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AIA Seattle + SMPS Seattle: New Frontiers & Changing Roles

Forecasting the Intersections of Advocacy, People, & Channels

For years we’ve been hearing the constant drumbeat and living technological and delivery evolution in our profession.  Now a new or at least recently deepening twist: “citizen architects,” AEC firms across the industry spectrum, and professional organizations growing their activities as advocates.  In addition to evolving with new people and roles in our firms, and grappling with new communication platforms, we’re adding public involvement, calls for action, and even lobbying in our work.

For our 3rd annual joint SMPS and AIA Seattle Fellows Forum, we’re diving deep into the intersection of these trends.  Three recent AIA Fellows, each leading organizations taking strong stances and preparing professionals for the future, will join three SMPS Fellows deep in the Marketing/BD trenches.

  • Advocacy—What are our current and future roles as firms and industry organizations take clear advocacy stands in public, regulatory, political and other realms?  Going forward, will there be different roles and venues?
  • People—Will future Marketing/BD roles look like they do today, or will there be new titles and responsibilities?  What will be the effect of industry efforts in equity, diversity and inclusion?  How will Marketing/BD interact with recruitment and employee development?
  • Channels—How much will technology change the whats and hows of where and when we’re communicating?  How will social media evolve, or is there something else beyond?

True to Fellows Forum fashion, we’ll be exploring diverse perspectives and provocative ideas, and look to our audience to expand our lively discussion!  This event is a terrific opportunity to bring together our firms’ Marketing/BD, management and project staff, share questions and perspective with the panelists, and bring back ideas to implement in your office.

Click here to register

Light food, wine and beverages will be served

Reduced rates are available for AIA Seattle and SMPS Seattle student members and members experiencing hardships. AIA Members, please submit the Continuing Education Scholarship / Reduced Rate Request form  via email to AIA Seattle. SMPS members, please submit the Event Discount Request Form via email to SMPS Seattle. If approved, you will receive a discount code to enter upon registration.

This program is taking place in an accessible facility with zero-step entrance and accessible restroom. Please note on your registration if you would like to be contacted about specific needs or accommodations to be able to participate fully in this program.

This program is co-presented by AIA Seattle’s Fellows & Honors committee and SMPS Seattle. Please contact Membership & Volunteer Manager, Connor Descheemaker, with questions or concerns.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify new marketing and business development best practices.
  • Develop ideas for addressing and developing advocacy within your firm.
  • Apply techniques for integrating activities of technical and marketing/BD staff.
  • Identify strategies for retention through business messaging.


Ted Sive, FSMPS, Honorary AIA (Seattle)
Ted is a strategist, facilitator, writer, speaker and trainer.  With clients broadly and deeply across the design, development, public policy and construction industry, Sive helps organizations chart the current, boldly imagine the future, and determine specific operational and communications paths forward. Sive’s expertise in Strategic Planning led to his authorship of two articles in the AIA Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition. Through research, writing, program moderation and speaking, Sive has led public and professional dialogue on evolving and advancing A/E/C practice, focusing on project delivery methods. Ted also leads project team partnering and process improvement workshops, focusing on strengthening inter-disciplinary communication and process efficiency. He has spoken at numerous national conferences and regional education events for ACEC, AGC, AIA, SMPS, ULI, and other industry organizations.

Carla Thompson, FSMPS, CPSM
With more than 30 years’ experience in the A/E/C industry, Carla is highly respected by clients, employers, co-workers, and colleagues. She has spent her career creating innovative, award-winning brands and communication strategies that drove business for MG2, NAC Architecture, Hart Crowser and others. She recently joined Zweig Group as a Senior Consultant, providing marketing advisory services and training. With over 200 seminars, workshops, and presentations to her credit, in addition to numerous articles and more than 20 national marketing communication awards, Carla was honored with the prestigious Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award in 2018 in recognition of her career achievements, leadership roles, and lasting contributions to the industry.

William R Strong FSMPS, CPSM, Assoc. AIA
Bill specializes in helping architecture, engineering and construction firms with strategic planning, marketing and business development, communication training for, mentoring marketing personnel, client perception surveys, and client care programs. Bill has over 45 years of experience in marketing and business development for architectural firms. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kansas State University and his Masters in Public Relations and Marketing from the University of Missouri. Bill has been a member of SMPS since 1982 and a Fellow since 1999 plus a member of AIA since 1973. He has repeatedly presented at conventions and seminars for organizations locally, regionally, and nationally.

Karleen Belmont, FSMPS
Karleen is the Business Development Director and an owner at PACE Engineers. She has been a marketing professional with an emphasis on business development and strategic planning since 1980 and a member of SMPS since 1986. She has served at both the chapter and national levels of the organization. During her career she has taught marketing basics to engineering and architecture students at Oregon State University and Portland State University. She has presented workshops on business development and strategic planning to SMPS and other industry associations across the United States.

Anne Schopf, FAIA
Working across all studios in the firm in her role as Design Partner, Anne continually challenges teams to question deeply and listen intently to support the firm’s goal of creating healthy and sustainable communities for their clients and the communities they serve. A dedicated champion of design excellence and environmental stewardship, Anne’s projects and professional activism continually enhance the discourse on design and place. With over 75 regional and national design awards to her credit, she continually strives for the highest quality of design within strict parameters of performance. Under her leadership, Mahlum was recognized with the 2014 AIA Northwest and Pacific Region (AIA NWPR) Firm Award. Anne is also the recipient of the 2013 AIA NWPR Medal of Honor, the highest commendation presented to an individual by the Region, recognizing excellence in design, the practice of architecture, architectural education and service to the profession. Elevated to Fellow in the AIA in 2007, she received a Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in both Civil Engineering and Building Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a registered architect in Washington and 11 other states.

Renee Cheng, FAIA
Renée Cheng, FAIA, DPACSA, is a nationally renowned Professor in the Department of Architecture and Dean of the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington. Educated at Harvard College and Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cheng has been recognized for education excellence with numerous awards from AIA and others.

Cheng has pioneered research surrounding the intersection of design and emerging technologies including work on industry adoption of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Lean. She is leading the research team developing the AIA Guides for Equitable Practice.

Cheng was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2016, served as AIA Minnesota President in 2009 and on numerous AIA committees on topics related to knowledge, innovation, culture and equity.

Wolf Saar, FAIA
An award-winning architect and community leader, Wolf serves on VIA’s Management Team and leads the Seattle office as Managing Director. Over the course of a career spanning 35 + years, Wolf has led all aspects of an architectural practice. He is recognized for his leadership in the completion of a diverse portfolio of projects for private, not-for-profit and public clients in the Puget Sound Region, as well as nationally and internationally. Wolf is a graduate of Washington State University and serves on the School of Design and Construction’s Professional Advisory Board. His community leadership includes chairing the City of Seattle’s East Design Review Board and service on the Standing Advisory Committee at Seattle University, as well as appointments on various private design review boards.

As a leader at the American Institute of Architects, Wolf serves on the National AIA Contract Documents Committee and was a two-term Director and Board Member for AIA Seattle. As an architect focused on design for seniors, Wolf participates in Leading Age, the AIA’s Design for Aging Committee and is a charter member of the Northwest Universal Design Council, an organization that advocates for accessibility for people of all ages and disabilities.


December 5, 2019
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Price
Class Credit
1 LU


1101 Second AVE
Seattle, 98101
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