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Purchase Orders as Contracts – What is the Design Professional to Do?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Contracts are in virtually all parts of our business.  They take many styles and most often in the form of purchase orders, proposals, consulting services agreements, etc.  However, as noted in the article from Berkley Design Professional, many of these forms are not appropriate for design or other professional services and SHOULD NOT BE USED EXCEPT FOR LIMITED SCOPE PROJECTS. In that event, there are some CLAUSES YOU SHOULD ADD to help reduce risk and address professional liability exposure including Standard of Care, Schedule, Disclaimer of Construction Responsibility, Document Ownership and Indemnification.

Click here to read the entire article.



Special thanks to our guest blogger - Berkley Design Professional.

Berkley Design Professional was started in 2013 by a team of people with deep roots

in underwriting, loss prevention and claims handling for the Design Professional community. 

Tags:  A/E/C Contracts  Berkley Design Professionals  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

“It is not a lack of resources; it is a lack of resourcefulness that creates many roadblocks.” The wise words of my first boss that has played a thousand times in my mind since hearing it for the first time over two decades ago. The lessons we learn from mentors that stick with us throughout our career is often priceless. 

Certainly, this was one message that prompted my pragmatic and analytical approach to resolving problems.   In advance to making informed decisions that I must stand behind, I aim to ensure that I am turning over the "appropriate amount of stones" to arrive at the best choice for the team and ultimately our firm. Of course, research takes time, especially when the paralysis by analysis kicks in. Google will only tell you so much. However, I have found much solace in reaching out to others who do what I do, within the same industry, every day.  Since 2010, the information that I have received from SDA members has saved me time, money and provides a higher degree of confirmation that I am on the right track to making well-informed decisions. Let me share a recent example with you. On Social Link, I posted a question about a new tax law called the Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBI), that I and our CFO were having a hard time understanding. I did some minor research and concluded it would take days if not weeks to do enough research to lay it all out for our team in a meaningful manner. Within a day or so of my post, Sarah Wallace FSDA, LEED Green Associate, shared with me an entire presentation on the subject. It answered most questions we had on the QBI deduction. Her quick response and the information she shared saved me hours, which equates to money, and helped our finance team make a knowledgeable decision on how to move forward with our end of year tax planning strategies. 

What a fantastic and valuable resource we are to each other, and each other’s firms. Over the years, my most valued asset in my resourceful tool-box is SDA and the members we represent. I’d encourage you to embrace this aspect of the SDA experience. Being backed up by the knowledge of hundreds of business professionals in the A/E/C industry is a win-win for your professional development, building your credibility, and ultimately helping advance your firm. Thank you, SDA!



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

She currently SDA 2018-2019 National President-Elect

Tags:  Resourcefulness  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Welcome to Our Newest SDA Members

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Please join us in welcoming our newest SDA members:

First Name Last Name Firm Chapter
Jennifer Belman INNOVATE Architecture & Interiors Hampton Roads
Terri Bolner Marmon Mok Architecture San Antonio
Erica Collins CallisonRTKL Seattle
Stephanie Deaton Warner Summers Atlanta
Maryann Elizondo GB Geotechnics USA Inc New York
Dani Greene Kathy Andrews Interiors, Inc. Houston
Lisa Harris Perkins Eastman Architects New York
Malika Junaid M Designs Architects Northern California
Desiree Lee Perkins Eastman Architects New York
Kristi Litton Perkins Eastman Architects Orange County
Sandra Milligan Conceptual Design and Planning Company, Inc. Orange County
Molly Poes Cosentini Associates New York
Devaki Rani Sakhamuru Energy Consulting Advisors Member-at-Large, North Olmstead, OH
Jasmine Seaman Rolluda Architects, Inc. Seattle
Martha Szekley J R Miller & Associates, Inc. Orange County
Becky Whiting Ferguson & Shamamian Architects New York
Tiffany Woodruff Perkins Eastman Architects New York

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

Tags:  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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SDA National President's Message - January 2019

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

It's a new year and SDA National President, Susan Lankey, CDFA is back with her January President's Message. Be sure to check it out to learn the latest happenings at SDA National and share your comments in the box below.

Tags:  President's Message  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Word Nerd: Is it Assure, Ensure, or Insure?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Word Nerd:  Is it Assure, Ensure, or Insure?



There is a difference between assure, ensure, and insure. In my experience, the more troublesome words are ensure and insure. Ensure has to do with making sure something’s going to happen or not; insure has to do with purchasing some type of insurance to recoup some loss of something. Assure means you will promise something.


Can you use them in a sentence, please? Why yes, I can; here are some examples:

  • I know I haven’t attended the last two Membership Committee meetings, and now that my workload has lightened, I can assure you that I will attend next week’s meeting.
  • You said we gained two new members last month for a total of 40 members in our chapter. I can assure you that’s not correct, and here’s why: Even though our membership list shows those as two new members, I checked and HQ said it has not yet received their membership fees. So they are not official members until HQ receives their payment, which may or may not happen this month; thus we only have 38 members in our chapter.
  • The company announced the new phishing button will be installed within the week. “We want to ensure that employees have an easier way to report suspicious emails, and the PhishAlarm plug-in from Microsoft Outlook will do that for us. It will forward the message to our IT Service Desk and auto-delete the message from the employee’s inbox,” said the company’s president.
  • To ensure we increase our chances of gaining more chapter sponsorship, Jim has agreed to reach out to all of his associates in Washington.
  • Before we hold the A/E/C Scavenger Hunt, we should insure the Board of Directors for up to $100,000.
  • Now that HQ has a permanent location to work from, please insure the building with extra hurricane coverage.

For more about these words, Merriam-Webster is a good place to start.

Bonus info! Did you know that two of these Word Nerds are on the red flag list, according to AXA XL (formerly known as DPIC - Design Professionals Insurance Company)? Back in the day, SDA handed out a bookmark (from DPIC) that said, “Think twice before using any of the following red flag words in your contract!” Assure and ensure are on that list.



Judy Beebe, FSDA is a member of the SDA National Membership

Committee and serves as the 2019-2020 Seattle Chapter Vice President.

Tags:  SDA  Society for Design Administration  Word Nerd 

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