May 2017 News Print

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May Program Meeting

Before the dinner meeting we held two education sessions.  The first was lead by Deb Thurston who works for the Pasco School District as the Director of Career and Technical Education. Deb gave an excellent presentation on the Enterprise Week program, which she has been leading for the past 17 years (have impacted just under 10,000 students in this time frame) and once a year brings together the seniors from Pasco, Chiawana and Alternative High Schools to participate for a week at an off-site location, which for the past few years has been at the TRAC facility.  The students work in teams to create small businesses and at the end of the week have a trade show.  They all take on specific roles within the team, e.g. HR director, administrative assistant, etc., and are assisted by volunteer Area Community Advisors, who as well as advising their team also serve in such roles as trade show judges, mentors and consultants.  The week costs around $90K to operate for 800 seniors, including utilizing the school district meal program and renting the TRAC facility.  In kind donations also help to support the program, with GESA Credit Union being a major contributor and opportunities to provide sponsorships and/or donations can be found at  Deb concluded her presentation by talking about her plans for 2018 where they are looking to move Enterprise to a problem solving solution based approach that focuses on community challenges, rather than simulated businesses.  She is looking for ideas for community challenges, as well volunteers to serve as Judges, Mentors and/or Consultants and can be contacted at

Deb Thurston, Pasco School District, Terri Fookes, PMI-CRBC Director of Educational Speakers

The board would like to say a big thank you to Deb for her work and time in preparing and delivering this excellent session.

The second session was lead by Dawn Adams, PMP, who is a Senior Project manager with Kurion (Veolia) and the title of her presentation was "Fukushima Today".  Dawn is the program manager for Japan and gave a very informative presentation on the work that Kurion has accomplished to date in treating radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi site. The Kurion Mobile Processing Systems (KPMS-1 and KPMS-2) were fabricated and tested in Richland, WA, and were shipped five weeks after TEPCO awarded the contract and were operational within eight weeks of the contract award.  These systems are now retired, but the Kurion Ion Specific Media System (ISMS) is still operating.  Dawn described the challenges that her and her team faced in delivering the system to Japan (was transported on an Antonov AN-225 - world's largest aircraft) and working at the Fukushima site.  She also described the Japanese culture and the challenges of doing business in Japan.

Dawn Adams, Kurion (Veolia), Terri Fookes, PMI-CRBC Director of Educational Speakers

The board would like to say a big thank you to Dawn for her work and time in preparing and delivering this excellent session. 

The education sessions provide an opportunity for members or non-members who would like to present one or more of the education sessions to get involved and present on PMI Talent Triangle subjects, i.e. Technical Project Management, Strategic and Business Management and Leadership.  If you're interested in presenting, then please contact

Our dinner keynote speaker was Matt Kincaid, Ph.D, who is the co-author of the book " Permission to Speak Freely: How the Best Leaders Cultivate a Culture of Candor" ( available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble).  Matt provided an overview of the book, which illustrates the benefits of candid communications (enhances innovation, ownership, engagement, and performance) and explains the inhibitors that cause it to feel unsafe, and provides tools for leaders to build trust and openness into the core of their organizational culture.  He discussed several aspects of the book, including what leaders need to hear, how leaders can impede communication (a leader's power suffocates, people fear judgement and rejection leads to fatigue) and how to cultivate a culture of candor.  Matt rounded out the presentation with an energetic Q&A session.

Matt Kincaid, Ph. D, Steve Swenning, PMI-CRBC President 

The board would like to say a big thank you to Dr. Kincaid for taking the time to prepare for and deliver the dinner keynote at our May program meeting.    

PMI Columbia River Basin Chapter Board of Directors Election Results

Thank you to Charles Tyler for once again volunteering to run the election process, the members who participated in the ballot (18% voter turnout), and the following elected individuals who are volunteering to serve on the board for the next two years effective July 1. The Board would also like to recognize the outgoing Executive VP:  Mike Sheridan, who has served on the board for the past six years and whose volunteer work for the chapter has been greatly appreciated. You will be missed Mike!

Alex Scortzaru  -  Executive VP

Matt Wells  -  VP Professional Development

Meg Kobalter - VP Finance

Ivan Thomas  -  VP Communications


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Calendar of Events

Chapter Program Meeting

There will be no program meetings in June, July and August.  The next program meeting will be September 5 and details will be communicated closer to the event. However, we are planning to have a social event in August and details will be communicated closer to the event.

PMP Exam Preparation Classes

The PMI Columbia River Basin Chapter will be holding two further PMP Exam Preparation Boot Camps in 2017:  July 25-27 and September 26-28.  Please click here for details on how to register for any these classes.

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Volunteer News

Call for Presenters.  Earn More PDUs by Presenting at the Monthly Chapter Program Meetings!

If you are searching for ways to earn more PDUs for zero cost then consider presenting an educational topic at an upcoming Chapter program meeting.  The Chapter’s Board Members established two one-hour educational sessions which are given each month prior to the Monthly Chapter Dinner Meeting.  If you are the presenter, you earn PDUs for your time spent creating and presenting the material.  Any subject of interest to Project Managers is a possible topic which includes all areas of the PMBOK.  In addition, general management, strategic and business management and leadership subjects are also appropriate for educational sessions.

If you have expertise in an area and are willing to present either or both one-hour educational sessions at a Chapter Program Meeting (Session 1 starts at 3:30 PM and Session 2 starts at 4:30 PM, then please contact Ivan Thomas at for further information.  Volunteering helps your fellow chapter members too!

Vacant Chapter Positions

The chapter currently has the following opportunities to volunteer for the chapter:

Director of Educational Speakers

Director of Strategic Planning

Director of Photography and Digital Media

Director of Corporate Ambassadors

If you're interested in any of these positions, then please contact Ivan Thomas at for further information. 

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Spotlight on Members

Hi, This is Ivan Thomas (VP Communications) speaking and I'm looking for news articles that I can share with the chapter membership, which shine the spotlight on the great things that we're doing in the community and/or the world of Project Management.  Listening to folks at the chapter program meetings, PMI Region 1 meetings, and hearing about projects at the Project of the Year Awards Gala, I know that we're involved in some cool stuff.  If you have anything that you'd like me to share then please email me at, making sure that you've covered all of the bases regarding any public release approvals pertaining to the news article.

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