SMPS Build Business MAX

Better Late Than Never...

By Adam Kilbourne

In the last post, prior to heading to Build Business, I stated I would post info and pictures from MAX. The MAX committee put in a ton of effort in preparation for the MAX Sessions. The effort was worth it. MAX was a smashing success and one of the most highly rated sessions at the conference. 

Based on their topics, MAX Sessions were loosely divided into the themes of Engage, Inspire, Launch, and Ignite. Each room had 4 presenters with 16 minute presentations. The sessions were video recorded, and although there were some technical difficulties, the videos will be released very soon. 

The Engagement Lounge that followed the presentations allowed for the audience to visit with the presenters as well as check out the fabulous art curated for the art auction. The auction showcased talent of SMPS members and raised $850 towards a SMPS U scholarship. 

MAX has been greenlighted for the future. I am on a Taskforce creating guidelines for branding and organization of MAX at Build Business, Regional Conferences, and chapter level events. 

Enjoy the pictures from MAX and Engagement Lounge Art Showcase.

SMPS Build Business 2015

by Adam Kilbourne, CPSM

It's almost here, Build Business 2015 in L.A. Tomorrow I board the plane and head west. Build Business is the largest conference for marketers in the A/E/C industry. Tec has been a proud sponsor of the conference for many years and this year is no exception. 

There is a new program track this year called MAX, which is modeled after TEDx. I was honored to be asked to help with the planning and logistics of the MAX sessions. Working with the volunteer committee and staff we started with no funding but were able to acquire sponsors allowing us to brand and promote MAX, and get some wonderful flowers for the stages. 

In addition to the logistics for MAX, my pet project is the SMPS Member Art Showcase. We have so many talented artists among our membership and this is a way to display some of that talent. We've got a dozen art works from 7 different artists. Several of the pieces will be in the Fellows Raffle and MAX Silent Auction, with proceeds going to SMPS U. 

Highlights and pictures when I return next week. 

Jitegemee School Opens

Those of you who attended our 30th Anniversary Party last year will remember the charity "A Place to Go" for which we contributed $2000. Adam Kilbourne's friend, Laura Ewan, works for RTKL Architects and a small group from this firm volunteered to create "A Place to Go" and designed a sustainable (bio-gas) toilet facility for the Jitegemee School. The new school opened this week, the toilet facility is under construction. Laura and Mark from A Place to Go traveled to Africa for the grand opening of the school. They sent a photo and a note thanking Tec for the support.

A big thank you to RTKL Associates Inc. and Tec Inc. Engineering & Design for their contributions to the A Place to Go project and the #Jitegemee kids. The new school facility, including the upcoming biogas toilet, really make a big difference in the lives of these kids and their community.

To learn more about this project check out the website at or Facebook at

SMPS Build Business Take Action! Part 2

Picture this, San Francisco the city by the Bay the second week of July. Not typical San Francisco weather, very pleasant, sunny and 70+degrees.  Know why? Because SMPS Build Business Take Action was in town! This was my second foray into the world of SMPS national conferences. It has taken me this long to recover, put my thoughts in order and attempt to write something profound about this year’s experience. Similar to conference last year, this was absolutely time well spent.  So many opportunities to network with a variety of professionals, review award winning promotional material, and participate in a variety of informative learning opportunities. 

As with the conference in Chicago last year I was proud to have Tec represented from start to finish at this year’s conference. Perhaps not quite as in your face as Chicago, but visible none the less. Beginning Tuesday evening with the excellent dinner Adam arranged at One Market Restaurant across form the Hotel. With all that was going on Tuesday evening 18 of his friends and colleagues met for dinner.

I had been asked to participate in a videotaping session presenting my perspective on why more than just marketing or BD people should participate in SMPS, and the value to business owners/principals…I hope I was able to get my point across; there are tremendous networking and learning opportunities. The keynote speakers are phenomenal and I promise you will take away something you did not know from each class. While I was busy starring in the promotional piece (don’t look for my name in lights anytime soon) Adam and Mike attended the Chapter Leadership Forum for a bit, and later in the day Mike participated in the Act Now Roundtables while Adam was escaping from Alcatraz.

A day full of excellent classes Thursday preceded by a fun thought provoking keynote address Take Action Become the Change! presented by Greg Bennick.  Thursdays evening’s Gala presented my most memorable moment. As a father I could not have been prouder of Adam as he was brought up on stage with 17 of his classmates and recognized as the very first graduating class of SMPS University. 

We woke up Friday to Water the Bamboo, another superb keynote address presented by Greg Bell. It brings new meaning to patience is a virtue. What a thoroughly enjoyable way to start the day. Of course Friday presented more learning opportunities and the SMPS National Business Meeting. Congratulations to all whose terms on the Board have ended, and those that are just beginning their journey.  We wrapped up with the block party hosted by the San.Francisco Chapter Friday evening. 

I will continue to encourage business owners to set aside time to attend Build Business. It absolutely is time well spent. I view it as an investment in my company, certainly on par with any technical training I may undertake.  I believe it is also an investment in my marketing and business development staff  as this gives me the opportunity observe, support and gain a greater appreciation for all the hard work they do for Tec. I’m looking forward to Build Business 2013 in sunny Orlando, Florida next July. (What were they thinking?)


Take Action!

I just returned from the SMPS national conference, Build Business 2012, in San Francisco. The conference theme was Take Action!

There were many great sessions to choose from it was difficult to pick. I stayed in a new track called Take Action Live! Loosely modeled after TED Talks, this series consisted of panels focused on the specific topics of: Respect, Promote, Differentiate, Create, Position, and Innovate. What I really liked about these sessions was hearing the different perspectives of the panelists, as well as the dynamic nature of the format. The time goes really fast when you have multiple mini-presentations.

Northeast Ohio Chapter members at Build Business 2012Aside from the educational breakout sessions, I feel the greatest benefit from Build Business is connecting with others in the industry. I have met so many people who are willing to provide guidance, advice and support for questions not only in marketing, but also business in general.

It’s not only time to Take Action! at the office, and now that my term as SMPS Chapter President is winding down (Frank, it’s been a please serving under you in the 7th Domain), it’s time to Take Action! in SMPS. As I continue to help move our chapter forward, I plan to continue my steps toward national involvement.

How are you going to Take Action!?

IES Progress Report Committee


I have been fortunate enough to serve as a member on the IES Progress Report Committee for the past eight years. Our mission is to, “keep in touch with developments in the art and science of lighting throughout the world, and prepare a yearly review of achievements for the Illuminating Engineering Society”.  

It’s an extremely talented group of about 30 dedicated individuals from across the lighting industry. Our members are Manufacturers (lamps, lighting controls, luminaires), Educators, Utility Folks, and Lighting Designers.  I feel privileged to be part of the committee with such an extensive knowledge base, we have members who have served on this sole committee for over 30 years.  It is our responsibility each year, to review submitted lighting products, lighting publications and research and then determine what is considered progress in the industry that is noteworthy and should be presented to the Society at the national conference and then published in our monthly trade journal.

Last year we received 261 submissions, 156 were accepted.  Our review period for submissions is an intense 2-1/2 days.  It seems like a short time for a review of so many items, but it certainly feels like a really long day when you have been trapped in a room for 10 hours straight looking at lights. But my colleagues make it all worthwhile. To hear fair and direct commentary on a products merits (or failings) from such a group of experts in invaluable. 

sea monkey bulb-pic.jpg

Along with their wisdom comes a very dry sense of humor that helps make the day move forward.  And I confess, I have been known to slip in “made-up and fake products”.  In 2009, my “fake” product was accepted into the report and read aloud at the conference.  It was for the application of a new NET ZERO lighting control system.  All power in the building was organic and generated by the “gregarious activity of Sea Monkeys”.

It was claimed, they could generate up to 1.21 gigawatts of electricity daily.  The only other known organic source of that magnitude is a bolt of lightning.  The control system transferred the power through-out the building thru the use of a Flux Capacitor.


The fake submission was accepted by 100% of the members and kept us all in good spirits. And since submissions are currently open, I guess I need to start thinking of a small distraction that can help us through the next arduous review session…

We are currently accepting submissions for the 2012 report.  You can check out the 2011 report on the IES website     Submissions close on August 17th.  

Chicago My Kind of Town and SMPS Build Business 2011 My Kind of Place

I recently returned from my first SMPS National Conference in Chicago. My one word description WOW!!

As a fist time attendee I came away suitably impressed.  Past years I have told both Adam Kilbourne and Mike Totsch I really did not have the time to spend two or three days at this type of conference, after all we have two people attending already. Boy was I wrong. This absolutely was time well spent, each day was packed with opportunities to network with a variety of  professionals, attend and participate in very informative learning opportunities and perhaps most importantly have the opportunity to observe, support and gain a greater appreciation for all the hard work our marketing and business development staff does for Tec.

Proudly Tec was prominently represented at the beginning, middle and end of the conference.  Wednesday morning the conference kicked off with Adam and his two co-authors Holly Bolton and Dana Galvin presenting their White Paper, “The Client’s Use of Social Media and Social Networking” to a packed  house of fellow CPSM’s. 

Thursday evening at the Gala Reception Mike, last year’s Chapter President of the Year, had the pleasure of introducing Alison Carney of the Washington DC Chapter as this year’s Chapter President of the Year. It was a great speech by Mike and a tremendous honor for Alison. In true leadership fashion Alison humbly deferred much of the success for the growth of the Chapter to her Board and members.  Finally the very last session of the day Friday when many attendees had visions of the conference closing reception and the SMPS Chicago Social Event at the Merchandise Mart later in the evening, the BD Live session in the Michigan Room attracted 35 or 40 richly rewarded attendees. The client, Edward Gervain from Adventist Health System, was perfect and up to the task, the four BD professionals Kenda Salisbury, Barbara Stiles, Laurie Buckman, and Mike Totsch were superb. (Although in my obviously unbiased opinion Mike was superb-plus). This presentation was thought provoking, informative and hilariously funny, all-in-all 75 minutes well spent.

Not having the time to attend has become less of an issue. I may not be able to attend every year however I did leave Chicago looking forward to Build Business 2012 Take Action in San Francisco next July.

SMPS Build Business 2011 - The Bottom Line

Just returned from Chicago where the SMPS National Conference was held last week.  This year’s conference featured 5 client panels covering healthcare, higher education, federal government, international markets, and infrastructure.  Clients participating in these panels had more than $5 billion in new work to discuss!  Great keynote addresses by Scott McKain and Hilari Fordwich really provided food for thought.  Overall a great conference in a great city!  Tec was proud to support the conference.