Please join us for the
2024 Marketing Excellence Awards!

SMPS Colorado will host our annual Marketing Excellence Awards event on Thursday,
May 16 at the Downtown Denver Aquarium.  This year's new venue comes with a beautiful backdrop and exciting attractions to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Colorado’s top A/E/C firms and professionals. The event will be emceed by Corey Ciocchetti, a nationally recognized teacher and speaker known for his messages about “authentic success” and living an ethical life. Help us honor and celebrate our collective successes as professional service marketers and business developers!


May 16 | 5:00 - 9:00 PM | Downtown Aquarium

700 Water Street, Denver, CO 80211


We're so excited to announce our nominees!

SMPS Colorado is excited to announce our nominees for Firm Leader, Marketer, and Business Developer of the Year! Help us congratulate the following individuals for their significant contributions to the marketing and business development professions in the A/E/C industry. We hope you can join us at the Marketing Excellence Awards on May 16th as we formally announce our winners and celebrate the outstanding achievements of Colorado's top A/E/C firms and professionals.

The Firm Leader of the Year nominees were recognized by others as technical leaders whose influence has significantly impacted marketing and/or business development departments within their firms. They bridge the gap between the technical profession and the marketing world through collaboration, mentorship, and support while whole-heartedly supporting the SMPS mission: "Business Transformed through Marketing Leadership."

The Business Developer of the Year nominees were nominated by their industry peers. These individuals are recognized by others as those who stand out in the profession of A/E/C business development, and who have had significant success in securing professional services work.

The Marketer of the Year nominees were nominated by their industry peers. These individuals are recognized by others as those who stand out in the craft of marketing and communications in the A/E/C industry, and who have made significant contributions toward promoting professionalism.


Interested in supporting SMPS Colorado’s annual Marketing Excellence Awards event through sponsorship? Opportunities are now available at a variety of levels to sponsor our MEA event while providing for recognition and promotion of your firm in a well-attended forum. Please reach out to the MEA Committee if you have any questions or would like to discuss additional options for sponsorship.


Introducing our Emcee!

Corey Ciocchetti
Corey Speaks

Serving as the Bill Daniels Professor of Business Ethics and Legal Studies at the University of Denver, Corey Ciocchetti is one of the University’s most popular and highest-rated professors. Corey joined DU after graduating with a law degree from Duke University School of Law, a Masters degree in Religious Studies and two Bachelors degrees in Finance and Economics—summa cum laude—from the University of Denver.

Corey is a talented speaker and teacher and has won multiple teaching and speaking awards including the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award and the Joel Goldman Award for most respected speaker on the CAMPUSPEAK roster. He currently teaches classes on business law and ethics in a department ranked by the Wall Street Journal and Business Week in the top ten nationwide for producing students with high ethical standards.

Corey also speaks to tens of thousands of individuals each year about “authentic success” and living an ethical life and is the author of the book Inspire Integrity: Chase An Authentic Life. He has spoken to diverse audiences in over 300 cities and 47 states over the past eighteen years. A Colorado native, Corey resides in Denver with his wife, Jillian and daughters Sophia and Sydney.

...and our Judges!

Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM
Owner, Everest Marketing Services

Creating clear marketing is hard. And creating compelling messages and professional communications can feel daunting. Not only that – how are you supposed to know all the leading practices for strategy, messaging, persuasion, and readability? Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM gets it. It IS a lot to think about, and you shouldn’t have to worry about it. It’s why she uses more than 25+ years of marketing expertise to help you focus on what you do best: delivering superior design and construction services to valuable clients.

A StoryBrand Certified Guide, Barbara helps clients with internal communication and initiatives, and external efforts that win work through compelling and persuasive content and messaging. Having presented to more than 200 audiences in the past 25+ years, Barbara knows how to connect with audiences and provide engaging, interactive learning experiences. Audiences include Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) chapter, regional, and national programs. In addition, she has taught workshops for numerous design and construction associations, and in college classrooms and online. She is a Past President of SMPS, Fellow and Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM), and is a Trustee for the SMPS Foundation. She has a bachelor’s in Communication Arts and French, and a master’s in International Business, (marketing emphasis), along with expertise in marketing research, planning, business development, proposals, promotions, and management.

Craig Galati, FAIA, FSMPS, CPSM
Principal, LGA Architecture

Combining his passion for both marketing and architecture led Craig Galati to build a purpose-centered practice focused on creating life-giving solutions for the community. As a champion for marketing’s powerful role in practice, Craig has immersed himself in SMPS, assuming a number of leadership roles including President of the Las Vegas chapter and Society President, where he helped develop the powerful vision statement, Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership. Through community engagement and in his role of Principal at LGA Architecture, he consistently demonstrates the critical role marketing holds in a successful A/E/C firm while empowering professionals to become confident and strategic leaders. A Fellow recognized by both SMPS and the AIA, Craig is an accomplished speaker and author, widely sought after for topics ranging from leadership to innovative marketing practices. He is the 2023 recipient of the SMPS Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award.

Donald Butchko, CPSM
Manager | Marketing, Bowen

Donald Butchko, CPSM is Manager | Marketing at Bowen, a Cleveland-based architecture firm. His background is in theater, but he fell into the AEC industry when a temp agency sent him to a construction office in Queens by mistake. He has been with Bowen since moving back to Cleveland in 2013, starting in the print room and eventually leading all marketing endeavors. Bowen’s 2019 rebrand was recognized by the SMPS Northeast Ohio Design Awards and the SMPS Heartland Pinnacle Awards. He is currently the Immediate Past President and Co-Chair of the Education Committee for SMPS Northeast Ohio. He also sings with the North Coast Men’s Chorus, northeast Ohio’s largest LGBTQ+ member organization, and served on their board as Member Advocate for two terms.

Frank Lippert, FSMPS, CPSM
Founder/Partner, Go Strategies, LLC

Frank Lippert, FSMPS, CPSM, is the founder/partner of Go Strategies, LLC. He provides strategic pursuit planning, strategic market capture planning, and the functional seller/doer training to clients throughout the US. Frank is all about helping teams work more effectively and more efficiently with processes, schedules, and tools that keep A/E/C firms’ business development strategy and marketing efforts on track. He has worked at small, medium, large, and mega-sized engineering companies in his 30 years in the A/E/C industry. He speaks regularly at AGC, SMPS, ACEC, WTS, APWA, and SAME events. Frank has served as the SMPS Society chapter delegate and Society president. He has been recognized as an SMPS Fellow (FSMPS) and is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM). Frank’s infectious energy, humor, and storytelling makes learning about marketing and business development fun, engaging, and memorable.

Heidi Nielsen
Senior Associate & Marketing Director, FFKR Architects

Heidi Nielsen is a Senior Associate and the Marketing Director with Salt Lake-based FFKR Architects. As the Marketing Team leader, she sees the team as collaborative partners and trusted advisors in project pursuits. Heidi is an active member of SMPS both at the local and regional levels. She served on the SMPS Utah board for seven years and is a past chapter president. She also served on the SMPS Southwest Regional Conference planning committee for the past four conferences. As a Utah resident, Heidi enjoys the outdoors and is an avid gardener.

JoAnn Moffett, SPHR, CPSM
Principal/Business Manager, Cunningham Engineering

In her role at Cunningham Engineering, JoAnn oversees and coordinates all firm-wide financial operations, human resources strategies and marketing functions to position her firm for growth and profitability. Her passion is strategic planning and pushing beyond what her peer group thinks they can do comfortably. Cunningham Engineering is a Northern California based firm providing civil engineering and landscape architecture throughout the state. Cunningham has bestowed many “firsts” on JoAnn—she is its first female principal, first non-technical principal, first female shareholder, and first non-technical shareholder.

During her 23 year tenure in the A/E/C industry, JoAnn has provided leadership and elbow-grease to many professional organizations. She was the SMPS Sacramento Chapter president during its 30th anniversary year, championing the theme of “30 in 30”—hosting 30 chapter events in its 30th year. She has chaired many SMPS committees, and currently is chairing Mentoring Pathways. She also has served on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Area Human Resources Association and the Sacramento SPCA. She is a proud sustainer of the Junior League of Sacramento. JoAnn has co-chaired the local DBIA golf tournament for many years. She is currently on the board of directors for The Rotary Club of West Sacramento, serving as its Youth Services Chair and is an active Meals on Wheels volunteer.

JoAnn holds several certifications including Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and was named “Top 40 Under 40” business executives in Sacramento in 2011. She received Sacramento SMPS’s highest honor when she was named Marketer of the Year in 2019. After graduating from the University of Memphis (go tigers!), JoAnn started her career in public relations at Sheraton Casino, a division of Caesars World. Seven years later she moved to California, found her niche in the A/E/C industry and the rest is history. JoAnn is mom to two spoiled labradoodles. When she’s not working or volunteering, she and her husband are planning their next traveling adventure.

Julia Meade, CPSM
Director Of Marketing And Business Development, Brinkley Sargent Wiginton Architects

Julia Meade, CPSM, is a dedicated mentor and organizer with the relentless energy to drive change, creativity, and growth. Julia has a strengths-based approach to life, learning, sharing, and working with others. She’s happiest when focused on quality and working with and for the best. By discovering what each person naturally does best and empowering them to do it, she helps individuals, teams, and groups grow and thrive.

After a 10-year career in foster care/social work, Julia signed on as a temp secretary at an architecture firm. Here, Julia asked the director of business development what else she could do to stay busy. The answer started Julia down the path to her 25-year career driving sales, marketing, communication, and growth in the A/E/C industry.

A lifelong pursuit of education and the ability to utilize new skills are motivators for Julia. Her passion for novel and inspiring experiences has provided her with career and life-enriching lessons. Julia’s desire to learn new things and gain professional experience led her to achieve her CPSM certification and become a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.

Julia was an SMPS Dallas/Fort Worth board member for over seven years, serving in different roles, including the Chapter President. She was instrumental in initiating the formation of the SMPS Fort Worth Chapter and served as a resource during the formation of the newly launched SMPS North Texas Chapter.

Karen O. Courtney, AIA, FSMPS, CPSM

Karen O. Courtney, AIA, FSMPS, CPSM, has focused her 35-year career on marketing and business development with firms ranging from 40 to 1,400 and has worked for architecture, engineering and construction management companies. From her work in marketing, business development, strategic planning and branding, she has helped her firms grow their revenues, open new geographic locations and markets, launch new brands and build name recognition. Recently retired from Fanning Howey, a national education design practice, Karen served as the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer. She has won 34 national and regional marketing communications awards and has been a jury member for numerous communications, photography, design, student scholarship and alumni achievement programs.

Karen served as national president for The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and received the 2013 SMPS Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award for her lifetime contributions to professional services marketing. She is a founder of the SMPS Business Development Institute and has taught business development classes across the country for SMPS for 12 years. She is presently one of the leaders of the AIA’s national Practice Management Knowledge Community where she is the editor for the AIA’s Practice Management Digest.

A frequent speaker Karen has given marketing and business development seminars at the AIA national convention, regional AIA meetings, Build Boston AIA, NeoCon, regional SMPS conferences and the national SMPS convention, Build Business. She authored the chapter “Building Client Relationships” for the AIA’s Handbook of Professional Practice 14th edition and served as the subject matter expert on business development for the “Markendium” SMPS book series.

Melanie Meeks, CPSM
Partner, Meeks Marketing

Melanie Meeks, CPSM is a Partner at Meeks Marketing and has 20 years of experience in the A/E/C industry, specializing in the development of marketing strategy, client development, project pursuits, and public relations. She graduated from Texas A&M University, is a Certified Professional Services Marketer, and has served as President of SMPS Houston. She was previously the Director of Client Development at Kirksey Architecture in Houston, and launched Meeks Marketing in 2013.

For more information, please contact: 

Caroline Kendall, Committee Chair
Anser Advisory | [email protected]

Kimberly Wybenga, CPSM, Committee Co-Chair
Mark Young Construction | [email protected]

Photos and/or video will be taken at the event. By taking part in the event you grant SMPS Colorado full rights to use the images resulting from the photography/video filming, and any reproductions or adaptations of the images for fundraising, publicity or other purposes to help achieve the group's aims. This might include (but is not limited to), the right to use them in their printed and online publicly, social media, press releases and funding applications. If you do not wish to be photographed please inform an event organizer.