April News: Local Communities

Have you ever wondered how PMIWDC, as the world’s largest chapter, ignites engagement with so many members? Here’s a hint: it’s the Local Communities! In service to over 10,000 project and program management professionals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the Local Communities are the vehicle that empower the Chapter to serve members on an individual level. With a dedicated network of community leaders, Local Communities provide a platform for members to connect with each other by profession, interest, and proximity, standing as a reminder that the Chapter is committed to honoring the unique professional development and networking needs of a diverse cohort – regardless of its size. Most importantly, Local Communities serve a mutually-beneficial purpose as the primary touchpoint between the Chapter and its members – allowing leadership to remain rooted in each distinct community while providing those communities a channel to remain well-informed on current concerns and initiatives of the broader PMI organization.

The most significant benefit of the Local Communities is their ability to provide members with opportunities to earn PDUs at no cost. That’s worth mentioning again – at absolutely no cost to members, Local Communities routinely host events that inform, inspire, and deliver PDUs! In fact, between 2016 and 2017, Local Communities delivered roughly 1400 PDUs across the region.

There are currently 21 active Local Communities that cover a vast geography beyond Washington, DC and northern Virginia, reaching points south such as Ashburn, Quantico, and Charlottesville. Local Communities host events ranging from speaker series to lunch and learns and networking mixers. Presentations address vital competencies and characteristics – from strategic management and technical approaches to leadership skills – that serve to help attendees master the many aspects of what it takes to be a successful professional in the industry.

A great example of such an event was the Shenandoah Valley Community’s presentation on April 23rd by Erika Flora, Senior Advisor and Principal with Beyond20. Erika presented on “The Project Manager’s Guide to Agility”, a topic that continues to cause a massive shift in the requirements and impacts of the project management role. Beyond bringing in area thought leaders, the Shenandoah Valley Community provides volunteer and networking opportunities to members, typically 5-6 times per year. David Schwantes began the community in 2012 to provide PDU opportunities local to Winchester so that attendees could avoid the 50-60-minute trek to Washington, DC. The Shenandoah Valley Community has grown significantly since its creation and now has a distribution list of almost 400 individuals.

Jamey Lee, Local Community Lead, along with his team of volunteers, support 244 members in the Reston Community with a monthly luncheon speaker series. Each luncheon features an invited speaker to offer insights on a range of topics. Recent presentations were “Make Common Sense Your Secret Weapon”, by David Wakeman, Wakeman Consulting Group, and “Meeting – Searching for – and Finding Your Dream Job, by Suzie Grieco, SG2 Recruiting.

Local Communities would not be able to deliver such tremendous value if it were not for a devoted leadership and volunteer team. They mentor, assist, and advocate for Local Communities - providing supporting activities ranging from speaker identification to event promotion, and PDU recordation.

The Local Community volunteers are here to serve you and are happy to be a resource in both initiating and maintaining a Local Community. Any PMIWDC Chapter member who does not currently belong to a Local Community is encouraged to find one and start participating! The time is now! For any members without a Local Community close by – we challenge them to explore the possibility of establishing one in their area as a ‘high impact community leader’!

For any questions on the Local Communities please reach out to Laura Hampton, VP Local Communities at laurahhampton@comcast.net.

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