President's Monthly Message

Deby Covey

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Deby Covey, MBA PMP CSM
PMI-LA 2023-2024 President
E-mail: president@pmi-la.org
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deby-covey-mba-pmp-csm-539288/ 

 

 

January to February 2024

2024 promises to be an awesome year!

WOW!  PMI-LA has grown to over 2300 members by the end of February!  Membership is stronger than ever, while we maintain above 72% retention rates!  Welcome to all the new members and THANK YOU to our renewing members! 

In PMI news, PMI annual rates will be going up by $10 at the global level, while PMI-LA member rates will remain the same at $30.

PMI Infinity – Artificial Intelligence for Project Managers.  Click here to learn more about this hot topic!

For an update on our chapter initiatives:

The 50th Anniversary Task Force is rolling along with celebration ideas!  Come to one of our in-person celebrations to get a commemorative pin and beverage container of your choice!  This promises to be a year to remember!

Please come to our Volunteer Recruitment event on Saturday, March 9th at the Manhattan Beach Library from 10:30 - 2:00 pm.  We would love for you to join the PMI-LA Volunteer family!

Our first in-person Flagship will be held on March 14th at Raffi’s Catering in Pasadena.  Come out to meet your hard-working board while learning about “Harnessing the Power of Augmented Reality (AR) for Project Management Training and Process Improvement”.

Projects for Social Impact has kicked off its 2024 planning, with upcoming events at Santa Monica Beach (Heal the Bay – Beach Clean-up), Downtown LA Foodbank, and support of snack kits for Downtown Women’s Center.

Register now to get your member discount!  We will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary all year but will have the MAIN EVENT on June 1st at Universal Studios Sound Stage 15.  Please join us for a fun-filled day and networking celebration with a 1 PDU event that evening!  Members can bring guests to this event at discounted pricing (look for the member email that went out the week of February 19th for the code).  All members and guests can enjoy the day at Universal Studios and then come down for networking and dinner that evening!

We have a special guest coming in to help us celebrate: Pierre Le Manh, CEO of PMI, who will talk about the Future of PMI.  The planning committee is also planning some other exciting things this year including something on June 2nd, with Menaka Gopinath, Chief Marketing Officer of PMI.  Stay tuned!

SAVE-THE-DATE!  PMI Global Summit in 2024 will be held Sept. 18th - 21st at the Los Angeles Convention Center – so I hope to see many LA members at this event!  The board is negotiating for space at this event for another 50th Anniversary celebration so you could hopefully meet some of the PMI Board members coming in to LA for this event!  PMI-LA will be posting VOLUNTEER POSITIONS for this global event – and volunteers get to attend for FREE on their volunteering day!

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!

January 2023

January 2023

All members – Welcome to 2023! Flashback to 2013 when I was sitting at my computer trying to determine what words would inspire members to come out and support the PMI-LA chapter. Back in 2013 – we had 8 Programs sites all around the Los Angeles area and we gave members time to network and meet peers in various locations and industries. We had impactful Flagship events and I got to meet so many members in person! Since then, Programs and Career Development events established a regular cadence and then 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns occurred and we had to pivot fast.

What did the Covid-19 lockdowns teach us? We can still provide quality Programs and Career Development events virtually and at a lower cost to our membership. Networking was different and challenging, and the fun and social aspects of membership were put on hiatus. However, while some of us are ready to return to pre-COVID events, there are still others of us that COVID impacted negatively in our families, children, and social world which has left us a little wary of meeting in person. Keeping these pandemic challenges in mind, 2023 is our chance to “change the model” and let PMI-LA once again reach out to provide those same services, programs, career development options, networking options, and volunteering opportunities to a much different membership than 2019.

I met with the incoming 2023 board on December 3-4 to discuss our vision and goals for 2023. COVID impacted the chapter in a big way. We were well over 2000 members in 2019 and dropped down to a low of 1687 – and are just now regaining our membership. One of the 2023 goals is to increase our membership back to over 2000 members.

Another goal for this year is to continue refining the lower-cost virtual offerings while committing to a minimum of 4 in-person programs events. I am looking forward to meeting you at these events. If there are other ideas that you as a member feel would help you re-engage with the chapter, please reach out to the board and let us know.

Our third goal for this year is Project Management Impact across Los Angeles. The board agreed that we would like to set up a framework for Project Managers to meet and network and also have an impact on our world by working on projects related to the 17 UN Sustainable Projects. Ideas like helping out with Project Management at Food Banks, Homeless Assistance Pop-Ups, Marginalized Youth programs, and Project Management programs for K-12 to help bring kids back from the years they missed – are all ways we can contribute. If you have an idea that you would like to put forth please send an email to info@pmi-la.org and let us know.

Stay tuned each month for updates on upcoming events, and a short summary on the chapters 2023 initiatives.

February 2023

February 2023

Our Annual Business meeting was well attended – with over 120 registered, at one time there were 80 people online! PDUs have been posted, and thank you very much for the feedback. This year’s board has a lot of feedback and will continue to work towards making this a chapter that members enthusiastically want to join, and stay.

Let’s start with our goal to increase members …. In December of 2022, we had 1862 members. At the end of January, we now have 1869 members! Let’s keep up the momentum and tell your friends and colleagues the merits of joining PMI. A quick trip down memory lane, back in the early 1990s, I got my MBA while working for GE. Despite the positive merits of an MBA, it did not net me 1 thin dime in my paycheck, nor recognition of my career goals. Fast forward to 2007 when I was PMP Certified, 2009 when I joined the PMI-LA board, and 2010 when I was CSM Certified. My professional career has moved from Team Lead/Project Manager to Program Manager, to Manager of an RMO (Results Management Office), up to Senior Manager, and most recently Director. Was it the PMP alone? No, but it got me the visibility I needed to move into more responsible positions. It’s a start! For those that have their PMP – consider taking on some more responsible roles within the chapter. LinkedIn and most resume workshops say that a majority of hiring companies are looking for that balance between work and volunteering.

Our retention statistics are not as positive as the membership increases. We went from nearly 80% retention down to 78%. For those that are considering leaving the chapter, I implore you to let us know what it would take to retain your membership. As you are now aware, we are retaining our quality virtual programs and career development opportunities, so even if you leave the area, you can still benefit from being a member of the chapter.

As mentioned, our third goal for this year is Project Management Impact across Los Angeles. WOW! The feedback on this goal was tremendous. I have reached out to our VP of PMO/Admin and we will be looking for volunteers that want to a) Help organize the PMO with intake forms, evaluation criteria, PM assignment, and goals tracking, b) Work as a Senior/Junior Project manager on one of these projects, c) Work as a project team player and/or participant. As a member, if you have an idea that you would like to put forth please send an email to info@pmi-la.org and let us know.

The next in-person meeting will be held on March 9 at the Cambria Hotel in El Segundo. I look forward to seeing you there!

March 2023

Our first in-person event, the March Flagship was well attended – with 40 registered – it was a full house!  Our very own VP of Programs gave a talk about how to better identify and work with the team and build trust and long-term relationships.  We had 2/3 of attendees attending for the first time or as new members and several new credential holders!

Let’s start with our goal to increase members ….  at the end of February, we are at 1866 members.  Hopefully, it is just the winter doldrums and as spring approaches more members will be attracted to our events!  For those who have their PMP – consider taking on some more responsible roles within the chapter.  Our Volunteer Recruitment is coming on April 6 and we are always looking for fresh ideas.  LinkedIn and most resume workshops say that a majority of hiring companies are looking for that balance between work and volunteering.

Our retention statistics are holding even at 78%.  For those who are considering leaving the chapter, I implore you to let us know what it would take to retain your membership.  As you are now aware, we are retaining our quality virtual programs and career development opportunities, so even if you leave the area, you can still benefit from being a member of the chapter.

As mentioned, our third goal for this year is Project Management Impact across Los Angeles.  We will have a two-pronged approach: look for a website link to tell us about any projects you are personally already engaged in, the number of hours, and if you reported them to PMI already.  Let’s see if Los Angeles Project Managers can contribute 10,000 hours to this initiative!  As a member, if you have an idea that you would like to put forth please send an email to info@pmi-la.org and let us know. 

The chapter has planned a special event for Members on April 26!  Cirque Du Soleil Corteo is coming to Los Angeles and the chapter has secured Loge seating for its membership.  For those that are volunteers, please reach out to volunteers@pmi-la.org to get a discount code to save 20% off the member price!

The next in-person meeting will be held on June 8 at Raffi’s Catering in Pasadena.  Then, in August we have Lee Lambert coming to speak.  For those who don’t know Lee, he is one of the founders of PMP, and here is his LinkedIn profile:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lelambert/ .    I look forward to seeing you there!

April 2023

Let’s start with our goal to increase members ….  at the end of April, we are at 1910 members!  Well on our way to moving the chapter membership over 2000!  We will be sending personalized invitations to join the chapter to all members who are currently PMI Members but not chapter members. If you are not yet a member, reach out and let me know what we can do to help you stay engaged with the chapter and up to date with your career development.

Our retention statistics are holding even at 78%.  As you know, we are retaining our quality virtual programs and career development opportunities, so even if you leave the area, you can still benefit from being a member of the chapter.  Looking forward to our very popular JIRA and Scrum classes coming up in May and June.  There is intense leadership training available with chapter-negotiated discounts … just for you!

Six of your hardworking board members were able to attend the North America Leadership Institute Meeting in San Diego where we learned about PMI’s latest initiatives and met with 360 fellow chapter leaders across North America.  We learned that PMI is very focused on Social Good and the PMIef foundation is working towards realigning with the UN Sustainability Development Goals.  They provided us with ideas that we as project managers can use to help the world be a better place.

Aligning with PMI’s Social Impact focus, our third goal for this year is Project Management Impact across Los Angeles.  Our PMO has kicked off and will be helping us to select a couple of key chapter initiatives for you to participate in.  We are almost ready to launch a form to help gather your personal Social Impact hours and we will submit them to PMI on your behalf.  If you know of an organization that you work with that would like to be listed on our page of organizations that focus on social good projects, please email info@pmi-la.org and let us know. 

On April 26, 30 PMI-LA members and guests attended Cirque Du Soleil Corteo.  It was a wonderful show, and it was great to see so many friends in person once again.

On May 9, we have our first industry program in person at El Portal in Pasadena.  The topic will be aligned with Healthcare and Technology.

Our Flagship in-person meeting will be held on June 8 at Raffi’s Catering in Pasadena.  As a reminder, in August we have Lee Lambert coming to speak, and hope to have a location locked down shortly.  For those who don’t know Lee, he is one of the founders of PMP, and here is his LinkedIn profile:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lelambert/ .   

Beginning May 1, please welcome Nancy Watanabe to the 2023 board as VP of Membership!  Joining us from the PMI-SFBAC chapter, Nancy brings a wealth of non-profit organization knowledge to the board!

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!

May and June 2023

Where did May go?  I find myself re-capping all the exciting things that we have done this month and realize its June already!

Let’s start with our goal to increase members ….  as of today, we have 1938 members!  Keep the momentum going!  I sent a personal invitation to PMI Members who are not yet chapter members to check out the many things the chapter is doing this year.  If you are not yet a member, reach out and let me know what we can do to help you stay engaged with the chapter and up to date with your career development.

Our retention statistics are slightly up at 79%.  As you know, we are retaining our quality virtual programs and career development opportunities, so even if you leave the area, you can still benefit from being a member of the chapter.  We have a lot of multi-chapter collaboration events as well as summer career development events coming up, all with Chapter member discounts!

On May 9, we held our first industry program in person at El Portal in Pasadena.  The topic was  Healthcare and Technology, and we had a great turnout of over 30 participants.

Our Flagship in-person meeting was held on June 8 at Raffi’s Catering in Pasadena. We had nearly 70 registered for this event!  Not only did David Shostak share with us tips on how to be superior project managers, but we also held a soft launch for our Social Impact Initiative, along with an event to help put together 100 Snack Packs for the Downtown Women’s Shelter.  Many thanks to all who attended!  The venue was spacious, the food was plentiful and delicious, and excitement was in the air!

Stay tuned for the official kick-off of the Social Impact Initiative on June 22 (virtual)!  The chapter has officially logged 75+ hours towards PMI’s Projects for Social Good!  Let’s keep that community involvement going!

As a reminder, in August we have Lee Lambert coming to speak on a topic that is near and dear to all of us …. The Future of Project Management!  For those who don’t know Lee, he is one of the founders of PMP, and here is his LinkedIn profile:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lelambert/.   For the location, we are happy to be returning to the Port of LA in San Pedro on board the USS IOWA!  Registration is posted here: https://www.pmi-la.org/calendar?eventId=16237 and for those who want to come in early, we are once again offering docent-led tours for a nominal fee.  The USS IOWA is the last of the Navy battleships and is rich in history. 

VOLUNTEER!  Our VP of Operations, Alexandra, has been busy planning our July Strategic session.  Now is the chance for volunteers to get together in-person for the first time since 2020 to talk about those tactics needed to move the chapter forward and provide value to all members while attracting new members!

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!

July and August 2023

Hope the summer has you enjoying staycations or going somewhere relaxing or fun and exciting.  PMI-LA has had some very fun and exciting things to share since June!

Let’s start with our goal to increase members ….  as of today, we have 2025 members!  We hit my personal goal of over 2000 members!  Way to go! Keep the momentum going!  Let’s get back to pre-pandemic numbers!  I will keep sending personal invitations to PMI Members who are not yet chapter members to check out the many things the chapter is doing this year.  If you are not yet a member, reach out and let me know what we can do to help you stay engaged with the chapter and up to date with your career development.

Our retention statistics are holding steady at 79%.  In addition to retaining our quality virtual programs and career development opportunities, we have added monthly multi-chapter collaboration events where you can meet with members from 6 other chapters!  We are also looking at partnering with AITP for an in-person Industry event in October!

Our July Strategic Session was held at the Accenture offices downtown and we built 32 intake kits for Covenant House during breaks and lunch time.  We focused on many things and finally narrowed it down to the top 4 strategic initiatives for 2024! Stay tuned, the results of this meeting will be published soon!

Our Flagship in-person meeting was held on August 10th at the iconic USS IOWA Battleship in San Pedro.  We had 72 registrations for this event and 25 signed up for tours before the event!  Lee Lambert, one of the 5 founding members of the PMP, came and gave some sage advice as to how the PMP is continuously improving and changing since it was first launched.  We enjoyed some historic anecdotes, heard from our 2 sponsors (Project Insight and Facilitated Methods), and learned of another Social Impact opportunity to help maintain the USS IOWA.

Our Social Impact hours have grown to over 600 hours in a mere 6 weeks!  Let’s keep the momentum going with our “Beach Clean-up” on September 23rd and our LA Food Bank volunteering on October 14th.  If helping put kits together is your jam, then on October 24th, at our Industry event, we plan to work on hygiene kits for LA’s homeless community!

Also coming up is our first virtual New Member Orientation for 2023 – for new members and current members that want to know just a little bit more about what the chapter has to offer!  If you just want to come in person to talk to other Project Managers, the Membership team has planned a networking event at Don Antonio’s on August 30th!

In addition to the 120VC Series, PMP training, and leadership courses, we are also once again offering Brand and Land (proven methodology).  It will be held on September 16th – at a very low cost for all members!

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!

August and September 2023

As schools start back in session, PMI-LA has some exciting things coming up!

Let’s start with our goal to increase members. As of today, we have over 2100 members! I was hoping to get us back to pre-pandemic numbers and we have surpassed that goal!  Let’s aim to go above the chapter’s highest membership to date before the year's end! I will keep sending personal invitations to PMI Members who are not yet chapter members to check out the many things the chapter is doing this year. If you are not yet a member, reach out and let me know what we can do to help you stay engaged with the chapter and up to date with your career development.  I would LOVE to hear from you and can be reached at president@pmi-la.org.

Our retention statistics are still holding steady at 79%. Be on the lookout for an in-person Industry Networking event with AITP in October!

Our Social Impact hours have grown to over 700 hours in since July 1! Almost 30 attendees joined us at Torrance Beach with our “Beach Clean-up” on September 23rd.  We looked awesome in our pistachio colored T-shirts as joined over 150 volunteers to gathered the stuff that makes the beaches ugly.    Feel like you missed out?  Come and join us at the LA Food Bank volunteering on October 14th ! If helping put kits together is your jam, then on November 9th, at our next Flagship event, we plan to work on hygiene kits for LA’s homeless community!  Our Volunteer partnership with Wells Bring Hope is closed – there are over 54 volunteers for this worthy event! We will also be attending the STEM event for the Mars Rover Expo on September 30th. Let me know if you are interested in helping youths make their own planet night light.

Our first virtual New Member Orientation for 2023 was highly successful. If you missed this event, stay tuned for one next quarter! It is for new members and current members who want to know just a little bit more about what the chapter has to offer! Many thanks to all who attended our first in-person Networking Event at Don Antonio’s on August 30th. We had a full house and many stayed past the official event to learn more about each other and the chapter.

In early September I attended the multi-chapter event with over 84 attendees! The topic was one that is near and dear to my heart – lessons learned! There were many insightful questions around the value of this hot topic!

I personally attended the Brand and Land (proven methodology) to help you navigate the digital hiring process. There were many golden nuggets to help you on your way! Please reach out to Career Development or me personally if you missed this session and would like to see if there is another one in the future.  My friends in PMI-CIE have one in October, and they have agreed to give PMI-LA members the same cost as our event.

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!

October to November 2023

Fall starts many end-of-the-year holidays and leads into our last quarter serving on your Board of Directors. No matter what holidays you celebrate, remember your PMI family celebrates with you as well!

Thank you to all who voted, as the new 2024 Board is now forming and storming so we can get to performing come January 1!

Let’s start with our goal to increase members. As of today, we have over 2174 members! When I started with the chapter, we were under 1000 members – and despite the pandemic our PMI-LA family and network has grown to more than double!  I will keep sending personal invitations to PMI Members who are not yet chapter members to check out the many things the chapter is doing this year. If you are not yet a member, reach out and let me know what we can do to help you engage with the chapter and stay up to date with your career development.  Our retention statistics are still holding steady at 79%.

We have our Flagship meeting in Culver City on November 9th  and an upcoming in-person Networking event in Manhattan Beach area November 15th. Join us!

Our Social Impact hours have grown to over 1300 hours since July 1!  At the LA Food Bank event we bagged over 21,000 pounds of produce for LA area families this fall, and we plan to put together 200 hygiene kits for the homeless at our Flagship event.  We plan on helping with Beach clean-up and LA Food Bank again in 2024. REMINDER: Enter your personal hours for non-chapter sponsored Projects for Social Impact before December 15 of this year to give the chapter credit for Los Angeles Project Managers giving back to their communities.  Let’s show the world what LA can do!

In early October, I kicked off the PMI Global Council conference hosted here in LA!  The Board was also invited to a session about how the production of “The Masked Singer” is a very large project with lots of risks.  The PMI Global Council is a group of PMI-friendly companies that work with PMI to showcase how PMI and certified practitioners are solving the world’s Project Management challenges.

I represented the LA chapter at the PMI Global Summit in Atlanta this year attended by over 3500 Project Managers!  Kudos to our friends at PMI-Phoenix for winning Chapter of the Year!  The topics this year were rich in AI and Project Management.  In fact, there is a new initiative for PMI called Project Infinity, which combines Project Management Knowledge with ChatGPT to allow PMs to ask questions on any PMBoK topic and get an instant response!  One key takeaway is that the PMI Global Summit in 2024 will be held Sept. 18-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center – so I hope to see many LA members at this event! 

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!

December 2023 to January 2024

What an exciting 2023!  On December 10th we held our first in-person Volunteer End of the Year celebration since the pandemic.  It was WONDERFUL to see everyone and relax and recognize all our very hardworking teams. 

For those that made it to the January Annual General Meeting, you saw that your hardworking board produced a dramatic increase in Membership (2268 as of 12/31), maintained retention (79%), increased financials, and provided 1600 hours of Impact to PMI for Projects for Social Good!  We also recognized Eric Brown, Tracy Bader, and Tia Eskandari as special volunteers and Barb Cooke, our hardworking Director of Volunteers and Trustee as our Charlie Lopinsky Volunteer of the Year!

The board strategic planning meeting was held January 12th-14th  and we have a firm understanding of the myriad of ideas that flourished from the AGM.  One member said to me, “While it all looks exciting, isn’t that a lot to commit to in a single year?”  My answer is “YES, it is!”  But the 2024 board is ready to roll up their sleeves and move forward!

On January 20th,PMI-LA partnered with DiscoverE Future City Southern California Region to host over 100 competitors (17 middle school teams) presenting their city of tomorrow!  There were over 20 volunteers and judges that attended – getting our 2024 PMI-LA Hours for Impact initiative off to a great start!  The PMI ef judge came all the way from Illinois!  Please let the PMI-LA Social Impact team (socialimpact@pmi-la.org) know if you would like to help prepare for the January 2025 competition!

Please look for our Volunteer recruitment event that will be held soon so you can join the PMI-LA Volunteer family!

SAVE-THE-DATE!  We will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary all year but will have the MAIN EVENT on June 1st at Universal Studios Sound Stage 15.  Please join us for a fun-filled day and networking celebration with a 1 PDU event that evening!  We have a special guest, Pierre Le Manh, CEO of PMI, who will talk about the Future of PMI.  The planning committee is also planning some other exciting things this year (including something on June 2nd) …… stay tuned!

SAVE-THE-DATE!  PMI Global Summit in 2024 will be held Sept. 18th-21st at the Los Angeles Convention Center – so I hope to see many LA members at this event!  The board is negotiating  for space at this event for another 50th Anniversary celebration so you could hopefully meet some of the PMI Board members coming into LA for this event!

I look forward to seeing you at all our events!