The air is crisp, sweater weather is upon us, pumpkin spice is having its moment, and SMPS Colorado is a month into the 2022-2023 term. As residents of this amazing state, we are fortunate to experience the fall season every year. It's a season of transition, inviting us to embrace the energy of change. The perfect time to welcome a new Board of Directors, offer fresh and unique programming, and gather our community together.

Our chapter has packed the remainder of 2022 full of high-quality events geared toward professionals at all levels. Highlights include "How to say No in Marketing," an in-person session hosted by our Education Committee in October focused on the importance of saying "no," the multiple ways you can say it, and the pitfalls of saying no too frequently. November brings a Hospitality & Tourism in Colorado Breakfast program at Embassy Suites Denver Downtown, and our annual Current/Prospective Member Mixer and Sponsorship Showcase at Dry Dock Brewing in Aurora. Both are fantastic networking opportunities!

Additionally, our chapter has multiple exciting and urgent opportunities for members to get involved at the committee level, and what better season to try something new? While all of our committees remain open to any member interested in volunteering, our Programs, Marketing Excellence Awards, Sponsorship, and Community Outreach committees are in need of new members looking to get involved ASAP. If that's you, check out our website's Committees page for more information.

Whether you are already involved in SMPS, looking to re-engage, or discovering us for the first time, I invite you to attend any of our upcoming events or take the next steps to volunteer at the committee level. My journey to President wouldn't have been possible without the incredible friendships, partnerships, and collaboration opportunities this organization has provided. So, join me and the leaders of SMPS Colorado as we lean into the transition of a new term and embrace the energy of a changing season.

By Paula Frisina, CORE Consultants, Inc.


As marketers, we know that creating a winning proposal requires significant time, thought, and resources. We also know that “spinning our wheels” on projects we have no chance of winning, don’t make good business sense, or don’t fit our firm’s strategic goals keeps us from investing in opportunities that are right for our business. Not to mention, these instances lead to lower win rates, poor team morale, and burnout. Losing repeatedly isn’t fun for anyone.

With so much at stake, the go/no-go process is critical, helping the proposal team collectively consider factors that influence the viability and prioritization of a project and use available resources to our best advantage.

In a recent SMPS CO survey, it was encouraging to discover that 100% of respondents indicated that a go/no-go process existed within their firm. However, only 31% followed the process consistently, 37% tried their best to follow the process, and 32% indicated that team members were aware of the process—but didn’t consider it necessary or a priority.

Nearly 70% indicated that their go/no-go process occurred during a meeting/formal discussion. Of these respondents, 49% indicated that a set of established/rating/weighted criteria was used to help determine the go/no-go decision, with 51% indicating that no established set of criteria was used.

Of the remaining 30% of respondents who weren’t conducting go/no-go meetings, 75% used a paper or digital/automated form with established/rating/weighted criteria to determine go/no-go decisions, and 25% used a paper or digital/automated form without established/rating/weighted criteria.

Most respondents indicated that a marketing/BD representative, the project manager, the pursuit manager/champion, and the principal-in-charge were the decision-makers most directly involved in the go/no-go process.

Nearly half of respondents (46%) indicated that there have been instances when their firms moved forward with a pursuit despite reaching a no-go decision. Although 93% indicated this happens infrequently, some reasons given included an executive overriding a team decision to meet revenue goals, having a long-standing relationship and track record with the customer, being directly invited to bid by a customer/prospect, having a strong gut feeling that the firm has an “in” with the client, a promise was made to a client/prospect that the firm would pursue, or an assumption was made that the team’s qualifications fit the RFP requirements.

No matter where your firm may fall on the use and thoroughness of the go/no-go process, it’s important to remember that there is value in its practice. Effective go/no-go processes and decisions are based on objectivity, improve accuracy in decision-making, support team collaboration, and consensus, and help to conserve valuable time and resources for more worthwhile pursuits.

There are many articles, tools, and resources available to help develop or improve your go/no-go process. SMPS and LinkedIn topics are great places to start. Perhaps a 2023 goal is to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. And if you don’t have a process – take time to establish one.


Select Survey Questions:
3. Is the go/no-go process followed consistently for every project pursuit?

  • Yes, we are sticklers for this process!
  • We do our best, but sometimes we let things slide.
  • Folks are aware of the process but don’t consider it a priority.
4. Which of the following describes your go/no-go format?
  • Paper form with established rating/weighted criteria for go/no-go decision
  • Digital/Automated form with established rating criteria/weighted criteria for go/no-go decision
  • Paper form without established rating/weighted criteria for go/no-go decision
  • Digital/Automated form without established rating criteria/weighted criteria for go/no-go decision
  • Formal meeting/discussion with use of established rating/weighted criteria format for go/no-go decision
  • Formal meeting/discussion without use of established rating/weighted criteria format for go/no-go decision
  • Other-Describe

5. Which decision-makers are directly involved in your go/no-go decision-making process? 

Select all that apply:

  • Project Manager
  • Pursuit Manager
  • Principal-in-Charge
  • Proposal Manager/Coordinator and/or Marketer
  • Technical Lead(s)
  • Other – Describe
6. Are there instances where your firm pursues a project/pursuit despite reaching a no-decision?
  • Yes
  • No
7. If you answered “yes” to question 6, and based on your volume of pursuits/proposals on an annual basis, how often does this occur?
  • Infrequently 
  • Frequently

By Emily Lawrence, Stambaugh Ness, and Paige Chvilicek, David Evans & Associates

“If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t YOU. The problem is your system.” Sound too good to be true? Well, in Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, James Clear explains that we repeat bad habits not because we don’t want to change badly enough, but because we don’t have the right system for change in place. He offers a practical framework: don’t focus on the outcome; focus on the process. Changing your focus to your system means creating tiny, “atomic habits,” which compound over time and naturally lead to remarkable results. Think a 1% change, compounded over time (365 days), leading to exponential change (37x better in a year)!


Released in 2018, Atomic Habits has sold millions of copies worldwide. With relevance transcending demographics and generations, it has become the topic of Tik-Tok videos, inspirational pins on Pinterest, and a discussion topic on numerous podcasts and TV shows. Given the state of the world and workplace in the last few years, people are struggling to find motivation and identity now more than ever.

Clear notes the problematic typical approach to setting goals: winners and losers have the same goals, achieving a goal is only a momentary change, they restrict your happiness, and they are at odds with long-term progress. For example, you set a goal to become a runner. You lay out your plan with the milestones and dates and when you fall short, so does your happiness and your belief in yourself. This is what Clear calls “outcome-based habits”, and instead recommends “identity-based habits”. So, instead of focusing on what we want to achieve, we focus on who we wish to become, a shift in identity. Using the same example: “I want to become a runner” versus “I AM a runner.” So you begin to think, “What would a runner do?”. He breaks it down like this: Decide who you want to be. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

Clear explains that habits are formed from a feedback loop: cue, craving, response, and reward. When this is repeated enough times, it becomes automatic. And to change habits, there are four laws: make it obvious (cue), make it attractive (craving), make it easy (response), make it satisfying (reward). A little hack: you can inverse this for breaking bad habits. These laws build habits, and your habits are part of your system. When we are creating new habits, the easiest way is to use a current habit as your cue and build on that. For example, after I brush my teeth, I meditate for 5 minutes. Seems simple enough right?

It’s no wonder why readers love Atomic Habits for its tangible, seemingly easy ways to achieve results, form new habits, or break bad habits. It is inspirational without being cheesy and it makes changing your life seem possible. A little heads up: Clear starts the book by recounting his own gripping and somewhat graphic personal story that I still think about when I pass a school or a baseball field. The story hooks you and provides background on Clear’s personal journey of creating this simple framework to help others achieve. If you need a little boost of inspiration and motivation, Atomic Habits could be just what you need as we enter into one of the busiest times in our industry. 

By Diana DeJonge, R&R Engineers-Surveyors, Inc.

If you’re like me, you’ve been around the block a few times with self-help audiobooks, seminars, workshops, and probably even podcasts. As marketers and business developers, we are constantly looking for new ways to connect with each other to build meaningful, and hopefully profitable, relationships. Many of you have probably seen, or at the very least heard, the name Jay Shetty


One unique experience that sets life-coach Shetty apart from other well-known personal development leaders, like Tony Robbins, Brené Brown, and Stephen Covey, are the three years he spent as a monk in Mumbai, India. This plays a huge part in how he views life, provides guided meditations, and adds value to his advice on how to live a life that is truly satisfying. 

Recently, I discovered his newest venture, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, a podcast that focuses on everything from how to gain financial stability and reach your goals, to having a better understanding of yourself and positively building the relationships in your life. He interviews authors and celebrities like Charles Duhigg, Alicia Keys, Kobe Bryant, and Matthew McConaughey. They discuss varying thoughts and ideas on meditation and spirituality, developing and improving your growth mindset, how to remain calm in high-stress situations, and even “How to Instantly Read People, Create Connections and Influence People”.

Below are a few of my favorite episodes so far, accompanied by my key takeaways for each, however, I have barely scratched the surface of what this podcast has to offer. 

Top 3 Favorite Episodes & Key Takeaways: 

  1.  3 Techniques to Switch from Overthinking to Thinking Effectively & 4 Ways to Turn That Into Action

    Key Takeaway: I find myself struggling to make decisions because I am constantly overthinking, from the simplest things like what to wear to a networking event to more impactful, yet time-sensitive decisions, like how to start making positive changes in our company culture. This episode is not only relatable for fellow overthinkers but provides actionable items that are simple and easy to implement to take time and indecision and turn it into action!
  1. 7 Questions You Must Ask to Deepen Any Relationship, Friendship or Partnership

    Key Takeaway: In our role in this industry, much of our job is based on our ability to not only create and maintain but also nurture relationships. We often discuss ways in which we can do this on a personal and professional level. In this episode, Shetty provides a list of questions that you can ask your partner, your peers, and even your BD connections. The answers to these seven questions provide insights into how you can improve based on the answer to questions like “What can I do less of?” and yet, another question that should be asked is “What should I do more of?”, easily providing the chance for positive feedback on an action you didn’t even realize was helpful. 

    In return, asking these questions of your peers and/or partner, should open a line of communication so you too have the chance to give your feedback and discuss things that the other person might not be aware of.
  2. 4 Steps to Develop a Growth Mindset & 4 Ways to Stop Listening to the Opinions of Others with Russel Brand

    Key Takeaway: Now more than ever, it’s very difficult to hear our own thoughts over all of the opinions and suggestions of everyone around us. I am a great example of a “work-in-progress” when it comes to turning down the volume of everyone else and living by my own values. One of the quotes Shetty and Brand discuss that truly sums up the focus of this episode is by Charles Cooley, “Today I’m not what I think I am, I’m not what you think I am, I am what I think you think, I am.”

In summary, if you’re looking to improve yourself, the relationships you either want to build or already have in your life, your financial situation, or just want to learn about habits that support the lifestyle you want, I highly recommend listening to On Purpose with Jay Shetty. This podcast offers so much wisdom in every aspect that there is something for everyone, and it can be found on any platform where you get your podcasts. 

As Jay Shetty says – Live life today On Purpose!

Reviewed by Max Castillo, Haynes Mechanical

PiXimperfect is one of the more in-depth Photoshop channels on YouTube. Unmesh Dinda, the creator, has produced 400+ Photoshop tutorials, which for the most part are educational and engaging.   

Pros: He’s a Photoshop expert. His tutorials are professional, and he covers just about everything: from some of the basic edits in Photoshop to some of the more advanced topics geared toward graphic designers. Other features that he commonly shares are shortcuts for both Mac and PC users. 

Cons: At times he’s a bit wordy in his explanations, which for a nontechie such as me, I may end up getting lost in the “noise.” This results in me rewatching parts of the clip, or even cranking up the volume thinking that will get the synapses firing. Purely speculating; perhaps some of his videos are intentionally verbose to increase the average time spent on a page, which drives ad revenue. There is also some intentional product placement, but by no means is his pitch pushy.  

In closing, in the event you are either curious about some of the more advanced Photoshop applications or find yourself flummoxed in Photoshop, then you should consider PiXimperfect on YouTube as a resource. Who is your favorite Photoshop video creator...?

What is all the hype about Canva? Canva is a cloud-based graphic design software that can be used by marketers and business professionals.  

Pros: It has thousands of templates, tools, and visual content so you can customize and create aesthetically pleasing marketing material for print or for social media. Moreover, the learning curve is relatively low, and the offerings are bountiful, so it is a powerful platform to utilize when you are under a time budget. Speaking of budget, it is free. If you want the more advanced package, it is a fraction of the price of Adobe Creative Cloud.  

Cons: It has many limitations for graphic designers. For example, you can’t professionally edit images, videos, and limited compatibility with website UI. Furthermore, the image library doesn’t have the depth that Shutterstock or Adobe has. Moreover, it doesn’t offer all the specialized nuances that Adobe provides. 

In conclusion, is Canva going to dethrone Adobe Creative Cloud? Probably not, but for the nontechies that want more artistic horsepower than Microsoft Publisher or some other second-rate graphic design program, Canva is an efficient way to put together a campaign or business presentation. 

Compiled by Angie DeBolt, Mark Young Construction, Inc.

Get a sponsor: How to find the person who can help you get ahead at work.

This powerful talk from Carla Harris, business executive and author, explores how to identify and develop a productive sponsor relationship with someone who will speak on your behalf in situations such as closed-door meetings that you are not yet a part of.

Asymptomatic Spread of Racism

Reggie Rivers discusses the topic of “asymptomatic” sexism and racism—this is great for anyone who wants to embrace more DEI at their firm. This 30 minute video features Reggie talking to the camera, so could be listened to like a podcast as well.

The Shortlist Podcast presented by Middle of Six

This award-winning, weekly podcast features episodes designed specifically for A/E/C marketers. Episodes include Building Brand Awareness, Proposal Strategy Matrix, Graphic Design and Workflow Tips, and many more beneficial and relevant topics.

What is horizontal mentorship?

This article explains the mentoring relationship between employees across or within departments free from influence of the workplace hierarchy. From the March 2021 issue of Marketer.

Photoshop for Beginners | Free Course

Dan from Envato Tuts+ conducts an excellent YouTube course on basics in Photoshop for beginners. If you take a look, you’ll be surprised it's FREE!

By Diana DeJonge, R&R Engineers-Surveyors, Inc.

My fiancé and I moved to Colorado from Southeast Kansas in the summer of 2018. It didn’t take long for us to realize, and fall in love with, the Denver social norm that is “Brunch”. To be honest, you Coloradoans had me at “Bottomless Mimosas” and “Breakfast for Lunch.”    

Fast forward three years to 2021, and we found ourselves experienced brunch connoisseurs living in the small touristy town of Idaho Springs, which is roughly a 30-minute drive west on I-70 from Denver and has a population of just over 1,800 residents. With it being on the way to ski towns like Silverthorne and Vail, traffic is often the worst part of living here, at least during the summer and ski season. One of the best things is that downtown, home to so many amazing local shops, bars, and restaurants, is less than a mile from my front porch. Choosing which restaurant to write about from all of these amazing local places wasn’t easy, but it’s Main Street Restaurant that has taken the cake, or pancake, I should say. 

On Saturdays, I’ll take the 15-minute walk downtown and post up at the small bar in the back or a table, either inside or out depending on availability. Kelly, the amazing waitress I most often get seated with, gives me a few minutes to decide if it’s a Mimosa or Irish Coffee kind of morning. As she is getting my beverage of choice, I work to decide on my main course. They have many “Morning Type Food” options to choose from, ranging from a savory and healthy Spinach and Mushroom omelet with a side of toast and hashbrowns to a sweet tooth’s dream-like S’mores Buttermilk Pancakes. Yum! 

A picture containing food, table, plate, breakfastDescription automatically generated

1518 Miner Street,
Idaho Springs, CO 80452

Mon – Fri 7:00am – 2:30pm
Sat & Sun 7:00am – 3:00pm


On the rare occasion my fiancé accompanies me, he rarely looks at the menu. First on the list is his Bloody Mary called the “Bloody Bacon”, which in my opinion is not only an adult beverage that’s acceptable to drink before noon, but also quite suitable as an appetizer with the Ribeye Bloody Mary Mix and all the bacon strips. It’s no wonder a lot of his go-to meal, the Morning Special which includes plate chicken fried steak, sausage gravy, two eggs and toast, almost always comes home in a left-overs box for a late afternoon snack. 

Although I’m still working my way through the Main Street Restaurant menu, I am looking forward to trying their Cajun Benedict and their Santa Fe Burger, in the very near future.  

Pros: The food, the staff, and the drinks are always fantastic. 

Cons: The wait. Unfortunately, the secret is out and the small establishment fills up quickly, even with outdoor seating. 

Recommendations: Try the Ciderosa – a Stella Cider or Pear cider mixed with fresh squeezed Orange Juice paired with the homemade banana nut bread French toast. Also, arrive before 9AM or go when you are not in a hurry and enjoy the scenery or visit some of the other shops around town! 

So, next time you’re headed “up the hill” or have a Saturday or Sunday free for adventure, I hope you’ll stop in at our local favorite, Main Street Restaurant, and enjoy some mountain vibes with your Irish coffee and homemade banana nut French toast. Maybe I’ll even see you there! 

By Amanda Sparks, Kumar & Associates

When you become a member of SMPS Colorado, you get two separate logins – one for SMPS Colorado and the other for SMPS National. When I began my membership in 2017, I was very new to the industry and my role while working as a sole marketer. I took the opportunity to search MySMPS and for any resources that could help me succeed in my new role. 

Whether the Community Boards, Directory, or the Education Webinars, there is so much to go through and take advantage of. One resource from SMPS National that I found the most helpful, even now after five years, is the Bookstore ( The Bookstore contains various publications including some well-known, popular ones such as the Marketer magazine, Blueprints, and Markendium, as well as lesser-known publications like the A/E/C Marketing Fundamentals, Domains of Practice, and Marketer Must-Reads e-books. Some of the publications are available at no cost to current members while others must be paid for in order to receive via mail or digital copies.

The most recent (free) publication that I downloaded was the Marketer Must-Read e-book: Digital Marketing. The e-book is a great option for Marketing and BD professionals looking to up their game in the digital world. It has tips galore provided by other professionals in the industry. 

Did you know SMPS is working to update the current SMPS Domains of Practice for Professional Services Marketing?

The refresh will include an update of the following:

  • Current CPSM Exam

  • Current CPSM Handbook

  • Current MARKENDIUM, also known as the SMPS Body of Knowledge. The MARKENDIUM further defines the six Domains of Practice for the Society and professional services marketing.

The Domains of Practice will be relaunched April 1, 2023. The modified CPSM exam will begin during the September 2023 exam window.

Candidates pursuing the CPSM designation may now choose to register to test through Professional Testing Corporation (PTC) using the current exam for the March 2023 testing window. The refreshed exam will be used starting for the September 2023 exam window and beyond. If you’re interested in taking the test before the switch, contact Morgan Zavertnik to be connected to other individuals and resources/recordings from SMPS Colorado’s last workshop.

Questions? Reach out to Natalie Gozzard:

Welcome new SMPS Members!

Corey Abro
ATS Rocky Mountain

Mark Arnold
GH Phipps Construction Companies

Amanda Barber
Haselden Construction, LLC

Michaela Bartosh
SWCA Environmental Consultants

Sarah Bingham
CTL Thompson Inc

Jamie Bridenstine
Saunders Heath Construction

Alexandra Burgess
Cator Ruma & Associates

Amanda Cesario
Norris Design

Chandler Choate
Alliance Construction Solutions LLC

Carisa Cipoletti, SHRM- CP, PHR
Matrix Design Group, Inc.

Wade Corliss
Alcorn Construction, Inc.

Jeri Crouch
The Lighting Agency

Diana DeJonge
R&R Engineers - Surveyors, Inc.

Danielle Feroleto, MA, CPSM
Small Giants, LLC

Kieth Fiebig
LS Gallegos

Holly Fink
Collab Architecture

Molly Geer

Ellie Gerber
Garney Construction

Crystal Gooch
Dynalectric Colorado

Joy Griffin

Dustin Harper
Alliance Construction

Brittany Hoff

Sara Horton
Nunn Construction

Jackie Jazo
Merrick & Company

Keith Jones, PE, LEED AP
BCER Engineering

Kathleen Keaveny
The Lighting Practice, Inc.

Maggie Keirns
Iconergy, LTD

Angie Kyle
The Weitz Company

Emily McBeth
J.E. Dunn Construction Company

Alexandria Meek
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Steve Mystkowski, PE
Stolfus & Associates, Inc.

Jessica Nguyen
Otak Inc.

Jennifer Patterson
Ricca Design Studios

Walker Powell
Studio Completiva

Julie Rotter, LEED Green GA, CFM, SFP

Rachel Schiebout

Ellen Seale

Jacqueline Selzer

Kirsten Sladovnik
RMG Rocky Mountain Group

Dan Spohn
Plant Engineering Consultants, Inc.

Sarah A Strom
Michael Baker

Luke S Valimaki
Pikes Peak Community College

Alison Walsh
Page Southerland Page, Inc.

Karyn Wedll
GO West Consulting LLC

Samantha Ye
Felsburg Holt & Ullevig

Emily Young
Saunders Construction Inc.

Learn more about SMPS Membership.
SMPS Colorado congratulates our newest CPSMs!

Theresa Wynn
Terracon Consultants, Inc.

Marisa Swanson
Helsel Phelps

Christina Guymon
Cator Ruma & Associates 

Julie Witecki
FMI Corporation


Brittany Hoff

Sierra Segrest
Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

Amanda Stephens
Armstrong Consultants, Inc.


Thank you to the SMPS Colorado Communications Committee members and others who helped compile, edit, and produce this newsletter!
Copyright © 2022 SMPS Colorado, All rights reserved. 

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