As Secretary-Treasurer for PMI-SOC, I’m excited to provide an overview of the role I have with the chapter and some initiatives we have underway for FY2017. But first some background and how I became involved with the PMI Southern Ontario Chapter.
I was introduced to PMI- SOC several years ago as a chapter member and eventually as a volunteer supporting special events such as the 35th Anniversary. I was then asked to join the Marketing & Communications Committee, which was new at the time where I was an integral part in structuring the portfolio and responsible for maintaining the chapters brand and managing key initiatives. In 2012, I became VP of Marketing and then elected on the Board of Directors in 2014 as Director of Public Relations. In the most recent elections I was re-elected for a second term and assumed my current position as Secretary-Treasurer for the chapter. It’s truly an honor to have the opportunity to serve the chapter for another term… I would like to thank our membership for re-electing me so I may continue to support and better our member experience.
In addition to leading special projects for the chapter, the Secretary-Treasurer is a supportive role to the President with accountability to oversee the management of chapter records and finances. This is an exciting opportunity where I have a detailed view to how the chapter is being managed and work with my peers to set the direction we take in growing our chapter and providing value to our membership. During the course of our fiscal year we run special projects to help us meeting those objectives.
In light of moving our chapter forward, a key initiative we have underway is the rebranding of our chapter to PMI Toronto. As the PMI Southern Ontario chapter represents a large geographical area that spreads itself from Etobicoke to Richmond Hill and as far north as Thunder Bay, approximately 80% of our membership resides within Toronto. This rebranding will provide a greater sense of community amongst the majority of our membership where we would then support our extended geography through our Branches and Communities by establishing regional communities where it warrants such as our Northern Ontario Community and the York-Simcoe Branch.
It’s important to note the rebranding of our chapter is part of a program to enhance our members experience by bringing our community closer and continue to increase benefits of being a chapter member. Last year we created a Member Task Force where we’re also looking to expand our relationships with business communities and create partnerships with associations. Other initiatives we’re planning for under this program include providing additional Professional Development offerings through certification preparation programs, expanding on our digital marketing channels and creating alliances with registered educational providers.
As we continue to find ways to expand our membership and reach new audiences, we’re also looking to create a presence in the meetup community by hosting a series of social events. As we would extend this to all our members …our primary objective is to expand the networking opportunities we provide to our membership and increase our visibility to non-chapter members though meetup. Although in its concept phase, we would look to run this as a pilot for this year and if deemed feasible it would be put into operations starting next fiscal.
In addition to the Meetup Pilot and all initiatives residing under the Membership Task Force, we also have two special projects that we continue to offer year after year. Our annual Professional Development Symposium will be held on October 19, 2016 where we’ll have great lineup of keynote speakers and tracks for our attendees to benefit from. Another would be the Toronto Dragon Boat Race…an event held in June where we round up a team of paddlers and compete against teams from across Canada, U.S., the Caribbean Islands, Europe and Asia.
This is a handful of what we’re planning for this fiscal. As we look to an exciting year ahead and seek innovative ways to reach our valued members, I’m certain these initiatives we have planned as well as others, will continue to grow our community and provide value to our members through their involvement with the PMI Southern Ontario Chapter. In closing, I would like to thank all our members and volunteers for supporting the Project Management profession through PMI-SOC…we’re all in it together and wouldn’t be where we are today without everyone involved.
Simi Ahluwalia, PMP®
Secretary-Treasurer, PMI Southern Ontario Chapter