SMPS Winner’s Circle: 2019-2020


By Kelly Teenor, CPSM, 2019-2020 President

The SMPS Orange County 2019-2020 Board of Directors were race-ready when the green flag dropped at the start of the year in September 2019. The track we anticipated racing down, however, was not the track we traveled. About half-way into the race, the Covid 19 pandemic added unexpected twists, turns, and obstacles that caused us to shift course. I am so proud of our Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, Committee Members, and our Chapter Members for remaining positive and creative as we reimagined our support and delivery of services. Now that checkered flag has dropped on the 2019-2020 Board year, we commemorate milestones and accomplishments, pre and post Covid 19.

Charity and Community Support

The A/E/C industry’s passion for building a better world was showcased by the Chapter’s philanthropy activities throughout the year. For Thanksgiving 2019, we collected over 300 pounds of food and provided many gift certificates for turkeys to our charitable partner, Families Forward. In February, we conducted a clothing drive to assist Working Wardrobes rebuild after losing their inventory due to a devastating warehouse fire. The proceeds of our highly-successful June mid-year economic forecast program were donated to Families Forward to help with their Covid response.

Programs and Education

Our first Women in A/E/C Leadership Roundtable event connected industry changing leaders with participants through intimate discussions at tables. This event, held in November 2019 (pre Covid), sold-out! Read more:

Our Annual California Economic Forecast, held each January, has grown into a marque event. Led by Chapman University’s Dr. Raymond Sfeir it draws executives from across the industry. In June, to help us understand Covid’s impact on the economy, we held a mid-year California Economic Forecast. This was the Chapter’s first virtual program, and it was our most attended event of the year!   

We started the year strong with in-person education session topics ranging from capture planning to presentation tips and tricks. Our shift to virtual sessions allowed us to keep the momentum going with topics ranging from creating effective SME interview videos to negotiation strategies.   

Member Recognition & Services

Our second annual Mentorship program enjoyed the success of 6 mentor/protégés pairs completing the program. The 2020-2021 program is already underway! Learn about the program:

As avid supporters of the CPSM, the Chapter holds a comprehensive study session each year. This year we decided to offer a virtual participation option in addition to the in-person option. This planning was fortuitous. After our first meeting, Covid social distancing began and we seamlessly transition to 100% virtual.  

Our annual Membership Appreciation event went virtual and tied in a virtual cooking class that included cocktail making! During the event we revealed the winners of our 2nd Annual Member awards. Congratulations to:

Bailey Gau, Rising Star

Tracey Hope, Member of the Year

Jan Powell, Keystone Member

Kimberly Molina, President’s Award

See the past winners at:

The Winner’s Circle

Thank you, 2019-2020 Board. You showed amazing leadership and grace as you served our Chapter while navigating uncharted territory during the Covid pandemic. You contended with your own shifting work situation and attended to your family’s needs all while fulfilling your commitment to SMPS Orange County. Your work has strengthened our Chapter and designed a course for success for the 2020-2021 Board. Thank you for your service. You have earned your place in the winner’s circle:

President-Elect Bonnie Temple, CPSM

Treasurer and Past President Keelin Cox, CPSM,

Secretary Denise Scott, CPSM

Communications Director Laurie Parris

Education Director Brandon Gamboa

Membership Director Suzie Bravo

Programs Director Nick Groeniger

Sponsorship Director Michelle Sinning, APR

Mentorship Director Shannah Hays


SMPS OC 100-Mile Challenge

Register now!

What is the 100-Mile Challenge?

The SMPS OC 100-Mile Challenge is a run/walk challenge for the month of September that ANYONE can sign up for!

Participants will log miles each day in September (roughly 3.3 miles per day) that must total 100 miles. You can walk the whole thing, you can run the whole thing, you can do any combination of the two - whatever works for you!

As we've all begun adapting to our work-from-home situations, we've realized that we need to make a conscious effort to step away from our computer screens. This challenge is intended to promote just that!

Get out, get moving, and get motivated! We can't wait to see your name on the leader board!

Here's how it works...

Step 1: Register and invite your friends to this challenge. 

Step 2: Track your daily mileage/kilometers HERE

Step 3: Get out and walk or run your way to success!

Anyone Can Join!

You don't need to be part of SMPS to join this challenge. Invite your friends, parents, partners, co-workers, and everyone in between! 

You Can Join The Challenge Anytime!

You can join the challenge anytime between August 5th - September 29th. However, the challenge is active Sept 1-30th, 2020. 

Share Your Progress!

Use the hashtag #SMPSOC100mileChallenge to share your progress on social media and upload your photos to the participant library

Connect with Other SMPS Chapters

In this virtual age, it's easier than ever to keep up with other SMPS Chapters. Since SMPS is currently operating all events as webinars, you can easily connect with other Chapters without the commute! Click the logos below to see what events other Southern California Chapters are hosting.

Mentorship Spotlight - Q&A with Stephanie and Lisa

SMPS Mentorship Q&A Featuring:

Lisa Smith
Senior Marketing Coordinator
Pacific National Group
Stephanie Wood, CPSM
Marketing & Communications Manager, Pacific

Q: Stephanie, you have been in the AEC industry for roughly 15 years. Tell us a little bit more about your background.

S: Having been formally mentored in my earlier career, as well as informally throughout, I know the impact that these relationships have had and continue to have on me and my career. And, as a manager, I have the lucky opportunity to serve somewhat as a mentor to my staff. When SMPS-OC decided to implement a Mentorship Program, I knew it was my chance to pay forward the generous advice and guidance granted to me throughout the years.

Q: What was it like meeting your Protégé?

S: As fortune would have it, I had connected with my assigned Protégé, Lisa Smith, the prior year at an event. Afterward, she’d asked for my input on a project she was working on. I was quite impressed with her work and knew she would be one to watch. So, it was an absolute delight to have us “matched.”

Q: Lisa, tell us a little bit about howand how frequentlyyou connected with your mentor?

L: Stephanie and I met regularly once a month for lunch dates and would email back and forth at least a few times a month to follow up on various topics we discussed. I would also shoot her a quick email or phone call when I had something more urgent - she was always willing to chat and give her thoughts and feedback. The face to face meetings also really facilitated a casual, open environment.

S: My goal was to make this a meaningful process for Lisa, while not over-formalizing it. During a few of our meetings, I implemented some exercises and activities from a leadership training program I’d participated in a few years earlier. Essentially, these tools provided both of us an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the What, Why, and How of her needs, expectations, and goals.

Q: As a protégé, how did you grow from the experience?

L: Stephanie really challenged and inspired me to think more like a manager and less like a coordinator. It is very easy to get swallowed with the daily tasks that constantly bombard your phone and email box, but she encouraged me that upward growth comes with managing a team successfully. She sent me various resources covering communication, management and leadership styles, as well as shared her personal experiences in the industry. I recall Stephanie saying to take advantage of opportunities as they come, and run with them! A year later with her guidance, paired with the growing needs at my firm, I am now currently leading a branding overhaul and website refresh for our company, as well as highly involved in three committees covering marketing, culture and events.

Q: Stephanie, what would you say was your major contribution to the relationship?

S: My main contribution was to offer Lisa a safe, confidential space to express her thoughts, feelings, and ideas. As she requested and needed, I provided her with counsel and direction on a wide range of topics and situations. My recommended guidance and approaches came from my experiences as both an employee and a manager/supervisor. We focused on strategically applying Lisa’s strengths to her role and work, as well as discussed communication styles, how to navigate challenging situations, and tactics to advancing her career.

While I served in the Mentor role, I learned so much from Lisa. She is an exceptionally talented and energetic Marketing professional with impressive writing, graphic, and coordination skills. In fact, during our mentorship, she earned a well-deserved promotion to Senior Marketing Coordinator!

Another contribution of mine, if it can be called that, was identifying an outside Marketing consultant who could help carry Lisa’s incredibly heavy workload while she was out on leave. That arrangement has been so successful that they continue to partner as needed.

Q: What was something that surprised you about the experience?

L: I don’t know how they matched up mentors and protégés, but I feel like we were a perfect match! Stephanie and I have high-energy, driven personalities and we love talking about marketing and our professional experiences. All of our meetings seemed to fly by and there was never a dull moment. Also, even though the 2019 SMPS OC Mentorship Program concluded, that connection is still there and I know I can still reach out.

Q: Any final thoughts?

L: I would highly recommend this program to other Marketers looking for a mentor. There are so many positive aspects about it – I can see only good to come of it. It is a great opportunity for someone who is new but dedicated to growing in this industry to learn and glean from someone more senior who is willing to share their professional experiences and knowledge. The networking prospect alone and involvement in SMPS is highly beneficial, as well.

S: Lisa’s tireless work ethic, passion, and drive continues to impress me. Her fresh perspectives are invigorating and inspirational. I have no doubt she will soon find herself in the role of Mentor.

My experience as part of SMPS-OC’s Mentorship Program was wonderfully positive and one I hope to have again!

Board Member Blog: My SMPS Story

By Bonnie Temple, CPSM
President-Elect, SMPS Orange County Chapter
Marketing Specialist, Tetra Tech

Hi, I’m Bonnie Temple, President-Elect for our Orange County Chapter, and I’m delighted to share my SMPS story with you. My first job out of school was for an insurance company. I quickly learned that no one calls insurance companies for good news, and since I’m generally a very positive and happy person, I realized it was not the place for me. When I was interviewing for roles outside of the insurance industry, I found and was hired by A/E/C firm out of Amherst, New York. By A/E/C I mean they had all three - Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. What an exciting place to start in this industry!

I learned so much about the built industry—market segments—such as power, commercial and government buildings, transportation, other types of infrastructure, and some very unique entertainment projects for the private sector (confidential major theme parks)! Beyond the day-to-day work, I was fascinated by the worldview this industry gave me. I learned what makes up a building, a roadway, a power plant, a drainage ditch—I learned what riprap was! I’ll never forget the first time I saw that term and thought, “This has to be a typo!” So, I asked and learned what riprap was, and over my career, I kept asking and learning.

This intrigue and curiosity are still with me today! I found my calling in those first few years, and I found SMPS in 1995. By 1998 I became a member and by 2005 obtained the coveted CPSM. Over the years I moved to several states with family and was fortunate enough to have a local SMPS chapter nearby. I don’t know what I would have done without the people, education, programs, and networking events that the chapters hosted. I also can’t say enough about the mentors I was so fortunate to have. The organization and people helped me grow professionally much faster than if I stayed behind the monitor and safety of the office walls.

My SMPS career went from attendee to committee member to Chair and then Director and now, here I am, preparing to serve as President of the Orange County chapter! I was always encouraged to go beyond my comfort zone, to believe in myself. I discovered that every time I did, something wonderful happened. Last year, I took a leap of faith to trust my abilities and apply for the path of Presidency.  Currently, in the first year of this three-year commitment, I am so excited to lead this impressive group of people.

Thanks to the many people reading this who made a huge difference in my professional life. It is because of you that my core goal for the coming term is to give back what has so graciously been given to me—to share our collective experiences and knowledge, to provide support and encouragement, to connect people to what and who they need to know to be the best they ever imagined.

To say I am grateful for SMPS is an understatement. It is much more than an organization; it’s a family to me. We go through the good and bad times together, we support one another, and sometimes we even kick each other out of the comfortable nest we’re in for the sake of growth and discovery. Although there is much uncertainty in the world today the vision of SMPS will continue through our efforts and determination! I look forward to leading us through these challenges as we look to the future. 

The SMPS vision is Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership – learn more at or