Sponsor Spotlight

How the A/E/C industry can help prepare the next generation of leaders?

Communities are where we work, live and raise our children. At Joeris, we seek to partner and build lasting relationships within our communities, especially with those that educate our children.

We have a long history of partnering with school districts to help enrich students’ education and future prospects. One way we’ve seen success is by helping teachers come up with real world scenarios where math and science are used in the construction industry. These examples help answer the age old question, ‘when am I ever going to use this in the real word?’

In addition, to showing students how the things they are learning today can be applied in the future, we want to provide them tools to help them make some of the life-changing decisions they will face, like choosing a college or a career path. Entering high school and choosing an endorsement for the next four years can seem like a daunting decision.

We want to be of service to the schools and communities where we build. Without a commitment to community, there would be no progress for the future. We feel one of the best ways we can support our local communities is by helping our students explore the opportunities they have. If you’d like to find out ways your firm can serve our communities in one of its most fundamental levels, education, we would love to hear from you!

SAmples from workbooks we’ve created

Below are a couple of sample out of workbooks we’ve created to show students some of the real-life applications of what they are learning.


The infograph below let’s students know that there is no wrong decision and that this decision won’t determine the rest of their lives. 



Contact Joeris Today

(817) 204-0770 |

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Event Recap

Rockin the River

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rockin’ the River is a weekly concert series held on the Trinity River in the heart of Fort Worth. On Thursday, August 4, SMPS Fort Worth had seven eager volunteers become celebrity bartenders for the night. We'd like to give them all a big thank you for the funds raised from their hard work!

Thank You Volunteers! 

  • Amy Hartsock 
  • Maggie Jordan
  • Meagan Loughrey 
  • Tiffanie Thermilus 
  • Christine Jacoby
  • Gloria Moss
  • Jonathan Carroll




The Trinity River Vision Authority (TRVA) is responsible for implementation of a public infrastructure project which provides needed flood protection and fosters the development of an exciting, pedestrian oriented, urban waterfront neighborhood in Fort Worth. TRVA aims to attract business and entertainment to the district and is in charge of programming public spaces including the Panther Island Pavilion, a waterfront music venue and festival space directly adjacent to downtown Fort Worth.

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Thank you 2015-2016 Board Members & Sponsors

Thank you 2015-2016 Board Members


Jenifer Batchelder, CPSM
Gorrondona & Associates, Inc.


Krystal R. Bybee, CPSM
The Rios Group, Inc.

Past President

Shonnah B. Driver
Baird Hampton & Brown Inc


Amy Amaya
Freese and Nichols, Inc.


Diana Witherspoon Rivera

Membership Director

Gloria M. Moss
Joeris General Contractors, Ltd.

Communications Director

Courtney Kearney, CPSM
CKearney Consulting

Sponsorship Director

Jamie Knox
BURY now Stantec

Director Programs/Education/Philanthropy

Christine Jacoby
JQ Infrastructure


Thank you 2015-2016 Sponsors





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Member Spotlight

George Bowden

Marketing Strategist | Freese and Nichols, Inc.

Why did you join SMPS?

Professional development and accreditation, networking and peer support.

Fun Fact About You / Hobby

Last year, I earned a Master of Journalism from the University of North Texas (one class at a time for five years) and won a provisional book contract though UNT’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. The book is about my father-in-law’s experience as a 19-year-old Marine fighting in the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War; no boot camp training, temperatures at 20 below zero and outnumbered by the Chinese 8 to 1.

What is a marketing challenge that you overcame and how?

Proposal workload can be overwhelming. During a stressful, crazy-busy time, a senior-level technical leader told me, “Never tell me ‘no’ (REALLY awkward pause). Let’s work on a solution together.” I learned how important our work can be to others and how to focus on what I can do best and, when needed, be assertive and confident enough to ask for help.

What is your top marketing tip?

When kicking off a proposal, take a risk, and ask the “stupid” questions … sometimes the answers you get are brilliant. Our engineers love their work and take pride in solving problems. Those questions can demonstrate a sincere interest in their work and may help trigger an out-of-the-box, more strategic line-of-thinking.

What is your personal professional goal for this year?

To keep growing and continue learning, and to become more efficient and strategic in my proposal management.

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

Treat everyone as if they have “WIIFM” on their forehead – “What’s in it for me?” A pearl from my first boss my first week out of college. Taught me to stay focused on others and to show how I can help them solve their problems and achieve their goals.


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Bootcamp Recap


Thursdays in July 

June 7, 2016 | Social Media Plan

We kicked off this summer's bootcamp with tips for developing and implementing a social media plan. Rachel and Kaitlyn shared lessons learned from the social media plan research and knowledge they have together. 

Their first advise was simple; don't be overwhelmed by social media! You don’t have to be on all platforms — just the ones that matter to you and your audience. Social media is about your individual audience and niche. Working with engineers these ladies know their audience likes to see numbers and facts.

What works for you might not work for someone else, and you never know until you try. That being said, there is good data and insight about where to start. 

One of the most popular questions asked when starting to embark on social media (SoMe) is how much time will it take? The answer isn't surprising, several hours per week.

The second question is usually, what if someone posts something negative on our page, either a disgruntled employee or an unsatisified client. Research shows that negative feedback is a great opportunity to address an issue and display great customer service. Take a deep breathe because the stats also show that this does not happen very often, if at all. It is good to be prepared for it so in the event it does happen you have a course of action to follow.

How do you get managment buy-in to create a Social Media Plan and start to create a footprint on SoMe? Ask your big clients what they want to see and hear from you, would they follow you, what would they be interested to learn about your firm or see that you are doing. We did this and when we told our management that we met with one of our big clients to talk about SoMe it was very helpful and earn their buy-in.

When we met with management we presented the following:

  • Educated them on the different platforms
  • Statistics for each platform
  • Post examples
  • Companies in AEC industry using social media
  • Shared the vision of what types of things we wanted to post
  • Created a calendar
  • Set goals

What do SoMe goals look like? Here are a few examples of goals but be careful and only have two or three so you can set yourself up to be successful.

  • Raise awareness
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase sales
  • Engage with fans
  • Attract new customers
  • Recruit potential employees

Do your research and know:

  • Where your audience engages on social media
  • What type of content is valuable to your audience (white pages, articles, blog posts, company news, news about the cities we work and live in, etc.)

Decide who will handle your social media engagement. Who will provide content, who will do the posting, who will respond to any feedback or audience interaction, who will create the calendar and keep it updated. Also set parameters for social media use: use of photos, tagging others, hastags, what content goes on what platform, etc..

Content if king! SoMe posts with images relevant to the content get 94% more views than content without relevant images. For more check out this article. So where do you get good, quality content? See the following for some ideas, just remember to always try and keep it unique to your firm.

  • Technical articles or blogs written by employees
  • Recruiting events or job postings
  • Project company announcements/updates
  • Construction photos - completed photos, renderings, progress photos
  • News - awards, articles written and published by employees, press releases
  • Events – employee events, client appreciations, community events, professional organization events, conferences
  • Employees – interns, new hires, places we go photos, anniversaries, PE announcements (Images are ideal)
  • Trends – articles about the industry, the cities we work in, etc.

How do you decide create a posting strategy? Know how each SoMe platform is used, the ideal amount to post per day, and what time to post. There isn’t a one size fits all answer. IT DEPENDS! Whatever you decide on stay consistent. Be consistent with platforms, content, message, and the times you’re posting.

  • Facebook is broadly used on mobile and desktop, at work and at home. (5?10x a week at 9AM, 1PM, 3PM)
  • Twitter is a hard nut to crack, and definitely audience?dependant, like Facebook. It is often treated like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on. (5x+ a day at 12PM, 3PM, 5PM, 6PM)
  • LinkedIn is for professionals, and they tend to use it around work hours but not necessarily during the workday. (1x a day at 7?8AM, 12PM, 5?6PM)
  • Instagram users are on a platform meant for mobile, and that means they tend to use the network all the time, any time.

Now what? You’ve created your plan, set your goals/objectives, received buy?in from upper managment, started posting regularly, and now what do you do? Start tracking your succes! Simply measure and analyze. Each platform has their own analytics as well as third?party sites available. Familiarize yourself with the data and create reports. Think back to your goals/objectives to decide what to put in your report. 

Share your reports with senior management – if at all possible, make a presentation to leadership instead of sending a PDF report they may not understand. When presenting remember to keep it high-level, we keep the detailed data and spreadsheets for ourselves. Tell them if you are meet your goals/objectives, how you stack up against your competition, communicate successes and give examples.

Happy posting, tracking and analyzing!

See below for more information on Rachel and Kaitlyn the fantastic presenters.


June 14, 2016 | Illustrator

Jenifer and Courtney opened the session with questions to attendees; do you use Illustrator, if so how and for how long have you been using it. The audience was mixed with only two or three saying they use it and the rest not using it because they don't know how or because they tried and were frustrated.

This is common with Illustrator and it's unfortunate since the program is powerful when used correctly. So when should you use it? Honestly if you look at any logo, any product packaging, any marketplace signage, any web button, any line graphic on any screen anywhere in the world, and you're likely seeing Illustrator at work. 

What are the file types associated with Illustrator? 

  • .ai - Adobe Illustrator, and it is Illustrator's native file format
  • .eps - Encapsulated PostScript. It's a very old-school file format that isn't really necessary but still used
  • .svg - Scalable Vector Graphics, and it is the primary vector graphic format for the web

The hands-on portion of the session began with the basics, creating a new document and what all the components on the screen mean. Next was how to understand the layout of a new document - what the dark grey area is for, what the red outline means, etc.. We covered the different options for saving documents and how to adjust the start screen.

The align tool, rounding corners, pen tool, paths, shapes, strokes and pathfinder panel were all covered. We even played with the awesome Illustrator feature, color scheme. We recreated a logo off the web and reviewed many techniques during that exercise.

Jenifer and Courtney continued the night with a reminder to practice patience when learning and using Illustrator. To think of trial and error as a fun game and not a frustrating act of defeat!

See below for more information on these great presenters.


June 21, 2016 | Photography, Photoshop & Lightroom

The fantastic Julie Shaffer shared her weath of knowledge in the areas of photography, Photoshop and Lightroom. Opening with lessons on how to work with a professional photographer, the benefits, releases and thigs to know about copyright/usage. When working with professional photographers you should set clear goals and expectations, create a shot list, discuss timing and agree on usage of final photos. 

For more information, see SMPS Webinar - ARE YOUR PHOTOS TELLING THE STORY OR MISSING THE POINT? Architectural Photography Best Practices, Presented by Anna Maria Marich - April 19, 2016 

The hot topic of copyright was boiled down to this simple statement - copyright gives the copyright owner the right to control the use of the images. Others should not use them without the copyright owner’s permission. Dailing down to some frequently asked questions we discussed the following: 

  • Who owns the copyright for a photograph?
    • If taken by an independent photographer, the photographer owns the copyright unless he/she assigns it to someone else. 
    • If taken by an employee, the firm owns the copyright. 
  • Does copyright protect an idea for a photograph?
    • No. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation. Copyright becomes valid the moment a work is created and fixed in a tangible form. 
  • Usage
    • Unless otherwise defined, the photographer is generally granting usage of the images to the client that hired him/her.

The basics of photography were covered from file formats, exposure, ISO, shutter speed to aperture. She taught us how to take photos, the golden hour, as well as the rule of thirds. 

Did you know this about ISO?

  • higher number = more sensitive (and more digital noise) 
  • bright sunlight - 100–200 
  • evening - 1600–6400 
  • “normal” range is 200 to 1600

Good things remember about shutter speed and aperture:

  • slower shutter speed - more motion blur; brighter images 
  • faster shutter speed - less motion blur; darker images 
  • if shutter speed is slower than about 1/30, use a tripod 
  • larger aperture - lower depth of field; brighter images 
  • smaller aperture - greater depth of field; darker images 

The remainder of the session was spent diving into headshots and project photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. Julie taught us a great deal and we thank her for the time she spent preparing and presenting.

See below for more information on the awesome teacher and presenter Julie Shaffer.



June 28, 2016 | InDesign

After a delicious dinner of fresh salad, pita bread, and coconut macaroons provided by Cuisine for Healing, the bootcamp was set to begin. We started by going around the room and introducing ourselves, our company, and our InDesign experience level, which was on the low side for me personally. While I worried this would be an issue, it didn’t hold me back from keeping up with the rest of the group.

The session was led by Julie Shaffer of Shaffer Creative, who is so good at what she does, I’m convinced she could have taught a brick wall how to design a brochure for NASA. This might have been why I was able to keep up so easily. Julie’s specialties include design, marketing campaigns and brand imaging; I’d like to recommend that teaching be added to this list.

She began by walking us through how she personally sets up InDesign and explaining what each panel, control, and selection means. We then walked through the very basic elements of document properties and capabilities. We played with multiple paragraph and character styles which are important for layout but also allow you to be creative.

We learned about paragraph breaks, paragraph styles, paragraph style orders and the same for character tools: styles and orders are important to understand in general and make your life much easier when duplicating. Two girls in the crowd laughed about how much time this would have saved them if they had known this only a few hours ago during their work day.

We then learned about creating grids and flow charts. Julie showed us that it’s as simple as clicking the arrows on your keyboards while creating a text box instead of having to duplicate, drag, and align multiple boxes over and over.

She taught us how to place text and graphics from other sources into this document and more importantly, into our chart. It was pretty incredible to see how many tools and tricks there are and how much time is wasted by not knowing about them.

I’ll go ahead and admit that I got a bit lost on the next lesson. One minute I was on track and was selecting my photos and the next, Julie had an entire grid up which she had sized and altered to beautifully fit the page. I looked down and my photos were all over the place. I believe the fix was that I simply hadn’t held the alt button down when pasting my photos. Julie explained that the alt button is your best friend in InDesign.

Lastly, we explored the pathfinder tool. She showed us how to combine shapes, subtract shapes, intersect shapes, and for those on my level, how to simply create shapes. I went from barely knowing how to create a square to being able to create a starburst with the arrow keys. She wrapped up the session with questions which were as informative as the bootcamp session.

After grabbing a few more macaroons on my way out, I left feeling like I had just gotten Julie’s 15 years worth of experience handed to me in two hours. To say the least, the class was extremely beneficial. 

Article Written By: Maggie Jordan, Hoar Program Management,

See below for more information on the awesome teacher and presenter Julie Shaffer.




June 7, 2016 | Social Media Plan

Rachel Busby

Senior Marketing Coordinator with JQ

After graduating from Midwestern State University in 2011, Rachel started working at JQ where she has blossomed for the last four years.  She is a Senior Marketing Coordinator who wears many hats at JQ including managing proposals, overseeing and planning employee events, designing graphics and leading JQ’s social media team. Rachel is the past Communications Director of SMPS Fort Worth and a past Director of the Texas Public Works Association - North Central Texas Branch.

Rachel will present the process of getting buy-in from upper management, how the social media plan should be presented, goals/objectives for a social media plan, and development of a calendar for scheduled posts.


Kaitlyn Dominguez

PR/PI Coordinator with Freese and Nichols, Inc.

Kaitlyn Dominguez is a PR/PI Coordinator with Freese and Nichols, Inc., responsible for digital content development and social media management. She is experienced in managing social media accounts for a variety of industries, including both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

Kaitlyn is skilled in assessing social media analytics, presenting a high-level view of the data to senior management, and helping leaders understand the importance of social media and its influence on business.


June 14, 2016 | Illustrator


Courtney Kearney, CPSM

Owner of CKearney Consulting
Communications Director for SMPS Fort Worth

With over 18 years in the A/E/C industry, Courtney Kearney's experiences are many and her knowledge vast. After graduating Texas A&M University, she joined the AEC industry. December of 2015 brought Courtney much change when she decided to leave the corporate world. She discovered consulting was a career and created CKearney Consulting. Courtney is excited about doing what she loves, helping people.

Courtney is proud to be named as the 2016-2017 SMPS Fort Worth President Elect, 2017-2018 President and 2018-2019 Past President. Leaving a mark on the chapter that has become family to her is a priority for Courtney. She hopes to live up to the legacy of all the amazing people that have grown the chapter into what it is today!

Learn More!


Jenifer Batchelder, CPSM

Marketing Manager for Gorrondona & Associates, Inc.
President of SMPS Fort Worth

Jenifer Batchelder is a dynamic marketing professional with more than 20 years of industry experience. She has a substantial amount of progressively responsible background in competitive engineering and environmental consulting markets. Jen has a proven ability to deliver winning sales documents and presentations under deadline pressure.

With skills in strategy and storyboard meeting facilitator with in-depth knowledge of Texas infrastructure markets clients and agency-specific requirements. Jenifer has been the Marketing Manager at Gorrondona & Associates Inc. since 2012. She has been an SMPS member for the length of her career and currently serves as the President of the SMPS Fort Worth chapter.


June 21, 2016 | Photography, Photoshop & Lightroom and June 28, 2016 | InDesign


Julie Shaffer

Shaffer Creative

Julie Shaffer is a marketing and graphics design professional with 15 years of experience leading corporate marketing, competitive proposal pursuits, and communications. As a respected leader of creative teams and marketing departments, Julie’s specialty is conceptualization, design, and orchestration of marketing campaigns that effectively reinforce and build brand imaging through graphic design, marketing collateral, proposals, and presentations for professional service organizations. Additionally, in order to successfully implement marketing initiatives, Julie has helped plan, develop, and refine core data infrastructure systems to maximize efficiency.



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