Chapter Leadership Symposium

CLS 2025

For more than 20 years, SMPS HQ has hosted an annual symposium for incoming chapter presidents. This premier program focuses on developing the leadership skills of chapter leaders and ensuring an awareness of the services and programs available to all SMPS chapters by SMPS HQ.

Please stay tuned for updates regarding the 2025 Chapter Leadership Symposium.

2024 Schedule At A Glance

CLS 2024 Committee


Keelin Cox, CPSM, ENV SP
Adiuvo Marketing


Valerie Puchades, CPSM Marketing Specialist CVG

Dr. Paula Stamp, MBA, FSMPS, CPSM
Vice President, Economic Development


Tina Myers, CAE
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Devin Stubbs
Manager, Digital Marketing

Marci thompson headshot

Marci D. Thompson, DES
Interim Chief Executive Officer/CSO

Kai Wright
Associate Director, Volunteer Relations

“Attending CLS 2022 was one of the best experiences in my professional career to date. Representing a newer chapter, I wanted to absorb as much as possible to be a resource when I returned home for the rest of our board and membership. In a short time frame, I learned many valuable resources from experts in their fields and met amazing future chapter leaders from across the country to make an immediate network of fellow presidents-elect! My chapter and my firm will benefit for years to come because of my opportunity to attend CLS as a result of the diverse information shared. I can’t thank the SMPS HQ team and volunteers enough for providing this experience and hope all incoming presidents can have the same experience as I did!” –Duncan Robertson, SMPS Idaho president-elect, Business Development & Marketing Manager, Tamarack Grove

“I left Chapter Leadership Symposium (CLS) energized and confident that the SMPS Board of Directors, SMPS Headquarters Staff, past presidents, and other volunteers are committed to and rooting for my Chapter’s success. I met other presidents-elect and heard from several experts that I can now call on for support and guidance. I am excited to begin my board year and only wish I could attend CLS every year!” — Erika Booker, SMPS Central Florida president-elect, Marketing and Communications Director, Barge Design Solutions, Inc.

Questions? Contact Kai Wright, SMPS HQ Associate Director, Volunteer Relations at

SMPS Thanks our Chapter Leadership Symposium Premier Partner


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Here’s your opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most influential leaders of SMPS.

Join the 2023-24 Society Board of Directors in an interactive panel discussion as they share candid insights for leadership development and how to grow as a leader within your own organization, industry, and community.Topics will include: 

  • The pipeline of leadership 
  • Creating an inclusive environment 
  • Marketing the Society and your chapter 
  • Industry collaborations 


Keelin Cox, CPSM, ENV SP

Valeria Puchades, CPSM

Join us for an interactive session designed to align chapter and HQ strategic planning and daily execution within your chapter. In this session, we will explore practical strategies and techniques to align your chapter’s daily activities with overarching strategic objectives, ensuring that every action contributes meaningfully to SMPS’s success.


This session will discuss that the importance of equity and inclusion efforts is more important than ever for any organization. Mindy will discuss the benefits of modern, inclusive leadership, how to build a more diverse and dynamic network, and how to foster an environment where people thrive, and their talents are realized.

About Mindy Gulati
Mindy Gulati is founder and CEO of Fundamental Advisory, a consulting firm focused on advising businesses, law firms, state and local governments, and nonprofits, on issues related to Culture, Leadership, and Strategy.  Using her expertise and personal approach, she designs and executes strategic plans, drafts policies and procedures, serves as a close advisor to executives and their teams and creates custom workshops for a wide range of organizations around the country. Her focus is building thriving and innovative cultures, strategy for equity and inclusion, antiracism, bias awareness, providing foundational leadership guidance and support, executive coaching, educating on the ethical implications of bias, as well as guiding organizations on legal issues such as sexual harassment and discrimination. 

Mindy explains that efforts around culture and leadership is “head work, heart work, and hard work,” and she pours into her clients to ensure progress and growth. Her thoughtful approach provides the foundational basis for cultural change through awareness, strategy, and understanding.  Her methodology of Awareness, Action and Accountability has been proven successful, sustainable, and effective across numerous industries for nearly a decade. 

She regularly tackles complex issues such as racial tensions at the workplace, implicit and explicit bias in decision making, creating culturally intelligent and responsive workplaces, and ethical leadership. Her legal background gives her a key advantage in understanding these issues with an eye towards risk mitigation and by crafting specific policies and procedures to guard against the harms that workplace inequities create. 


As individuals poised to step into SMPS chapter leadership, the ability to orchestrate a high-performing team is an important skill. Join us for an engaging talk that explores the parallels between leadership in teams and the art of musical harmony. Drawing inspiration from the world of music, this session will uncover valuable insights into fostering collaboration, communication, and synergy within your team.

In this dynamic presentation, we will delve into the key components of musical harmony – melody, rhythm, dynamics, and collaboration – and demonstrate how these elements mirror the essential aspects of effective team leadership. Attendees will gain a fresh perspective on leadership dynamics through the lens of music, discovering how to strike the right chord in their teams.

About Maisha Christian
Maisha Christian is the owner and head coach at Beauty & the Boss, a professional development and career coaching service for women in male-dominated industries. Since starting her coaching practice in 2018 she has helped hundreds of women/people through individualized coaching, public talks, workshops and digital content. Prior to starting Beauty & the Boss, Maisha was a marketing professional in the A/E/C (architecture, engineering and construction) industry, serving as Marketing Director and executive leadership team member. In addition to creating and facilitating mentorship programs for the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) and Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), she’s also taught at her alma mater Arizona State University, where she received a Bachelors in Marketing.

Maisha has a passion for people, a mind for business and a gift to teach and has leveraged those strengths into teaching, mentoring, coaching and public speaking opportunities. Clients and partners include City of Phoenix, City of Chandler, Arizona State University, Junior League of Arizona, Kimley Horn Consultant Engineers, Mortenson and McCarthy Builders


Successful chapter leaders must be able to lead and facilitate meetings and conversations that result in shared priorities, goals, and group synergy. Building this kind of broad consensus can be a difficult proposition as chapter volunteers and members often embody a plethora of competing opinions, perspectives, agendas, and personalities. Managing these critical conversations requires specific facilitation and communication skills and techniques.

In this session, professional facilitator, Mary Abbajay will share expert tools and techniques to help chapter leaders conduct critical conversations with confidence and competence.

This session explores how chapter leaders can:

  • Help resolve disputes and discuss “hot” topics
  • Create agendas that work
  • Manage disruptive behaviors
  • Remain calm and centered while leading meetings

About Mary Abbajay

Mary Abbajay, author of the award-winning, best-selling Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss is the president of Careerstone Group, LLC, a full service organizational and leadership development consultancy that delivers leading-edge talent and organizational development solutions to business and government.

As a sought-after author, speaker, consultant, and facilitator, Mary helps clients develop the strategies, skills and sensibilities needed for success in the21st century. Her expertise lies in helping clients create dynamic and productive workplaces that foster professional and personal excellence and growth.

Mary is a frequent expert contributor for television, radio, and print publications where she provides practical leadership and career advice. In addition to her role as a contributor, her work and advice have appeared in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Money Magazine, Monster, CNN, CNBC, LinkedIn Learning, and the BBC.

Mary is the cohost of the Cubicle Confidential podcast where she provides weekly career and leadership advice.

Contract Information
Careerstone Group, LLC
2304 Tunlaw Road, NW | Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-210-7806 | Email:


Craig S. Galati, FAIA, FSMPS, CPSM
Whether you lead a Fortune 500 company, a small non-profit, or a volunteer organization, compassionate leadership can help you grow the organization, get the most from your staff or volunteers, and create a culture that will allow those within the organization to rise to their potential. Bringing real examples from his 20+ years leading a highly successful and progressive architecture firm, Craig Galati will discuss the concepts of learning to lead with love. This interactive presentation will make the point of how important it is to leverage compassion to real tangible results.

Individuals will be able to assess their ability to lead with compassion, understand the game changing strategy in the workplace, and learn how to create an empowered culture that allows individual and group performance to soar.

About Craig S. Galati, FAIA, FSMPS, CPSM
Combining his passion for both marketing and architecture led Craig Galati to build a purpose-centered practice focused on creating life-giving solutions for the community. As a champion for marketing’s powerful role in practice, Craig has immersed himself in SMPS, assuming a number of leadership roles including President of the Las Vegas chapter and Society President, where he helped develop the powerful vision statement, Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership. Through community engagement and in his role of Principal at LGA Architecture, he consistently demonstrates the critical role marketing holds in a successful A/E/C firm while empowering professionals to become confident and strategic leaders. A Fellow recognized by both SMPS and the AIA, Craig is an accomplished speaker and author, widely sought after for topics ranging from leadership to innovative marketing practices.  He is the 2023 recipient of the SMPS Weld Coxe Marketing Achievement Award.