As we approach our 25th Anniversary in 2020, we will be looking back at some of the people who made this chapter what it is today!
This month we feature Jackie May, President from 2006-2010 !
I started attending PMI meetings in 2001; at the time it was mostly engineers with the stereotypical white shirts and pocket protectors. Meetings were always held (I believe) at the Airport Holiday Inn and they had the same three meal choices. I caught the "PMI Bug" immediately, loved the dinner topic and meeting with fellow project managers. I soon took the job of Event Planner and started by moving the meetings around to different venues across Buffalo, using the venue as the draw. Then I added breakfast meetings, which were free for attendees and caught a different audience. Eventually I took over as President and held the office for two terms. During that time, we grew from 379 members to 508 members, and set the foundation for winning Chapter of the Year in 2012! From there I went onto Regional Mentor for Region 4 and helped to standardize and formalize the annual Regional meetings.
From a professional perspective, joining and becoming active in PMI was the single greatest move I made in my career! It helped me grow from an "accidental" project manager to a professional project manager. I was the first PMP at M&T Bank. The training I received through PMI gave me a broader perspective to projects and greater precision for implementation. I am forever grateful to my brother Stu for inviting me to that first PMI meeting.
From a personal perspective, I grew a network of friends across the region that I respected and could lean on for help and support. During my years on the Buffalo PMI board, we grew together through different team building exercises, formalizing process and procedures, building a technology infrastructure and ultimately winning the Chapter of the Year award. We learned how to work together, lean on each other, trust each other and draw on each individual's strength. I consider members of the board good friends and we continue to keep up with each other's lives. From the Chapter meetings, which were as much social gatherings as learning experiences, I established friendships that are seond only to family; a group of us continue to meet multiple times a year, we have a Facebook group "PMI Ladies" where we keep up with each other, and some of us even travel the world together!
In summary, the investment in time that I gave to PMI has paid me back many times over in both my professional and personal life. It taught me that volunteering was a rewarding activity and good for the mind and soul. I highly encourage you to find something you believe in and volunteer - you won't be sorry!