2019 Awards Submissions Now Open!

Download entry form here


The 2019 Founders Awards


The SMPS SFBAC Founders’ Awards Program began in 2001 as a forum to recognize excellence in Marketing Communications in the built environment and to recognize an individual Marketer of the Year whose extraordinary expertise and achievements serve as a model for A/E/C marketing professionals. The Founders’ Awards Program is named to pay homage to a group of marketers who came together in the 1970s and called themselves BD Anonymous until the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of SMPS was incorporated in 1982.

Held every two years, this prestigious awards program culminates at a networking-filled gala with more than 100 people in downtown San Francisco. The 2019 Founders Awards will recognize individuals for their strategic excellence and the teams who create outstanding communication vehicles for architectural, engineering, design, and construction firms.

This is the only Bay Area awards program that highlights the critical role and immense value marketing professionals bring to the design and building industry. The award winners will be announced that evening.


All work completed in the past 3 years is eligible. Two awards are possible for each communications category, Award of Excellence or Award of Honor. Only one person can receive the honor of winning the People Awards. The jury reserves to right not to give any awards in a category or to only give one award.

Categories and detailed instructions are listed in the Founders Awards Entry Form.

Original binder plus 4 black and white copies for each submission are due January 25, 2019. This includes entry form and payment.


The registration fee is $175 for the first submission and $125 for each additional submission. There is no fee for People Award nominations. No refunds will be given for submissions received after the deadline.

Payment can be made by check or credit card. Make sure you have registered and paid your submission online. Attach a copy of the receipt to the entry form.

AWARDS Ceremony

Award winners will be announced at the 2019 Founders Awards Gala, a formal presentation and dinner gala, to be held the evening of March 14, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.


January 25, 2019: Submission deadline.

March 7, 2019: Submittal boards are due, and will be displayed the evening of the event so that attendees can vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award.

March 14, 2019: Founders Awards Gala at Hyatt Regency San Francisco 

Reception: 6 pm

Dinner/Founders Awards Program: 7 pm

Interested in sponsoring the Founders Awards? Contact our Financial Development Director Melissa Moulton (mmoulton@integralgroup.com). Visit our Sponsorship Opportunities Page for more information. 

2017 AWARDS winners

Lifetime Achievement Award

Alethea O’Dell, Global Director of Marketing Communications for Northland Control Systems, Inc.

Volunteer of the Year

Bianca Flores, Marketing Specialist for Turner Construction Company

Best of Show

Enovity for Corporate Identity

People’s Choice

Charles M. Salter Associates for Holiday Piece Digital 

Advertising Program

An individual ad or advertising campaign placed in a business, trade, or general interest publication.

Award of Honor  – DES Architects + Engineers


A complete, originally printed or digital publication that addresses an issue of relevance to the A/E/C industry or features the work of a firm. The publication must have an unlimited shelf life and be professionally produced for mass distribution. A monograph is a single-authored, one-time publication on a specific, often limited subject

Award of Honor  – Studios Architecture

Direct Mail Program (Print or Digital)

A multi-phase promotional program that may include a combination of media sent at specific time periods and/or is targeted to a specific audience on technical or market-specific topics and projects. Sample media types may include electronic or print pamphlets, brochures, postcards, announcements, or branded promotional items.

Direct-Mail Program Print:
Award of Excellence – BKF Engineers
Award of Honor – BKF Engineers

Direct-Mail Program Digital:
Award of Honor – Degenkolb Engineers

Corporate Identity

A consistent graphic image applied to a firm’s print and collateral materials used to promote firm branding in the marketplace.

Award of Excellence – Enovity
Award of Honor – HLB Lighting Design

Holiday Piece (Print or Digital)

A piece such as a card, holiday party invitation, client appreciation gift, calendar etc. produced for one-time use during a specific holiday.

Holiday Piece Print:
Award of Excellence – Skyline Construction
Award of Honor – Degenkolb Engineers

Holiday Piece Digital:
Award of Excellence – Charles M. Salter Associates
Award of Honor – HLB Lighting Design

Inbound Digital Marketing Program

A series of whitepapers, emails, blog posts, webinars, web pages, or other digital content that includes prospect activity tracking for the purpose of converting leads to sales.

Award of Excellence – Skyline Construction

Internal Communications

Any print or digital communications vehicle intended for an employee audience, including but not limited to a recognition program, awards program, or communications associated with mergers, acquisitions, or new business-line initiatives. Employee newsletters should be entered in the Newsletter–Internal category.

Award of Excellence – SmithGroup JJR
Award of Honor – Degenkolb Engineers

Media Relations Campaign

A strategic communications effort that uses media relations tactics and outreach—including but not limited to media releases, feature articles, backgrounders, opinion/editorial (op-ed) pieces, editorial meetings—to achieve a specific marketing, business development, or corporate image goal. This category focuses solely on outreach and success with the media and may include print and/or digital components.

Award of Excellence – DES Architects + Engineers
Award of Honor – Blattel Communications

Mobile App

An application created for your firm specifically for viewing on a mobile device. This does not include a responsive corporate website or intranet.

Award of Honor – TEECOM


Ongoing external or internal publication, in a printed or digital format, that provides firm or field related news and/or information for a targeted audience at specific time periods.

Award of Excellence – Skyline Construction
Award of Honor – Swinerton Builders

Recruitment Campaign

A program designed to recruit potential and retain current employees through print and/or electronic communications, including but not limited to ads, brochures, form letters, pamphlets, postcards, announcements, and email promotions.

Award of Honor – Gordon Prill

Special Event

A print or electronic piece produced for one-time use to promote a special event such as an anniversary, new name, office opening, dedication, party, or ground breaking.

Award of Excellence – TEECOM
Award of Honor – SmithGroupJJR

Specific Project Marketing (Print Or Digital)

An item or series of items developed in support of winning one specific project. Materials may include qualification packages, proposals, PowerPoint presentations, leave-behinds, blog, or any print or digital piece that contributed to the total effort to win a specific project.

Award of Excellence – SmithGroupJJR

Social Media

Any marketing effort that uses online social media tools to provide a platform for thought leadership, collaboration, and user interaction. Can be one platform or a combination of platforms.

Award of Honor – Swinerton Builders

Video (Internal or External)

External: A video created for external communication purposes.

Award of Honor – Charles M. Salter Associates

Internal: A video created for internal communication purposes.

Website (Internal or External)

External: An external, public website that either promotes your firm or has been launched by your firm for a specific project.

Award of Excellence – Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Award of Honor – Enovity

Internal: Internal websites or intranets that have been launched for the purposes your firm’s internal communications 

Award of Honor – Skyline Construction

Read more about the winning entries in our Founders Awards Shortlist issue.