The Pinnacle Experience

Senior marketing and business development leaders are invited to participate in The Pinnacle Experience, an annual symposium designed to challenge the status quo, brainstorm fresh ideas and network with thought leaders in and outside of the industries. 

Date: November 6-8, 2024
Location: Four Seasons Atlanta
75 14th St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Event pass types:

  • Member: $1,149
  • Non-member: $1,249
  • Fellows: $1,049
  • Certified Minority Business: $1,049

To access the group rate please use the SMPS Discount code: 241105SMP

The Pinnacle Experience is for professionals with significant experience (10-15+ years), who serve as the “first chair” for leading their firm’s marketing and business development strategies. This may include CEOs, CMOs, directors, principals, and vice presidents.

Attendance is limited to approximately 100 qualified professionals to guarantee an impactful learning and networking experience.


All education sessions at The Pinnacle Experience are CEU-eligible and attendees may earn up to 8.75 CEUs for attending all education sessions.

Wednesday, November 6
3:00-6:00 PM | Registration open for attendees
5:30-6:30 PM | Opening Programming
6:30-7:30 PM | Welcome Event

Thursday, November 7
7:30-8:30 AM | Breakfast & Networking
8:30 AM- 12:00 PM | Educational Programming
12:00-1:00 PM | Lunch & Networking
1:00-4:00 PM | Educational Programming
4:00-4:30 PM | Discussion & Wrap up
4:30-5:30 PM | The Pinnacle Power Hour & Networking

Friday, November 8
7:30-8:30 AM | Breakfast & Networking
8:30-9:30 AM | Day-One Recap/Day Two Kick Off
9:30-11:30 AM | Educational Programming
11:30AM-12:30 PM | Lunch
12:30-1:45 PM | Educational Programming/Closing Keynote
1:45-2:00 PM | Final Remarks: Wrap-Up & Dismissal

Attending The Pinnacle Experience

Check out all the firms represented at The Pinnacle Experience in 2023.

Last year’s gallery of The Pinnacle Experience is available to view.

Take a look at the sessions and recap from the 2022
Pinnacle Experience in Las Vegas, NV.

The Pinnacle Experience Advisory Committee


Stacy Stout, FSMPS, CPSM


Damion Morris, CPSM
Cricket Robertson, FSMPS, CPSM
Jennifer Van Vleet, CPSM

HQ Staff Leads:

Nandi Rice, MA
Danielle Gray, MBA

Attendee Experiences

SMPS Thanks our 2024 Pinnacle Experience Sponsors




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November 8 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm | THE PINNACLE POWER HOUR

Take time to re-charge and network before you break for dinner on your own. Beverages and light hor devours will be served. This reception will take place in the Mill City Foyer.

November 8 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm | GROUP PROJECT WORK

Following dinner, feel free to use the co-working space to work on your group projects. Coffee and beverages will be provided.

November 9 | 12:30pm | Redesigning the Marketing Blueprint: Uncommon Strategies for Unparalleled Success

In the inventive world of architecture, engineering, and construction, marketing leaders are tasked with finding the perfect blueprint for their strategies and planning. But the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and there shouldn’t be.

With a track record of accelerating marketing teams at high-growth companies toward IPOs and successful exits, Derek Ries, VP Marketing, Sales Development and Partnerships at OpenAsset, learned how to move past common and outdated approaches by necessity to find his own blueprint for successful marketing—and he wants to show that you can too.

In “Redesigning the Marketing Blueprint: Uncommon Strategies for Unparalleled Success,” Derek will share how to find and hone your brand’s individuality, rethink your approach to leveraging marketing technologies, and bring together a team of passionate high-performers to challenge marketing norms and generate unprecedented results, fast. By making elements of this blueprint your own, you’ll get a seat at the table by demonstrating the impacts of your marketing and the “why it matters.”

November 7 | 5:30pm | CMO TO CEO PANEL DISCUSSION

Amy Jones is President/CEO of O’Connell Robertson, a mission-driven architecture/engineering/interior design firm based in Austin and providing design solutions that positively impact communities throughout Texas. Amy became the Firm’s fourth president, and the first woman to serve in that role in the Firm’s 70+ year history, in 2016. She has been with O’Connell Robertson for 25 years and has been a Principal and Shareholder since 2004.

As President, Amy leads corporate strategy & vision, guides talent and people issues, and manages finance and operational activities with the Firm’s Senior Leadership Team. Throughout her career at O’Connell Robertson, she has been involved in and led the Firm’s marketing and business development team and served in a project executive role. Amy’s focus on client relations, business development and community engagement has provided a strong foundation for the Firm’s growth over the last decade.

Throughout her career, Amy has been engaged in regional organizations and issues supporting youth and education, providing leadership to several local boards. She is currently a member of the Austin Chamber’s Education and Talent Council; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas Advisory Council (also past Board Chair); and a member and past Education Chair of the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO). In 2022 she co-chaired the PAC fundraising committee for the successful $2 billion Austin ISD bond election.

Amy is a past board member for the Association for Learning Environments Southern Region and Austin Chapter and has been active in other community and professional organizations, including serving as past President of the Austin Chapter of the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), a Leadership Austin alumni, and former Board Member and Chair for the Austin Ed Fund.

A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Amy has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and completed the UT Austin Continuing Education Marketing Certificate Program. She and her husband Ken have two successful sons, Matt and Josh, who are each following their passion into their careers as collegiate and high school basketball coaches.

November 7 | 5:30pm | CMO TO CEO PANEL DISCUSSION

Matt HuelskampPresident at Hyder Construction, has been in the construction industry for 19 years and with Hyder for the last 15. He is a two-time University of Denver graduate with an undergraduate degree specializing in Real Estate and Construction Management as well as an Executive MBA. He’s actively involved in several professional organizations within the Denver business community including serving as a board member on the Associated General Contractors of Colorado as well as the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation where he sits on the Board of Governors.

November 7 | 5:30pm | CMO TO CEO PANEL DISCUSSION


Grenee Martacho, CPSM, CEO of Concord General Contracting, has made it her mission to shatter the norms in commercial construction while empowering the men and women around her to do the same. In 2020, she successfully led the firm in becoming an Employee-Owned company and grew the firm to a $130 million general contractor, growing her team from 30 people to over 65 employee owners in three years. Under Grenee’s leadership, Concord has been recognized as a “Best of Arizona Business” General Contractor for the past three-years.

November 7 | 6:30pm - 7:30pm | WELCOME EVENT: THE PINNACLE PURPLE PARTY

Let’s kick off our time in Minneapolis, by paying homage to the official color of the Vikings football team and the legendary artist, Prince…PURPLE. Come decked out in your best purple attire, and or accessories. 

Sponsored by:


Adam Markel‘s thought-provoking and transformational speeches on how to cultivate a Change Proof culture by building resilience inspire business leaders and individuals around the world.

November 8 | 1:00pm | CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

Once called “crazy or genius” by Forbes Magazine, Matthew Manos is the Founder and Managing Director of verynice, a design strategy practice that gives half of its services away for free to non-profit organizations. With a portfolio of work that has reached millions of people across the globe, verynice’s client experience spans 1,000+ brands including the American Heart Association, Apple, the City of Los Angeles, Disney Imagineering, Google, REI, and the United Nations. One of the first examples of social entrepreneurship in the design services industry, verynice launched with a mission to alleviate expenses for nonprofit organizations while increasing access to design for all. Since its founding in 2008, the company has been able to displace nearly $50,000,000 USD in professional services through its groundbreaking pro-bono and open-access initiatives.

November 8 | 9:00am | IDEAS ARE THE CURRENCY OF THE 21st CENTURY

This workshop is completely experiential and will give attendees one actionable and brilliant idea they can take with them. It will also be fun, and it will bring enthusiasm. Claudia Azula believes successful organizations depend on their people’s great ideas and implementation. However, she recognizes that brilliant ideas don’t just appear out of thin air. They need consistent effort, a trustworthy system, and, most importantly, dedicated periods of time that promote a relaxed and playful environment. Companies like Google use playfulness to build trust, encourage gentle physical activity, and foster open brainstorming. Generating great ideas requires both left-brain logic and right-brain creativity. Our culture tends to overemphasize analytical thinking, leading to mental fatigue while ignoring imagination and creativity, both of which are responsible for encircling the work of a healthy and profitable company.

November 7 | 5:30pm | CMO TO CEO PANEL DISCUSSION

Join us as we open The Pinnacle Experience programming with an engaging conversation with current CEOs who were in Marketing leadership positions (CMOs etc.) their journey, lessons learned and advice for how to handle and manage the shift.