March Monthly Chapter Event

March Monthly Chapter Event


Vera Rhoads

Senior Managing Consultant UX

Becket Dickerson

IBM Interactive Experience (IBMiX)

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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About the Presentation

Design Thinking and Project Management – What's in it for you?

Participate in this interactive session to learn more about Design Thinking and how it impacts and enhances Project Management. Learn to focus on the users and user desired business outcomes, how to solve complicated business problems through the power of Design Thinking. Learn what it is, learn about creative co-creation – personas, empathy maps, storyboarding and how all of this can make you a more effective and efficient Project Manager. Get practical advice from industry leaders in Design Thinking and long time effective project managers. Design Thinking seems to be everywhere these days – Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg, and Fast Company as it has emerged as an innovative force. Join to learn how you can benefit from Design Thinking and Project Management.

Event Location

Le Méridien
1121 19th St N
Arlington, VA, 22209

Agenda and Cost:

Chapter Members: $35
Non-members: $40

Please note that this will be a 1 PDU event with an increased focus on networking.

5:00PM - Registration Opens & Networking Begins
5:00 PM - PMIWDC Members Only Book Club Meeting
6:00 PM - PM Talks
7:15 PM - Presentation Concludes

Parking garage located 1 block from Le Méridien at 19th Street and N Kent Street, look for the "Blue Parking Sign"
Parking is $5 after 5:00 PM
After parking, take the elevator up to the top floor of the parking garage and follow signs for Le Méridien

PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs
Talent Triangle Category: 
Strategic and Business Management

About the Speakers

Vera Rhoads

Senior Managing Consultant UX

Vera Rhoads brings strong expertise in cognitive behavioral research to enhance the user experience. She has been working on improving the usability and optimizing web solutions for large-scale Fortune 500 companies, international finance organizations and non-profits (Fannie Mae, AARP, IMF) for 20 years.

Her specialties include: User Research, full life cycle User Experience (UX), IBM Design Thinking, Customer Experience (CX), Content Strategy, Web Strategy and Operations, Social Media, Usability, Branding, Multi-lingual Globalization and Localization, Web Content Management and Search.
Vera is CUA and CXA certified, PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, ITIL and SCRUM master certified and works on enhancing process methodologies into the web development lifecycle. She has won many significant design awards in her career, including Nielsen Norman Top 10 Intranets.

Vera also frequently presents at UX conferences and has been teaching UX at the University of Maryland, College Park Graduate School for 14 years. She teaches Users and User Context, UX Research Methods (User Journey Maps, Personas, Surveys, Card Sorting) and Advanced Usability.

Vera is a board member at Byte Back – a non-profit organization that improves economic opportunity for low-income residents by providing computer training.

Becket Dickerson

IBM Interactive Experience (IBMiX)

Mr. Becket Dickerson is an Associate Partner and Service Area Manager in the Strategy & Design, Digital Consulting Services Practice Area of IBM Global Business Services (GBS), US Federal Team.
Over the course of his eighteen-year career with IBM, Mr. Dickerson has performed project coordination, monitoring and management functions for large-, mid-, and small-size transformation projects, in addition to conducting business process reengineering, organizational performance management assessments, facilitation and training, and operations and customer support. Currently, he is the Design Thinking Lead for IBM GBS Public Sector where he and his team leverage IBM Design Thinking to drive shifts in our US Public Sector GTM approach and to develop points of view on client challenges.

He is responsible for developing methods and processes to facilitate the understanding of the client’s current business practices, procedures, measures, and future goals, identifying key areas for improvement, and recommending to-be processes for implementation.

Mr. Dickerson has implemented enterprise resource planning systems; designed and conducted end-user training, and has performed testing of out-of-the-box and custom designed reports in support of these implementations. He is a hands-on project coordinator/manager who leads teams of consultants in business transformation, client communications, and requirements definition, provides quality assurance and control support, conducts independent validation and verification, and develops risk management strategies following standard project management guidelines.
Mr. Dickerson previously was a consultant for a small telecommunications start up, where he provided management consulting services to the Year 2000 (Y2K) Program Management Office that provided timely, relevant data to senior leadership to facilitate decision making. He also developed repeatable, standardized processes that allowed the customer to identify and validate top business priorities and appropriately allocate resources against those efforts.

Earlier, Mr. Dickerson managed Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) projects worth more than $110 million to create effective export controls and material controls and accounting systems for countries of the Former Soviet Union.

Mr. Dickerson earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from James Madison University and is a certified IBM consultant. He has also received his Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate from the Project Management Institute (PMI). He is a member of both the Washington D.C. and Baltimore Chapters.

Mr. Dickerson lives in Mount Airy, MD with his wife, Lisa, and dog, Paco. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, listening to live music, attending sporting events, and riding his Harley with his wife and friends.

About the Monthly Dinner Meetings

The PMIWDC Monthly Dinner Meetings are held at the Sheraton Tysons (8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA 22182), typically on the third Tuesday of each month (subject to change due to holidays and venue/speaker availability). Members and non-members are welcome to join us for the best speakers and networking the Washington, DC area has to offer.

The presentations are educational and informative to those professionals operating in the field of project management and functioning in leadership roles in industry and government. It is also of great value to those looking to step into the field of Project Management and begin their certification process. Each event will present specific learning points focusing on building a talent triangle of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management skills, unique to the presenter's area of expertise and the subject matter discussed while directly relating to improving the practice of managing projects and leading others. At each Monthly Chapter Event certified PMPs can earn 1 Professional Development Unit (PDU).

Please note: At this time, all PMIWDC Monthly Dinner Meetings are virtual due to COVID-19. Please visit the event calendar for upcoming dates and details. 

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