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2011 PMI-MN Volunteers of the Month

PMI-MN Recognizes Volunteers for their Service

The PMI-MN Volunteer of the Month Award recognizes PMI-MN members who exhibit leadership, dedication, initiative, and whose multiple accomplishments in their area(s) of volunteerism, on behalf of PMI-MN, contribute a high level of impact to the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute.

2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

2011 Volunteer of Month - Rachel ZislerRachel Zisler, nominated for Volunteer of the Month by 2010 President, Matt Mehring, was truly the driving force behind the 2011 Volunteer Recognition Event (VRE) Team.

Rachel, as 2011 Chair of Volunteer Services, met with Matt and 2009 President, Alex Wincell, on numerous occasions to plan the logistics of the event, and coordinated all aspects of the venue. She and her team were the contributing factors that ensured that the VRE Gala held on Jan 29, 2011, was a huge success.

In this crash effort, she volunteered over 100 hours over two months toward bringing it off in such efforts as incorporating the Hawaiian theme into table decorations; proposing volunteer and attendeed gifts, planning games; selecting music -- in general making it an enjoyable event for our volunteers.

Rachel is a remarkable and energetic volunteer -- PMI-MN is lucky to have her on board!

2011 Volunteer of Month - Chris DoyleAs the Project Manager for Central Outreach (St. Cloud area) for over 7 years, Chris Doyle has been instrumental in expanding PMI-MN's service to members outside the Twin Cities Metro area.

Chris leads an effort that provides PMI-MN services to its larger community, provides high visibility of the PMI-MN Chapter, and is an Outreach model within our Chapter and for other chapters in the region.

Scottie Holmes, Project Manager for the North East Outreach – in his nomination – emphasized what a fantastic resource Chris has been to the Outreach team through forms, agendas, speakers, and advice. "I know the North East Outreach would not be nearly as successful without his support."

Chris recently stepped into the Program Manager for Outreach> role, and taken the leadership on annexing additional zip codes into the Minnesota Chapter fold. And he is working to establish a Southwest Outreach effort in the Mankato area.

In summary, Chris is the model of an ideal PMI-MN volunteer. His exemplary leadership presents a shining image of the Chapter, his eagerness to share and mentor, all while focusing in the best interests of the Chapter. Chris is truly deserving of our recognition!

2011 Volunteer of Month - Steve BartholetSteve Bartholet has done numerous things to support the PMI-MN Chapter:

In Steve Bartholet’s everyday business dealings he uses PMI's guidelines as a litmus test when evaluating potential employees and business partners. Craig Sanderson wrote, "Steve was a former boss, he supported and encouraged my active participation in a variety of volunteer roles."

Steve takes PMI to where the rubber meets the road – clearly he's drinking the PMI-MN Kool-Aid!

Further evidence:  As the spouse of PMI-MN's 2011 President-Elect, Steve has clearly acted in the background to support Cathy Bartholet and her activities. With Steve's active support, Cathy was encouraged to run for her current position and looks forward to her role as PMI-MN's President in 2012.

Steve is truly deserving of recognition!

2011 Volunteer of Month - Patricia BrevickPatricia Brevick, Chair of Event Registration, has volunteered her personal time on several project initiatives for the Events Registration Team. She has defined the complex requirements and the initiation phase of requesting quotes from software vendors for event management applications. Pat’s work in defining and documenting the actual registration process was a huge task in itself.

As a direct result of Pat’s strategic planning and her team’s work, PMI-MN anticipates reducing Chapter costs in event registration that can be used in achieving other member goals.

It’s an honor to present this award to someone like Pat for her professionalism and tremendous contribution to the PMI MN Chapter.


2011 Volunteer of Month - Susan HeidornSusan Heidorn, PMP, CBAP, is one of those Chapter members who continues to give unselfishly to PMI-MN year after year.

In early January and the final months of finishing her PhD dissertation, Susan answered "Yes" to the plea from the Membership Director to spearhead the 2011 PMI-MN Job Fair slated for April — a scant 4 months away.

Susan took charge of this critical Chapter event, and with the able assistance of Courtney Petrosky (herself near the end of her first pregnancy), pulled together a fabulous team of volunteers, developed a professional project plan, and executed the most successful job fair by our Chapter to date — 37 companies participating, over 180 attendees, 3 guest speakers, and a professional photographer taking “head shots” for attendees.

Susan exemplifies why our Chapter is so strong and vibrant – the dedication and enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers. Since 1997, she has been a PMI member committed to the enhancement of the profession of project management and to the betterment of our Chapter, including being a past Director of Membership and past Chapter President. Thank you, for once again leading the way for all of us!

2011 Volunteer of Month - Chuck StakstonChuck Stakston, for the past two years Chair of Programs, is a dedicated and involved PMI-MN member and volunteer.

His team says "Chuck has answers for nearly all things Programs – and when he doesn’t – he knows who to go to, to seek further information." Over the past two years he’s supported his team behind the scenes in pulling off 39 dinners and breakfasts, and 26 LIG sessions for the Chapter.

And... he submits and verifies the Programs quarterly scorecard metrics – on time – each and every quarter.

With his unfailing positive attitude, Chuck is a pleasure to work with and is held in high regard by the Operations Committee and throughout the PMI-MN organization.

Thanks, Chuck, for your valuable services benefiting our fellow members!

2011 Volunteer of Month - Michelle CentofantiMichelle Centofanti has been instrumental in our Chapter’s centralizing, organizing, and document sharing efforts as SharePoint Adminisitrator — now and in the repository's startup and growth since 2009.

Michelle stepped up to take on quite a challenge. By 2009 the flood of emails and disparate locations of Chapter committee documents was seriously hindering the ability of teams to work efficiently and effectively. It also made it difficult for PMI-MN's 40+ teams and subteams to pass along process, procedural, and team knowledge to new and successor volunteers and leaders.

She does a phenomenal job of ensuring that MN Chapter volunteers promptly receive a welcome, SharePoint access, and the instructions on how to use it. Her service is invaluable in helping new volunteers get acclimated to volunteering at an organization that is completely run by volunteers.

Michelle truly deserves a great deal of credit and gratitude for her service to PMI-MN.

2011 Volunteer of Month - Kathy PalsKathy Pals has been one of our Program Dinner Event Managers with primary responsibility for the Hilton – Bloomington events.

Kathy has done a top notch job of identifying, contacting, and arranging for speakers. In 2011 she coordinated the Chapter dinner meeting budget – and ensured sufficient space to meet LIG, Networking, and other event needs while keeping the overall budget under control.

Earlier this year, Kathy jumped into the Crowne Plaza dinner event role when it became open – and has provided continued support in maintaining contact with the speakers and incoming Dinner Event Program Managers.

On top of all of the “regular duties” as a Program Manger, Kathy took on leadership of the project “Going Green” for Programs and led the effort to define and implement the process. It’s led to a reduction, if not elimination, of paper presentations and attendee lists at dinner and breakfast meetings. In addition to saving paper it has saved on resources that could be redirected to other PMI-MN efforts.

Kathy has now taken a new job in Massachusetts. We will miss her -- and we feel that our loss of someone as dedicated and committed to PMI, especially to PMI-MN, will be another’s super gain. She is deserving of recognition for her exemplary contributions as a volunteer to PMI-MN.

2011 Volunteer of Month - Jeff MagnusonJeff Magnuson provides a consistent and necessary service to our Chapter each month by developing the "Events Crawl" for PMI-MN breakfast and evening meetings.

In 2011, Jeff has been responsible for the "Events Crawl" – the auto-scrolling PowerPoint event and activities display – attendees see splashed on-screen before our Chapter meetings. The crawl is an important communication tool for participants at our meetings — it alerts everyone to our current and upcoming PMI-MN opportunities. Members and guests can network prior to the meetings and stay in touch with what's happening, too.

And this is no easy task! Jeff prompts and prods our leadership and committee members to preview the offerings and update changes by the deadlines each month. While the crawl is presented during at least 22 events, it covers Chapter events and activities whether local to the Twin Cities Metro area or to our Chapter Outreach locations.

Jeff is one of the many unsung, behind-the-scenes volunteer heroes of our Chapter.

Thanks, Jeff, for your dedication to the Chapter and for volunteering your time and talents!

2011  Volunteer of Month - Greg PalmenGreg Palmen, as the 2011 Paint-a-thon Program Manager, exemplifies the qualities for which PMI-MN as the Chapter that Cares is known.

Over several months, he co-ordinated PMI-MN’s efforts in the Charities 28th Annual Metro Paint-A-Thon sponsored by the community organization, the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches. And this is not the first time is – he also gave up summer weekends in as the Paint-a-thon Program Manager in 2010.

He led teams of dedicated PMI-MN volunteers over several months in the planning, organizing, and execution stages of this service project. On the actual work days, volunteers provided essential work, such as : shake repair, caulking, landscaping tune-up, trim repair and replacement, for home owners in need of assistance. This year his teams put in an extraordinary effort getting the selected house ready over two weekends and an evening for the paint day on Aug 6.

Greg recruited and directed over 40 volunteers in this successful community service project -- and is well deserving of recognition for his efforts – as is his team.

2011 Volunteer of Month - Cheryl YasisCheryl Yasis, in her two years as a PMI-MN volunteer, has made major contributions to our organization as Co-program Manager for Social Media with Ellen Kirchman, and in 2011 as Marketing & Communications Co-chair.

If you have joined and visited the PMI-MN group on LinkedIn you have seen Cheryl’s postings keeping members involved as well as informed about upcoming Chapter events. 

Cheryl has shown strong dedication to the Marketing aspects of all the PMI-MN social media sites for PMI-MN. The Marketing & Communicatoins team members are the sole force for communicating with our members. Her contribution has shown results in keeping the social media tools functioning and continuously trying to get and keep members involved with the contemporary forms of networking.

Cheryl is well qualified for recognition by the Chapter for her efforts.