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2021/2022 Q3 Message from Chapter President

Message from the President



As we enter our third quarter this fical year we are exciting to announce the initiatives and events that have taken place during this period and what we have coming up for the remainder of the year. We have had several events including PMIT's largest networking event led by the Membership portfolio, the official launch of our new Agile community, new information about the Johnson Insurance Scholarship Program, a few upcoming Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) events, along with our continuing courses on the Authorized Training Provider (ATP) certification course calendar.
Please review our updated Calendar of Events with opportunities for your own career development and chances to network. Please sign-up and participate. If you have not already done so, please sign up for our Weekly Scope Newsletter to inform you of our upcoming events and activities.

Saying Goodbye and Hello to Directors and VPs

On behalf of the Board, we wnat to thank some of our dedicated volunteers who are stepping away from their leadership and board positions to focus on other endeavors. Thank you Ricardo Macorin for his years of service as a volunteer and Board member. We benefited from his experience as a volunteer in Brazil and his passion for Agile. We look forward to helping as he volunteers with our new PMIT Agile community that launched in January 2022.

Thank you to Bola Otaraki, Board member and Director of the Career Development portfolio, for your dedication in bringing great speakers, events, and initiatives to the Chapter.  Most recently, Bola inititated our partnership with Windmill Microlending. This is a partnership we are excited to have as a part of the Chapter.

Special thanks to both Jason Bunston, VP, Technology and Manaf Malazi, VP, Professional Development (PD), for their fantastic work and years of dedication to our Chapter. We look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.

We welcome Ashley Smith to the Board. She previously supported the Chapter from an Associate Management Company (AMC) perspective and will lead the Professional Development (PD) portfolio. We also welcome Raj Kanneelathu, VP of Technology.

We look forward to your contributions to our Chapter.

Announcing the Launch of our PMIT Agile Community

PMI Toronto Chapter launched a brand-new Agile community in January 2022, and we count on you to help us build it by participating in their free upcoming online events through the remainder of this fiscal year! Welcome to Cristiane Xavier who serves as Lead for this community. The Agile Community promotes new practices and fosters healthy discussions to solve real PM problems. We invite you to come along with us to find innovative ways of work. The first PMIT Agile Community event was a huge success. The focus was on Servant Leadership. 

We also invite you to join our PMIT Agile Community LinkedIn group to collaborate with like-minded professionals. Don’t miss the chance to vote on the Agile Community’s mascot’s name. A campaign was launched early this year to submit possible names for the arctic fox and soon we will open up our polls for the chance to vote for your top pick.


Johnson Insurance Scholarship Program

Since 2003, PMIT has been a partner with Johnson Insurance. They have awarded over 1,500 scholarships valued at more than $1 million since 1998. This year, they plan to offer 50 scholarships worth $1,000 each to students who fall into one of the following categories.

If you, your parent/guardian, or grandparent have a:

> Home or car insurance policy through Johnson, or

> MEDOC travel insurance policy, or

> Group benefits plan (such as health, dental, or life insurance) through Johnson Insurance

> Member or employee of a Johnson recognized group (policy not required)

Stay tuned for submission deadlines over the next few months. If you are not currently a customer of Johnson Insurance, consider requesting a quote today.

PMI Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

PMI Global continues to provide member value through virtual sessions. We plan to re-evaluate our in-person event status over the New Year. Take a moment to read PMI Global's new guidance.

Insurance companies have not seen many COVID claims yet because people have not had in-person events until recently. PMI is still providing the same advice as previously shared in 2020:

The quick answer is that we do not know because COVID-19 is a new situation, and we have not seen how insurance companies will handle it. It will come down to whether or not having the meeting in person is negligent. So, what precautions are the Chapters taking when having the meeting? Is everyone required to wear masks and sit 6 feet apart? Do they use hospital-grade cleaner before and after the meeting? Are there any warnings in the local area about having in-person meetings? If having the meeting in person is deemed negligent, insurance policies will not provide coverage. Also, our policies exclude coverage where the harm is foreseeable. So, if someone got seriously ill with COVID-19 at the meeting, is that foreseeable? Again, a variety of factors would be taken into consideration. Since COVID-19 is a new situation, we don't know how insurance companies will interpret this and what will be deemed negligent. However, if there is a less risky way to hold the meetings, via Webex, for example, that is preferable. We will not know how insurance will handle it until someone has a claim that is either covered or denied. If it is denied, there's an assumption the claims will end up in litigation, and it will be at that time we will start to determine what is and is not covered and what is and is not negligent in the times of COVID.

Upcoming Authorized Training Partner (ATP) Certification Courses

Last quarter our Board approved the continuation of our ATP for another year. Dennis Abuan, Director of Communications and ATP Operations, and Mac Wilson, Certification & Training Manager, have been doing excellent work in this area. Our Chapter continues to hold certification courses through our Authorized Training Partner (ATP) program. Please check out our Certification Course Calendar for the upcoming certification courses. Many of us know the significant impact globally recognized certifications can improve one's career. Don't miss out on what the Chapter has to offer to help you achieve your career goals. 

Chapter Guest Pass Plus

The Chapter Guest Pass was an initiative set up by PMI Global and ended January 31, 2022. We thank everyone who participated in this program. Our efforts in this program placed PMIT in the 1000 Club. We may be moving up to the 1500 Club soon.

Academia + Branches and Communities (BC) Portfolios

Claire Dobbin, Director of Branches and Communities, also leads the Academia portfolio. She works with Vassilis Anastasiadis, VP Branches and Communities, the Chairs, Vice Chairs, and their teams. We encourage you to check out our Communities page. You may find a community of interest.

Claire works along with Sergio Rodrigues, VP Academia, and his team as we seek to deepen our relationship with schools and support the Ontario Project Management Competition (OPMC). The Academia team supports the student groups with judges, guest speakers, and panellists 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 or email the volunteer team at volunteers@pmitoronto.ca.

The Academia team led an informative group session for all schools on February 3rd entitled, Learn About PMI, Certifications, and the Toronto Chapter! They will continue to hold groups and individual sessions throughout the year. Let us support the Academia team as best as we can.


Canadian Online Events—Share Your Success Story

Karthik Srinivasan, Project Lead, Canadian Online Events, leads this initiative, and he and his team have some fantastic speakers lined up. Some of the other topics these events will cover include:

> Data Monetization

> Transformation

> People Transformation

> Bio-Diversity

> Next-Gen Capabilities

> Innovation

We are grateful for the support of our Past Presidents, Peter Monkhouse, Lynn Shannon, and Marc Blanchette, for their help with this initiative. Through this initiative, PMIT will highlight Canadian project managers working on exciting, high-profile, and challenging projects during the past year. Do you have a project you would like to share with our members? If so, we want to hear your story and share it with our members! Please submit your speaking proposal and indicate "Canadian Online Events" in the Part B-Presentation Info of the online Speaker Proposal Form.

Career Development Portfolio

February will be the start of the Chapter's mentoring programs. The Career Accelerator Program (CAP) led Lorenzo Gutierrez, VP, Career Development and the Professional Mentoring Program led by Chirag Shah.


Dennis Abuan, Director of Communications and our ATP Operations and Sandy Matos, Vice President and Creative Director, Communications, continue to deliver excellent outputs with the Weekly Scope, blogs, and through our social media platforms. These sources will inform you of events and opportunities available directly through our Chapter from PMI Global and our collaborating partners.

Please continue visiting our social media platforms to remain updated on our Chapter's events and share these details with your contacts:


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee

Christine Blair, DEI Committee Chair, Tiffany Joseph DEI Committee Deputy Chair, and their team will continue their work on DEI this year. Please add a placeholder in your calendars for the following Chapter meeting dates:

> Black History Month Panel Discussion - February 17, 2022

> In Recognition of International Women's Day - March 24, 2022

> Pride Month - June 22, 2022

We plan to continue the cross-chapter collaboration discussions with the Chapters below and PMI Global. These Chapters will be involved with some of our events:


Michael Becker, Director of Finance, successfully led the Board approval of our FY22 budget. He will continue to support our Chapter in our finances as we navigate the COVID pandemic. We will continue using digital tools like Telpay to manage our Chapter's finances on behalf of our members, volunteers, partners, and vendors. Michael has agreed to support to pilot effort of our new PMIT Agile Community.


Tracy Dyba is the Director responsible for the Membership portfolio and works with Zhaleh Malek, VP, Membership. They led our recent networking event; one of our largest of the year. Next month, they will host a New Membership Orientation (NMO) event you don’t want to miss. You will have the chance to learn more about our portfolios leaders, our Board, and other volunteers. The Membership portfolio also supports our Chapter by seeking more ways to provide additional member benefits.   

Ontario Project Management Competition (OPMC)

The OPMC team continues their hard work on their program and just closed applications for the competition on Friday, February 11, 2022. We are looking forward to seeing the project ideas from the finalists. 

For additional information, please visit the OPMC webpage. The OPMC team looks for student teams whose projects benefit  local communities and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Ontario Project Management Youth Conference (OPMYC)

Do know a student in your network or family that is interested in project management? Are they looking for ways to learn more or make professional connections? Well don’t wait another minute, have them sign up for the Ontario Project Management Youth Conference being held on March 26, 2022. Register today.


Professional Development

Ashley Smith, Director of Professional Development (PD), Hitomi Mochizuki, Chair, PD Portfolio, and Kelly Verberne, Project Coordinator, PD Portfolio, ensure effortless events by communicating with speakers to create event slides and set up avenues for members to ask questions. We look forward to more informative Chapter meetings and webinars this fiscal. Do you have a project you would like to share with our members? If so, we want to hear your story and share it with our members! Please submit your speaking proposal and indicate it in the online Speaker Proposal Form.

Technology and Analytics Portfolio

Bernie Crawford, Director of Technology and Analytics (TA), Raj Kanneelathu, VP of Technology, and their team continue to provide significant support to our Chapter. They are developing a few approaches to potentially offer more online content for our members. Stay tuned to learn more.

Volunteer Opportunities + Affiliate Program

Iain Shao, Director Volunteers, and Pradeep Bonnell, VP, Volunteers, continue to perform excellent work with our volunteer teams. They held an informative New Volunteer Orientation (NVO) Virtual events and shared detailed monthly newsletters.

If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with our Chapter, please feel free to apply. Here are the key steps be become a Chapter volunteer:

  1. Visit the Volunteer Relationship Management System (VRMS) tool at https://vrms.pmi.org/.
  2. Create a volunteer profile.
  3. Upload resume.
  4. Search and apply for volunteer opportunities in VRMS.
  5. If you did not find a position that fits your qualifications or have questions, you can email the volunteer team at volunteers@pmitoronto.ca.

I thank Iain for sharing the following information with us:

If you know, or feel anyone within your circle, might be struggling, please share Wellness Together Canada. It is an online portal launched by the Government of Canada, which offers around-the-clock free support for Canadians through immediate text, video counselling, mental wellness programs, and more.

For more information on our Affiliate Program, please visit our website.

Youth and Social Impact Coordinator

We welcome our co-chairs, Barb Pepin and Joseph Fernandes, to this team. They met with our contacts at PMI Global, and we look forward to the planned PMI Global kick-off later this year. In the meantime, the team continues to develop programs to support our youth stakeholders outside of the colleges and universities.

We have many opportunities planned for the balance of our fiscal year. Feel free to reach out and become more engaged. We will continue to do our best to keep you informed.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Jeffrey Thompson DBA, PMP, DASSM, CSM
PMI Toronto Chapter President 


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