Business Matters – June 2015
Jill McKibbin of McKibbin Consulting and founder of the Commercial, Industrial, Service Trade Group talks to members of the
new CIST North chapter during a meeting May 6 at Farmers National Bank in Cranberry Township.
The new Commercial, Industrial, Service Trade Group North chapter meets May 6 at Farmers National Bank in Cranberry Township.
The group will meet at 9:15 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the bank.
A networking group that recently expanded to Butler County aims to provide opportunities for all types of businesses involved with construction and building management.
The Commercial, Industrial, Service Trade Group’s North chapter in April held its first meeting in Cranberry Township.
CIST is a free, category-exclusive networking group open to any business that is involved with construction or building management, from civil engineers to general contractors to cleaning companies.
The new CIST North chapter meets at 9:15 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the Farmers National Bank of Emlenton, 20581 Route 19, Cranberry Township.
While CIST is new to Butler County, the group has been active in the Pittsburgh area for about a decade.
Jill McKibbin of McKibbin Consulting, which provides business development services for regional construction businesses of all sizes, started CIST in 2005 as a way to generate more leads and sales when she was working for a heating and air conditioning company.
At the time, she learned there weren’t many networking opportunities specifically for construction-related businesses. Plus, she was faced with the obstacle of having to join dozens of business organizations just for the chance to meet other companies involved with construction.
So, she and some of her peers in 2005 organized a diverse group of representatives from the construction industry that started meeting once a month for an hour to share their specialties, talk about their recent projects and present a “hot list” of projects they were looking for.
Eventually, the group became known as CIST and that chapter is now CIST West, which meets monthly in Carnegie.
“I constantly refer,” said McKibbin, a South Hills resident who has worked in sales and business development for nearly 20 years. “It’s kind of like I’m an Angie’s List, but for commercial and industrial people.”
McKibbin said any business or individual that can provide a service to the construction industry is welcome.
In addition to general contractors and subcontractors, CIST members include engineering firms, architectural firms, commercial cleaning companies, furniture suppliers, attorneys, banks, fire safety companies, property managers and more.
“All things are related,” she said.
“People think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk to the furniture sales person or the cleaning people.’ Why not? They probably know the owner of the building, or they know who is paying them.”
CIST continued to grow, and in 2009, the CIST East chapter, which meets near the Penn Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh, started up.
Both chapters continued to grow, and demand led to the formation of the new north chapter this spring.
McKibbin said many companies based north of Pittsburgh, as well as those looking to do business in the north, drove the creation.
She said the Community Development Corporation of Butler County and the Butler County Tourism and Convention Bureau helped to get the word out to businesses that might be interested in joining.
CIST also hosts semiregular after-work mixers where members of all chapters and prospective members can meet.
“I don’t think anybody is actually focusing on the construction industry,” McKibbin said.
“The contacts we have and the leads that we give are up to date. They’re real projects that are going on.”
Jill McKibbin was recognized as one of the most influential female business leaders in the region by Pittsburgh Business Times during their annual Business Women First Award Ceremony! Congratulations Jill!
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 Pittsburgh’s A/E/C professional matchmaker, and I greatly respect what she’s been able to accomplish. On top of that, it’s just a true joy to know and collaborate with her.
We have worked with Jill for the past number of months. Her vast network of people and knowledge of the construction industry is key to the number of appointments she has set for Eisler Landscapes. The added bonus of her monthly and quarterly networking meetings allow Eisler Landscapes and me to further develop these relationships and meet new referral sources. I would recommend Jill McKibbin with McKibbin Consulting for your business development needs.
Jill McKibbin is fabulous. She’s a networking queen and extremely hard working. Her loyalty and ability to utilize her referral skills for those she represents and who are involved with her networking groups is top notch. I would highly recommend McKibbin Consulting for your business development needs.
Jill is fearless! She has the unique ability to get a connection to anyone. Jill is a great matchmaker, putting together professionals in the building profession with clients with projects. She is personable, dedicated and loyal.
Jill McKibbin has a rare talent for networking. Her energy and social ability allow her to make connections and put people together in win-win situations that others could easily overlook. I enjoy watching her get a charge out of putting people and firms together. Plus she has the tenacity to follow up and make sure that the connection was made. We should all be as enthused doing what we love to do.
I met Jill a little over a year ago. It took little time working with Jill to realize that her work ethic is impeccable. She has proven to be a tremendous asset and continues to assist with networking and identify with new job opportunities. I highly recommend Jill to any company looking to take their business to the next level. She is someone who can open many doors to new business opportunities.
Jill Mckibbin Consulting was instrumental in helping Cenero and I establish essential relationships in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. I can trace every opportunity and sale to what Jill did in arranging appointments with Architects, General Contractors, Building and Business Owners, Commercial Real Estate brokers, etc. We couldn’t have done it without her.
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 maintains a high level of professionalism through her dedication and determination. Her knowledge and experience in the architecture, engineering and construction industry provides a positive advantage to her customers and clientele.