Pittsburgh Business Times, MAY 19, 2023
President/ Center of Influence at McKibbin Consulting
Jill is known as a Center of Influence and Consultant with over 30 years of experience in working with companies locally, nationally, and internationally by providing unique growth strategies to connect with all industries and verticals. She is the Founder of the Commercial Industrial Service Trades Organization (CIST) which focuses on the A/E/C industry and provides consulting services for growing MWBE and Veteran-owned companies.
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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The ATHENA Awards Program of Greater Pittsburgh distinguishes itself from other regional awards through its emphasis on women mentoring other women and girls. Jill McKibbin was nominated in both 2015 and 2018 for the Athena award in many ways because of her efforts to help women-owned and disadvantaged businesses compete in a larger market. For those of you that know Jill, you know she works hard at connecting her clients and has created various programs to fit a person’s budget. CIST provides monthly opportunities for her clients to learn of upcoming construction projects and network with referral partners.
Don’t take our word for it, see what clients, referral partners and colleagues alike have to say…
Jill McKibbin has a unique ability to embrace her clients’ businesses and understand what they can do to enhance their marketing and sales objectives.
Five years ago, Dagostino Electronic Services (DES) was best known for its Structured Cabling Services. Through introductions and networking activities initiated by Jill, DES is now recognized by architects, engineers, contractors, businesses and institutions as the area’s “go-to” partner for audio-visual, security, voice and data networking, and cabling expertise.
There are many different ways of spreading the word about who you are, what you do, and how well you do it; but Jill’s method of personal meetings, opportunity sharing, and team building definitely provides the best “bang for the buck.”
If there is a person or company that you want to meet, Jill will know someone who knows them who can provide an introduction. She is definitely a valuable resource.
~Trudy Van Kirk, Account Manager, Dagostino Electronic Services, Inc. (Client)
CCAC and McKibbin Consulting have a two-way relationship. As an institution, CCAC hosts MWDBE events and invites groups in for networking. This allows Jill to continue to build her network as well as provide added value to her own network to let them know of our MWDBE events. The more teams of people that are identified for given projects, the more CCAC and McKibbin Consulting can help all of the companies develop and grow business. MWDBE helps everyone.
Jill has a special niche of business that no one else really does in providing networking to build business through all these different teams of building trades. For her to be successful is commendable. Otherwise, all big businesses will occupy all major contracts because smaller companies can’t compete for larger projects. Through her relationships, Jill helps to level the playing field. For CCAC, the more MWDBE firms identified, the better it is for more opportunities to grow their business.
~James Messer, Chief Facilities Officer – CCAC (Referral Partner)
If I need an introduction to someone or there is someone I need to find the first thing I do is reach out to Jill. When you’re linked with Jill, on LinkedIn–not only have access to her 11,000 contacts, but you gain access to her contacts’ contacts as well. That’s a value she brings. You will never meet the number of people that you will meet through Jill.
When you go to her with a need, you can always count on Jill to help you. There is a high level of trust with Jill because she’s already vetted people she recommends. She gives you the backstory with a warm introduction which is extremely valuable. When she educates you prior to going into a call you feel confident that person already knows you are coming. If you haven’t connected with Jill, you are missing the boat.
~Georgia Glass, Account Manager Western PA and Northern WVA Kone Elevators (Colleague)
I can’t say enough about working with Jill McKibbin. K.A. Sodders Commercial Painting has significantly grown our business as a result of the introductions and referrals she had provided. I find the CIST meetings to be a valuable resource in the commercial market. As the Sales Manager for K.A. Sodders, I’m pulled in many directions. Regular calls and meetings with Jill have helped me focus on vertical markets and shorten the sales cycle to obtain new work and grow market share.
If you are looking to grow your business, I would recommend you consider contacting Jill McKibbin with McKibbin Consulting.
~Eric Vogelsberger, Sales Manager, K.A. Sodders (Client)
Jill is very approachable and clearly has the end game in mind when it comes making introductions. She spends the time to figure out what will help you in your business and provides sincere introductions with vetted resources. As a consultant she works with you to help you to grow your business in whatever path and/or direction that may go and has the depth of resources to do so.
~Megan White, VP / Corporate Banker – First Commonwealth Bank (Colleague)
I want to thank those who have been such an important part of my career and especially thank those who have taken the time and effort to submit a nomination on my behalf, write a testimonial or otherwise offer your support throughout the years. I love what I do, but I couldn’t do it without you!
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.
“CIST is the best organization I’ve been associated with in my forty years of business development. If you need an introduction or a meeting arranged, Jill McKibbin, CIST President, is more than willing to assist. She is the ultimate leader in our business!”
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’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’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!
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’s is an expert business development agent. Jill’s network specifically encompasses the A/E/C construction industry, including construction users, architects, engineers, and contractors. She is skilled at bringing successful teams together across diverse backgrounds. I find Jill to be an honest and motivated person who truly enjoys team-building. I highly recommend Jill to anyone looking to broaden their network in our industry.
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.
Working with Jill is a real pleasure. She knows the industries, runs a “Swiss watch” of an organization, never wastes time, and provides the forum to get results. McKibbin Consulting has been a great investment for us. I HIGHLY recommend them!
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.