Name: Mark Figart
What services does your company provide?Digital Marketing Strategy, Infrastructure and Operations for Professional Services.
Years of Experience: 25
Where are you originally from?Houston, TX
Tell us something really interesting about you.I assure you I’m quite ordinary. I’m most at home in nature, and enjoy nothing more than to spend a few days navigating a remote river in a kayak.
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?Upon attending my first luncheon I was immediately attracted to the energy of the San Antonio Chapter. It seems like an obvious place to get connected and to share knowledge.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?Through Digett’s engagements over the past 15 years I’ve recognized that so many AEC firms—often practitioner-led—seem reluctant to embrace the potential of digital marketing compared to our clients in other B2B industries. We’ve made it our mission at Digett to focus exclusively on professional services because we think we sense we can make the most meaningful impact.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in San Antonio?My favorite place to eat is at home with the family. But it’s hard to beat a recent experience at Gwendolyn for an enjoyable dining experience out on the town. I recommend sitting at the bar overlooking the kitchen.
What do you like to do in your free time?I have a 9-yr-old son who appreciates time with Dad. We spend a lot of time outside making all kinds of things with materials at hand. Next up is getting started on a treehouse.
Do you have any pets?Just Fin, Nemo and Gary, who live in my son’s aquarium. I’d love to have a dog, but I travel frequently, and I’d prefer not to have to say goodbye to my “best friend” and subject him to doggie day care.
What would be impossible for you to give up?I’d say a healthy, functioning brain has to rank right up there at the top.
Describe your ideal vacation.A combination of a good culture shock, time with nature, and the absence of electronic devices.
Name: Samantha Hopkins
Company: HDR Engineering, Inc.
Role: Senior Marketing Coordinator
What services does your company provide?Engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services.
Years of Experience: 7
Where are you originally from?Floresville, TX
Tell us something really interesting about you.Hmm…well, I grew up in a small town, so of course I was in 4-H. I was on the rifle team. The interesting part is that the team consisted of three girls and only one boy and all of the girls were better than the boy!
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?oming back to San Antonio after being gone for more than 20 years, I knew I had to find a way to network and meet new people. SMPS is the perfect venue for that.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?I wasn't really drawn to it, I fell into it! My mother worked for HDR and thought I'd be a good fit for the Houston office when I was looking to change jobs. The rest is history!
Where’s your favorite place to eat in San Antonio?ell, Mexican food is my favorite, so I have ample choices to choose from. I guess my favorite would be a little mom and pop joint by my house, Dos Jaliscos.
What do you like to do in your free time?I love to drive around to little towns around Texas and see what's there. Just little day trips to explore and learn more about our fabulous state.
Do you have any pets?I do. I have a dog, Roscoe “Pico” Train…Hopkins (of course). He's a Yorkinese (half Yorkie, half Pekingese). Or a Porky as my brother calls him.
What would be impossible for you to give up?Apparently, Mexican food. Oh, and beer!
Describe your ideal vacation.My ideal vacation would be traveling to Europe for at least a month and cramming everything I can possibly see or do into it. My vacations are never restful!
Name: Dawn Coleman
Company: Associated Builders and Contractors, South Texas Chapter (ABC)
Role: Membership Director
What services does your company provide?We are a national construction industry trade organization representing nearly 21,000 chapter members through over 70 chapters in the US. We serve the construction industry through advocacy, business development and construction education.
Years of Experience: 20+
Where are you originally from?Born in Shiner, Texas – I used to have to ask people “Have you heard of Shiner beer?” to get them to recognize the name! Not anymore! But I’ve never met anyone else born there! I grew up in Houston, went to school in San Marcos back when it had another name….Have been in San Antonio for 30+ years.
Tell us something really interesting about you.We’re related to Davy Crockett on my grandmother’s side.
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?I originally joined back in the mid-80s when I was the Marketing Coordinator for Goetting & Associates. We started the joint chapter with Austin. We would travel back and forth each month – alternating meetings in each city. It was exhausting but fun! We moved briefly to New Jersey and I worked for a civil/environmental engineer and was involved with SMPS there. Then a long stretch of doing other marketing and consulting work… So when I got back into the industry, my first call was to SMPS to rejoin.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?I enjoyed the process of trying to find out about new work before everyone else! Then it was challenging to follow that through to landing the project. It was very satisfying when the process went full circle. We did a lot of exciting projects in SA back then. Now that I’m back in the industry, it’s fun to see who has moved up in their companies, started their own, etc. And I am amazed what a small world the whole construction industry is in the San Antonio area. Everyone knows everyone – it’s great!
Where’s your favorite place to eat in San Antonio?J. Alexander’s holds a lot of special memories for me and my family. And Chuy’s. My family actually gave me some stock because I eat there so often!
What do you like to do in your free time?I am building a house right now, so that takes up any free time. But ordinarily, I enjoy spending time with my daughter and son, my friends, my dogs, DIY projects, decorating...
Do you have any pets?We started out as a “lab family” – they’re great dogs. Now we’ve transitioned to a “labradoodle family”. They have all of the positive traits of labs – plus they don’t shed! And they’re adorable. We have Mollie, Gus and soon to add another to the fold.
What would be impossible for you to give up?The snap answer would be chocolate. Or red wine. But honestly, it would be my family and friends. They’re what life is all about and have helped me in so many ways.
Describe your ideal vacation.It would definitely involve family and friends at the lake or the beach. And chocolate. And red wine.
Name: Jordan Schaefer
Company: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
Role: Engineer / Project Manager
What services does your company provide?Civil engineering services (land development, survey, transportation planning, roadway design, public utility design, hydrology and hydraulic analysis, aviation planning and design).
Years of Experience: 4.5
Where are you originally from?Shiner, Texas
Tell us something really interesting about you.I am an eagle scout and have known my wife since second grade.
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?I am at the stage in my career where I need to start putting more of a focus on marketing as a seller-doer and SMPS offers me an avenue to do that. I also enjoy the content of the monthly luncheons and have found value in attending the “Shop Talk” events.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?I have always had an interest in construction and how developments (public and private) come to be a reality so civil engineering made the most sense for me when it came time to select a field of study in college.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in San Antonio?Bella on the River.
What do you like to do in your free time?Hunting, fishing, spending time with my family.
Do you have any pets?Yes, a dachshund named Scout.
What would be impossible for you to give up?Sweets.
Describe your ideal vacation.A stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora or the Maldives.
Please review the Sponsorship Policy and Levels-Benefits. If your firm is interested in being a 2016-2017 SMPS San Antonio Sponsor, submit the completed and signed Sponsorship Agreement Form via email to the 2016-2017 Sponsorship Director, Stephanie Silva, Director of Marketing & Business Development at Intelligent Engineering Services, LLP (IES) at email@example.com.
Sponsorships will be filled on a first come, first served basis, based on when the completed Sponsorship Agreement Forms are received via email.
THANK YOU for your support of SMPS San Antonio. We look forward to a great 2016-2017 year!
Click below to view details on the 2016-2017 Sponsorship Policies and all available Sponsor Levels and Benefits.
DOWNLOAD POLICY & LEVELS-BENEFITS
Click below to download the Sponsorship Agreement Form. Completed and signed Sponsorship Agreements should be emailed submitted to the 2016-2017 Sponsorship Director, Stephanie Silva.
If you have any questions, contact Stephanie via email or by phone at (210) 349-9098.
DOWNLOAD AGREEMENT FORM
Name: Christina Taylor
Role: Business Development and Marketing
What services does your company provide?Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design
Years of Experience: 12
Where are you originally from?I was born in San Antonio; raised in San Antonio; quickly went to San Marcos for school and rushed back to San Antonio to start my career. Is there anywhere else to be? I think not!
Tell us something really interesting about you.I am a classically trained violinist.
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?When hired at H2, the company was new, as was I. I needed a place to aid in my professional development, and provide a network to benefit the marketing and business development goals of our firm. SMPS has been that organization.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?I like to say the AEC industry chose me. I am from the charitable, not-for-profit sector and was given an opportunity to make a career change. My father is a highly respected, well known mechanical engineer in our community. Years ago, he opened the door to an opportunity which has since evolved to where I am now. Maybe growing up around drafting tables and T-Squares sealed my fate long ago!
Where’s your favorite place to eat in San Antonio?Anyone who has recently met me for breakfast knows at this moment in time I am ADDICTED to The Egg and I. The raspberry granola pancake rocks my world. Be warned. It is the size of a placemat.
What do you like to do in your free time?In my free time you will find me tending to the garden, planning for the next planting season, studying plant ecology, and coloring.
Do you have any pets?Not right now. We had a greyhound many years ago. She was absolutely majestic.
What would be impossible for you to give up?Music. It has the power to influence, transform, and define the moment. Life is a musical that never ends!
Describe your ideal vacation.In the water, on the water, near the water. Add some sand, a bit of beach volleyball, an umbrella drink, and I am good to go.
Nominees are being sought for the 2016 Leonardo Award!
What is the Leonardo Award?
Inspired by the Renaissance inventor, writer, printer and sculptor, the Leonardo Award recognizes an outstanding, current SMPS member who has demonstrated a career of excellence in marketing and business development creativity and innovation within the built environment. The winner will have demonstrated expertise within firms he/she has served and the industry as a whole.
This award is based upon a submittal and interview process. It is voted on by a jury selected from within the A/E/C industry.
Who can submit?
SMPS members have the option to nominate a fellow SMPS member or to self-nominate. Additional details can found in the PDF below.
What's new this year?
Submission requirements have changed and a new interview process has been introduced. For full details on how the selection process has been modified, be sure to check out the new process outlined in the PDF below!
What's the deadline to submit?
All submissions are due by the end of business on Friday, July 29, 2016.
Name: Dawn Vernon
Company: Drash Consultants, LLC
Role: Manager – Business Development Group
What services does your company provide?Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Services, Construction Materials Testing/Inspection, Forensic Engineering and Retaining Wall and Pavement Design Services
Years of Experience: 20+
Where are you originally from?I was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. (Go Big Red!) Our family moved to Denver, Colorado when I was three and that is where I grew up. (Go Broncos – World Champs!)
Tell us something really interesting about you.Before moving to San Antonio, I competed in ballroom dancing and taught at the Arthur Murray International Dance Studio. Since moving to San Antonio, I co-hosted a local golf talk radio show on ESPN-The Zone.
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?What’s yours? Ms. Eva Rameriz and Ms. Christy Rhone invited me to attend a luncheon shortly after I joined the Drash team. During that luncheon I saw that the organization had grown significantly and was making a definite, positive impact on the City of San Antonio and surrounding areas. It was also evident through their outstanding leadership the organization’s emphasis was not only on education and networking, but on forming long-term relationships with fellow professionals and helping each other achieve success in their respective fields. This made it an organization I wanted to be a part of.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?It’s usually been more of a “how do I keep ending up here” kind of thing. I say this because my background is actually as an art director in graphic design and then as an executive for a national franchise organization. (There wasn’t a single AEC type in sight.)
I was introduced to the AEC industry in a roundabout way while serving as the Director of Business Development for a Master Planned Golf Course Community. While there, I was also tasked with new custom home sales which included learning about residential construction. When the golf course was sold, I found myself working for a commercial general contractor. During my employment with that company, I began developing relationships with architects, engineers and subcontractors. And then, two years ago, I was blessed to become a part of Drash Consultants. While I have changed fields from the “C” to the “E”, the relationships I had built over the years transitioned seamlessly to the field of engineering. I still get to work and spend time with all the great individuals I have known over the years, but now in an exciting new field. I love my job, the company I work for, my co-workers and all the great professionals I have met at SMPS and throughout my career.
What do you like to do in your free time?As all of us in business development know, it’s pretty much a 24/7 kind of profession. So, when I do have free time, I spend it with my husband. I also enjoy golf and always love a good J.D. Robb or Nora Roberts book!
Do you have any pets?Since we are now empty-nesters, we have “fur-children”. Abby is our daughter (aka, the cat) and Buddy is our son (aka, the dog). They do not know they are pets, so if you meet them, please don’t mention it.
What would be impossible for you to give up?My family!!!! My husband, son and daughter-in-law, daughter and son-in-law and our fur-children are my world.
Describe your ideal vacation.I would love to visit London and Ireland one day, sharing that romantic adventure with my husband. And of course, any beach with a hotel looking out over the ocean and drinks with little umbrellas is always on the list!
Client: X-Wing LLC
Project Location: Shavano Park, Texas
Construction Cost: $6.7 million
Completion Date: April 4, 2016
Services Provided: Civil Engineering & Surveying
What value does the project bring to the community?
KFW Engineers & Surveying is happy to be a part of the Shavano Park Community. KFW worked closely with the City of Shavano Park to meet their needs, and KFW wanted to give them a new building in their community that they would be proud of.
What was special about this project?
Site selection was key to the success of the project. The site had to be easy to access, visible, and provide enough room for parking and future growth. After an exhausting search we were able to work with one of our existing clients to purchase a beautiful piece of property that they were developing. The site is in Shavano Park adjacent to 1604 and contains many mature Live Oak Trees. The building and parking were carefully laid out to create a natural and serene setting while meeting our parking needs. The results speak for themselves and we are very pleased with how the project has turned out.
What were some of the challenges faced on the project?
This project was unique for KFW because we served as developer, designer, and tenant. The roles are very different and we had to approach the project from many different angles and try to meet the goals of each role while staying within the projects budget. Aside from the development and tenant needs, we had to balance the need for parking and building with the natural beauty of the site.
Prior to development the site was situated in a naturally low area, which fostered the growth of many mature Live Oak Trees. We had to fill the site in order to drain but at the same time keep as many trees as possible. We also needed more parking than is typical for an office client, due to many of our survey employees working in the field. Economics were also a concern, but in the end we were able to strike a balance. We were able to provide a treed buffer between the building and parking. The trees provide a shaded buffer to the building outside of which is ample parking to serve our future needs.
Who were the project consultants?
Chesney Morales Partners – Shell Architect
Open Studio Architecture Finish Out Architecture
Horizon Design Landscape Architecture
Metropolitan Contracting General Contractor
Beicker Martinez Engineering Structural
KFW Engineers and Surveying Civil Engineering and Surveying
Are you interested in featuring a project your firm worked on? Submit your project online to be featured in an upcoming Project Spotlight!
Name: Charli Valadez
Company: Barker Structural
Role: Director of Business Development
What services does your company provide?All services related to the Structural Design of Buildings; planning, repair, design, construction, investigation.
Years of Experience: Well, my first gig was working for Gene Dawson, Sr. (Pape-Dawson Engineering). Great man! I guess that puts me at about 20+.
Where are you originally from?Topeka, Kansas. No, I don’t have ruby slippers……. Yes, I had horses. No, I didn’t ride them to school….. unless it was a special occasion. :) I moved from Kansas after attending University of Kansas in search of a career. I have been a Texan for over 26 years!
Tell us something really interesting about you.I was a Springboard Diving competitor. My highest achievement was placing 1st at the Women’s Nationals in Nassau, Bahamas.
Everyone at SMPS has a story about why they joined the organization. What’s yours?I joined SMPS on a recommendation from a friend in the industry. Being involved has improved my network, and helped me grow professionally – both of which allow me to deliver more value to the company and people I work with.
What drew you to the A/E/C industry?I originally started working in the industry about 20 years ago because I wanted to be a designer. The more I saw of the business side, the more it interested me. I started with a very large civil/survey firm where I enjoyed learning about the process. I then went to a start-up firm, doing a little bit of everything and as the company grew, my role gravitated towards business development and marketing. I still enjoy interior design and I hope to be able to add more design work to my resume.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in San Antonio?Okay so I live at Pearl Brewery and I have had the pleasure of visiting several amazing eating establishments. You really can’t go wrong with any restaurant at Pearl. I love the Granary and Southerleigh. However, seafood is my weakness – shrimp, crab legs, clams, and scallops so I would have to say Pappadeaux.
What do you like to do in your free time?I love the outdoors. It's great fun when you’re outside in the sun with your family and friends. I like to bike, run, yoga, camp, hike, hammoking, anything beach related, travel and explore.
I do have a geek side as well. When I am not taking a class, I brush up on my skills and like to learn about any new changes or trends in the AEC and Interior Design industry. I am currently pursing my LEED Certification.
Do you have any pets?I have grand-pets: A rescue Jackhuahua named Odie, who has his own Instagram account (Plug: Odie.at.the.pearl) and a Great Dane named Costa ,who thinks she is a lap dog and literally sits on the couch like a human and watches TV.
What would be impossible for you to give up?#1 – Family & Friends
#2 – My phone
#3 – Chips and Salsa
Describe your ideal vacation.Santorini Greek Islands. Grand Turk Island, St. John US Virgin Island, Palm Island Aruba. You see where I am going with this…..blue water, blue skies, perfect sand on a perfect beach, perfect weather, a surf board, a beach bar and no stress…..My husband and I are actually doing research on all of these amazing places as we are celebrating our 25th in August.
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