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StarChapter of July: PMI Dallas

PMI Dallas knows all about the power of engaging members and including them in the conversation. From greeting new event attendees and matching up new members with teams of their interests, to acknowledging the work of existing members and past volunteers publicly, the Dallas chapter of the Project Management Institute has been providing many benefits and value to their membership base. We spoke with Susan Kennedy, the President of PMI Dallas chapter about what has been done so far, their plans for the coming year, and why StarChapter is their go-to for what’s happening with the chapter.

 

1. What was PMI Dallas’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

As the President of the chapter, I have been sending personal emails welcoming new credential holders and encouraging them to attend that month's dinner meeting.  

When someone registers for their first dinner, our Programs team invites them to be seated with a board member who can connect them with others and discuss how to get the most from membership. Programs team greets new attendees, ushers them to a pre-dinner warm-up or introduces them to their assigned Board member. We encourage new people to volunteer and connect right away with a team that matches their interests.

 

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year

Our April 2016 Dinner meeting pushed the limits on seating capacity with 180 people representing 130 businesses registered for a sit-down dinner and networking. We held a pre-dinner warm-up facilitated by our Professional Development team. A photographer offered discounted headshots before dinner, and we had browsing tables featuring our free Book Review program and other benefits.

We recognized 17 new credential holders who recently passed their professional exams. We also announced our new PMI Dallas Chapter Awards program, and our Volunteer Spotlight featured the Operations Team talking about goals and progress for the year. 

Our guest speaker, Jeff Clement, shared insights on how to work effectively with recruiters. Following dinner, we held our Blue Dot/Green Dot meet and greet that matches job seekers with employers, and we awarded door prizes of free project management training to three attendees.

The event was recorded and the video has been posted on our StarChapter website for those who were unable to attend.

 

3. The PMI network is extensive. Do you get ideas on how to improve membership value from other PMI chapters?

Absolutely! One of the best networking events is the annual regional conference. We learn so much from our counterparts in other cities and enjoy sharing our experiences as well. Plus, it's great to get to know others socially at the reception after talking shop all day!

 

4. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers?

Make the most of the experience and strengths of your board members. While each Board member has their own area of responsibility, when the whole team is pulling together, great things are possible. 

We're fortunate to have a board with both experienced leaders and some who are brand new to the role. We have a past president who led the chapter for years and has so much knowledge to share. New members bring fresh ideas and energy, and experienced members bring a long-term perspective. With such variety and knowledge, our board continues to inspire and amaze.

 

5. What is in store for the members of PMI Dallas next year?

We have a ton of “Firsts!” next year! We're planning to have our first golf tournament to raise money to benefit school kids interested in project management as well as holding our first social hour. We are holding our first ever chapter awards to recognize outstanding project management in the Dallas area. And, we are updating education courses and preparing to create new classes. We’ve also just launched an all new sponsorships program and expanding our work with colleges and non-profits.  

For repeats, we’re participating in our 10th Annual PM Symposium event. Our Book Review program, leadership forums, orientations, networking, and training keeps improving every year. Our newsletter is expanding, our website is being updated, our PMI Toastmasters and Registered Company Coordinator programs continue on. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, networking events, training and education, plus operations, finance and board management. We are already scheduled to hold an incredible 65 events in 2016!

 

6. How did StarChapter help you run PMI Dallas and reach its goals?

We use StarChapter’s management system for all chapter sponsored events. This year we also used StarChapter's coupon feature to offer a $5 discount to dinner meetings to ease a transition to new pricing.

We constantly check StarChapter registrations for events and run reports frequently to review progress. The website is our single more important place to connect with the chapter for events, volunteering and information. In short, StarChapter is the go-to for what’s happening in our chapter.

 

 

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