PMI Central Alabama Chapter

President's Corner

President's Corner

A message from our 2023 President, Eric McKendall:

memorial day banner as203563041 950x532We'd like to give our very own Operations Advisor, Philip Diab, a BIG thanks for his presentation at our April Chapter Meeting! Lots of great information shared and engagement from the members.

Do you have a topic you'd like to present? Let us know!

This month, we would like to remember and honor our U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the armed forces.  May 29th may be the day we put focus on this, but we are forever greatful for those that have served and still serving. 

The start of summer for many schools are ending, but as a Project Manager, our learning never ends! Get ready for our 2023 Career Showcase!  Many companies such as Protective Life, Global PMO Partners, UAB, TEKSystems, BloodFlow, and more will be attending. Come check out this FREE event!  We also have our May Chapter meeting so make sure you register as soon as possible for your seats. They fill up fast!  As you attend these meetings, please take every opportunity to provide feedback so we may improve.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Recently I came across a few articles I find value in.  To reflect upon those that are trying to start a PM career, see what you think about this episode.

With guest Johanna Kolerski-Bezerra, PMP, and Alisa Vovk, PMI-CAPM 3 May 2023 Transcript

Advice on Starting Your Project Management Career

How does someone break into project management? In a joint discussion, guests share how they started their project management careers, the top skills new project managers should develop and how organizations can help project leaders upskill. Plus, they share how certifications from PMI have given their career development a boost.

Projectified® Podcast | PMI


For those experienced Project Managers who continue to strive for improvement (or new), check out these two articles regarding change management and the future of Agile.

The Most Successful Approaches to Leading Organizational Change (

Future of Agile | PMI Blog | PMI


I hope you find value in these and look forward to seeing you at our next event!

Eric McKendall, MSM, PMP, CLCP

President, PMICAC 2023

Be The Ripple!

Make It Easy | Aim Higher | Be Welcoming | Embrace Curiosity | Together We Can

My project 1 2Our March President's Reception was a huge success!  Many thanks to our speaker, Ken Craig for bringing an engaging, lively presentation on, "A Secret to Project Success".  Thank you to our members that engaged in great conversations, and sharing opportunities while enjoying a delicious meal. We wish Ken many congratulations on his retirement from McLeod Software!

This month, we will be hosting a virtual New Member's Orientation and hybrid April Chapter Meeting.  As you attend these meetings, please take every opportunity to provide feedback so we may improve.  We look forward to seeing you soon so be on the lookout for event updates!


IBM's Ginni Rometty on Skill-Building and SuccessHBR IdeaCastFor years, employers have used university degrees as a major requirement for hiring. But, for many jobs, success depends more on skills -- and the ability to adapt and learn -- than on piece-of-paper credentials. Ginni Rometty, former chairman and CEO of IBM, realized this early on -- first by watching her mother and other female relatives support their families and later by seeing what it took to rise to the top in her own career. At the helm of IBM from 2012 to 2020, she pushed the company to adopt skills-first recruitment and development practices, and now she's encouraging other organizations to do the same through her work at the non-profit OneTen. Rometty is coauthor of the HBR article “The New-Collar Workforce,” and the book Good Power: Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World.

Listen on Apple Podcasts:

Why Project Talent Is Still in Demand

Despite disruption and uncertainty, project professionals continue to have strong opportunities to advance their careers.  


Eric McKendall, MSM, PMP, CLCP

President, PMICAC 2023

Celebrating Women's History and Power Skills in the month of March!

My project 1 2March is the time for daylight savings, spring cleaning, St. Patrick's Day, Spring Break, March Madness and growth. As part of this year's strategy, one of our goals is to hold chapter events where our members work. We want to thank Protective Life for hosting last month's chapter meeting and for Anoop Mishra presenting leadership and management in the post-pandemic work environment. He provided some great tips that we can all incorporate into our teams.


This month, we will be hosting the Spring President's Reception with Ken Craig, CIO & VP of Special Projects at McLeod Software, as the speaker. The theme is leadership and the topic is "Change Management: A Secret to Project Success".


Here is a recent PMI article from the PMI Global Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, Dave Garrett, that I read addressing the importance of power skills (a.k.a. soft skills) and emphasis of the importance to project success.

Power Skills and Project Success | PMI Blog | PMI 


These are two short videos that feature our PMI Global President & CEO, Perre Le Manh with Fortune Media COO, Michael DePrisco discussing the topics of Employee Engagement and Reimagining Culture.

Employee Engagement Leads to Success | PMI Blog | PMI

Reimagining Culture to Drive Success | PMI Blog | PMI


Eric McKendall
President 2023, PMICAC

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!

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