Volunteer of the Month

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Portland Chapter. Each year, volunteers contribute thousands of hours to deliver the programs and services valued by project management professionals in the Portland/Vancouver Metro Area.

Across seven Portfolios, and the Executive Team, they write and edit newsletter articles, keep our social media presence fresh, and maintain web pages. They recruit speakers, or go into the community speaking on behalf of the chapter. Volunteers are leaders, training and leading other volunteers and shouldering the fiduciary responsibility of the Chapter as elected Board Members. The collective effort of these amazing volunteers fulfills the Chapter’s mission to promote the profession of Project Management by creating a culture and community that facilitates professional growth through education and volunteerism. 

There are those that go above and beyond, with a passion and commitment for the work that shines through in not only the time and attention they devote to their role, but also the quality of the relationships they foster during their time of service.

Each month, the PMI Portland Chapter recognizes one of these super stars as Volunteer of the .

If you would like to recognize a volunteer who has been an example of passion and commitment in action, please submit a nomination at any time.

You may be contacted for more information about your nominee and you will be alerted should your nominee win.

Meet PMI Portland Volunteer of the Month

VoM December 2022 -Phillip-Hairfield

Phillip Hairfield is this month’s Volunteer of the Month and it’s an extra special award for our marketing group, who produces this newsletter, as he is our volunteer boss, currently serving as the Director of the Newsletter. The marketing team of six is excited to see the kind, talented, and organized Phillip honored. In his role, he is responsible for compiling, editing, and publishing the monthly newsletter and weekly e-blasts along with other content for PMI Portland.

Phillip, like many members of PMI PDX, fell into project management by accident. After working in a lab and earning his degree in marketing, he took a job at Thermo Fisher Scientific as a product manager for laboratory consumables and never looked back! He was able to blend his lab experience and marketing degree into a successful, cross-functional project management career.

Throughout his career, Philip has worked for a startup, as a consultant, and is now a Product Manager at Thomson Instrument Company where he is enjoying the fast pace and rapid growth. He has stayed with project management because he is inherently a learner. As a PM, Phillip can get into all the “nooks and crannies” of the business, learning new things everyday.

Phillip’s favorite project as a PM was getting his green belt in Six Sigma during which he was handed a problem and told to solve it with a cross functional group. During this process he was able to find the solution and make it stick. He reminisced how oftentimes we can rush from project to project and don’t always get the time to do a retrospective.

For those thinking of volunteering with PMI PDX, Phillip’s advice is that you should absolutely volunteer! It is a great way to earn PDUs and network. All the volunteers for PMI PDX are genuinely volunteering to help build up our community and are great to get to know.

In his free time, Phillip cultivates spicy peppers, the hotter the better! His favorite pastime is creating spicy salsa from his garden to bring to his weekly taco night with friends. He also is an avid writer and has published his first book on Amazon, “Spark of Genius.”

PMI PDX is very grateful to the time and effort that Phillip puts into developing the project management community. Congratulations and thank you, Phillip!

VoM November 2022 -Andrew-Lam

Andrew Lam is PMI PDX's Director of Technology. So, if you submit a ticket on the PMI website, it goes to him! He ensures that your questions are answered by the right person in a timely manner. Andrew has made a meaningful difference in our community through membership and volunteering, which is why he is this month's Volunteer of the Month.

Professionally, Andrew is a Project Manager for the Vancouver Clinic in their newly formed Population Health Department. The goal of his organization is broad, which lends itself to managing many different types of projects. From helping members of the community access care to building new clinics, there is no shortage of exciting work.

When asked why he likes Project Management, Andrew highlighted the opportunity to be helpful by being the center point of communication for his organization. He also enjoys knowing what is going on and managing risks. As part of his project management journey he discovered PMI Portland after moving to the area from Chicago about 6 years ago, and has continued to grow his skillset ever since.

For those interested in volunteering with PMI, Andrew has found that it is a great opportunity to work with other project managers and hear about their experiences. He suggests thinking about what you are interested in and how much time you can dedicate, then finding a position that matches those two criteria. There are many opportunities at PMI Portland, so you are sure to find one!

In his spare time, Andrew is an avid card and board game player. He has enjoyed teaching Settlers of Catan to his kids, exploring the less crowded spaces of the PNW, and getting closer to his family. If you see Andrew at a PMI Portland event, please say hi and thank him for his efforts!

VoM June 2022 -Sarah-Foote

Sarah Foote, June’s volunteer of the month, was drawn to project management after taking a Lean Six Sigma workshop and a Project Management Fundamentals course. A short time later she discovered PMI during orientation for her MBA, which has a concentration in Project Management. But it was instructor Kathy Millhauser who introduced Sarah to the opportunities with PMI Portland, and convinced her to volunteer.

Under Sandra Koelle's leadership, Sarah worked as the Assistant Director in 2018 to start planning the 2019 Annual Conference. Sarah’s hard work and creativity made a big impact, but she had to reduce her volunteer hours in June of that year. In 2021 she rejoined PMI at virtual meetings and then as the Director of the Annual Conference. With her drive and experience she pulled the 2022 Spring Conference together with speed and teamwork to great success.

Sarah continues to lead the planning for the upcoming Fall Conference with the support and camaraderie of the PMI Portland community. Through her role with PMI Portland Sarah deeply enjoys working directly with the thought-leaders and innovators of the industry. Her interactions with so many different people has been inspiring and motivating to keep learning and growing. She sees agile practices as the future of the industry because so many projects span global networks,allows for sprints, as well as continuous improvement processes to deliver more value and better results.

After all this, Sarah sees this as the exciting beginning to a career in project management, and plans on evolving into a role as a Global Project Manager. Being a part of the PMI community has built a foundation upon which she continues to grow. No matter the industry or role, she trusts there is a large network of friends and supporters to count on for advice, strategy and encouragement.

She would say to people who are looking to connect and grow with PMI that the opportunities are endless. For people looking to volunteer, if you don’t know where to start, volunteer by using your strengths and experience in a role that interests you. Sarah found that while she was using her strengths as a volunteer, she also got to work on her weaknesses as well - and has grown more than she imagined. The mentor program has been something she really learned from. So, if you don’t know where to start, just ask someone your questions.

Sarah wants to especially thank everyone that has been so supportive, and is excited to keep working alongside all the volunteers of this great community. Lastly, she reminds us of act 2 of the Annual Conference in September - so make sure you take the LEAP, and join her there.

VOM May 2022 -Jose Guevara


Jose is PMI Portland's May Volunteer of the Month. He has had a whirlwind introduction to project management, and has been enjoying every minute. Jose worked for the Washington State Department of Agriculture performing project management work by auditing, enforcing food safety and inspections for nine years. He really enjoyed the planning, organizing, and orchestrating aspect of his work. Without realizing it yet, the project management spark had been lit, and after nine years at a good job, he still felt it was time for a change.
Looking for a career shift into technology Jose went back to school. Thinking it offered a broad scope of possibilities Jose took business classes, but it was an operations class that brought him back to project management - it fit his strengths and he loved that it spans so many industries.

By July of 2021 Jose started the Google PM courses, and after some advice Jose joined LinkedIn, where a PMI member from Texas reached out to him and they spoke over the web. On a trip to visit friends in Portland last October, Jose attended a PMI Portland networking event. He felt immediately welcomed by our community and made many connections. One was Penelope, our VP of Membership, and based on Jose’s interests she suggested he work as the Assistant Director of Technology in Operations.

Since then, Jose has loved joining the Operations team which provided the professional environment he had been seeking. Jose also worked with Saby Waraich on the mentor team, who helped encourage and advise him to grow into his career in technology. The exposure to networks and courses provided Jose the tools to rewrite his resume to target his goal of a career in technology. He considers it a direct result from his volunteer time with PMI that only after two months into his new career search, in March of 2022, Tecology hired him as a Project Coordinator.

Jose feels he was able to stand out in his job hunt because of his volunteer time with PMI Portland for the Annual Spring Conference. Networking with the Chapter empowered him with the knowledge of who to work with, which grew his role to be a part of the annual committee. Sarah Foote and he designed the conference landing page, and created a dashboard for the conference that was instrumental in keeping the team organized.

Jose would recommend that if you’re curious about PMI or project management, then try one of the outreach events, where you can meet this talented group of people, ask questions and make new connections. He highly recommends volunteering to open yourself up to the many opportunities available, while also building the skills to become a project manager that offers a broad range of industries and roles. He can’t imagine a better way to get exposure to this career, support from peers and advice that will help further any career. PMI Portland’s community and support really inspired Jose to stay involved, continue to push himself and even mentor others into this great career path.

VOM April 2022 -Dominique Bradley


Dominique Bradley embodies the best of PMI Portland volunteers: belief in the good that project management can bring to the world and passion for delivering what the members need to meet the profession's challenges.

She began her volunteer journey with PMI Portland in February of 2020, drawn to this amazing, diverse community of project management professionals. Her advice for those wondering if they should volunteer with PMI Portland is a resounding “Yes.” She asserts there is no better time to volunteer than right now, when we are all searching for community and connection.

As Assistant VP of Outreach she has planned, coordinated, and produced 6 virtual outreach ZOOM events for the PMI Portland chapter, creating over 700 high-quality community interactions with over 125 non-PMI member engagements. Her administrative, marketing and technical prowess enabled PMI Portland to successfully deliver the first ever virtual chapter meeting to its members.

Dominique is a tireless, dedicated professional committed to providing the greater Portland Project Management community with the highest quality professional development opportunities, social interactions and professional networking. She has the ability to keep a cool head under pressure and handle anything that comes her way.

Her one ask of members is to provide feedback on events and programming. She takes the customer service aspect of her volunteer role seriously and reviews each survey. So, next time you are given the opportunity to provide feedback to PMI Portland, know that Dominique is listening!

VOM March 2022 - Nicole Clark

Sep2021 Article VoM Matthew JenkinsThis month’s Volunteer of the Month, Nicole Clark, arrived in Oregon after an eight month long road trip across the United States. Drawn to the outdoors and community in Portland, she has lived here for almost four years, joining PMI Portland in 2018. She was nominated for her dedication for supporting the Project Management community and ensuring all members have access to the educational resources needed to grow.

Professionally, Nicole is a federal government contractor, working remotely for Econometrica. She serves as the Project Director for multiple projects with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, while also participating in business development by responding to new RFPs. Nicole has earned both the PMP and PMI-ACP certifications. Currently she uses both waterfall and agile methodologies depending on the project, but notes the increasing prevalence of agile, which she finds to be more customer friendly.

As the Director of Education for PMI Portland, her role sits within the Professional Development portfolio and is responsible for planning the education courses that are offered throughout the year. She supports the continued professional growth of our community by leading PMP prep courses to PMI-ACP exam courses. Nicole is also organizing the first ever Leading SAFe course offered by PMI Portland, which will be offered in June 2022.

In her free time, Nicole enjoys hiking and being outdoors. Her pandemic hobby also became a crafty side business and Nicole now sells her hand woven and hand dyed Adirondack pack baskets on Etsy through her store, East Coast Weaver. Light and meant to be worn on your back, these beautiful baskets make it easy to carry your things through the outdoors! She will also be at the Unique Market here in Portland on May 7th and 8th.

To those thinking of Volunteering with PMI Portland, Nicole says to think about a skill or interest you would like to foster, then look for a role to help you develop that. You can truly volunteer for anything! In particular, Nicole would like to highlight that her portfolio is looking for a new Director of Workshops. If you have a passion for putting together high quality training to support Portland project managers, please apply here.

If you’d like to see PMI Portland host any additional certification courses, Nicole welcomes your feedback and input. You can reach out to her directly at dir_education@pmi_portland.org. Next time you see her at an event, or attend one of the certification courses, be sure to say hi, and thank her

VOM February 2022 - Shari Byrnes


Sep2021 Article VoM Matthew JenkinsShari serves as PMI Portland’s Director of Volunteer recognition. Her role involves fielding nominations for the volunteer highlighted in this monthly article, but her peers decided it was time to recognize her contributions! Her role resides underneath the membership portfolio and supports PMI Portland’s efforts to attract and retain members and volunteers.

Professionally, Shari has worked as a project manager with AT&T for 27 years. For the majority of her career at AT&T she led a wide variety of projects, from new product development to mobile insurance. In 2019, they moved her role’s location and, as remote work was less available, Shari shifted to a position in the Office of the President. Very recently, she is back at her previous role, leading large teams through complex problems. As a true testament to Shari’s commitment to the project management profession, she has continued to grow her knowledge base. What Shari once managed with a mix of agile and waterfall methodologies, has now moved completely to agile.

When asked what she loves about being a project manager, Shari highlights the collaborative and cross functional teams she motivates to accomplish big complex goals. Shari’s one piece of advice for PMs is to over communicate, ensuring everyone is moving in the same direction is key to not only the project’s success, but the success of the project manager as well.

In her free time, Shari enjoys supporting her son through high school, spending time with her college-aged daughter hiking and time outdoors. She has also picked up the hobby of trying new recipes. Ask for her homemade cheese and chicken taquito recipe - that was recently a big hit!

Finally, Shari asks that if there has been a PMI Portland volunteer that has been particularly impactful or helpful to you, please be sure to nominate them for volunteer of the month! Their work deserves to be highlighted and recognized!


VOM December 2021 - Joe Tobias

By Membership Selection Committee

Sep2021 Article VoM Matthew JenkinsDecember’s volunteer of the month, Joe Tobias, has a passion for the community he serves and project management that is palpable the moment you talk to him. PMI Portland is lucky to have Joe Tobias as the current Director of Military Liaison and as an advocate for those transitioning to civilian life. Joe’s PMI Portland highlight is one event that brought 25 current members and 75 prospective members in touch with a career coach where participants walked away with actionable advice to advance their careers.

Joe’s first experience with PMI Portland was when a member coached him on his transition to civilian life. During weekly meetings, Joe’s mentor would help Joe translate his military jargon and mannerisms to civilian corporations. Ultimately, this mentorship was a key factor in Joe landing a role in Project Management.

Professionally, Joe is a Supply Chain Manager for TriMet where he implements supply chain processes and procedures for bus and light rail. Within the first few hours of his new job, he was assigned a project. After being in the military, where he would move every 2-3 years, he was used to rapid onboarding and quickly delivered results.As Director of Military Liaison Joe assists Veterans and their family members in a career in project management and obtaining their certificate. He also gives them a heads up on what to expect during their transition out of the military and helps them tailor their resume to convert their military experience into project management terms. Joe continuously stresses the applicability of military experience to project management.Joe urges anyone looking to hire project managers to spend the extra time with a Veteran applicant to understand their experience and military background. To best support our Veterans with their transition, a simple thirty minute conversation can provide the connection between what skills the job requires, what skills the applicant has and ultimately help secure top talent for the business.

To those thinking of volunteering, Joe urges everyone to get involved. Beyond the added benefit of getting PDUs, you can explore additional interests and find a position that matches your availability.In his free time, Joe focuses on what brings him joy, like living an active lifestyle, and volunteering with his church and Veteran organizations. Joe’s time is filled with excitement and activity, which PMI Portland is lucky to be a part of!


VOM November 2021 - Angie Eastman

 By Membership Selection Committee

Sep2021 Article VoM Matthew JenkinsThis month’s volunteer of the month is Angie Eastman. She brings a passion for project management and connecting people through shared interests that is infectious. Her work to support the efforts of the PMI Portland Chapter’s goals does not go unnoticed, which is why we are excited to highlight a few of her contributions.

Angie has been an integral leader in the Outreach Portfolio for over two years. In her previous position as the Assistant Director of Military Liaison, Angie was instrumental in marketing and co-hosting the 2019 PMI Portland Veterans Day event that raised over $500 for Veteran charities, introducing dozens of Veterans to the Chapter and the benefits of PMI.

In her current position as the Director of Academic Outreach, Angie established connections with local universities and has been a leader and role model in the PMI Portland Community. Her hard work led to PMI’s first virtual event and the December 2020 “Gifts from 2020”.

Angie has been essential to the Outreach team’s in-person events. She helped with scouting locations, assisting with marketing write-ups and planning the December 2021 outreach event. Her efforts enabled outreach event sponsorship by Apex systems, saved the chapter thousands of dollars and enabled monthly outreach events.

Angie started volunteering in 2019 after other former-military members encouraged her to get involved. Shortly after, she decided to sit for her CAPM, but fellow volunteers pushed her to go for the PMP based on her education and years of experience. On her way out of town for a weekend camping trip, Angie passed on her first try!

Professionally, Angie is a Senior Buyer with A-dec Inc., primarily focusing on commodity management and new product purchasing. While she does not have the title of project manager, she certainly uses the skills in her job. Her favorite part about project management is getting to learn from and interact with cross-functional partners. Instead of being focused within one department, project management has allowed Angie to explore other functions and maintain transferable skills across industries without being tied down.

This sentiment is carried forward into why she enjoys being part of the PMI Portland community. The members come from all industries (IT, manufacturing, military, apparel, etc.) gather to collaborate, share, and contribute. These diverse experiences make PMI Portland a great place to be.

Angie likes to be outside in her free time, from camping to walks around a new ares of the city. She also volunteers frequently with Remote Area Medical. To those thinking of volunteering with PMI Portland, Angie says to give it a try and be willing to pick up the phone. Everyone has something to offer, and if you are transparent about what you can provide, your fellow volunteers will support you!

Angie would like all to be aware of the upcoming December 2021 outreach event where members of the Portland community and prospective members can come together to learn more about the benefits of joining PMI Portland and the Project Management profession.

VOM October 2021 - Devdeep Aikath

By Membership Selection Committee

Sep2021 Article VoM Matthew JenkinsDevdeep Aikath brings an enthusiasm to the volunteer community of the PMI Portland Chapter that is hard to beat. His willingness to take on challenges, coordinate efforts, and engage with those around him has improved the Chapter.

With a doctorate in neuroscience and an MBA, he currently teaches Business Analytics at Portland State University as part of the newly established undergraduate Business Intelligence and Analytics program. He brings a strong background in predictive analytics. When paired with his project management skills, he can drive outcomes for any organization. PMI Portland is lucky to have Devdeep as a volunteer!

Devdeep discovered project management during his postdoctoral work in neuroscience when the postdoc association president earned her PMP and shared the value of project management. The research that postdocs complete have a scope, timeline, budget, stakeholder management, etc., all of which are the foundations of project management. Having those skills enables more successful research. Devdeep took that advice to heart and earned his PMP, and incorporated project management into his career.

He moved away from Oregon for a few years. Upon his return, he volunteered for the PMI Portland! As a volunteer, he has been impactful on the marketing team. Devdeep initially volunteered with the Chapter as a creative outlet, an opportunity to develop his graphic design skills. He started as a writer, became the Director of Content Strategy, and recently took over the role of Assistant VP of Marketing. If you would like a peek into his ideas for PMI Portland, follow this link to check out the marketing team’s Brady Bunch video that Devdeep created.

He enjoys playing with his 1-year old puppy, Leo, and dabbling in furniture making in his spare time. He also manages his photography business and is working on his certification to become a professional coach.

To those thinking of volunteering, Devdeep urges all to get involved and find a position that would allow you to explore or develop a new skill. So, next time you see him at a chapter meeting or PMI Portland event, be sure to say hi, thank him for his contributions to the organization, and ask how you can get involved!