On behalf of the Board of Directors, leadership team, volunteers and administrative staff at the Southern Ontario Chapter, we would like take the opportunity to thank our members for a great 2016 and to wish you the gift of peace and prosperity throughout 2017.
For our members and the chapter, 2016 was a fantastic year full of events, activities, new initiatives and opportunities to get immersed in the Project Management world; such as our Professional Development Symposium, our first Open Mic session and many other events that engaged our members with our chapter and project management professionals in different fields. 2017 looks even better!
For the portfolio I am leading, Social Responsibility, it has been a quite busy year. We stepped back, looked what we have done in previous years and decided to change a few things in the strategy we use to approach the two groups of interest we focus on: Students and Nonprofit organizations.
First of all, we divided our portfolio in two programs, Colleges and Universities relationships with Dane Gomez leading this team and Nonprofit, non for profit organizations with Juliette Sweeney in charge of this program.
Then, we brought in brilliant volunteers to be part of both teams and I am glad to say that we have a strong and capable team together to accomplish our objectives as a portfolio.
I would like to share with you what we have done so far and some of the initiatives we have in place for the second half of our fiscal year:
Colleges and Universities Relationships.
We have already a strong relationship built with all the colleges and universities in the GTA. During the last 6 months, we were able to participate in more than 20 events and more than 800 students altogether, always promoting project management methodology and best practices, certifications, SOC local events, workshops, judging on students’ competitions and tailored special presentations for students. This is one of the new approaches we have developed this year. We get in together with a University or College, we discussed what Project Management topics the students are interested in and we tailor a presentation according to their needs by piggybacking on the more than 200 volunteers with wide experience in different fields we have in our chapter. This new approach has been greatly received by the colleges and universities and has had a huge impact on how we promote Project Management with students.
Nonprofit, non for profit organizations.
The nonprofit, non for profit was a field that had not been explored by the chapter to its full potential, that is why we decided to reshape our strategy and define a better way to work with these organizations. The focus of this PMI SOC nonprofit portfolio will be on the core sector which excludes hospitals, colleges and universities. Juliette and her team have been working really hard in developing this new strategy in where PMI-SOC will have an opportunity to align itself with the non-profit sector. Such an alignment would provide benefits to the organization in many ways, including volunteer opportunities for members to work for an organization explicitly linked to achieving a social good. This type of opportunity is especially appealing to young and experienced professionals who wish to leverage their experience while volunteering in an organization delivering social services. While this strategy is still in the planning process, we are confident that it will be a new way to add value to SOC membership.
There are still many things to accomplish, more relationships to build, more avenues to explore for the Social Responsibility portfolio; however, we are certain that we are on the right way to do our part in contributing to provide a better experience four our members. Once again, all the best for 2017!