BLF Presents: How to Be a Strong Leader Now and Always

Join SMPS SFBAC seasoned members from the Business Leaders Forum (BLF) weigh in on what they’ve learned throughout their careers to be successful leaders. Moderated by SMPS SFBAC Chapter President, Susie Smith, our panelists will discuss issues ranging from leadership lessons learned in a virtual world to what every marketer should know about running a firm. The interactive Q&A program will be followed by 10-minute break out room discussions with the BLF panelists.


The BLF is geared for professionals who have an active role in or supporting their firm’s leadership team. Participants possess at least 10 or more years of experience in the A/E/C industry or similar industry, hold a Business Development or Marketing Director or Manager position at their firm, and manage business development and/or marketing budgets, systems, firm procedures/processes, and operations, as well as manage and direct staff and internal resources. Want to learn more? Check out our Shortlist Feature by Outreach & Development Co-Director Julia Oseland here.

All ticket sales are final. Tickets are transferable


June 24, 2020


9:00 am - 10:15 am


$0 - $10


Community Calendar


Online Event


  • Cindy Bustamante, Assoc. AIA
    Cindy Bustamante, Assoc. AIA
    Associate, LPAS Architecture + Design

    Cindy Bustamante has over 30 years of experience in the AEC industry. She has a Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley and worked for 10 years in the traditional architectural career path where she started to develop a passion for marketing and business development. She attributes her success Business Development career to her: 1. Technical training as an architect; 2. Experience working as BD/Marketing consultant with a variety of AEC firms; 3. Experience as an organizer and committee member for several professional organizations; 4. Experience as a Project Manager for the US NAVY (Engineering Command) where her role was to hire architects and manage projects throughout the Western States. Cindy considers her experience working as the “client” was the best training for Business Development. She has been the Business Development Director for major architectural firms and is now an Associate and Business Development Director with LPAS Architecture + Design.

  • Claire O’Connor
    Claire O’Connor
    Vice President, OCMI

    Claire O’Connor began her career as a Marketing Coordinator for OCMI in 2005 and worked her way up to her most current role as Vice President. As a Political Science graduate from UCSD, she didn’t have any formal marketing/business development training, so she immediately joined SMPS her first day on the job and shadowed some of the best in the industry as her mentors. Claire also committed to learning what she was marketing by doing on the job training as a construction manager, estimator, and project engineer. She was the first female Regional Manager at OCMI and has served as a board member for SMPS and the Construction Management Association of America. When not working, you will find Claire outdoors with her dog or cycling all over the Bay Area.

  • Diane L. McCormick
    Diane L. McCormick
    Director of Business Development, Anderson Brulé Architects

    With over 35 years in the AEC industry, Diane’s career has crossed large and small firms, and the east coast, Midwest and Silicon Valley. As Director of Business Development for Anderson Brulé Architects, a mid-size architecture and planning firm, Diane is responsible for the firm’s marketing, PR and business development activities. Diane started in the industry as a Marketing Coordinator for a 10-person architectural firm in suburban Chicago and joined the SMPS Chicago chapter in 1985. After several years with SOM Chicago as part of the first wave of marketing professionals hired by the firm, Diane shifted direction and joined Schal Bovis, one of the nation’s largest CM firms. A business transfer relocated her family to Atlanta, Georgia where she continued her career in construction and architecture. The California native, returned in 2001 and is working in San Jose. Diane holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and is a resident of Santa Cruz County.

  • Jamie Bonner
    Jamie Bonner
    Associate Vice President | Sr. Marketing Manager, Salas O’Brien

    Born in Los Angeles California, Jamie graduated with a BS in Advertising from San Jose State University, after graduation fell in love with the SF Bay Area and has made it home. During her schooling found herself working in for Lexa Software a spinoff of Agilent technologies after the .com bust she fell into the A/E/C industry by way of the Society of Woman Engineers where she was an active volunteer. During her 22-year professional career, Jamie set her passion and energy on marketing and business development for the A/E/C industry focusing on complete marketing, branding, and business development Her current firm has been small organic growth to larger merger and acquisition growth over the last 13 years. The breadth of her experience is in marketing and communications, marketing strategies, branding, corporate style development, RFP/Q, SOQ, and proposal development, merger, and growth planning. She is a dynamic and caring leader who makes long-lasting relationships; mother of one beautify strong-willed 6-year old and has been married to husband Christian for 13 years.



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