Lessons in Leadership Mentorship Program

The SMPS/LA mentorship program offers SMPS members a structured program in which they are given support and guidance for achieving their professional aspirations and career goals. The “Lessons in Leadership” program focuses on the skills, behaviors and traits of successful leaders, helping participants to understand how to build and strengthen success habits that will improve their value as a professional.


1. Pool of Mentors
Participants will have access to a pool of mentors, all of whom have greater than ten years of experience and serve in leadership positions within their firm.

2. StrenghtFinder 2.0
Participants will be provided an access code to take this online assessment and learn how to capitalize on their strengths to maximize their potential.

3. Shadow a Professional
Participants will have the opportunity to spend time on the job with a professional in a different discipline or job function in order to broaden their understanding and working knowledge of the A/E/C business.

4. Intentional Networking
Participants will be required to attend at least two networking events where they can rehearse networking etiquette in real-time scenarios based upon a pre-established game plan.

5. Personal Project
Participants will fulfill a personal project that helps them expand and grow as a leader. Each project is unique to the protégé with a focus on specific skills and traits, and doing something outside of the norm. Projects might encompass: formal presentations, writing news articles for SMPS and/or industry publications; hosting a webinar, blog site or workshop; workplace initiatives; or spearheading a SMPS program.

6. Give Back to the Community Day
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in an event that has a positive impact in the Los Angeles community.

The program is ten months in duration and consists of 90-minute monthly meetings. Each meeting will be a combination of instruction and group interaction. There will be guest presenters to speak on a variety of topics, such as:
• Basic finance and business metrics
• Team building strategies
• Engaging in strategic planning
• Effective communication skills
• Presentation skills
• Business development best practices (qualifying prospects, capture planning, go/no-go decision making and client retention strategies)
• Lean principles in marketing
• Creating your personal brand
• Navigating diversity and differences
• Successful negotiations

Potential Guest Speakers include: Paula Stamp, Ph.D., PCL Construction; Danielle Grey, MBA, The Content Whisperer; Karen Compton, A3K Consulting; Cynthia Loy Darst, MCC, The Inside Team; Mimi Donaldson, PCC, Mimi Speaks; Priscilla Chavez, MCA, PCL Construction; Marion Thatch, FSMPS, Be Distinct; and others!


To qualify, you must be a current member of SMPS in good standing (any chapter) and be currently employed or actively seeking employment. While it does not matter if you’re a newbie or veteran, or what discipline, size or role you fill for your firm, we do request that you have at least one year of experience under your belt so that you can actively contribution to the classroom and community discussions.


It is expected that any individual who signs up for the program will actively participate and fulfill the minimum requirements. This includes attending the monthly meetings, attending networking events, and completing a personal project. Extra credit will be given to those who also participate in “Shadow a Professional” opportunities, as well as the Give Back to the Community day.



Monthly meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of the month (as a general rule) from 8:00 – 9:30 am. Programs are being hosted at AECOM in their downtown office.  Specific meeting details will be provided to registered participants.  Meeting dates are tentatively scheduled as follows:

Meeting #2 December 4, 2018 Meeting #7 May 7, 2019
Meeting #3 January 15, 2019 Meeting #8 June 4, 2019
Meeting #4 February 5, 2019 Meeting #9 July 9, 2019
Meeting #5 March 5, 2019 Meeting #10 Commencement August TBD
Meeting #6 April 2, 2019


To find out more about them click on their name.

Paul Turang, Paul Turang Photography | Years of Experience: 17

Patti Harburg-Petrich, S.E, LEED AP, Associate Principal, Buro Hapold | Years of Experience: 13

Mike Fedorchek, Vice President, Matt Construction | Years of Experience: 34

Andrea Walden, LEED GA, Director of Business Development – Southern CaliforniaVanir Construction Management | Years of Experience: 32

Juanita Martinez, CPSM, Business Development Coordinator, NCE | Engineering & Environmental | Years of experience: 17

Jennifer Vasquez, Director of Marketing/Corp. Comm., C.W. Driver | Years of experience: 16

Joe Deiuliis, DBIA, Senior Director of Business Development, Kajima Construction Services West | Years of Experience: 27

Dianne Lee, Associate Vice President, Western Region, AECOM | Years of experience: 12

Brandy Little, CPMS, CPCC, Founder, Performance Advisor, Lioness Coaching | Years of experience: 23


The cost to participate in the program is $100. You must pay your registration fee and complete the online application to enroll in the program.

The online application can be accessed here: https://goo.gl/forms/G4iTEhFBD2PUdphe2

The payment page can be accessed here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lessons-in-leadership-mentorship-program-tickets-52414333683

Reminder: the program is a members-only benefit. You will be asked to provide your membership number as part of the application process.


All questions can be directed to:

Brandy Little, CPSM, CPCC
Founder, Performace Advisor
Lioness Coaching
(818) 850-8055