Jill McKibbin was recently amongst those nominated for the 2015 Athena Award
Networking group provides opportunities for construction, building management – We In-CIST
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 Wins 2014 Business Women First Award!
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!
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.
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.
Jill’s incredible energy and enthusiasm have made her the “queen of Pittsburgh networking”. If you want to make connections, she’s the one to talk to!
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.
I’ve been working with McKibbin Consulting for a few years now. Whatever Jill tells you that she’ll get done for you and your company….you can strike it off your list….it will get done. Jill hustles for her clients.
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.
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.
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.
“The A/E/C industry is a diverse mix of companies and individuals with an extensive range of needs, priorities, and personalities. Few people navigate this field like Jill. Her genuine, honest, down-to-earth demeanor coupled with an unrelenting desire to take care of her clients makes her a valuable asset. She has an uncanny ability to make anyone feel at ease, which is critical to building relationships. Few people can match her commitment and work ethic. 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.”
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.