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Advancing Excellence

Advancing Excellence

By Emily Gallagher
Advancing Excellence is a podcast hosted by AOE – a leading consulting firm serving the AEC industry. AOE seeks to share tips, ideas, thought leadership and even tackle the tough topics in which the answers are unknown related to DEI, marketing, events, strategic planning, crisis communication, organizational management, leadership and more. For more information, please visit our website at
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PR Trends for 2022
Join Laura Merritt and Janice Clines from AOE in this podcast for an overview of PR Trends for 2022, including opportunities and challenges.
March 14, 2022
8 Steps for Hosting and Successful Webinar
Webinars provide a great format for showcasing your organization’s expertise as well as focusing on a specific topic or industry trend. In this short information video, Amy Numbers, AOE’s Vice President of Operations discusses 8 steps to hosting a successful webinar as well as highlights some 2022 webinar trends.
March 14, 2022
Top Marketing and Social Media Trends for 2022
Ashley Kizzire, AOE's VP of Marketing shares the Top 10 Business, Marketing and Social Media trends for 2022 and how to implement them into your marketing strategy.
January 29, 2022
Succession Planning
Does your organization have a succession plan in place? Succession planning is having a strategic, systematic and deliberate plan in place to ensure an organization’s future capability to fill vacancies consistent with the merit principles. This quick podcast covers everything you need to know to help.
December 09, 2021
Why Organizations Need to Create a Crisis Plan Q & A
AOE President Kimberly Kayler and Account Manager Laura Merritt sit down and answer informative questions on crisis management and why more organizations are putting an emphasis on creating a crisis plan.
October 28, 2021
The Role of Leadership in Meeting Today’s Challenges
Employee burnout, retention and stress are key topics in today’s business circles. While our pandemic world certainly is a major factor in these organizational challenges, how leaders respond to today’s unique dynamics can make or break its success. So what is the role of leadership in today’s organization? A recent Harvard Business Review article noted that when we trust our workplace leadership, we experience 74 percent less stress, 106 percent more energy at work, are 50 percent more productive and experience 40 percent less burnout.   With a mission of Advancing Organizational Excellence, AOE is committed to sharing ideas on how leadership plays a role in meeting the needs of today’s workforce. AOE President Kimberly Kayler sat down for an information conversation with John M. Collins, founder of Critical Victories talk about tips on how to evaluate leadership competencies, how high-stress environments impact teams, and how we can all become better leaders.
October 27, 2021
10 Ways To Increase Your Engagement Webinar
As we enter the fall season, many of us move into strategic planning and budgeting time! Since we get many questions during this timeframe related to what is trending in marketing, AOE has assembled a quick top 10 list to help guide your efforts!
September 14, 2021
Virtual Strategic Planning
Many have put off the strategic planning process because of the Work from Home scenario. However, it may be wise to consider how you can tackle a strategy session, even if virtually, in the near future. One key benefit of tackling a strategic plan is to provide definition not only to what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t do. Join AOE’s President Kimberly Kayler, for this quick demo on things you need to know to go virtual!  The session will showcase lessons learned, successes and next steps for virtual strategy sessions held during the pandemic. Learn how to pivot your process and move forward with your strategy plan.
July 27, 2021
7 Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement
A social media program without engagement is like a dinner party without conversation. Social media engagement measures the number of shares, likes and comments on a profile’s social posts. The metric has long been regarded as the gold standard in determining how well a program’s messages are resonating with the audience. No matter how much engagement your program garners, one thing is certain – we’re all looking for ways to increase it. Join AOE’s President Kimberly Kayler for this 15-minute presentation of 7 ways you can bring more likes, shares and comments to your program’s social media efforts.
July 27, 2021
10 Tips for Successful Podcasts
Learn why podcasts have taken off even more during the pandemic and how you can easily become part of the movement. We will guide you through what to do and not to do, who should deliver podcasts in your company, and what you need to do to get started. Join Kimberly Kayler from AOE for this quick 15 minute podcast!
July 27, 2021
To Meet or Not to Meet (in person)
As we enter this next phase of vaccination progress, some organizations are asking the tough questions about hosting their meetings, conventions and other activities in person. Dynamic Benchmarking recently released a survey that sheds light on this topic. With 43 percent of respondents indicating meetings/events in 2021 would stay virtual, 46 percent reported they would host either in person or some type of hybrid event yet this year, with the rest undecided. But, moving back to in-person or even hybrid is more complicated than it may seem as a myriad of factors must be evaluated. Join AOE President Kimberly Kayler and Jim Baty, Executive Director of the Concrete Foundations Association where they discuss lessons learned and what the future meeting experience might look like.
July 27, 2021
Project Management Essentials
Project Management Essentials Project Management Essentials with Tricia G. Ladely Assistant Director for the ACI Foundation. In this webinar Tricia goes over all the fundamentals needed to be a successful and productive project manager. She highlights initiating a project, managing stakeholders and everything you need for effective communication.
July 27, 2021
Crisis Management and Communication
AOE President Kimberly Kayler taught a 90-minute in-person workshop at World of Concrete on Crisis Management and Communication. Because 90 minutes is a long time to be on Zoom, she has condensed the presentation and exercises to 60 minutes! If you didn’t make it to World of Concrete and would like to get a crash course in all things crisis, then you will want to listen to this presentation. It includes some crisis simulation activities you can bring back to your organization!
July 27, 2021
10 Tips for a Professional Newsletter
Electronic communication is a powerful tool that allows you to interact with your customers and members. A well-designed electronic newsletter is the perfect way for them to see your message. And, there is no reason to fear the newsletter! They can be fun and simple to develop. Email software continues to get smarter and easier to use. Most programs now have automated features that can help you increase readership as well as target different audiences. Join Amy Numbers from AOE for today's podcast where we will discuss the top 10 tips for creating a newsletter your customers and/or members will want to read!
July 23, 2021
Business Development in Our Virtual World
AOE President Kimberly Kayler sat down with Russell Kofford, founder of TRD, to discuss business development, sales and other topics. Russell is a Marketing and Business Development consultant with a mission to help redirect professional services back to a client-centric service based model. Building off of his 20 years’ of industry experience, his expertise ranges from coaching, strategic planning and organizational development to marketing, graphic design, and business development. Russell believes we should all strive to “Do More Good” meaning that we aren’t going to be perfect and we aren’t always going to make the right choice but striving to keep our actions and the consequences of those actions to the positive side of good. It is a vital part of why he created TRD and he works with clients who are compatible with that ideal.
July 23, 2021
Getting Started with DEI
Did you hear ? AOE has launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Practice Group! Created in response to industry need, AOE’s service offering includes the industry’s first online Benchmarking Assessment Tool, customized plans, training and more!   AOE DEI Practice Group Leader Kimberly Kayler sits down with Brett Walsh, Executive Vice President of Resources for Graycor and Tom Merritt, Regional Managing Director for Anser Advisory, both long-time AOE clients and leaders in their industries. The conversation reviews the importance and benefits of diversity, challenges to developing a DEI culture, tips for engagement with employees and other members of your design-build team, and more.
July 01, 2021
Corporate Mindfulness
Research has found that the average employee in corporate America today is stressed and is pre-conditioned to multi-tasking, which has significant drawbacks to productivity despite our society’s obsession with the ability to multi-task. However, those with a “mindfulness focus” tend to be more creative and focused. In this webinar, listeners will learn why many organizations have integrated mindfulness training into their organizations. This podcasts is key for helping professionals in the design and construction industry be more productive and happier.
May 19, 2021
Now what? Refining your Crisis Comm Efforts
AOE President Kimberly Kayler and Drew Burns, Executive Director of the Slag Cement Association, shared their insight on crisis communications now and in our post-pandemic world. In this podcast they will discuss how to be transparent, communicating early and often with established channels and how to show compassion and leadership in a crisis.
May 13, 2021
Communicating in a Crisis
No matter the situation, your leadership team needs to know how to effectively navigate your organization’s communication efforts in a crisis. AOE President Kimberly Kayler, trained by the National Transportation Safety Board and has experience helping to minimize the impact of a crisis, will lead podcast on Averting Disaster: Crisis Communication. This webinar provides a foundation and process for establishing a crisis communications plan.
April 18, 2021
Antitrust Refresher
Those of us working for non-profits or serving in leadership roles for our industry associations are familiar with the importance of antitrust laws and best practices. However, could you use a tune-up? Have the statutes, designed to protect consumers from predatory business practices and ensure fair competition, changed in recent years? ​ Andrew Klevorn, an experienced antitrust attorney and counselor, will help you brush-up on your antitrust knowledge. He will provide a quick overview of how the laws are applied to a wide range of questionable business activities, including market allocation, bid rigging, price fixing, and monopolies.
April 17, 2021
Lessons Learned from 2020
If you are as tired as we are of the "new normal" discussion, join us to talk about lessons learned from 2020 and what we see on the marketing, management and sales landscape moving ahead in 2021 and beyond. AOE account leaders will host an informal discussion about the pivot we saw this year and what is on the horizon for the future. Topics include how messages have changed, the role of digital, rethinking the elevator speech and more!
April 16, 2021
Rethinking Engagement
While the pandemic has certainly created many challenges for organizations and workers alike, some have experienced a silver lining related to engagement of employees and/or members. New evidence and experiences are beginning to show how organizations are creating means to truly listen to their teams with regard to work-life balance, productivity and engagement. Join AOE President Kimberly Kayler as she sits down with her long-time friend and colleague Jim Baty, Executive Director of the Concrete Foundations Association. The duo will discuss the changing face of both companies and associations, the necessity of legitimizing the new working paradigm, as well as tips for 2021.
April 15, 2021
How to Sell During the Pandemic
While some in-person sales activities may actually be occurring, the traditional sales call has changed, and likely forever. What does sales look like in in the current and post-pandemic world? What does networking look like? Has the role of marketing as it relates to sales changed at all because of COVID-19? Join AOE President Kimberly Kayler and Jenna Fullenkamp, Business Development Director for iQSG, for a discussion on the topic of the role of sales during the pandemic.
April 14, 2021
Cybersecurity Implications for our WFH Environment
The recent pandemic has brought about many cybersecurity implications for companies and remote workers. The influx in remote workers has led to an increased number of cybersecurity risks. In this podcast, Barbara L. Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, will help leaders to understand these risks and better protect themselves in the future. This podcast will review the risks for remote workers and cover many of the cybersecurity threats that are occurring during the pandemic. It will also help listeners to understand how to train their staff to prevent cyber-attacks.
April 13, 2021
Strategic Planning in a Virtual World
Many have put off the strategic planning process because of the Work from Home scenario. However, it may be wise to consider how you can tackle a strategy session, even if virtually, in the near future. One key benefit of tackling a strategic plan is to provide definition not only to what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t do. In a recent blog that inspired this podcast, AOE President Kimberly Kayler and Kathy Spanier, AOE Strategic Planning Consultant, discuss in more detail what factors influenced the team to move forward with a virtual strategic planning session.
April 12, 2021
How to Stay Relevant in an Uncertain Market
In this podcast, AOE and Coldspring will share the story of how they collaborate to adapt marketing communications in uncertain times. Our conversation will cover shifting from crisis communication to responding to the market -- even with limitations such as a displaced working environment, budget uncertainty and more. ​ Join Ashley Kizzire, AOE Senior Account Manager, and Cari May, Marketing Manager for Coldspring, as they share a few creative examples of how to deliver key messages through video, social media, blogs and more.
April 11, 2021
Moving Your Next Event to a Virtual Format
If you are struggling to decide if and how to make the move from in-person to virtual, this podcast is for you. Join Lauren Mentz, CMP, Director of Event Services for AOE as well as our parent company ACI, as she discusses tips for making the decision to postpone or cancel your event, review of key technical considerations for attendees, how to engage speakers and sponsors in a virtual event and lessons learned related to communication.
April 10, 2021
Next Gen: Tips for Hiring Summer Help
A recent study noted that approximately 65 percent of co-op/intern positions have been cancelled for this summer. While hiring a student may be out of the question because of your work from home environment or other business considerations, if you do have tasks and projects that are well suited for a student that can be handled effectively in our current environment, there are plenty of hungry students out there looking for work! However, there are many things to consider to make sure it is a good experience for you and the student. Join AOE’s President Kimberly Kayler and Bailey Numbers, AOE intern, in this podcast which will showcase the top five things you need to consider when hiring a student this summer.
April 09, 2021
Marketing in a Dynamic Environment
COVID-19 has quickly and significantly impacted how we conduct business. Marketing and communication strategies must evolve and change to ensure consistent and effective connection with our audiences and clients. Too often, during challenging times, companies reduce their investment in marketing activities. During previous recessions, businesses that continued to invest in marketing experienced growth in their businesses while those that cut back their marketing budgets saw a decrease in sales. Marketing in an economic state of turbulence and uncertainty can be challenging. Join Graycor's Vice President of Corporate Development Brian Gallagher, CPSM, to learn how you can lead your organization to leverage the dynamics of a challenging market and become an even stronger competitor.
April 08, 2021
Digital Data Dive
Google Analytics help measure your website's search traffic and performance. However, knowing the numbers is only half the battle. Without experimentation, direction and action, POWERFUL analytics become POWERLESS. Join Stephan Reed and Scotty Moore from Forefront Web in this podcast to learn the basics of analytics, AdWords and other tools, so you can take the next step in the digital data drive.
April 06, 2021
12 Tips for Getting Your Emails Opened and Increasing Click-Throughs
Even though today’s workforce laments about information overload and drowning in email, the use of email marketing continues to be an effective tool for many companies and associations.  But what if email messages could be created in a way that more effectively drives action? Join Kevin Mlutkowski, CAE - Director of Marketing for the American Concrete Institute as he discusses 12 strategies that can be implemented immediately to increase open rates, create more engaging content, increase click-throughs and drive sales.
April 05, 2021
Tips for Tradeshow Success
Although advertising and word-of-mouth testimonials can play a big part in reaching the right customers, nothing compares to being able to connect with people face-to-face. This is where trade shows come into play. If you have a new product, technique or service to market, the right trade show can link you to the right audience to get your name out there and the leads you want. However, there is a lot more to exhibiting at a trade show than just showing up. A targeted message makes all the difference when competing with hundreds of other booths. Presenters Diana Sanicki, Head of Marketing for Doka and AOE Senior Account Manager Kari Moosmann will discuss how every element of your tradeshow booth and any pre-show marketing efforts must all be carefully focused on selected messages and how wrapping these messages into a corporate theme will help get more traffic in your booth and connect you with your tradeshow attendees.
April 04, 2021
Data Visualization Best Practices
When used properly, charts and graphs are a very effective way to communicate data. However, simple missteps in design can muddle your data, weaken your message and confuse your audience. Avoid common mistakes by following these best practices to ensure that your message is heard - loud and clear! Taking just a few extra steps to ensure you’re following the rules of data visualization will help you create charts and graphs that are trustworthy, unambiguous and persuasive. Today we discuss the fundamentals of communicating effectively with data for your next presentation.
April 02, 2021
Advancing Your Organization's Message Through Social Media
Social media has become one of the must-haves in an organization’s marketing strategy, yet many have yet to implement a social media program to its full potential. In this podcast presented by AOE’s Ashley Kizzire, listeners will learn how social media fits in an organization’s marketing strategy and why social media is a critical tactic for promoting positive messages. Designed for beginning to intermediate social media programs, the webinar will cover best practices such as content strategy, engagement and monitoring progress.
April 01, 2021