Commercial, Industrial Service Trade Group (C.I.S.T.), was founded by Jill McKibbin in 2005 and has continued to grow over the past 10 years.  The organization has three Pittsburgh Chapters providing professional services for commercial buildings from the ground up, including but not limited to:  construction, architects, engineering, interior design, landscaping, elevator services, office furniture, interior plant service, marketing and commercial cleaning. Each chapter has one unique participant per trade to prevent competitors from learning of construction contacts shared by others in the group.  In addition to monthly meetings, there are open quarterly networking events for all trades and business professionals wanting to interface with the construction industry. Professional representation is available by McKibbin Consulting for members of C.I.S.T. at professional functions and trade shows.


Membership is required to belong to C.I.S.T.   Participation with lead referrals is a critical factor in holding the category-specific trade slot in the group.  Being prepared is key to your successful outcomes in the C.I.S.T meetings.  The group is focused on construction and the maintenance of facilities.  Participants in the group are asked to come prepared.  Lack of participation or being unprepared may result in removal from the group, opening your category up for a competitor. These are things to keep in mind:
  • Monthly meetings are held at the same time and location – please be prompt
  • Meetings last an hour
  • Mute all cell phones
  • Bring 20 copies of your leads to share at the meeting
  • Hold all conversations until the entire group has presented their leads
  • Information shared within the group is confidential and should not be shared with competitors
Remember this is a commercial and industrial trade group; our focus is on construction and maintenance of facilities.  All meetings have a written format, information shared is confidential, and only shared within the group.


Due to COVID, we are currently holding virtual monthly CIST meetings
  • CIST  9 am & 11 am – 3rd Wednesday
  • CIST  11 am 3rd Thursday


Held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 9 am, this group focuses on a hotlist of targets that participants share with each other to help drive business across all business verticals.  Location TBD.


Held at 9 am on the 4th Thursday of the month at Thrasher Engineering.  Highlights in the Industry Update Meeting focus on movers and shakers, companies that are relocating, people that have changed positions, businesses moving in and out of the area, new construction projects, RFPs and RFQs.




In order for standardization of lead information, all participants are asked to present their leads in the following format:
  • Your Company name and contact information
  • The Lead Name and Title  – contact information – phone number and or email
  • The Best way to contact the referred lead and or time they may be reached.
  • A description of type of work the lead is planning, i.e. relocation, build out, new construction, etc.
  • The time frame where the lead is planning on said work
  • Can we use your name in regard to the referral
The more information you can provide the more we can help each other in obtaining new business.  The group serves as an extra people to market and look out for each other.  Often, participants leave with 30-40 new leads or potential contacts in their industry each month.


The networking opportunities provided by the C.I.S.T. group have been very beneficial in promoting our business in the Pittsburgh market. Patti Dittman VP of Leasing Millcraft Industries
The CIST group has been a great way for me to not only learn about new leads of upcoming work, but to make new relationships with professionals from several industries. I attend every CIST group meeting that I can. I highly recommend contacting Jill McKibbin in order to participate in a CIST group near you. Sandra Palone President –  Palone & Associates WBE Certified in PA, OH, WV