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2020/2021 Q4 Message from Chapter President

Message from the President

PMI Toronto Chapter Members,

I hope you and your families are well. I am thankful to my fellow board members, volunteers, and you, our members, for supporting our Chapter through the pivot from in-person to virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope you we will be able to get back to the in-person events soon and safely. At the end of our fiscal year, I want to share my reflections on a noteworthy year and hold out hope for an improved future.

We know that some of you use the summer to develop yourselves professionally. PMI Global offers PMI Toronto (PMIT) Chapter members a discount on some training opportunities as part of a pilot program. If this program is of interest to you, please see the details further along in this message.

If you have not already done so, please sign up for your Weekly Scope Newsletter to keep you informed of our upcoming events activities.


Your 2021 – 2022 Board

I am appreciative of all our Chapter members who stepped forward and were part of the elections process. I commend you for your interest in leading our Chapter at this level. As shared at our June Chapter meeting, below is your Board for the fiscal year 2021 to 2022.

We look forward to working on your behalf to sustaining our Chapter.

Thank you to our departing Board members, Marc Blanchette and Dinara Khalitova, for their tremendous contribution to our Chapter. They did not seek re-election to the Board, but we hope to see them volunteering again soon. During his time with us, Marc shared his fantastic knowledge as past president of PMIT and CTT and his years of experience with PMI. We will remember Dinara for her fantastic attention to detail as she worked to refresh many of our Chapter's policies as she received support from Zhaleh Malek.

Volunteer Portfolio and Volunteer Awards

Thank you to the Volunteer team and the Awards Committee led by Pradeep Bonnell, VP of Volunteering, for developing a magnificent virtual Volunteer Awards event. The Volunteer team, including recruiters like Ashley Herman, who did an excellent job of bringing in quality volunteers to our Chapter. You can view and apply for volunteer opportunities through our volunteer portal or email volunteers@pmitoronto.ca.

My fellow Board members, I am grateful to you for working with your teams to nominate fabulous volunteers based on their fantastic contributions. We know that not all volunteers became nominees or won awards. However, we are appreciative of the dedicated work and engagement of all our Chapter volunteers. Congratulations to our 2021 award winners! You are our role models and inspire us every day: 

Volunteer Name


Manaf Malazi

New Volunteer

Ashley Herman

Outstanding Volunteer

Zhaleh Malek

Outstanding Volunteer

Victoria Lee


Reshad Yaqubi

Volunteer of the Year

It was also great to hang out in Kumospace for the Volunteer Awards and other events using this technology for the year. Kumospace is a good substitute for in-person meetings.

PMI 4.0 Strategy

Many of you have heard about the new PMI 4.0 Strategy. It is an exciting time to be a project professional as we seek to use our skills to support the shift from COVID lockdown back to in-person activities. Let us seek to be part of the 10X impact by thinking globally and acting locally. The critical elements of the 4.0 strategy are:

> Expanded communities, targeted engagement 

> Integrated Social Benefit

> Coalition of Associations

> B2B Advocacy, B2C Enablement

We look forward to gaining your thoughts on this new strategy and hearing which elements resonate most with you. In the meantime, few free to consider the offerings from our Authorized Training Provider (ATP).


Progress with your ATP

The Chapter continues to hold certification courses through our ATP program. Please see our Chapter website for more details and to book your certification training as required. Dennis Abuan, Director of Membership, Mac Wilson, Certification & Training Manager, continues to do excellent work in this area. We delivered a few Project Management Profession (PMP) prep courses this year, and we look forward to future growth in the coming fiscal year. Our course offerings include Disciplined Agile (DA) prep courses.

Disciplined Agile (DA)

Recently, our DA Ambassador Team promoted an iterative workshop in June presented by our volunteer Aina Alieva and the DA Coach Klaus Boedker. The workshop Choose Your Way of Working with Disciplined Agile focused on the DA Toolkit and brought the participants much hands-on experience.  We plan to have similar events in the new fiscal year.

Canadian Initiative: Share Your Success Story

In 2021–2022, PMIT will be highlighting Canadian project managers who have been working on exciting, high-profile, and challenging projects during the past year. Do you have a project that you would like to share with our members? If yes, we want to hear your story and share it with our members! Please submit your speaking proposal and indicate "Quarterly Canadian Online Events" in the Part B-Presentation Info of the online Speaker Proposal Form.



Thank you, Ricardo Macorin, Director of Finance, for address this aspect of our Chapter. Our Chapter continues to face the COVID challenges bringing a digital transformation in all areas, including using tools like Telpay. Besides delivering our events online, we also transformed our finance processes to be processed online and bring more agility and better control to our Chapter. It is one more step from actions to have an end-to-end coverage to keep managing the Chapter in the most effective way for our members, volunteers, partners, and vendors.

Ontario Project Management Competition (OPMC)

This year, we sponsored the Ontario Project Management Competition (OPMC), a yearly competition hosted by the Wideman Education Foundation (WEF). This inclusive community promotes Project Management (PM) competencies, skills, and opportunities within the Project Management world to students and the PMI Toronto Chapter. This year Victoria Lee successfully led both the OPMC and Ontario Project Management Youth Conference (OPMYC). Thank you Osmary Torres, former Director of Communication, and Mitchell Fong, Past President, for starting this program and continuing to support it. We look forward to continuing this program in the new fiscal year.


We are grateful to Adel Zadeh, Director of Academia, Sergio Rodrigues, VP Academia, and their team for their continued work with ten (10) schools, over 12 student associations and support for the OPMC. The team supports the student groups with judges, guest speakers, and panelists for events hosted by PMI Toronto and the student associations. They always welcome the involvement of experienced project professionals to assist the next generation of project professionals. If you are interested in engaging with students by sharing your experiences, see the VRMS posted volunteer opportunities.  


Branches and Communities (BC)

Thank you, Michael Becker, Director of Branches and Communities, Reem Khan, VP Branches and Communities, the Chairs and their teams for continuing to host engaging online events during the pandemic. We appreciate Reshad Yaqubi, our Volunteer of the Year, to improve the BC processes and acting as a bridge to manage, set action plans, and follow up to ensure the BC events ran smoothly. The active BC delivered events with insightful speakers and panelists.


During the year, Marc Blanchette, Past President, took over this portfolio. Shortly, he and his team will share more about a pilot opportunity from PMI Global headquarters for our Chapter members. As Chapter members, we invite you to participate in a Chapter Members Save More pilot program. This pilot program would enable the Chapter to offer chapter members to save an additional 5% on select PMI e-Learning courses and PMI certification products. Note that this pilot is in effect until August 31, 2021.  

Code for 5% Discount on Certs & eLearnings for Toronto Chapter Members:   


Please visit with us on our Social Media platforms to remain updated on our Chapter's events:

Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Working Group

Roberta Heggie, Committee Chair, Christine Blair, Acting Committee Chair, and their team continued to do fantastic work on our foundational DE&I vision. We are living in challenging times when it comes to race and acceptance. We have long heard of the atrocities south of the Canadian border. Now we are hearing and seeing the long-hidden atrocities within the Canadian borders. We watched an Indigenous woman, Joyce Echaquan, dying in a Quebec hospital in 2020. In 2021, we heard hundreds of unmarked graves containing Indigenous children's bodies on former Indian Residential Schools in Kamloops, British Columbia and Cowessess, Saskatchewan. We heard of instances of hate towards visible minority individuals from the Asian, Black, LGBTQ, and Muslim communities. We have much work to do concerning acceptance.

In addition to providing support for some of our Chapter DE&I events and providing project recommendations to the Board, the DE&I team developed cross-chapter collaboration discussions with the following Chapters:

We look forward to continuing this work in the coming year.


Ontario Cross-Chapter Collaboration

PMIT also benefited from collaborating with five other Chapters in Ontario throughout the year. The other Ontario Chapters are:

In May, all six (6) Ontario Chapters collaborated on a virtual booth PMBA Conference. PMIT gained much interest in our ATP and mentorship programs from that event.


As a follow-up to PMI Toronto's registration for the TD Ready Commitment Network, members of the Membership portfolio led by Dennis Abuan, VP Membership, worked on incredible deliverables for Project Wisdom. Our Chapter will continue to benefit from these deliverables for years to come. The team also led very impactful New Members Orientation (NMO) and networking sessions using Kumospace.


Ricardo Macorin, Director of Finance and the mentoring team, continued to deliver quality mentoring programs. With year-end coming, the Professional Mentoring Program (led by Chirag Shah) and the Career Mentoring Program (led by Edward Johnson, Pradeep Bonnell, and Summer Ridley) wrapped up their final cycles. In November, for the first time in the Chapter's history, we had an open mentoring section on a special event called Mentoring Connection. We had an impressive year of working with over 200 mentors and mentees, and who had the opportunity to learn and share knowledge, create deeper connections, learn more about career opportunities and possible paths for Project Managers in Canada. For the first time in PMI Toronto history, we delivered this valuable service for our members located in Canada and from people across the globe.

Additionally, we shared some of our mentoring lessons learned with Treasury Board Secretariat Advisory (TBSA) Committee on Project Management / Le Comité consultatif du Secrétariat du Conseil du Trésor sur la gestion de projet in June. The TBSA seek to start their mentoring program and appreciated our inputs and guidance.


Professional Development

Claire Dobbin, Director of Professional Development and Christopher Gissane, VP of Professional Development and their team led great Chapter meetings and webinars for the year. Christopher was instrumental in moving day-to-day tasks forward, ensuring clear communication with other portfolios and implementing transformational ideas. Hitomi Mochizuki, Chair of the PD Portfolio, ensured effortless events from communicating with speakers to creating event slides and setting up avenues for members to ask questions. Manaf Malazi, a Project Coordinator, efficiently ran the speaker intake program and is the first to implement PM best practices within the group. Jose Davila, Project Coordinator, stayed on top of portfolio finances, co-ordinates with other volunteers and speakers and is always eager to help.

Technology Portfolio

Bernie Crawford, Director of Technology and Analytics (TA), Jason Bunston, VP of Technology and Analytics, and their team continue to do great work to support the Chapter and many of our events. They continued to provide outstanding support through our PMI Toronto Helpdesk. They all supported the stable platforms we depended on to keep our Chapter online.


Youth and Social Impact Coordinator

Led by Dinara Khalitova, Secretary-Treasurer, our Chapter continues to work on its Social Good. The most recent PMInsight highlighted the PMIEF/PMI Chapter Liaison Role Change:

In 2020, PMI integrated PMI Educational Foundation's (PMIEF's) work into PMI 4.0 as part of their Youth Strategy in order to increase support to youth between the ages of 5 and 35 and all changemakers between the ages of 5 and 75 through project management. Young people are tomorrow's global leaders, and PMI, along with its Chapters worldwide, is offering support and preparing youth for success by introducing them to project management as a life skill. PMI transitioned the PMIEF/PMI Chapter Liaison role to Youth and Social Impact Coordinators and integrated social impact into its global culture. PMI Toronto is currently looking for a chapter-designated volunteer whose focus will be to support the Chapter with outreach in the youth and social impact spaces. If you are interested, consider applying to this volunteer position via VRMS.

We thank Andrea Noronha (PMI Toronto Liaison to the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF), Jamal Shiwram, and Ronald Chaves for focusing on leveraging project management for social good. 

Chapter members, we look to continuing the collaboration with you as we enter our 46th year. Please continue visiting our Calendar of Events on the Chapter's website. Have a fantastic summer, especially as we continue to gain control of the COVID pandemic and safely reopen. Stay safe.

Yours Sincerely,


Dr. Jeffrey Thompson PMP, CSM, DBA

PMI Toronto Chapter President 


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