Message from your Board of Directors

Joseph_FernandesMy Summer of Sharing, Learning and Fun With SOC
By Joseph Fernandes, PMP, Director, Public Relations Portfolio

The article below reflects my own views. No doubt there have been many other Chapter events and programs to write about, but the ones below are those I truly experienced, making this past summer one of the most unforgettable times with SOC for me.

It started in Spring, and it was a time to renew understanding of the big perspective, a strategic view, where SOC fits in, and how it contributes to the whole picture.

Lakeshore Chapter hosted its Annual Symposium, April: As an attendee, it was an opportunity for me to connect with Chapter leaders, discuss goals, and collaborate on project management best practices. Plus I was able to report back on learnings to help SOC put a great PDS event which is planned for October 19, 2016.

Region 3 Summit, May: An awesome first experience for me! A chance to meet, learn and share with other Chapter leaders within PMI Region 3, led by our R3 mentor Lynn Shannon. I also facilitated on a topic as a ‘Connect with the Experts’ Session and the interactive discussion appealed to Summit attendees. I also recommended we emulate what the Montreal Chapter implemented to create partnerships to promote project management and the Chapter, and to increase membership. Marc, Bob, Steven and Shari also reported on what they got out of R3. Other Board members presented too.

Dragon boat Race, June: The SOC team did so much better than last year and this was only the second time. The SOC team picked up a medal, and this was due largely to better organization and greater drive and support this time. Imagine our performance next year if we create more impetus, energy, push… so mark your calendars for 2017!

Board of Director’s Strategic Planning Meeting, June: Results coming out of it were illuminating, energizing and even adrenaline-charged, because we were driven to reinvent ourselves as ‘we are one’, and how we get from many to one. This modus operandi would ensure that members would perceive events and programs offered, to be under the umbrella of SOC, not as separate and distinct offerings, and thereby restore the feeling of belonging to a family unit, with SOC Board of Director making overarching parental decisions on operations and policy. The strategic planning helped build the foundation to a successful year. The decisions coming out of the meeting were made to reinforce a sense of community, diversity and knowledge. The goals included member engagement and supporting member needs.

Technology Portfolio Director to Public Relations Portfolio Director, July: I embarked on a personal journey to transition to Public Relations (PR) just because I wanted to try a different challenge and polish my communication and marketing skills. My journey so far has given me further experience in reorganizing, crafting a revised strategic plan and acquiring a new team, with my predecessor Simi and those on his previous team helping greatly with transition. So now we go through growing pains as we take on new exciting endeavors and projects to promote and market SOC. My call to action to the reader is this: volunteer for PR, should you wish to help further its goals and objectives while learning, developing, networking and building relationships.

One exciting project for PR to implement, and for you the reader to provide some input on, is the plan to hold monthly meetings between members and SOC Directors, or other leaders. This ‘Open Mic’ opportunity will allow up to 50 members to join an online video platform (free for chapter members) to engage the leaders by asking them questions, by sharing, learning, networking and building bridges. Send me a note to inform me whether or not you like this idea, if you would participate, what you expect from it if or anything else you wish to say on it. Your feedback will enable us to enhance delivery.

Board of Directors (BoD) Elections, July:  6 BoD members were elected / re-elected. Elected for a 2 year term, July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018, they are, in alpha order:

Simi Ahluwalia; Carol Donohue; Tony Josevski; Winnie Liem; Parveen Nath and Saldjana-Jane Sekulic. Both Simi and Parveen were re-elected to the Board.

Dear reader, most of the above would seem to enable just sharing and learning, but to me, they always had fun parts. This last one this summer was mostly about just that:

Annual Summer Networking Social, Aug: Mitchell Fong facilitated the event with great ice breakers to encourage networking. Attendees mingled over drinks and tasty finger foods at The Madison while learning, sharing and having fun with members of the Board, volunteers and Chapter Office staff. It was, for me, a good way to end summer.

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