questions to consider before taking on the CPSM exam. Read more to learn about her professional goals and life with three young children.


Member Spotlight

Jennifer shares how her CPSM certification has changed her technical peers' perspective of her. Read more to hear her advice for anyone considering taking the CPSM exam.


Member Spotlight

As our Chapter President this year, Krystal Bybee has demonstrated what SMPS commitment really looks like. Read more about the many hats she wears and what drives her to succeed.


Member Spotlight

Learn about member Julie Shaffer, CPSM, Owner of Shaffer Creative, LLC. Read on to discover what she loves photographing and her recommendation to those taking the exam.