Meeting/Event Information

How to Prepare Successful Award Entries Roundtable Discussion

November 01, 2017
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
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International Market Square
275 Market Street, Suite 185
Minneapolis, MN 55405

It may take a lot of work to submit your firm's projects for awards, but your efforts will pay off in many ways! Both award nominees and winners enjoy a myriad of public relations opportunities.

Join us for an exciting series of roundtable discussions about some of the Twin Cities' most popular A/E/C awards programs. Our facilitators are leaders in their professional organizations and have broad award experience. They will share insights and encourage group discussions on participant's awards experiences. You will learn from both seasoned professionals and peers about the following programs:

  • SMPS – Marketing Communications Awards
  • American Council of Civil Engineering Companies (ACEC/MN) - Engineering Excellence Awards
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota – Multiple award categories 
  • Finance & Commerce - Top Projects
  • Minnesota Construction Association - Awards of Excellence

You will have the option to participate in three 20-minute discussions out of the five options. Please note there are more options available than there is time in the program. This was done intentionally to offer a variety of options.

**Lunch: 11:00 – 12:00
To accommodate the roundtable format, lunch and networking will be from 11:00 – 12:00.
At 12:00, participants will move to new tables to engage in the discussions.

ROUNDTABLE 1: SMPS Marketing Communication Awards (MCA)

Gary Raymond, Marketing Manager/Associate

Gary has submitted two MCA award-winning entries. He is an innovative and award-winning graphic designer with expertise in illustrating information. Gary is a take-charge administrator who ensures ESG’s proposals, marketing and communications materials, and graphic standards accurately convey the firm’s expertise. Keenly attuned to the power of the visual in contemporary culture, Gary creatively positions ESG’s work, elevating the firm’s profile among competitors.

ROUNDTABLE 2: ACEC/MN Excellence in Engineering Awards


Kristine Cassidy, Assistant Executive Director
American Council of Civil Engineering Companies of MN (ACEC/MN)

Kristine has managed all aspects of ACEC/MN’s Engineering Excellence Awards program for the last 3 years. The annual process begins with her “Call for Entries” and ends with the announcement of the winners at the annual awards banquet. Kristine frequently engages with industry marketing personnel through the awards process and her leadership of ACEC/MN’s Public Relations Committee. She will share the elements of a winning entry and talk about how the judging process works.

Elaine Samolytz, Senior Marketing Coordinator
Clark Engineering

Elaine has helped write several ACEC/MN Grand Award winning submittals and other competition entries over the last 15 years. She has also been a member of ACEC/MN’s awards committee since 2010 and has first-hand knowledge of what the judges focus when scoring award entries. If you’ve attended the ACEC/MN awards banquet over the past six years, you’ve heard Elaine reading the project descriptions during the presentation of awards.

ROUNDTABLE 3: AIA MN Design Awards

Ligeia Cholensky, Associate/Graphics Director

Ligeia is a dedicated member of AIA Minnesota’s Committee on Design and she received a Presidential Citation for her work on that committee in 2014. As a trained architect and MSR’s Graphic Director, Ligeia moves seamlessly between a myriad of design programs as she assists architects with drawings, presentations, and awards submissions. Ligeia is MSR’s go-to designer and she has overseen multiple winning AIA submissions.

ROUNDTABLE 4: Finance and Commerce Top Projects

Bill Gaier, President & Publisher
Finance & Commerce

Bill is involved in the Top Project awards program on many levels. He works with the editorial and event teams to choose the judges, participates on the selection committee, and oversees the promotion of the Top Projects Honorees. He will share insight into how the level of difficulty, creativity, teamwork and/or sustainability factor into the scoring criteria. Your project isn’t required to check all the boxes but it needs to stand out!

ROUNDTABLE 5: Minnesota Construction Association - Awards of Excellence

Briena Kohout, Marketing & Recruiting Manager
Atomic Recycling

Briena has been a member of the Minnesota Construction Association since 2011. She has been on the Board of Directors since 2015 and joined the Awards Committee as the Co-Chair in 2016. She joined the Atomic Recycling, Kellington Construction, and Maverick Cutting and Breaking team in 2010 as the Marketing Coordinator and gained experience in the bidding process from start to finish. She is now the Marketing and Recruiting Manager and oversees all the hiring and marketing needs. 

Who Should Attend:
Firm Principals
Marketing Director
Marketing Manager
Marketing Staff
Business Development Director
Business Development Staff
Communications Coordinator

Learning Objectives:

  1. Critical elements of a winning award entry 
  2. How awards can boost your firm’s visibility in the marketplace 
  3. Creating client loyalty through awards

SMPS Domains of Practice (for CPSM)
2 - Marketing Plan
5 - Promotional Activity


$40.00 Member Registration
$55.00 after 5:00 pm October 25

$60.00 Non-Member Registration
$75.00 after 05:00 pm October 25