Dubbed “the queen of Pittsburgh networking,” Jill McKibbin is an expert business development consultant with over 35 years of sales experience. In 2010, she became the owner and president of McKibbin Consulting, a Pennsylvania-based firm where she implements her own signature approach to connect businesses across diverse backgrounds. With the help of a highly dedicated team of skilled professionals, Jill provides numerous companies with the tools necessary for growing their businesses, building sales teams, reaching different markets, and using new networking strategies. She credits her success to the long-term relationships she has maintained with a plethora of customers: architects, general contractors, surveyors, and construction mangers as well as audio visual, civil, environmental, geotechnical, structural, and MEP engineers. As testimony to her accomplishments, Jill was the recipient of the 2014 Women in Business Award and is a multi-nominee of the Athena Award.
Jill’s multifaceted background makes it easy for her to connect with clients. Nothing has ever been freely handed to her, and she is a survivor having overcome countless obstacles and hardships. “Early in my career, I did all kinds of jobs,” Jill says. “I even toured as a professional singer for a number of years.” As the mother of an ailing child who required extensive medical attention, she was also forced to hold her fair share of difficult roles. However, each job introduced her to a vast network of people, taught her the importance of teamwork, and enabled her to personally relate to the challenges of her clients.
Jill’s career took a positive turn in 2005 when she accepted a position at a mechanical contracting company. She was involved with several organizations in her city and knew that meeting more people would be key to building sales and procuring larger industrial accounts, so that same year, she founded a networking organization called Commercial Industrial Service Trade (CIST). Over the years, as Jill transitioned into other companies and moved into different roles, her network continued to grow.
In 2010, an architect recommended that she take all her skills and experience—and her special brand of relation building—and branch out on her own, and McKibbin Consulting was born. Now, for more than a decade, Jill and her team have been serving as a one-stop shop—connecting clients with property owners and managers, directors of operation, purchasing agents, architects, and facilities directors. The private consulting firm has also been a conduit for those interested in working with local universities, women, veterans, and minority-owned companies. No matter what kind of company Jill looks at—from the billion-dollar, publicly traded to the small, privately owned—she identifies ways to connect them to the right people, whether local, national, or international.
Jill also during COVID 19 never turned away her clients when some of them had an inability to pay. “That’s what makes both my firm and the CIST network unique—we are all from different backgrounds and industries; we are transparent; and we go above and beyond for each other and for our clients,” she explains. “At McKibbin Consulting, people come first, and the money is secondary.”
Part of Jill’s determination to serve others stems from her own past f struggles. She learned firsthand how daunting it is to battle seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Therefore, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jill not only recommended strategies to help other companies survive, but she also drew upon her experience to expand McKibbin Consulting.
Jill would like to include a special thank you to Autumn Edmiston, the CEO and owner of The Edmiston Group based in Allison Park, PA. Autumn has been instrumental in helping Jill to reach her current level of success and to become the versatile businesswoman she is today. Jill also wishes to thank God.
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By The Western PA Healthcare News Team – February 20, 2021
Matchmaking and February go hand in hand. Jill McKibbin, President of McKibbin Consulting, is known as the matchmaker and connector in helping small businesses grow through matching companies with introductions through her vast network of connections. COVID has created challenges to develop connections for all business types. As businesses have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, they have reached to McKibbin for advice and connections to new markets. National and international companies wanting to expand their footprint into the region are contacting McKibbin regarding introductions and guidance.
With a strong construction vertical, McKibbin has had people from all over the country reach out for assistance in developing connections within the Pittsburgh region and beyond. What does that mean for those that are involved with McKibbin Consulting? Jobs, new contracts, and opportunities for business growth.
Spending her career in business development before opening her own business, McKibbin Consulting was launched in 2010. Through her monthly networking group meetings, Commercial Industrial Trades Services (CIST), she has helped connect engineers, architects, property managers, land developers, real estate attorneys, bankers, and contractors to one another to build strong teams of business owners. McKibbin Consulting is a central point of contact that brings together teams of companies to create and deliver commercial industrial trade services.
Minority contractors have benefited from guidance to become certified as a minority contractor – women-owned, veteran, disadvantaged business owner. Why is this important? These certifications enable smaller businesses to become part of larger contracts particularly when federal monies are involved. Additionally, there is an opportunity with corporations that require diversity in their vendor relationships. Without these certifications, smaller companies may not have these chances to grow.
Jill’s desire to help others enables her to excel in developing businesses. As a consultant, she sees the strengths in a company and develops an understanding of how to build upon them. Having the heart to help people she finds something that connects everyone together. She then becomes the connector or the matchmaker to introduce that business to potential leads within her network.
Because of her success in the construction industry, other types of businesses are now reaching out for evaluation of their business and new ideas on how to pivot particularly as it relates to a different way of doing business because of COVID. The landscape in the business and construction community is changing. Companies are shifting employees to work from home, commercial space is being reconfigured and new businesses are entering the market.
To learn how McKibbin Consulting can make the right connections to grow your business, visit www.mckibbinconsulting.com or email email@example.com.
The weather is breaking, and construction season is gearing up. As a general contractor, you’ve just landed that big project and now it’s time to get down to work. You may be good at the construction process, but there are some specialty contractors that are necessary to get the job done. So what are some things to consider when choosing a subcontractor for your project?
Does a Subcontractor Perform Better Than Your Own Crews?
You know yourself, the more you perform a certain task, the better you are at it. For example, your crew may perform masonry once in a while, but the job you just landed calls for extensive and intricate masonry work. Understanding the scope and project requirements is vital before you can determine the need for a subcontractor. A subcontractor is needed when the work falls outside of your expertise area or when your resources are already assigned to a different project, limiting the capabilities to execute the work using internal resources. If the work involves federal monies, you may also be looking for minority subcontractors. Here are some things to consider.
Project Size Matters
It is important to understand this component prior to execution in order to get the proper bonding and insurance coverage for you and your subcontractor.
Subcontractor Qualifying Indicators
Now that you have decided to bring on a subcontractor to supplement your workforce, you need to evaluate the following areas:
- Project Plan and Schedule
- Past Performances with regard to Comparable Projects
- Letter of Recommendation or References
- Project Cost and Payment Terms
When putting out the RFP, these factors should be considered. A subcontractor must be able to provide this information as an answer to your RFP.
One of the most important factors when qualifying subcontractors is their safety performance. Be sure to review the EMR rates, OSHA recordable, time loss due to accidents/incidents. If this is a new subcontractor, ask for their safety plan and program and be sure to review it so that it aligns with your safety expectations.
A financially solid subcontractor may be determined by their bonding capabilities and letters from financial institutions that will express their financial stability. Request and review the required licenses and insurance.
As part of an RFP request to be considered for a project, a subcontractor should provide basic information along with resumes highlighting the relevant experience, senior leadership, and personnel who will be in charge of the project. This will help to ensure enough resources are available for your project.
As a subcontractor, there are often specialty tools and equipment that are required for the job. The subcontractor must bring said equipment to the job site. Be clear to specify that in your RFP. Depending on the type of subcontractor requested, transportation permits and costs are subcontractor’s items, so they should be taking care of those items.
A detailed plan of action should be requested to include a narrative on how they will manage the project and how they handle unforeseen conditions.
Past and Current Projects
With the rapid pace of construction in Pittsburgh’s economy, if your company is wanting to stay abreast of the growth in the region, it’s important to have a grasp on a subcontractor’s project experience. In an interview process, you may want to ask about concurrent projects and how those projects could affect the resources devoted to your project. A review of similar projects must describe scope, schedule, budget, man-hours worked and any special consideration that was part of the project.
Don’t fall short at this step. It is your responsibility to call and verify references provided before awarding the subcontractor a construction contract. Using the listed names and projects included in the RFP, call or ask specific details about the subcontractor performance on a particular project.
The lowest price is not always the best option. There are other factors to consider. Ask for details on payment terms and avoid using subcontractors asking for large amounts of down payment, that might be a red flag. Discount terms and payment terms must be discussed and agreed especially final payment and release of waivers.
When federal monies are involved, often larger companies are looking to partner for specialty contracts with minority companies. This partnership allows for smaller companies to grow and larger companies to compete for work with a diverse group of contractors.
McKibbin consulting has relationships with a number of specialty and minority-owned contractors, as well as property managers and developers. Within her network, Jill offers opportunity for general contractors to partner with minority subcontractors allowing both to benefit. To learn more contact Jill at 412-498-3572 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve known Jill McKibbin, owner of McKibbin Consulting, for over four years and have been actively part of her CIST groups. These are the best networking groups that I’ve found in the area that bring people together from the construction industry in one forum to discuss a multitude of projects that any one person finds as solid economic information to help further his/her business. Each person within the group is also welcoming and provides attentiveness to introductions for other group members.
I have worked with Jill for over two years and find that she brings a team approach for business development in garnering new relationships. Through Jill’s vast array of contacts, Desmone Architects has been able to secure new business and build lasting relationships. Jill is a dynamic, personable woman bringing a strong skillset that resonates confidence into developing these relationships. She enables Desmone Architects to continue to build and grow our business. I would recommend Jill to anyone seeking to take their business to the next level.
Front Studio Architects has been working with Jill McKibbin – McKibbin Consulting for six months and we are very pleased with her efforts on our behalf. Jill is familiar with “how business is done” in the A/E/C world and is always available to assist or supply a creative solution to a problem. In addition, she is so high energy and positive, that it’s enjoyable to be in her company.
Jill McKibbin is a very well connected, polished and confident resource in the real estate industry. She prides herself on offering top notch services to all of her clients and friends. She has a command of the real estate business and the players. I highly recommend that you avail yourself of her service.
Jill is a tenacious business development person. Her ability to find leads, contacts and work is incredible. I am continuously amazed at her ability to make things happen.
Jill McKibbin is dynamic and works very hard on our behalf. She is willing to focus her efforts to meet Huckestein’s particular needs and tailors that approach to fit the needs of each of her clients. There is excellent follow through for meeting setup and she pushes us to maintain and execute our part in the sales process. These efforts have resulted in helping us secure our largest maintenance contract. I would recommend Jill McKibbin with McKibbin Consulting to help your grow your business.
Jill is hard-working, personable and dedicated. She has a broad knowledge of many industries, and of the people that work in them. We have enjoyed working with her on various projects and look forward to doing so in the future.
Jill is the go to person for linking people and business together. If you have never worked with her it is just amazing how she never stops thinking of how to network and partner people together. She’s a person you want on your side helping you day in and day out. Although she seems to work nonstop she’s a very approachable down to earth people person as well. I would recommend her to anyone looking to expand your networking capabilities.
McKibbin Consulting has helped Forkner Engineering grow quickly in our first year. The contacts that they have helped us make and the support they provide in building a business have been invaluable. Ms. McKibbin is truly invested in helping my company succeed.
I highly recommend Jill for any position she is seeking. We have worked together on a number of projects over the last three years and I find her to be the rainmaker in any environment. She is someone of strength and quality of character. Someone you would take into battle with you and know that she will protect and serve, a real friend.