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Guru Guidance

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

Guru Guidance: Career Advancement Conversations – Where Do I Go from Here?

Zoom virtual meeting. Link to be sent prior to event!


9:00 am - 10:00 am

Signature Series

Domain 6: Management

Career Advancement

Where do I go from here? It’s a question many marketers and business developers find themselves asking, especially in these difficult times. Most of us will make several career decisions in our lives, but how do we know if it’s the right decision for us? Join four senior-level professionals as they describe their career paths and how they’ve achieved staying power in the A/E/C industry. Come with your burning questions, engage and network with other professionals, and learn how you can shape your career into something that is successful and satisfying.

What You'll Learn

Discussions with the experts may tackle some of the more elusive ideas including:

  1. How did you advocate for your own career progression?
  2. How did you take risks, and did they pay off?
  3. What did the decision-making process look like?
  4. What sacrifices were made in your career progression?
  5. How did professional development enhance your advancement?
  6. How do you sustain a long-term career in AEC marketing?
What It Costs
  • Member: $20
  • Board Member: $10
  • Non-Member: $30
  • Guru Guidance Participant: $0
Additional Details
  • Agenda / timeframe:
    9:00AM - 9:10AM: Introduction of guest experts
    9:10AM - 9:50AM: Moderated, open conversation
    9:50AM - 10:00AM: Closing statements and advice
  • Questions? Contact Abby Harrington, Career Advancement Director,, 571-699-2102

Event Speakers

Falynn Schmidt LEED AP, Assoc. AIA

Principal, Director of Business Development


Trained as an architect, Falynn has been supporting architecture teams’ marketing and business development efforts for 15 years. For the past six years, she has specialized in working with the arts, culture, and education communities to pair the best clients with the best design teams. She currently supports OTJ Architects Arts, Culture, and Education studio and splits her time between DC and Atlanta. In her free time, she goes for long rides on her road bike, and she has ridden in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Melanie Vracas



Melanie Vracas is an accomplished marketing professional with expertise in crafting successful messaging for firms of various sizes and profiles. She can leverage and integrate initiatives to build awareness and profitable business growth. Melanie began her career working in political advertising, then moved into strategy and business development for professional services firms throughout the Mid-Atlantic area. With more than 22 years of AEC expertise, Melanie works with firms to understand their selling proposition. She then creates a strong strategic plan on which they can grow, either as a whole or in a specific sector. She provides clients with practical knowledge and ideas for best positioning their firms in the marketplace.

Julie Huval, CPSM

Head of Marketing


Julie Huval, CPSM is the Head of Marketing at Beck Technology. She leads a team of marketers, helps drive demand for the company’s preconstruction technology offerings, and is part of the company’s leadership team. Julie is a contributing author to a number of industry publications and is a frequent public speaker on marketing, business, and technology. She earned an MBA from The University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and environmental studies from Baylor University.

Tim Klabunde, FSMPS

Director of Marketing and Principal


Tim is Principal of Timmons Group, an ENR Top 200 design firm and a Fellow of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) in addition to being a Fellow of Johns Hopkins University Cary Business School. An avid writer and speaker, Tim is an Amazon Best Selling author and has been published and quoted in numerous publications including the Washington Business Journal, Engineering News Record, CE News, Business Owner Magazine, and Marketer. In his role as Director of Marketing at Timmons Group, the firm has more than tripled in sized in the past several years, landing the firm on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies five times in a row.