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 2014 Board of Directors

Jerry Wang, PMP

Jerry’s goal for the 2011 Marketing and Public Relations team will be to focus on educational outreach, consummating two or more educational institutions in each month.   He hopes to establish a PM curriculum and/or to start a PMI student chapter.  Recently Jerry has been working with Saul Spivak of PMI Headquarters to get PMI-LA in the Academic Relations Pilot where the chapter would adopt the recommended methodology in approaching educational institutions.  Additionally, Jerry’s marketing team will provide hour-long training on Project Management topics of interest free of charge which will blend educational outreach with corporate and community outreach activities.


Vice President of Strategy / President-Elect
Kay Rathfelder, PMP

Kay has been a Project Management Professional (PMP) and member of PMI since 2004.  Before moving to southern California in 2010 she was a member of the Sacramento Valley Chapter as a volunteer for the Marketing Team.  She has served the LA Chapter for the past 3 years in a variety of volunteer positions – sending out the weekly eblasts for communications; as VP of Admin supporting the Board of Directors; and as VP of Communications.  Her previous position led a team of 10+ volunteers providing regular updates on Chapter meetings and events using a variety of communication channels (website, eblasts and social media).  She also instigated the Chapter Satisfaction Survey earlier this year which was distributed personally to each satellite location.  The feedback received was reviewed by the Board and has helped focus Chapter offerings more closely align to our member requirements.

Kay is currently a Senior Project Manager with a large utility company in Southern California leading virtual project teams.  Prior to her current role, she was with Hewlett Packard for 16 years and has additional experience in supply chain, logistics, materials and planning.  Kay has successfully delivered projects across the Americas, and also led worldwide new product introductions in Europe and Singapore.

Her goal as VP of Strategy is to: oversee the strategic planning process of the Chapter and ensure it is aligned with PMI; provide continuity and help with a smooth transition for the new Board of Directors; support the President and to continue to provide value to our members and more fun events as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the LA Chapter in 2014!


Vice President of Finance
 Jonathan Hicks, MBA, PMP
Jon Hicks (med)

Jon Hicks has been leading projects for over 15 years with a variety of groups, primarily for non-profit and educational institutions. He has an MBA with concentrations in Project Management and Organizational Dynamics. He received his PMP credential in July 2013.

Jon has been writing budgets and exercising financial controls since he was a pre-teen. After college, his talents for communication and improving systems served him well as a Project Manager for the Peace Corps in West Africa. Managing time and scope in three languages was often difficult, but luckily money and math are universal. He is now a Budget Analyst for UCLA Extension where he provides complete budgeting, financial analysis, accounting, and reporting for $9 million annually.

The value of education and personal development is central to his life. He has volunteered extensively for several educational institutions. At Mount St. Mary's he serves as technical adviser and guest lecturer for the Project Management concentration. He also helps develop the curriculum and lecture materials. He created the website for Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, serves as their webmaster, and participates on the school's Leadership Council.

As the VP of Finance for 2014, Jon will lead the Finance team and work with PMI-LA volunteers to:

- Process all financial transactions in a timely manner

- Maintain accurate financial records for the Chapter

- Ensure compliance with Chapter by-laws and PMI regulations

- Report on the financial health of PMI-LA

- Support the other Board members in their work to serve our Chapter and further the field of Project Management

Vice President of Programs
Dennis Chang

 Dennis Chang is a high-tech executive with over 30-years experience with international scope. His comprehensive management experience includes P&L, strategic planning, marketing, business development, team building and coaching, new product development, customer and supplier relationship management, acquisition integration, business process design, and turn-around management.

Dennis has served in various leadership roles including VP of Programs at SafeNet, Director/Manager at Tellabs (Advance Fibre Communications), BAE Systems (Lear Astronics), Teledyne, and L-3 Communications (IEC). As a Program Management expert, Dennis has created and lead six Program Management Offices (PMOs) in multiple industries: Aerospace, Homeland Security, Space, Defense, Telecommunications, Cyber Security and Internet.  Dennis’ experience also includes start-up companies such as Sonoma Design Group, Gluon Networks, KDS Thyroid Clinic, and CXO Enterprises.

Dennis has led teams in the development, manufacturing, operation, and service of numerous high-tech products including aircraft data acquisition and processing system, telecommunications access and switching equipment, F-15 flight control system, F-16 pilot control stick, P-3C Rate Sensor System, ERGM GPS guided munitions, EO/IR Sensors, Space Satellite Control Security Devices, High-Speed Optical Link Encryption, Secure Telephone Equipment, Automated Test Equipment and ruggedized displays for locomotives. Today, his products are used in flying jets, guiding missiles, watching over the grounds in Washington D.C., and protecting the most sensitive communications from the White House to fox holes.

In the international arena, Dennis has lived abroad in Xian, China where he designed, installed, and provided training for the data acquisition and processing systems for the Chinese Aircraft Research Center. In Korea, he initiated and developed new business for automated test stations selling to Samsung, Daewoo, and Agency for Technology Development. He was also a member of the Strategic Capture team for F-15K Slam Eager. In addition, Dennis has worked with and trained customers from Spain, Italy, England, and Sweden.

Dennis is the creator of original leadership concepts including “The Art of Program Management” and “The Art of Leadership in Organizations”. Dennis is an inspirational servant leader who has managed many teams to overcome seemingly impossible problems to deliver profit and customer satisfaction in excess of expectation.

Vice President of Professional Development
Nazanin Aslani, PMP

My name is Nazanin Aslani.  I joined PMI and PMI Los Angeles Chapter in Oct. 2011.  I became PMP in December 2011 and started my volunteer work with PMI LA in January 2012 as Director of Professional Development.   In this role, I have successfully organized and coordinated several workshops and seminars throughout the year.  In doing so, I worked with volunteers, instructors, speakers and other members of Board of Director.

My professional background is in Information Technology.  In my early career I was a software programmer/analyst and since 1999 I have been managing other programmers/analysts developing  and maintain software systems  for a Continuing  Education  institution.  In this position I hire, manage, lead and mentor my staff with varied backgrounds and skill sets.    I have excellent communication skills and have ability to convey information to technical and non technical people.   I am conscientious, dedicated, responsible and accountable and always perform my responsibilities to best of my ability.  I encourage constructive criticism, making improvements where needed and believe that collaborative work is key to a successful project.

In my capacity as Vice President of Professional Development in 2013, I would like to achieve the following goals:

  1. Continue offering PMP exam Preparation and Agile Scrum Master Certification workshops multiple times a year.
  2. Continue offering half day and full day seminars on project management skills, tools and techniques several times a year.
  3. Explore feasibility of offering workshops and seminars using an online platform only, and having online participation available in on-the-ground classes.
  4. Implement the above mentioned delivery methods if feasibility study was successful.

Vice President of Marketing / Public Relations

A major shift in Don Kim’s career occurred, when he discovered the field of project management that seemed to integrate and reconcile technical knowledge, emotional intelligence and business management skills into a perfect marriage.  He has never looked back.  In about the last decade, he has been involved in the field of project management initially as corporate employee and now as an independent consultant, trainer, coach, educator and writer which includes being an instructor at four universities and colleges, writer for several industry publications and event speaker.  

He is the founder and owner of one of the world’s most popular PM portal website at

His core competencies are to consult, train and educate your organization, department or teams to better manage people and projects, act as a catalyst for change, and to push new boundaries.  In addition, his entrepreneurial pursuits have never left him, which provides him with a position uniquely suited to driving and delivering business value to his clients and customers.

His motto is to help you manage your projects like a business so that your "project solutions are realized"

He has been a member of PMI-LA since 2006 and has been a volunteer instructor for the PMP prep class since passing his PMP exam back in 2007.  His goal as VP of Marketing will be to promoting strategic alliances with corporate, educational, and community organizations.  This will include brand management and managing relationships with these organizations.  In addition to his current career as a full time project manager and consultant, he has an extensive business background having successfully built several businesses from the ground up, making them profitable and selling them.  This experience has given him firsthand experience with marketing services and products which he believes will be valuable as VP of Marketing for PMI-LA.

He looks forward to being part of the PMI-LA board of directors and fulfilling his role of VP of Marketing to the best of his abilities.

Vice President of Membership
Carl Blake

Not only is PMI-LA a great organization, but we have an incredible Board of Directors this year who are taking the entire organization to the next level. I jumped on the opportunity to join the board and have seen some amazing progress. Through PMI-LA, I have earned my CSM (Certified Scrum Master), which has added significant value to my understanding of management principles in the agile environment.

My approach as VP of Membership is to go through every single process in Membership and work with my fellow volunteers to make all tasks more efficient and beneficial to the organization. We have a huge focus on continuous process improvement via agile methodologies. Eventually, as the processes continue to get more automated and efficient, we plan to implement a business intelligence model for the organization to utilize the data we collect to assist in creating a better organization.

My academic background includes a BS in Biology and an MA in Mass Communication.  I have been a college professor of Communications, an SAT instructor, and a textbook author. In addition, I have worked in the IT field for 15+ years as a project manager and documentation manager.  I’m passionate about continuous process improvement and facilitated many groups on these processes.


Vice President of Communications
 Carolyn Hedgepeth

Carolyn Hedgepeth is an inactive, California CPA who is submitting her candidacy as a volunteer for the VP of Finance.  A former auditor and corporate accountant, she transitioned her career path into executive recruiting, primarily focusing on finance-related opportunities.  At present, she is responsible for identifying and matching finance-functional, as well as business process improvement (BPI) project management professionals in the Western Region, and working toward the reactivation of her CPA license.

Throughout her personal and professional life, Carolyn has been active in her community and most recently held a Commissioner position for the City of Oxnard’s Homelessness until her recent relocation to the Los Angeles area.  Prior to that, she was an active, hands-on Board member for non-profits such as Santa Barbara’s Spirals for Gymnastics Foundation, based on the campus of UCSB where as President, she helped to lead the turnaround efforts of the organization, which still operates today.  She was also an active Board member for the previously franchised branches of the American Lung Association in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and played a key role in salvaging and transitioning the Ventura operations under the Santa Barbara branch.  Prior professional volunteer leadership positions held also include serving as Treasurer for the Ventura Chapter of the CPA Society.

As VP of Finance, Carolyn will work with the current Board and Volunteers in accurate and timely record-keeping of all financial reporting matters, including collaboration with bookkeeping and tax preparers.  She will maintain proper segregation of duties and provide fiscally responsible feedback on financial issues impacting the Los Angeles Chapter.  Her goal as VP of Finance would be to maximize revenue- generating opportunities, minimize expenses, and recommend appropriation of surpluses towards development-related resources and opportunities for the membership.  In addition, she also plans to encourage other CPA’s and finance professionals to consider the PMI as an option as they pursue other professional development resources.


Vice President of Administration / Operations
Keith Birch

Keith Birch is a passionate Project Manager, who is presently working as a Project Management Consultant for a Fortune 500 Health Care company in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Keith started volunteering in August 2012 in many capcities with PMI-LA.His contributions to PMI-LA chapter include starting a new meeting site, in the underserved Northern LA County area, in October 2012 as the Meeting Director. The meeting is now established in the College of the Canyons in Valencai, CA. He has also served as the Meeting Director for the Chapter Dinner Meeting in Culver City, CA and was promoted to Associate Vice President of Programs for 2013. Keith has been a guest speaker at various PMI-LA event locations. Keith was PMI-LA 2013 Volunteer of the Year.

Keith's philosophy of "Member First" means that eveery thing he does as a Board Memeber must benefit the membership and give value to the membership. He is committed to opening a Project Management Office, to ensure that all projects are delivered on time, cost, scope and quality. He is also driven by process improvements , and knows how to facilitate change management. Putting in and duplicating"One Best Way" and learning to be "Brilliant with the Basics" will advance operations at all levels at PMI-LA. His focus on Operational Excellence will give memebers an opportunity to have the best programs and services available to them.



Past President
Deby Covey, MBA, PMP, CSM

Pay it forward!  After 6 years in PMI, 5 years as a volunteer, and 4 year on the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to be able to pay back to the organization all the help, mentoring, and assistance I have received from my PMI-LA family.  The theme of this year is to Maximize Member Value.

I joined the PMI late in December 2006, and I passed the PMP certification exam on March 28, 2007. I apply continuous improvement both personally and professionally. I joined the PMI-LA Volunteer team in October 2007 and have served as a Board Director since January 2009.

As VP of Finance for 3 years, I helped the Board with financial aspects of implementing reserves and security policies, asset management as well as cross projects like website registrations, working with programs volunteers, streamlined registration process, and verification of information.

As VP of Strategy last year, I delved deeper into the areas of Communications, Membership and Marketing, especially Community outreach. 

My scholastic background includes a BS in Computer Science as well as an MBA, both from Virginia Tech. I have been employed full-time in my career since 1985; the past 24+ years with GXS, an innovative EDI Solutions Delivery company. During my career with GXS I have project managed and contributed to the success of several projects. My current role enables me to fully utilize my project management abilities.

In November of 2010, I became an Agile Certified Scrum Master.  I embrace the Agile methodology and would love to see more initiatives completed in 2013 than ever before! I plan to help steer PMI-LA to the next level and make it a chapter that stands out as a leader in the PMI Community by providing maximum Member value while enhancing the foundation of an organization that will grow beyond my term.  I am open to any idea, suggestion coming from the Project Management Community – just email me!

Many thanks!