Paula Ryan, FSMPS, CPSM

Director of Marketing

Jezerinac Geers & Associates


Passionate about her career in the A/E/C industry, Paula Ryan, FSMPS, CPSM, enjoys helping others find success. She has over 30 years of experience in professional services marketing and is the Director of Marketing for Jezerinac Geers & Associates, Inc., a structural engineering firm in Columbus, Ohio.

Paula has worked for national, regional, and local firms, where she was often the firm’s first marketing director blazing the trail to develop marketing and business development strategy. She is the 2015-2016 President of the Society for Marketing Professional Services.

Session Title

The Business Development Secret Sauce.

In 2015, the Society for Marketing Professional Services and SMPS Foundation embarked on a major joint research initiative to look into how A/E/C firms are handling business development. Working with several partner organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, Associated General Contractors, and the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations, researchers surveyed more than 1300 business developers, seller‐doers, principals, and marketing directors to conduct a deep dive into the art and science of business development. Who is responsible for business development?

How many firms are using seller‐doers verses dedicated business developers?

How do these positions coexist in firms that have both? What are the primary responsibilities? What skills are lacking?

In addition to the extensive quantitative research, the project entailed qualitative research with business developers and seller‐doers as well, adding another layer of depth and insight while complementing the SMPS

Foundation’s previous research, which was compiled in the landmark book A/E/C Business Development – The Decade Ahead.

The result is the most comprehensive look at design and construction BD ever conducted, focusing on the “who” and painting a very interesting picture of both the present and future of business development. Roles are changing, and will continue to change as firms evolve and become more sophisticated. So what’s the ideal make‐up of BD in your firm? Attend this session, where the secret sauce will be revealed!