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Welcome to our new SDA Blog which we've called the e-Wire. We hope you enjoy the insights and information that will be shared here by our authors. Be sure to leave a comment and share with others.


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Are You Playing the Wrong Game?

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 23, 2019
Updated: Monday, November 18, 2019

My family enjoys playing board games.  One of our favorites is Scrabble.  We have fought many a battle over this game.  My sister Stephanie consistently gets higher scores than the rest of us.  We think Scrabble is a word game.  But I think Stephanie understands the premise put forward by Michael Katz in his LinkedIn article entitled “You’re Playing the Wrong Game.”  He states Scrabble is not a word game, but rather a numbers game.  You win by paying attention to how the numbers add up.  He applies this idea to the way professional service firms try to attract clients by emphasizing their experience and qualifications.  However, that’s not how people hire professionals.


 Michael Katz offers some interesting insights on how people make their decisions and what you can do to better market your firm and yourself.

What steps do you take to attract new clients and to retain those you already have?





Marsha Witherspoon, CDFA serves as SDA National Treasurer for the 2019-2020 term. She is a Member-at-Large from Columbus, Ohio.

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The Importance of a Records Retention Policy

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 23, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Writing many office policies, I cannot count the times that having a template or base document would have proven valuable. I am amazed at how little people are willing to share outside of SDA. However, sharing our experiences, information, and knowledge is a valued benefit, and I am glad to have the opportunity to partake.

A Records Retention Policy may not be what most of us are eager to write; however, they are important. A good policy can help you increase efficiency, productivity, help maintain compliance with the ever-changing regulatory requirements, and minimize storage costs and risk of fines and penalties due to keeping outdated information past its lifetime in the event of a law suit. 

We all can agree that using shared information and templates do not eliminate our responsibility to ensure compliance with our state statutes and regulations. They are not meant to be all-encompassing. Nor is the template that is I am sharing today.  It is merely a good place to start.

If you are developing a policy for your firm, it is advisable to have a Principal/Owner review it, and if possible, have your legal advisor "bless" it too.

You can find a Sample Records Retention Policy Template here.


What policy templates do you need or do you have that others might benefit from? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. 




Brooke Simcik, CDFA is the Business Manager for VAI Architects Incorporated in Dallas, Texas.

She currently serves as the SDA 2019-2020 National President.






Tags:  Records Retention Policy  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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SDA National President's Message - August 2019

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 19, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2019


SDA National President, Brooke Simcik, CDFA, shares her August 2019 message.

Tags:  blockchain technology  education  leadership  President's Message  presidents video blog  SDA  voip 

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Welcome to Our Newest SDA Members

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 1, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2019

Please join us in welcoming our newest SDA members:

First Name Last Name Firm Chapter
Brittany Jamison Cross 2 Design Group Seattle
Ariel Kahan Maurice Walters Architect Member-at-Large - Washington, DC
Sarah Lippai BuildingWork Seattle
Avis Maclean Pond Atlanta
Leticia Magallanez Lopez Salas Architects San Antonio
Vanissa Murphy Quality Engineering & Surveying Baton Rouge
Joan Ortiz TLC Engineering Solutions, Inc. Orlando
Melissa Pinilla Marmon Mok San Antonio
Brad Richard Cajun Consutriction General Contractors, Inc. Atlanta
Laura Snider CTC Design Studio Atlanta
Virginia Woodard Pfluger Architects San Antonio


Be sure to connect with our newest members on SocialLink and encourage them to join in our many discussions!

Tags:  New Members  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Can Becoming a Better Writer Make You A Better Person?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2019

While at EDSymposium19 I attended a seminar entitled “Fat-Free Gracewriting” presented by Judy Straalsund.   It explained the importance of writing in a way that makes it easy for your reader to understand your message.  As a writer we want to be sure we convey our information in a way that makes a connection between us and the reader. 

But have you ever considered how becoming a better writer can make you a better person?  Recently I read an article "Why Writing Will Make You a Better Person" in The Chronicle of Higher Education authored by Bob Fischer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Texas State University and Nathan Nobis, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College that offers a different argument.  Their thesis is that writing is an ethical activity and how we treat others is an ethical concern.  As writers it matters how we view and treat our readers.  Although the article was written for graduate students and faculty members, the ethical norms cited can benefit all writers.

Norms that should motivate good writing include trying to do good things and avoid causing bad ones; respect your readers as valuable and rational beings; and follow the Golden Rule.  As a writer remember how you like to be treated as a reader.  Apply the traits you most value to your writing.  The professors stated there are moral considerations that are relevant to how you write what you write.  If you want to do more to be better understood, include these considerations in your writing.  As much as possible, use ordinary words.  Don’t ask rhetorical questions.  And finally – revise your document as often as you think you should.   And then, if necessary, revise some more.

As the professors stated, it’s hard to become a good writer.  But then, it’s hard to become a good person.  Can becoming a better writer make you a better person?  Share your thoughts in the comment box below.



Marsha Witherspoon, CDFA serves as SDA National Treasurer for the 2019-2020 term.

She is a Member-at-Large from Columbus, Ohio.

Tags:  Better Person  Better Writer  SDA 

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