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BD Live Swap: The Importance of Authenticity

On Tuesday, local business development experts brought key clients to discuss the fundamentals of initiating, building, and maintaining a business relationship. This event, held at KI’s office located within the Seaport’s Design Center, was an exclusive look into what it takes to create meaningful connections through networking and relationship building. Each BD professional and their client shared their experiences with small groups of attendees for 20 minutes each, with the experts “swapping” to the next group providing knowledge and discussion on one or two pre-determined BD topics. In these groups, attendees also had the opportunity to go off-script and asked their own questions to the experts and guests.

This format provided a unique opportunity for attendees to get personal insights from experts and get answers to meaningful questions that could assist attendees in maneuvering through developing relationships in the A/E/C industry. A few key takeaways from discussions were: do not fear rejection, always follow-up, and be authentic. Authenticity was mentioned by almost every group, highlighting the importance of being a genuine and trustworthy source for potential clients.

Special thanks to KI for providing the event space and breakfast, Hereva for being our speaker sponsor, and BR+A for being our event sponsor.

The BD experts and guests included: Gary Pease, PE, LEED AP, Vice President, Director of Client Services Principal at Nitsch Engineering, John Sullivan, AIA, Partner, Director of Architecture at SGA (Gary’s Client Guest); Ronda Paradis, Vice President, Business Development, Science & Healthcare at Suffolk, George Player, CPE, FMA, Vice President, Facilities & Operations at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Ronda’s Client Guest); Erin Miller, LEED GA, Director of Business Development at SmithGroup, Bill Colehower, Director of Project Planning, MIT (Erin’s Client Guest); Paul Garabedian Jr., Associate at Ellana, Inc., and Ryan Walker, Lead Estimator, MIT Lincoln Labs (Paul’s Client Guest).


Matthew is a Marketing Coordinator at BR+A Consulting Engineers, primarily specializing in proposal and qualifications fulfillment. He is a member of the programs committee and an avid fan of the movie Shrek 2.

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