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Communications Bootcamp
JE Dunn Office
2000 S Colorado Boulevard, Tower 3, 10th Floor
Denver, Colorado 80222
Thursday, August 26, 2021, 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM MDT
Category: Education

In its simplest form, communication is “the creation and exchange of meaning.” From storytelling to proposals to interviews, press releases, blog posts, social media posts, photography, videography, jobsite signage, etc., we are constantly communicating. As A/E/C Marketers and Business Development Professionals, our duty is to connect with others and find ways to differentiate from our competition, so we want to help you tell your story! Join us August 26th for an all-day interactive Communications Bootcamp and learn how to improve, hone-in on or freshen up your communication skills!

The Communications Bootcamp consists of four 60-90 minute sessions focusing on different aspects of communication led by industry recognized experts.

Sessions and Takeaways:

  • Understanding and Developing Critical Skillsets to Maximize your Potential in the World of A/E/C Proposals
    Instructors: Kelly Billings and Mara Pendergast, Pivotal Marketing
    This session will help identify the skillsets that are essential to be a valuable member of the pursuit and proposal process.  We will discuss ways you can differentiate yourself and become a respected contributor in developing winning proposals. Upon conclusion of the session, you will understand the skillsets to strengthen that will enhance confidence in your abilities, gain the respect of your team members, and be on the right path to becoming a recognized proposal expert.

  • How to Interview for the Right Content
    Instructor: Matt Frankel, JE Dunn Construction
    Over the past decade, the business world in-general has discovered what humans have instinctively known since the dawn of man: stories are the perfect medium to communicate a message to others. Telling stories comes natural when sharing YOUR experiences. But what happens when you need to share someone else’s experience? An experience you’re unfamiliar with, have no details about, and possibly no reference point for? This session is all about 3 things:
    • Helping you to understand (and convey to others) why stories are so important for marketing and sales to embrace
    • Giving you practical tools to help you identify and glean relevant stories from other people
    • A simple approach to writing/telling those stories to make them as impactful as possible.

  • Video Production Lifecycle for Your Mobile Phone
    Instructor: Elly Hemnes, The Unfound Door
    This session will focus on the total lifecycle of video production from pre-production to production and post-production. You’ll wake away with tips and tricks to help guide you and spur inspiration for your next videography project. Each lifecycle will focus on the following:
    • Pre-Production: What to consider before you start filming or taking photos
    • Production: Tips and considerations to make when capturing projects and team members. And creativity to try something new!
    • Post-Production for Beginners and iPhone Users:
      • Photography: editing software overview, presets for ease and simple to do’s
      • Videography: Beginning editing options and tips

  • Developing Content and Pitching to the Media
    Instructor: Kristi Estes and Meghan Dougherty, CIG
    This session will focus on learning how to develop story ideas, how to pitch to the media and trade publications, and gain some basic media training tips

If you’re attending in-person, you’ll be registering for all four sessions including breakfast, lunch, and a networking happy hour to close out the day.

If you’re registering to attend virtually, you have the option to select one, two, three or all four sessions. See pricing for more details.

For all sessions, the first 60 minutes will focus on the instructional content, with the last 30 minutes reserved for the interactive session where in-person attendees will have the opportunity to sharpen their skills with their peers and the instructor present.

  • 7:30-8:00 – Check-In and Breakfast
  • 8:00-9:30 – Understanding and Developing Critical Skillsets to Maximize your Potential in the World of AEC Proposals (Mara Prendergast and Kelly Billings, Pivotal Marketing)
  • 9:30-9:45 – Break
  • 9:45-11:15 – How to Interview for the Right Content (Matt Frankel, JE Dunn Construction)
  • 11:15-11:45 – Lunch Break
  • 11:45-1:15 – Video Production Lifecycle for Your Mobile Phone (Ely Hemnes, The Unfound Door)
  • 1:15-1:30  –  Break
  • 1:30-2:30  –  Developing Content and Pitching to the Media  (Kristi Estes and Meghan Dougherty, CIG)
  • 2:30-4:00 – Happy Hour
Click here to download the event flyer



Ticket Prices
$150 Members – In-person, All Day
$200 Non-members – In-person, All Day
$125 Members – Virtual, All Day
$175 Non-members – Virtual, All Day
$35 Members – Virtual, Single Session
$50 Non-members – Virtual, Single Session


CEUs Available: Up to 6, 5 Promotional Activity

Note: Only SMPS Colorado Members may register at member pricing. Registration closes August 20th.
Participants will receive Zoom meeting details the day before in your You Are Registered email. If you are a member of another SMPS Chapter, are experiencing job insecurity or work for firms strictly limiting marketing expenditures, please email the admin for the free registration code. 

Understanding and Developing Critical Skillsets to Maximize your Potential in the World of AEC Proposals led by:

Kelly Billings
Managing Partner
Pivotal Marketing Partners

With nearly two decades of marketing experience in the AEC industry, Kelly understands the importance of integrating marketing/business development strategies and operational excellence to win work for Pivotal’s clients. She offers comprehensive industry knowledge and expertise to develop concise, impactful and sophisticated marketing collateral and proposals. Kelly works closely with project teams to analyze and enhance technical content, provide strategic direction, and identify key differentiators to distinguish her clients from the competition. The result is a blend of visual and written content into winning proposals and industry-leading marketing pieces. These expert skills have made her a highly sought-after project pursuit marketing leader. She has assisted or lead proposal and interview pursuits on a variety of project sizes, market segments, and product lines to win projects from $500,000 to over $500 million. 

Mara Prendergast
Managing Partner
Pivotal Marketing Partners

Mara has 19 years of marketing experience with 17 years working for architectural, engineering, real estate development, commercial construction and heavy civil infrastructure construction firms. She has led pursuit teams to win projects ranging from $1.5 billion mixed-use developments and $200 million transportation projects to $500,000 tenant improvements. Mara is highly competitive, creative and has a deep understanding of the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. She completely commits herself to the success of each project pursuit she leads or manages and is driven to achieve wins and growth on behalf of her valued clients. Mara creates winning strategies, technical content and eye-catching graphics and layouts on pursuits both large and small as well as public, private and federal. 

How to Interview for the Right Content led by:

Matt Frankel, MBA, CPSM
National Business Development Coach
JE Dunn Construction

Matt’s passion lies in helping others succeed, which is why he’s dedicated his career to coaching others. Thanks to a diverse path that has included financial services, insurance investigations, flight instructing, airport planning, marketing, business development, sales training, and presentation skills coaching (among others), he’s had opportunities to serve professionals at all levels across a wide range of industries. But A/E/C is his first love, and he’s currently the National Business Development Coach at JE Dunn Construction. He’s been actively involved with SMPS for over 15 years, serving as a regional conference co-chair, and most recently as the co-creator and co-facilitator of the CPSM Exam “Roadmap to Certification” immersion course. Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Matt lives in Atlanta with his beautiful wife, their strapping young son, and their 9-year-old teenage daughter.

Video Production Lifecycle for Your Mobile Phone led by:

Ely Hemnes
CEO & Founder
The Unfound Door

Ely is the proud woman-owned and -operated small business owner of The Unfound Door; a creative consultancy firm designed to help you discover the best artistic services that advance your marketing and communications assets. They are dedicated to curating a stress-free experience by offering customized photography, videography, and creative consulting that are unique to your business vision. They take pride in their ability to guide and facilitate clients to an end goal of high caliber visual assets delivered with creativity, technique, and passion..

Developing Content and Pitching to the Media led by:

Kristi Estes, APR
Owner & Principal
Communication Infrastructure Group (CIG)

Kristi is a co-owner and principal of Communication Infrastructure Group (CIG), a public relations/public information firm focused on large transportation infrastructure projects in the Denver metro area. Kristi has experience managing strategic communications and education campaigns for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Central 70 and US 36 Express Lanes projects, the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and RTD FasTracks, to name a few. Prior to CIG, Kristi managed corporate communications nationwide for Wild Oats and worked in the newsroom of the Rocky Mountain News. She understands how to talk to real people about mobility and transportation issues, an as a former journalist and photographer, Kristi knows how to tell stories that the media cares about.

Meghan Dougherty
Communications Manager
Communication Infrastructure Group (CIG)

Meghan has been developing communications and proactive media relations strategies for a variety of clients for decades. Meghan has been an integral part of many of CIG's projects as a media relations expert, from the grand opening of the Westin Denver International Airport and transit center to providing media guidance and execution around various construction and CDOT projects and other client initiatives. 


COVID-19 Note: This event will follow the latest state and county guidelines.