SMPS March 10, 2021 Professional Development Session 3: Courageous Conversations: Shaping Your Marketing & Business Development Strategies Alongside Diversity and Inclusion

March 10, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Zoom Virtual Platform

Session Overview:

Marketers and Business Developers in the AEC industry have acknowledged the need for enhanced diversity and inclusion to create a culture that is enriching. Marci Thompson, Chief Growth Officer with SMPS Headquarters will lead a panel discussion featuring Marketing and Business Development leaders who will provide insight on how they work to execute diversity and inclusion strategies.

The discussion will be an open exchange of ideas that focuses on diversity concepts, examines current internal marketing messages, and generates candid conversations about accountability and what that means for different firms.

Learning Objectives

In this forum, you will learn:

  • How to shape marketing strategies with social awareness
  • How diversity helps build business
  • The difference between diversity and inclusion
  • Techniques to identify gaps between the current message and the company’s strategic direction


CPSM CEU's: 1.0 hours
Domains: 1 - Market Research, 6 - Management


Marci Thompson
Chief Growth Officer, SMPS Headquarters

Marci is a seasoned growth and engagement strategist, learning designer, and well-known thought leader within the non-profit association community. Her credentials include: a Seth Godin altMBA, certification as a Digital Event Strategist (DES), and a certificate in e-Learning Instructional Design.

Currently, Marci is the Chief Growth Officer for the Society of Marketing Professional Services, where she leads the strategic charge for member engagement, professional development, conferences, publications, and training.

Previously, Marci served as the Chief Learning Officer for Zweig Group, a management consulting firm. Throughout her career, Marci has guided adult-learning in organizations ranging from 7,000 to 100,000 members. Additionally, Marci is a well-known speaker, contributing writer for trade publications, and two-time author.


Antonio Payne, CPA
CFO, SMPS Headquarters

Antonio is Chief Financial Officer for The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), the premier membership organization for marketing and business development professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. With more than 25 years of non-profit leadership experience, Antonio has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Hampton University and a Master of Business degree from George Washington University. He is acknowledged for his expertise in accounting, finance, and human resource management. A sought-after mentor and coach, he has positively impacted students and young professionals throughout his career. He has served in various governance and leadership positions, including nearly ten years as trustee for the DC Bilingual Public Charter School. Committed to ensuring and equity and inclusion in the workplace and driven by his passion for social justice and finding solutions to facilitate systemic change, Antonio leads the SMPS Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. He is currently continuing his studies, deep-diving into unconscious bias, diversity, inclusion and engagement strategies in the workplace at Cornell University. 


Darrell Fitzgerald, FAIA, LEED AP
Managing Principal, Fitzgerald Collaborative

Darrell has over 40 years of experience in planning, design and implementation of both small and large-scale facilities. His background includes strategic project development, master planning, design, management, and documentation of architectural projects. He holds degrees from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of Pennsylvania in architecture. In 1996, he was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows for his significant contributions to the profession.

Darrell is extremely involved in professional and community activities on a local and national level. Before forming Fitzgerald Collaborative, Darrell spent 12 years as a Principal with Gensler in Atlanta and Houston, the largest architectural and interior design firm in the country, and 20 years as Vice President and Managing Principal with the office of John S. Chase, FAIA, Architect Inc. in Houston and Dallas, Texas.

Malory Atkinson, CPSM, LEED GA
Managing Partner, Shear Structural

Malory  is the co-founder and managing partner of Shear Structural, Georgia's only 100% women-owned and managed structural engineering firm. She holds a BS degree in Building Construction from Georgia Tech and an MBA in Marketing from Georgia State University. Her technical, marketing, business development and tech startup experience provides a specialized expertise in managing the firm’s business operations. Malory currently serves on the board of ACCI, as the chair of Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) for ULI, and as an UrbanPlan Facilitator for ULI Atlanta. She is a 2019 graduate of the Center for Leadership. Malory was named ‘Small Business Person of the Year’ by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2018, one of Georgia State University’s 40 under 40 in 2019, and one of ‘100 Influential Women in Engineering’ by Engineering Georgia in February 2020.

Eric Keens, CPSM
Marketing Business Leader, SSOE Group

Eric is a Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) with nearly 20 years of demonstrated accomplishments in marketing including branding, proposal generation, presentations and coaching, communications, client and team development, planning, and research. He currently leads the Marketing department for Stevens & Wilkinson, a 101-year-old full-service integrated Architecture, Engineering and Interior Design Firm. 

Paige Parnell
Business Development and Marketing Director, S.L. King & Associates

Paige is a Business Development and Marketing Director at S.L. King & Associates, a black owned MEP/Civil Engineering company that has been present in Atlanta for 25 years. A bit more wet behind the ears than some of the other panelists, Paige has been in the AEC industry doing business development and marketing for a little less than five years. Paige currently serves on the board for CMAA-SAC as the Owner’s Social Chair and has remained active across various organizations throughout the industry.




Sponsorship opportunities:

Sponsorships are AVAILABLE for the 2021 SMPS Professional Development Series!  Please contact Laura Young at [email protected] for additional information.

Event Champions:

   Felita Sisco Bunn

     Kelly Darby-Asher


$30.00 SMPS Member Ticket

$30.00 Non-Member/Guest Ticket

$30.00 CPSM Ticket