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    Build Business 2020 Recap

    Responding to an unimaginable turn of events, Build Business 2020 – for which I received the SMPS-St. Louis scholarship – rebranded as “Pivot & Focus” and moved to a virtual platform.

    While I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to meet and network with other professional services marketers face-to-face, the online option provided me the opportunity to attend many more sessions than would have been possible otherwise!

    Pivot & Focus? That’s been my mantra for the year. Learning to work remotely, understanding online meeting platform options, discerning the best way to communicate with my coworkers and colleagues – all have required a change of thought processes and changes to the way I do things. The different methods of communication caused me to reflect on the way I present my words, because pixel words don’t convey inflection and tone the way spoken words do.

    Based on a few misinterpreted Teams chats, I realized I needed to regroup. So the first presentation I chose to watch was “Am I a Jerk at Work?:  Breaking Through Unconscious Bias.” I was delighted to see that this presentation focused not only on ways to understand how my written (or spoken) words would come across, but especially on Unconscious Bias. My employer has an established Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice program, and seeing the examples of unconscious bias that Ms. Bernal presented made it clear that everyone has biases, and that clear, thoughtful communication can be the foundation for positive change.

    My role at KPFF has changed dramatically this year, with my taking on some other administrative tasks, which led me to presentations on Crisis Communications, Change Management, and Recruitment. I was impressed with the quality and content, and these presentations’ applicability to my ever-evolving role.

    I am thankful to SMPS-St. Louis for the opportunity to “attend” Build Business this year and am still taking advantage of the “on-demand” presentations, with the intention of attending all of them!

    Stefanie Barnes
    Marketing Manager
    KPFF Consulting Engineers

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