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Join Us for EDConnect20

Week #1 - October 13 & 14, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Simon Goodhead


Why Admins Might Rule the World

Program Description: Project administration is different. Project administrators do not need to be just 'overhead'. Project administrators can be responsible for tectonic shifts in project performance and firm profitability. This presentation will explore the findings of how this role can be super charged to lift a firm.


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Simon Goodhead has extensive knowledge and background in operational leadership, strategic planning, as well as mergers and acquisitions. Having led a regional engineering office through significant growth and enhanced profitability, Simon moved to internal strategic planning and strategy deployment, while actively seeking new acquisitions before moving to The Coxe Group. As a principal with the management consulting firm, The Coxe Group, he provides strategic and operational insights that help A/E firms achieve their desired success. As a PE and Chartered Engineer, his work took him from Georgia to Ghana, Illinois to Ireland, and Kansas to Korea. As a consultant, he has developed global strategies, business plans, analytics around performance, and work on buy side and sell side M&A. Click the above link again to hide bio

David Goad


Connect Through Your Camera

Program Description:  With the world suddenly being forced to work remotely, virtual presentation skills are no longer an option. Now you must interact with your internal team, partners and clients on a variety of video conferencing platforms. And most would agree the quality of the experience is just not the same as being in person. How do you effectively communicate and connect with your audience when you cannot be in person? How do you read the room when there is no physical room? In this 60-minute workshop, you will learn critical tips and techniques from veteran virtual presenter and talk show host David Goad. He will also lead live coaching with volunteer participants!


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David Goad’s 30+ years of experience in corporate marketing, speaking, on-camera hosting, and video production in the technology industry give him a unique coaching perspective. He helps clients communicate with clarity and confidence, and teams to collaborate with less friction. Click the above link again to hide bio

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Lindsay Diven


Develop Your Data Collection & Maintenance Program - No CRM Needed

Program Description: This session will guide you through best practices to collect and regularly maintain project and personnel information, including highlighting examples from real firms. Attendees will receive a start-up guide and actionable checklists. No pre-existing technical tools required. These best practices are for anyone who is responsible for producing proposals.


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Lindsay Diven is a Senior Consultant with Full Sail Partners. In this position, she works with clients to implement Deltek Vision's CRM, Custom Proposal, and SF330 modules, as well as the Client Feedback Tool. She has 12 years of marketing and business development experience in the A/E field. Using Deltek Vision, Lindsay has worked with both marketing and business development teams to implement business strategies and manage client data in pursuit of increasing sales opportunities and win rates. She is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) who is active with the SMPS Central Florida Chapter and the Southeastern Regional Conference.  Click the above link again to hide bio

Kevin Hebblethwaite


A Better Way: Routine Feedback to Improve the Client Experience

Program Description: Do you really know what your clients think? How confident are you about your firm's ability to deliver a client experience that leaves them no better choice but to hire you again and rave to others about your awesomeness? Come to this session to be sure.


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Kevin Hebblethwaite has 20 years of experience in business development, marketing and management for technology-centric professional services companies. He trains and advises clients who seek enhanced results from their investments in Deltek and related enterprise software systems. Previously, Kevin was President/CEO of an engineering consulting firm where he worked with design and construction firms, program managers, developers, hospitals, corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies through the United States. Kevin served as SMPS National President in 2012-2013 and spends what little time remains as a freelance musician and amateur sports broadcast producer. Click the above link again to hide bio

Week #2 - October 20 & 21, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020


Jenifer Navard


Cash Flow Strategies for Emerging Stronger than Ever

Program Description: Revenue and cash flow are two very different things. As A/E/C leaders move carefully out of crisis management mode and assess the months ahead, the most successful firms are laser-focused on cash flow in these uncertain times. Learn how to improve every aspect of cash flow post-COVID to ensure your firm can thrive. 


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Mark Blankenship


Getting Paid Without Getting Sued

Program Description: Participants will learn factors to consider when selecting clients, identifying risks associated with different project types, understand what contractual provisions impact the payment of fees, and learn strategies to stay current and head off trouble.


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Mark Blankenship is an Assistant Vice President for Liberty International Underwriters where he underwrites architects and engineers professional liability insurance.  Previously, as a Senior Vice President of Willis HRH he was head of the Risk Management Department where he gave risk management presentations to architects and engineers in addition to advising clients regarding their insurance programs. Mark has 20 years experience in insurance claims ranging from general liability and workers compensation to professional liability for architects, engineers, lawyers and accountants. Prior to joining HRH A&E in 2001, he was a Claim Supervisor for Design Professional Insurance Company where he handled claims on projects ranging from single-family home additions to NFL football stadiums and federal highway projects. Mark is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).  He earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation from the American Institute for Property Casualty Underwriters. He also holds an Associate in Claims from the Insurance Institute of America and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Michigan State University. Click the above link again to hide bio

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Kristi Weierbach


Position Future Leaders

Program Description: With more than 78 million baby boomers stepping away from the workforce in the next decade, it is imperative that companies not only identify but also develop the next generation of leaders.   The skills needed in the past may no longer be relevant for the future success of the firm.  


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Kristi Weierbach  focuses her extensive expertise on helping clients design a workforce that is not only prepared for the future, but one that leverages disruption to thrive and succeed. Weaving together a unique blend of anticipatory tools and insights with practical solutions, Kristi provides clients with an organizational architecture that empowers them for the NextGen. Applying deep workforce knowledge, Kristi helps companies overcome challenges by providing strategic direction, implementing and improving policies and procedures, and skillfully turning human capital management into a competitive advantage.  Click the above link again to hide bio

Gary Truman


Ask the HR Attorney 

Program Description: Now more than ever, employers need answers to a wide variety of legal questions. There are plenty of resources online, but as an HR professional, how do you sort through all the online resources to know what is important for your firm? Well, this session is for you. Gary will be answering real questions from you and your peers in the employment trenches on issues that matter – now. Ask your questions in advance and join us for the answers that you and your peers are asking.


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Gary Truman is an employment attorney in Golden, Colorado. For more than 25 years, he has advised employers on a range of employment law issues including employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discipline and discharge, FMLA leave, disability law, employment contracts, employee handbooks, non-compete agreements, wage and hour issues, just to name several. He has represented clients in state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings. Click the above link again to hide bio

Week #3 - October 27 & 28, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Andrew Mendelson

Managing the Legal and Practice Issues of BIM 

Program Description:   Used properly, BIM can improve a design firm's productivity, quality, and project team relationships. Combined with Integrated Project Delivery, it can add value to the design and construction process through cost modeling and analysis, virtual building coordination, logistics and continuity, digital record documentation, and operations and maintenance.  This session will explore the investments required in tools and technology, training and quality management standards, processes and protocols. Learn about the legal implications of using BIM, including its impact on the Standards of Care, controlling the use of your intellectual property, professional association tools and contract forms to manage BIM, and protecting your firm from professional liability risk. Qualifies for AIA HSW credits.


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Andrew Mendelson, FAIA  is a unique resource for Berkley DP because of his 36+ years as a licensed architect, working as a designer, project manager, market leader, contracting officer, CFO, and Director of Practice Management for a large, national multi-disciplinary design firm. He served on the AIA Documents Committee for 15 years and is an industry leader in contracting and risk management Click the above link again to hide bio

Diane Mika

Proactive Construction Administration: Strategies, Solutions and Success

Program Description:   

The construction phase is where a project comes to life, and your role in construction contract administration (CCA) is critical to the success of the project. Simply put: the purpose of CCA is to ensure that the project is being built in conformance with the design intent. The more complex goal is to deliver a project that meets the client’s objectives while making a profit and maintaining positive relationships with the project participants.   Using the A201™-2017 as a framework, you will explore the roles of the client, design professional, contractor, and subcontractors in this process. You will also acquire techniques and strategies to help foster a collaborative environment, identify problems early, lessen project risks, and effectively deliver the project. Qualifies for AIA HSW credits.


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Diane Mika  Diane has 24 years of experience in A/E professional liability insurance, focused on risk management and loss prevention education. She holds a bachelor of science degree in organizational behavior and is also a certified instructional designer. In her career, she has led in-depth claims studies to reveal the breakdowns in business practices that can lead to risk exposure, translating that heightened awareness of the risks that design professionals face into meaningful education programs. Since 2014, Diane has led the development of the award-winning BDP Risk® Learning Management System and the creation of risk management resources and education programs to help engineers and architects improve their business practices and mitigate loss.   Click the above link again to hide bio

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Mel Lester

How to Lead Without Authority (Even When You're the Boss) 

Program Description: Leadership is evolving from the familiar models based on authority and expertise, and is increasingly shaped by the influence of followers. This session will review how leading without authority is not only appropriate for situations where the leader lacks direct authority, but is preferred even when you are the boss. Join us for a fresh perspective and practical advice on effective leadership.  


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Mel Lester  is a management consultant , trainer, and contrarian strategist who specializes in helping engineering, environmental and architectural firms improve business performance and create competitive advantage. His diverse experience encompasses leadership development, strategy creation, business development, the client experience, project delivery and employee engagement. Mel has worked in the A/E/C industry for more than 45 years.  This experience includes serving in many leadership roles both with and without direct authority for national and regional firms. He has led numerous strategic initiatives, worked across matrix organizations as a corporate manager, and directed efforts as an outside consultant--all requiring that he apply the strategies that he will be sharing in this session. Click the above link again to hide bio

Doug Parker and Melissa Lutz

Building Firm Strategy When Uncertainty is the Only  Thing Certain: Building a Roadmap for Success

Program Description: While the pandemic crisis poses many challenges, it also presents unique opportunities to learn and reflect on your current business model. This session explores the decision-making process, scenario planning to mitigate present risks, creating opportunities from weaknesses, and developing a vision for your firm’s future. Our presenters will lead you through a workshop to focus your vision and desired outcomes and develop a roadmap to navigate through uncertainty and protect your firm’s revenue and profitability.


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Doug Parker, FSMPS, CPSM  Doug is a strategic marketer and brand champion with nearly 25 years of experience in professional services firm management serving as COO & CMO for firms where he managed all aspects of operations including human resources, accounting, marketing, IT, and administration. He began his career in the A/E/C industry in 1996 and has served in leadership positions for firms ranging from a 30-person sole proprietorship to a 250-person national firm with nine offices. Today, after taking a year-long sabbatical, Doug is a Principal of Elevate Marketing Advisors.

Doug’s deep involvement in the A/E/C industry is enhanced by his national network gained through active membership in the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) where he currently serves as President-Elect of the Society’s Board of Directors; is a two-time Chair of the SMPS Southern Regional Conference; is a past president of the SMPS Houston Chapter; and recently served as co-chair for the Society’s annual conference, Build Business. He currently serves on Houston’s Art Colony Bayou City Arts Festival Board of Directors. Other organizational service includes the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, SEARCH Homeless Services Community Advisory Board, Levy Park Foundation Board of Directors, East End Foundation Board of Directors, and DiverseWorks ArtSpace Board of Directors. Doug holds a BA double major in Communications and Psychology. Click the above link again to hide bio

Click for Melissa's bio

Melissa Lutz, FSMPS, CPSM  is a Principal at Champlin Architecture, and a member of the corporation’s Board of Directors. A member of SMPS since 1992, she was named a Fellow of the Society in 2010. Melissa is currently the SMPS Society Board of Directors President, and is the Past-President of the SMPS Foundation. She also is a committee member and Past-President for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), a board member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Diverse by Design-Agenda 360 Committee Member and a member of the Advancement Committee for the Children’s Home of Cincinnati. She also volunteers for the Carnegie Arts Center, and donates her time to Suits That Rock- an effort which has raised almost $1m for children’s arts educational programs. A Past-President of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter, Melissa continues to volunteer with her chapter and assists with various committees and initiatives.

Melissa has recently presented at the SMPS Build Business Conference, the AIA Ohio Valley Regional Conference, SMPS Heartland Regional Conference, SMPS Pacific Regional Conference, SMPS Southern Regional Conference, SMPS Southeast Regional Conference, SMPS Southwest Regional Conference, CREW Greater Cincinnati, SMPS Chicago, SMPS Indiana, SMPS Greater Cincinnati, SMPS Northeast Ohio, and The University of Cincinnati’s College of Business and has written articles on business development and marketing for various publications. Melissa was one of the Researchers and Authors for the SMPS Foundation’s book, A/E/C Business Development-The Decade Ahead, and continues to serve the Foundation in research endeavors and initiatives. Melissa also volunteers for Allied Construction Industries as the chair of their Marcomm Committee, and she recently led a team of professionals to engage the organization in a rebrand. In 2017, she received a Distinguished Service Award from ACI for her work with the organization. Click the above link again to hide bio

Agenda - October 13 and 14, 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

12:00 - 1:30 pm Why Administrators Might Rule the World
3:00 - 4:00 pm Connect Through Your Camera

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

12:00 - 1:00 pm Develop Your Data Collection & Maintenance Program: No CRM Needed
3:00 - 4:00 pm A Better Way: Routine Feedback to Improve the Client Experience

Agenda - October 20 and 21, 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

12:00 - 1:00 pm Getting Paid without Getting Sued
3:00 - 4:00 pm Cash Flow Strategies for Emerging Stronger than Ever

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

12:00 - 1:00 pm Position Future Leaders 
3:00 - 4:00 pm Ask the HR Attorney                             

Agenda - October 27 and 28, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

12:00 - 1:00 pm Managing the Legal and Practice Issues of BIM (qualifies for HSW credit)
3:00 - 4:00 pm Proactive Construction Administration: Strategies, Solutions & Success (qualifies for HSW credit)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

12:00 - 1:00 pm How to Lead with Authority (Even When You're the Boss)
3:00 - 4:00 pm Building Firm Strategy When Uncertainty is the Only Thing Certain


SDA is an approved AIA CES Provider

All educational programs have been submitted for AIA CEUs = 12.5 total hours (including 2.0 HSW)



*includes access to session recordings through December 31, 2020

SDA Member Price Non-Member Price
Single Day Registration* $  99.00 $379.00
Full Conference Registration* $299.00 $579.00


Payment:  Accepted forms of payment are Visa, MasterCard, American Express or check.

If you wish to pay by check, complete the online registration and select the “Pay by Check/ Money Order” option. Print out your invoice and mail with your check to Society for Design Administration, 7014 Old US Highway 68, Georgetown, OH 45121. Payment must be postmarked no later than October 5, 2020. Refunds will NOT be provided for no-shows.


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7014 Old US Highway 68
Georgetown, OH 45121

(M-TH 9am -4pm Eastern)