Please join us for the
2023 Marketing Excellence Awards!

SMPS Colorado will host our annual Marketing Excellence Awards event on Thursday,
May 18 at Footers (Social Capitol) in Arvada. A celebration of the outstanding achievements of Colorado’s top A/E/C firms and professionals, the event will be emceed by Barbara Jackson, a nationally recognized speaker known for her passion and energy and delivering industry challenging topics. Help us honor and celebrate our collective successes as professional service marketers and business developers!


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.



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 19 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 business development in the A/E/C industry, 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.

The Member of the Year nominees were nominated by their industry peers. These individuals are recognized by others as those who have made the greatest difference to the success, reputation, health, or function of the Chapter in the past year.


Introducing our Emcee!

Barb Jackson, PH.D., FDBIA
President, Barbara Jackson, LLC

After 20 years in industry as a chief estimator, senior project manager, and CEO of Design-Build Services Inc., and another 15 years developing design-build and integrated project delivery education at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo CA, Barbara returned to Colorado, where in August of 2013, she took over the helm as the Director of the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver, in Denver, CO.  There she developed an integrated educational model representing the full life cycle of the built environment, encompassing all aspects of commercial and residential construction, commercial real estate, and project delivery.   As Director of the Burns School, she developed and delivered the most advanced education in the Built Environment.  In 2022 Jackson transitioned from her career in academia and dedicates her efforts toward transforming leadership and culture in the AEC industry through her company Barbara Jackson LLC. where she offers speaking services, educational boot camps and training, consulting services, leadership support, culture mapping, strategic planning, and various tailored services.

As one of the most recognized and respected thought leaders in the AEC industry, Dr. Jackson’s primary focus is on leadership and culture in the transforming design and construction disciplines.   She is a leading expert in the area of design-build, integrated project leadership, gender intelligence, interdisciplinary collaboration, and cultural transformation. Dr. Jackson spent 20 years in the construction and real estate industry working as a project estimator and senior project manager and then as President and Owner of Design/Build Services Inc. She holds a B.S. in Housing and Design, a Masters in Construction Management, and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Resources with a specialization in the Construction Industry from Colorado State University.

In 2018, Jackson received the prestigious Brunelleschi Lifetime Achievement Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the Design/Build Institute of America (DBIA).  That same year she was recognized as a DBIA Fellow by the Institute.  This is in addition to receiving many Distinguished Leadership and Service awards over the years.

...and our Judges!

Adam Kilbourne, FSMPS, CPSM
President, Tec Inc. Engineering & Design

Adam Kilbourne, FSMPS, CPSM has been involved in SMPS at the chapter, regional and Society levels since 2003. He is currently a Chapter Advisor for the Northeast Ohio Chapter. Adam has been a juror for the SMPS MCAs multiple times and was the Co-chair of the MCA program in 2017. Adam is President of Tec Inc. Engineering & Design and is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston. He is an avid photographer.

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.

Brenda Taylor, IOM
Programs Director, AIA Colorado

Brenda is a communications professional dedicated to building and maintaining relationships between organizations and their members. She worked as an ad agency copywriter and design lead before transitioning into early print-on-demand and digital asset management. Brenda served as the editor of Wisconsin Architect Magazine and communications manager at AIA Wisconsin. She later became the organization's Deputy Director, managing web design, special programs, and video production before joining AIA Colorado as the Programs Director. Previously, Brenda served as a juror for SMPS Wisconsin's Marketing Excellence Awards and directed architecture design awards programs for more than 20 years. Brenda lives in Wisconsin and consults, using her experience to advance non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. She earned her B.A. in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-GB and an Institute for Organization Management (IOM) designation. She is a member of ASAE and MPI.

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.

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.

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.

Matt Connor, CPSM
Head Coach, Coach Connor Consulting

With more than 25 years of relationship-driven, executive-level marketing and business development experience, Matt’s talent lies in creating authentic and effective connections and networks, inspiring teams, and guiding individuals to achieve both personal growth and professional success. As a Speaker and Coach, Matt forges sincere connections with his audience and adds meaningful value regardless of subject, setting, or size. Speaking nationally on a variety of topics, he delves into universal challenges such as: Burnout, Public Speaking, Leadership, Employee Engagement, and more.

His personality and presentation style is engaging, and thought-provoking. Matt is a Certified Coach, Professional Services Marketer, and Infinite Possibilities Trainer, and his passion shines when he is helping others prosper. Matt is Head Coach of Coach Connor Consulting and lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, Shelly, and their children, Trent and Peyton.

Nancy Usrey, FSMPS, CPSM
Strategic Pursuit Director, HNTB

A talented, multi-faceted professional with over 30 years in the industry, Nancy’s skills and experience in every phase of marketing make her a sought-after advisor whenever complicated marketing/BD questions come up. Nancy was recruited by HNTB in 2008 to help the national transportation firm leverage its experience in the design-build marketplace into a major component of their portfolio. She works closely with pursuit teams and the marketing and sales organizations across the firm to prepare teams for efficient and effective design-build pursuits. She is an advocate for integrated pursuit teams that include marketing as an essential discipline on par with technical components, each having responsibility for implementing project management principles, and assuring budget, schedule and quality compliance.

Prior to HNTB, Nancy was a recognized marketing consultant to AEC firms, known for her understanding of Federal marketing and SF330 preparation strategies as well as her ability to guide firms to successful development and implementation of marketing and sales initiatives. She is an accomplished industry speaker and panel moderator, and a respected coach and mentor, frequently working with individuals and teams at all levels within a firm’s organization. Nancy has served as President of an SMPS Chapter, the SMPS Foundation and the Society. She was a member of the inaugural class of SMPS University and one of the subject matter experts involved in developing Markendium, the SMPS Body of Knowledge.

Help us celebrate the winners from our past Marketing Excellence Awards competitions below!


For more information, please contact: 

Gwyndolyn Mowbray Anderson, Committee Chair
Studio RED Architects | [email protected]

Caroline Kendall, Committee Co-Chair
Anser Advisory | [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.