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Chapter President Penelope Luedtke, PMP

Oct2019 President Letter

Hello Members,

2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of which of the following? (Annual Conference attendees will have an advantage on this one.)

  1. Tic Tacs
  2. ATMs
  3. Sesame Street
  4. TriMet
  5. Project Management Institute
  6. All of the Above

If you picked “F,” you are right!

PMI was started in 1969 and this year marks half a decade of promoting, improving and advocating for the profession of Project Management. In the words of PMI Global, “As we celebrate PMI’s 50th anniversary around the world, we want to focus special attention on the professionals – PMI members, credential holders, volunteers and all of those that consider project, program and portfolio management their profession for their great accomplishment in not just delivering successful outcomes, but in making a difference.”*

Personally, I’d like to give an extra 50th Anniversary shout out to our PMI Portland Chapter volunteers. Volunteers make our services and events possible for our members and allies alike; they are the lifeblood of this organization.

To celebrate PMI and our volunteers, we’re throwing a party that ALL members can enjoy. Join us on Thursday, October 24th, from 5:00–8:00 pm at the Punchbowl Social Club in downtown Portland for an evening of food, drinks, games, karaoke and cake! There also will be bowling, darts, video games, pinball and ping pong, along with the food and great socializing.

Anyone who volunteered with PMI Portland Chapter between August 2018 and September 2019 can attend for free! Contact your Portfolio leader starting Oct. 11 to receive your volunteer discount code for registration. Members who haven’t volunteered can still join us for the minimal cost of just $10 per person. All are welcome to bring guests, also $10 per person. Attendance is limited to 150 people. See more logistics information and register NOW.

P.S.: Since the event is so close to Halloween, feel free to dress in costume as your favorite project manager! (LOL!)

* To see PMI global projects and results in action, check out PMI’s 50th Anniversary celebration pages by starting here: https://www.pmi.org and scrolling down to the 50th Anniversary banner.

Penelope Luedtke, PMP
President, PMI Portland Chapter




A TIME to Remember: 2019 Annual Conference Highlights

By Rachel Crane, PMP

Photo for October 2019 Article AC Overview

On September 20th, PMI Portland delivered on its promise to make this year’s Annual Conference a TIME to remember, delivering diverse sessions to build Talent, Inspiration, Motivation and Emotional Intelligence.

Featuring 18 presentations, sessions and keynotes, the Annual Conference allowed participants to choose from a diverse array of subjects ranging from technical to strategic and motivational.

The lessons from the conference were many, but a few takeaways stood out:

  1. Knowing yourself is crucial in choosing a professional path.
    Through interactive and person-centered sessions, conference participants learned to identify their purpose, superpowers and goals, allowing them to establish clearer roadmaps for success.

  2. Trust and relationships are key to successful project delivery.
    Every session involving successful project delivery and stakeholder management underscored the importance of soft skills in effectively navigating projects and organizations.

  3. There are many roads to leadership.
    This year featured new panel sessions on program and portfolio management, providing participants with insights from those in executive positions on how to move from project implementer to business leader.

  4. Tools and frameworks must be leveraged in innovative ways.
    Technical sessions showed audiences how to use existing and emerging methodologies, software tools and data analysis within their project contexts. Combining creativity and analytical skills can allow professionals to drive outside-the-box solutions.

The 2019 Annual Conference was made possible by over 20+ speakers and panelists, 300+ attendees, 50+ volunteers and 12 sponsors. If you missed the event, check out our Annual Conference homepage.


Annual Conference 2019 Session Highlight: Amber McMillan Shares Secrets to Effective Stakeholder Management

By Krystal Salmon, PMP

Photo for October 2019 Article AC Session Highlight

100% of stakeholders are human. Shocking, isn’t it?

But sometimes we forget. In Amber McMillan’s high energy 2019 Annual Conference session, we were gently reminded that stakeholders are people too, and each comes to the table with their own experiences, needs, and special brand of power.

So, how can we balance the demands and expectations of several to several hundred (or even thousands!) of people and still deliver the right project outcome? Even more difficult, how can we do it while building and maintaining important relationships and rapport?

“Stakeholders have primary needs that must be met, including the knowledge of what benefits there are for themselves and their organizations,” McMillan explained. Beyond that, she said, they need to trust that the team is performing and that their needs will be met.

As a day-to-day project manager often caught up in delivering, I found McMillan’s session to be a good reminder that the building blocks of any successful project are the relationships built. Relationships lead to information such as insights into individual and team motivations and better-defined requirements.

Her tactical guide to both managing and engaging stakeholders included helpful tips any project manager can apply today. First, “own” your stakeholders, knowing who they are and their idiosyncrasies. Second (my personal favorite), make TWO stakeholder registers -- one to share and one for your personal use. The added register could contain more detailed information about those you are working with to help you better navigate your approach. I’ll be creating my “lock and key” version ASAP!

McMillan also emphasized the need to develop, update and share a communications register with your stakeholders. Give them insight into who will be communicating with them about what, when, and in which medium. Make communication a two-way street so they can share with you, too.

Finally, protect your stakeholders. Make sure that you are advocating for their needs as you advance throughout your project, from defining requirements to ensuring they have the correct status updates.


Meet an Emerging Leader: Sandra Koelle, MBA, PMP, CSSGB

By Rachel Crane, PMP

Oct2019 Article Sandra KoelleSandra Koelle is the 2019 Annual Conference Director for PMI Portland and a long-standing member and volunteer for PMI Portland. Koelle has served in a number of leadership roles with PMI Portland, including as former Director of PMP Certification. In her day job, Koelle serves as a Program Manager for Kaiser Permanente.

How do you organize a day-long conference with two keynote presentations, 16 sessions, and hundreds of attendees? Just ask Sandra Koelle, MBA, PMP, CSSGB, the Director of the PMI Portland 2019 Annual Conference. Speaking about how she took the conference from vision to reality, Sandra describes her process with the ease of a professional with a deep understanding of the ins and outs of managing projects—and people.

“I started working on the conference in 2018, delving into how past conferences were done and then developing a project management plan. Then I recruited a project team to execute that plan,” says Koelle. “I also worked with portfolio leads to coordinate on the program and speakers, event marketing and sponsorship, mobile app creation, and volunteer engagement.”

To successfully drive conference planning, Koelle focused on “putting together a vision and imparting that vision.” She explains, “I had a vision for the different components of the conference…and I logged a lot of hours” to guide the implementation of that vision.

In her work taking the conference from vision to execution, Koelle says soft skills have been the key to success.

“We are all volunteers with day jobs, and we all have moments when we say, ‘I am really busy.’ To make it worth it, you need to make it about the relationships. It’s about exerting influence, tapping into others’ source of motivation, and asking them to hang in there with you.”

By ensuring the conference team leads had developed essential processes and on-boarded conference volunteers, on event day Koelle was able to enjoy the experience and see the vision brought to life. She participated in sessions such as the leadership panels offered through the program and portfolio management track, which was new this year.

“We wanted to see if we could engage more experienced project professionals through the program and portfolio management track. I thought the panel sessions for this track were excellent, both for less experienced project managers and senior project managers interested in working their way up to the executive level.”

She adds, “The majority of people I recruited for the conference were millennials. We need to keep them engaged in the chapter. What kept millennial volunteers engaged during conference planning was having the ability to innovate. We need to rethink our programs and explore how to incorporate tech into our activities and events.”

Asked what her next steps are post-conference, Koelle laughs. “I’m taking a vacation.” 


Are you or someone you know interested in being interviewed for the PMI Portland newsletter leadership profile? To nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration, please contact us at content@pmi-portland.org with a few details about your nominee.

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Chapter Meetings

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D'Angelo

Chapter Meeting | October 15, 2019

The Values of Great Leaders
Leading hundreds of tech-related projects for more than 25 years at a $2.5B company taught Kevin Ciccotti more than a bit about great leadership. When it was time for a change, he certified as a professional coach through the International Coach Federation and added another decade of training that includes the neuroscience of human behavior, emotional intelligence, and human needs psychology.

In this month’s PMI Portland Chapter meeting Education session and Keynote, Kevin will take participants on a leadership journey. The Education session kicks off the discussion helping us think through what our teams really need from us as leaders. The keynote session continues building our leadership skills by helping us identify three key values necessary to inspire teams to greater performance which leads to more fulfillment, meaning, and purpose. 

Register by October 10 before the late fee kicks in!



The Human Factor in Project Management; Leading Teams to Breakthrough Success | October 16, 2019
Leadership coach Kevin Ciccotti will stay in Portland an extra day after highlighting our October Chapter meeting to present this all-day workshop that looks at the "human factor" in project management. This course offers participants strategies to develop world-class, current and relevant leadership skills, building more resonant relationships, and getting teams to commit to each project while working together more effectively from the outset.

Workshop participants will walk away with:

  • Innovative insights into human behavior, including their own
  • A new level of understanding of their innate drivers
  • Tools that improve emotional intelligence to lead more effectively
  • Relationship-building tips to drive engagement, commitment, and productivity
  • Methods for becoming a resilient leader

Check out more on Kevin’s background, workshop pricing, and register before it is too late. Early bird discount ends Oct. 10. This workshop is filling fast!


Roundtables in Full Swing

Have a pesky problem you are dealing with on your project? Would you like to hear other perspectives on industry best practices from your peers? PMI Portland hosts roundtable groups across the Portland Metro area each week, including Hillsboro, Downtown, Lloyd Center area, North Portland, Vancouver -- even a virtual event focusing on Agile! Watch our homepage, or visit our Roundtable listing for more information.


Other Events

Celebrate PMI’s 50th Anniversary and our Volunteers | October 24, 2019 
As PMI Global celebrates its 50th anniversary advocating, educating and creating community for project management professionals around the world, PMI Portland Chapter is throwing its own bash. On Thursday, October 24, join us from 5:00-8:00 pm at the Punchbowl Social Club in downtown Portland for an evening of food, drinks, games, karaoke and cake! There will be bowling, darts, karaoke room, video games, pinball, and ping pong for you to enjoy.

In a special “shout out thank you,” anyone who volunteered with PMI Portland Chapter between August 2018 and September 2019 can attend for free! Your Portfolio leader will have a discount code for registration available to you beginning Oct. 11.

Members who haven’t volunteered can still join us for a very minimal cost ($10 per person). All are welcome to bring guests, also at $10 per person. Attendance is limited to 150 people. Register now.


Winterhawks Veteran’s Salute & Networking Event | November 9, 2019
PMI Portland is hosting a networking event in concert with the Portland Winterhawks’ Veteran Salute match against rival Vancouver Giants on November 9th. The Chapter’s Outreach team has designed new programming to honor veterans, engage potential PMI members, and foster relationship building. The hockey game is one of a number of new opportunities being created to share food, socialize and learn more from each other about our industry.

As a veteran-friendly organization, PMI serves those who have served us. Through our new military outreach efforts, PMI Portland will aid veterans with translating their military experience into opportunities such as professional certification and jobs through mentorship, training and networking events like this.

Spread the word! We’ll start the evening at 5 pm in a private suite with hors d’oeuvres and social time before moving to the club level in time for puck drop. This opportunity is open to veterans and non-veterans interested in joining PMI as well as PMI Portland members, and guests. Two tickets max per person. Tickets cost $15 and a charitable donation to the NW USO is suggested (https://northwest.uso.org/portland). If you are purchasing more than one ticket, utilize the “group registration” button. Space is limited; register today!


Chapter Event Calendar 


PMI Portland Nomination for Featured Leadership Profile

Are you or someone you know interested in being interviewed for the PMI Portland newsletter leadership profile? To nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration, please contact us at content@pmi-portland.org with a few details about your nominee.


Chapter is Looking for a Few Good Mentees

PMI Portland is one of many chapters throughout the nation that offers a mentoring program for its members. The mutually-beneficial connection matches experienced project managers with those new or newer to the profession to develop tools and knowledge that will enhance their skills applicable to the industry.

Portland’s Mentor Program has several options to choose from: 1) a basic project management career and problem-solving level; 2) a portfolio/program management level designed to help more experienced PMs move toward PMO work or managing a portfolio of projects; and 3) a level specifically created to connect military veterans with PM training gained during their service with those already practicing project management. Each option offers a wealth of benefits. Check out our Mentoring webpage for more details. Applications for both Mentees are due by November 1, 2019.




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We wish to thank each of the Chapter sponsors for their continued support of the organization and their recognition of the importance of project management in the Portland area. To learn how your organization can become a Chapter sponsor, please visit Become a Sponsor

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