PMI Central Alabama Chapter

President's Corner

President's Corner

Celebrating Black History Month and Collaboration in the month of February!handshake gdba2c89be 1280

We are well into 2023 and are excited about the chapter's plans and strategies to increase overall engagement with members, veterans, employers and students. The year started out with two great events: our January chapter meeting at UAB Collat School of Business where the PMICAC Board spoke about this year's strategy and our inaugural Veteran's Social at the Trussville Social. We will continue to have events throughout the year and provide opportunities to network and connect.

For this month's President's Corner, I want to share a podcast about collaboration. Guy Raz, an Award-Winning Reporter, Radio & Podcast Host and Creator, recently talked about the 3 behaviors that great business leaders have in common. These leaders always create a culture of collaboration. Please take a listen and hope you enjoy!


Eric McKendall
President 2023, PMICAC

Fact of the Week for Black History Month

Central Alabama Team,

Countless individuals owe their lives to Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950), the physician responsible for America’s first major blood banks.

Drew attended McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, where he specialized in surgery. During a post-graduate internship and residency, the young doctor studied transfusion medicine, and, later, while studying at Columbia University, he refined key methods of collecting, processing, and storing plasma.

In 1940, World War II was in full swing in Europe, and Drew was put in charge of a project called "Blood for Britain."



He helped collect thousands of pints of plasma from New York hospitals and shipped them overseas to treat European soldiers. Drew is also responsible for introducing the use of “bloodmobiles”— refrigerated trucks that service as collection centers and transport blood.

The following year, Drew developed another blood bank for military personnel under the American Red Cross — an effort that grew into the American Red Cross Blood Donor Service. Eventually, he resigned in protest after he learned that the military separated blood donations according to race.

Drew spent the remainder of his life working as a surgeon and a professor, and, in 1943, he became the first African-American doctor to be chosen as an examiner for the American Board of Surgery.

I encourage you to further research the story of Dr. Drew for yourselves, and be on the lookout for more facts in the coming weeks.


Stay safe and stay healthy!

Charlie L. Boyd, MBA, PMP
President, PMICAC 2022

Spring is upon us and with that, the annual symposium. This is a unique year because we are celebrating our 10th anniversary and the symposium team is planning an exceptional event. This year we will have two special key note speakers and members of our chapter will have the opportunity to compete against each other in a special S-Talk event where the winner will receive a special prize. In addition, special prices have been offered to companies who send 5 or more individuals. Information on the symposium is available both through the PMICAC website and through news blasts. As always if you have any questions, please reach out to any member of the board.

Spring also brings the PMICAC 2019 Board of Directors Elections. The election committee is getting a jump on 2019 elections and are looking for individuals to serve in the following positions:

  • President-Elect
  • VP Communications
  • VP Education
  • VP Marketing
  • VP Programs
  • PMIEF Liaison

If you are interested in serving on the board in 2019 please submit your nomination form by 4/30. Information is available at 

Finally, spring brings our annual PMP prep. This is first of two prep classes offered by the chapter and will start in May. Please keep an eye on the website and the news blasts for more information.


Susan Irwin

President, PMICAC Chapter

The year is half way over! I can’t believe it either! Take a minute to review your goals for the year and assess if you are on track. If you are off-base, like me, then begin developing and executing your plan to get you back on track.

The 2018 Symposium is one for the record books! This year the symposium team worked tirelessly and implemented a new format which our participants loved which included an opportunity to give back to the community. Participants spent several hours assembling over 175 care packets for The Foundry Ministries and First Light Shelter, two organizations who support the homeless population. The attendees as well as local businesses donated care packet items which included soap, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, wash cloths, toothbrush and toothpaste. In addition to the items, each participant included a note of encouragement to the recipient. What a wonderful way to give back and support the local community. Next for the symposium team – planning for 2019!!!!

Charity Project - The Foundry Donation Delivery      

Charity Project - The Foundry Ministries & First Light Shelter Donation Deliveries

This would not be a president’s corner if I did not ask for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email to any member of the board. Volunteers are imperative to our success and provide the chapter with not only the new idea’s and strategies, it also provides the chapter with the next generation of leaders.

Suggestions: What can the PMICAC chapter do to support you – we want your suggestions? Please send any suggestions to Susan Irwin, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, PMI-SP.
Have a safe and happy June and I look forward to seeing you at our chapter meeting in June.


Susan Irwin, Ph.D.

President, PMICAC Chapter

Happy New Year from the 2018 PMI Central Alabama Board.

2018 is guaranteed to bring change. PMI is kicking off 2018 with a change in the PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, CAPM, and PgMP certifications. If you are in the process of studying for these certifications, please be sure to take them before the exam changes on March 28 (PMP), March 26 (PMI-ACP), Q2 2018 (PMI-PBA), May 21 (CAPM), and June 25 (PgMP). You can find more information on the exam changes here: In addition to the certification changes, PMI has informed the board that Prometric, at the direction of PMI, will no longer allow test takers to use the 15-minute tutorial for a brain dump.

PMICAC has kicked off 2018 with a passion for getting things done. This year the PMICAC board will focus on the following three objectives:

Enhancing Project Management Skills in Students: The PMICAC board will be working with local elementary, high schools, and colleges to teach students about project management to provide them with the necessary skills to prepare our next generation to not only be successful in life but also to introduce them to project management.

Enhancing Project Managers in our area: The PMICAC board offers several opportunities to improve Project Managers in our area to include our monthly meetings and the yearly symposium. For individuals who are interested in becoming certified the chapter provides PMP training twice a year. This year we want to expand by training to other certifications and hold round tables in different organizations.

Helping People in Need: Our members have skills, and those skills are highly desired by non-profit organizations who support our community. The PMICAC board in interesting in partnering with local non-profits to help our community.

These are just a few items that the PMICAC board want to accomplish this year. However, to be successful, we need your help. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact any member of the PMI Board for more information.

As the 2018 PMICAC President, I look forward to serving and working with each of you on a successful year.

Susan Irwin
PMICAC President

Did you know that every person on the board started out as a volunteer? That is correct; most board members typically start out as a volunteer, interested in helping the chapter and then they decide they want to lead the chapter. It is never too late to start thinking about volunteering or even leading; we are always looking. The 2019 call for nominees will begin in mid to late spring, and we will be looking for individuals to help in the following positions:

  • President-Elect (3-year term)
  • VP of Communications (2-year term)
  • VP of Programs (2-year term)

Board positions typically take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a month depending upon the position. However, there are benefits to volunteering:

  1. Getting to know project managers in other organizations which can lead to knowledge sharing and potential job opportunities
  2. Free PDU’s
  3. Experience on your resume
  4. Opportunities to attend the monthly meetings for free
  5. Opportunity to work with a fantastic group of Project Management Professionals

Can’t take on a board position, I understand, but I still want you to think about volunteering. The PMICAC is looking for individuals to help coordinate the symposium, work monthly chapter events, post content to the website, and organize and teach PMP Prep courses.

If you are interested in volunteering or becoming a leader, please talk to any of very knowledge chapter leaders at your next monthly meeting or contact me at

As always, thank you for your continued support

Susan Irwin
President, PMICAC

The annual PMI Region 14 Conference was held in Florida's beautiful St. Pete Beach on April 24th and 25th. Many of your PMICAC board members attended this conference which is geared toward the volunteers of the region 14 chapters.

One of the Keynote speakers included David Marquet who's presentation on Intent-based Leadership was informative and inspirational. Fortune magazine called Mr. Marquet's book Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders the "best how-to manual anywhere for managers on delegating, training, and driving flawless execution."

The other Keynote speaker, John Stenbeck, motivated participants with secrets for creating robust, self-sustaining Chapter growth ... without burning themselves or their teams out!

Did you know that your PMICAC Board of Directors consists of folks just like you? We have come from various industries, have personal hobbies and participate in community activities. I would like to introduce to a new board member each month in the President's Corner article.

Your VP of Communications is Kimberly Bennett. Kimberly believes that PMICAC has opened up doors to endless possibilities for volunteering, networking with other professionals interested in project management and mentoring. This is Kimberly's second year as the VP of Communications. Before that she did an amazing job at the Director of Website Content where she learned all aspects of managing the PMICAC website. She received her Project Management Professional Certification in 2011.

Kimberly's academic career includes earning her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Birmingham-Southern College in 2005. She is currently enrolled in the Information Engineering Management (IEM) Executive Master's program at UAB and plans to graduate this month. In her younger years, she played the piano and violin. When she finds a little spare time, Kimberly enjoys singing,dancing and reading. She also enjoys Sci Fi movies, Lord of the Rings is one of her favorites. If she's not singing, dancing or watching movies, you can find her playing her opponents in Grand Theft Auto! She has been married for 3 years and enjoys trying new cuisines with her husband. The next time you see Kimberly at any of upcoming PMI events, be sure to ask her about her brief stint as a Zumba instructor.

Pamela Smith, PMP
PMICAC President

Did you know that your PMICAC Board of Directors consists of folks just like you? We have come from various industries, have personal hobbies and participate in community activities. I would like to introduce to a new board member each month in the President's Corner article.

Your VP Finance is Jeff Shimizu. Jeff's favorite aspect of volunteering with PMICAC is getting to support the chapter and help other project managers grow in their profession. He became a member of PMICAC in 2004 and 9 years later he's still actively involved. His past volunteer positions included serving as VP of Programs and President. Jeff earned his PMP in 2004 and is also a board member of the Collat Jewish Family Services (CJFS).

In Jeff's free time he attempts golf and enjoys clay art. He is an accomplished artist and has his works for sale at a local boutique. He also attend art festivals and fairs selling his custom clay art pieces. The next time you see Jeff at any of our chapter events, introduce yourself and ask him about how he survived an airplane crash. You'd be amazed.

Pamela Smith, PMP
PMICAC President

Let's do this!  PMICAC has kicked off 2015 with passion, determination and the know how to get things done!  This year PMICAC will continue its focus on these three Strategic goals:

  • Promote Project Management & Leadership Development -  Several PMICAC volunteers will attend PMI Leadership events.  The volunteer recruitment process will be streamlined to foster retention and participation.   A promotional marketing strategy is in the works to promote project management within a variety industries. 
  • Support Social Responsibility & Professional Responsibility  -  PMICAC is currently researching a Project of the Year Award program in addition to proposing partnerships with companies to bring more affordable and beneficial professional development opportunities.  
  • Increase Productivity & Value for PMI Members -  One very valuable opportunity we bring to our membership is the annual Symposium.  This year's theme will be our 20th Anniversary celebration! 

These are just a few of the things PMICAC will accomplish this year.  As the 2015 President, I look forward to serving you and wish each of you a very prosperous and Happy New year. 

Pamela Smith, PMP
PMICAC President

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