03Mar2017*

Outstanding Volunteers


Suzanne Walsh - 2016 Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year
Claudia Campbell-Matland - 4Q16
Max Abrams - 3Q16
Kristin Hopp - 2Q16
Laura Pinto - 1Q16
Harry Chiovarou - 2015 Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year
Dennis Ryan - 4Q15
Alvin Chingcuanco - 3Q15
Jerry Meier - 2Q15
Tod Burrus - 1Q15
Diane Dugan - 2014 Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year
Adrienne Walcott - 4Q14
Anand Shanmugam - 3Q14
Pamela Kunz - 2Q14
Mike Vitale - 1Q14
Steve Tasker - 4Q13
Gary Barrett - 3Q13
Marc Matrulli - 2Q13
Dan Ackerman - 1Q13
Beth Hymowitz - 4Q12
Morris Wrubel - 1Q12
Suzanne Walsh - 3Q11
Lisa Blake - 2Q11
Dennis Komsa - 1Q11
Michael Lange - 2Q10
Dave Case - 1Q10
Sandy Sandlin - 4Q09
Barbara Fuller - 3Q09
Maureen Sammis - 2Q09
Steve Gould - 1Q09
Jane Banfield - 4Q08
Eileen Szperka - 3Q08
Kelly Rasmussen - 1Q08
Harry Chiovarou - 4Q07

If you would like to nominate a Volunteer member for this recognition, send a note explaining who and why to vp-Recognition(:@:)pminj.org.  If you would like to volunteer for the chapter, contact volunteers(:@:)pminj.org.




Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year 2016:

PMINJ VoY

Suzanne Walsh

Suzanne has been a committed volunteer with PMINJ more than 10 years.  While juggling serious family obligations over the years, with her leadership, the registration team has organized its processes and prodedures so well that the team work looks effortless. Though the responsibility is a  large one, Suzannes team does not fail. Regisration runs smoothly.

Any issues that arise are handled seamlessly within the registration team, so that you would never know there was ever an issue. Suzanne and her team routinely takes ownership and handls issues that arise on site during events. 

Suzanne is always ready to give input and is available regularly to the Symposium Team. When it comes to reviewing materials and giving solid / sage / knowledgable feedback on Symposium issues, Suzanne can be depended on.  Suzanne’s demeanor also makes her very easy to work with.
 



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q16:

PMINJ VoQ

Claudia Campbell-Matland

Claudia has forged new relationships between PMINJ and both the BioPharma Research Council (BRC) and BioNJ.  The BRC held an event in November that was attended by several chapter members.  Our Outreach Speaker – Michael Sarachman was provided a platform to evangelize for the Chapter in both a Training Session and as part of a Panel discussion that Claudia moderated.  The Chapter was also provided free table space at the exhibitors area where we were positioned right next to Mercer County Community College which has indicated interest in an alliance with PMINJ.  Claudia spoke before employees of Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation in Edison on Dec 14th.  She is a volunteer who’s active in the monthly calls and can be relied upon to get things done for the Outreach team. 



Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q16:

PMINJ VoQ

Max Abrams

Max has provided a pivotal role as Speaker Angel and now has moved up to Speaker Team Lead. He has gone above and beyond in all phases of soliticing, researching, negotiating and working closely with the speakers for the symposium as needed. He has volunteered to substitute for other angels on last minute cancelation and ensure the success of the symposium. He works well with the speakers and symposium team to ensure strong communications which has led to our successful planning and execution of our biannual symposium events. His leadership and commitment have had a strong impact on the success of our speaker and symposium team.



Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q16:

PMINJ VoQ

Kristin Hopp

Kristin Hopp took over scholarship renewals two years ago and she has kept participation up through her diligent follow-up and answering the students and parents questions. Recognizing right away that students have a lot on their plates, she implemented a process that gently reminds students before applications are due in February / March by sending a link to the new application and including deadlines.  When it is time to send grades, she sends a reminder and copies the parents.  This has increased renewal participation significantly. Kristin has stepped up to a difficult challenge of declining renewal numbers.  Please congratulate her for a job well done.



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q16:

PMINJ VoQ

Laura Pinto

Laura has been an active volunteer of the Symposium Registration Team for more than 10 years.  Laura can be counted on not only to do a great job with her specific area of responsibility (preparing the certificates for the attendees, vendors, & speakers) but she regularly offers her time to help make the overall event registration process more efficient. 

With a smile on her face, Laura works at the registration table for the symposium and makes registration experience pleasant for the attendees. Laura is always willing to pitch in and help to coordinate the registration activities when needed.  On multiple occasions, she came to the rescue for the registration team, when a team member could not attend the event due to a personal emergency. Laura regularly provides suggestions for improvements for the registration process and shares her ideas during the Symposium Lessons Learned session.  Laura always goes the extra mile to help our chapter members and other volunteers. The success of PMINJ's symposium and other chapter events is attributed to the volunteers like Laura.



Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year 2015:

PMINJ VoQ

Harry Chiovarou

For over 12 years, Harry has been the A/V professional for PMINJ, working tirelessly to ensure high quality technical support for every presentation at each event.  He has managed the Chapter’s capability to present at each monthly meeting, Seminar, Symposium, and IPM day.  Initially the responsibilities ‘only’ included working with the vendors at each of the venues for our events.  He has been responsible for the quality of the speaker audio and the presentation of the speaker materials.  Harry will test all of the speaker presentations prior to each event to assure that there are no technical issues that might occur during the presentation.  Just think, for the Symposium alone, that is at least 13 presentations.

Then in 2007, the Chapter broadened the scope of our events.  We introduced satellite meeting locations and increased the A/V requirements exponentially.  Now Harry was extending the A/V capabilities of the events to locatiions via phone and internet so that members could participate remotely in real time.  A secondary benefit for this arrangement was the capability to create Webinars that could be viewed after the event.

Over the years, the A/V technology has changed, and  Harry has been the guiding force to ensure PMINJ has been able to maintain our capabiilities to provide members the ability to participate in our events.  He has identified new equipment to increase quality and has investigated and implemented new processes to improve efficiency.  Harry has assisted with vendor changes in webinar technology, and is constantly investigating new technology that would make the events better for the participants and the future viewers of the webinars.  He has mentored new A/V team volunteers and has even collaborated with other Chapters to help them setup similar satellite webcasts for their meetings.

In all of this, Harry has been the perfect example of a PMINJ Volunteer.  He is always available and willing to help.  A dedicated professional, Harry always demonstrates the highest standards of quality and leadership!  PMINJ deeply appreciates Harry’s commitment, and is pleased to present him the 2015 Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year award,



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q15:

PMINJ VoQ

Dennis Ryan

When you attend PMINJ’s monthly programs or symposium, you will almost always find Dennis Ryan at the audio/visual (A/V) table, testing A/V equipment before the event, monitoring activities, or going around the audience with a microphone so everybody can hear questions attendees are asking the speaker.  PMINJ would like to recognize Dennis as Volunteer of the Quarter for his years of dedicated service, strong leadership, teamwork, and attention to details to ensure that chapter events are successful.

Dennis joined the Chapter A/V team as a volunteer in 2009. He has now successfully supported more than 10 major symposiums and more than 50 monthly meetings. Every facility has different challenges in terms of ensuring that the speaker can be seen and heard by everyone in the audience. As part of the A/V team, Dennis is responsible for soliciting, selecting, managing, and working with the A/V subcontractors for the monthly meetings, annual symposium and IPM day events. Dennis helps set up A/V equipment on the day of the monthly meetings or a day before the big symposiums. He works with speakers to make sure they are comfortable with the microphone, video screen, moving presentation on the chapter laptop and music for the event. Dennis can always be relied on to keep his cool during emergencies like equipment malfunctions or unforeseen speaker requests. Over the years, Dennis has shown leadership, patience, perseverance, adherence to the highest standards of quality, and, yes Dennis brings good music and cheer for the event!  

Dennis began his project management career while working for a contract manufacturing firm in the mid-1980's.  He was responsible for a number of projects relating to new product launches and seasonal promotions for the personal care industry.  He was eventually hired by one of his customers to become the internal manager for similar activities.  In 1998 he jumped to the pharmaceutical industry and has been with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the last 10 years.  He works in R&D on different medicines going through the development and clinical trial processes.  If a medicine doesn't get eliminated along the way (and most do), it takes upwards of 10 years to bring a new product to market and that is a long, complex and expensive project.

Dennis earned his PMP in 2006 and joined PMINJ immediately to enhance his expertise, get the most out his certification and begin networking with other project management professionals.

Dennis' AV experience goes back many decades to when he was the student AV leader for his high school and continues today through his volunteer work for several organizations.  His interest has been encouraged over the years by having the opportunity to volunteer to work side-by-side with one of the most successful rock bands in history (and a member of the R&R Hall of Fame Class of 2016).  

After admiring Harry Chiovarou's sole handling of the chapter's AV services from a distance for a few months, Dennis offered his assistance - which was warmly and gratefully received.  Dennis is very pleased to work with Harry and serve PMINJ at the monthly meetings, Seminar / Symposiums and IPM Days for many years now and looks forward to doing what he can to support and help the organization grow. PMINJ's success is attributed to volunteers like Dennis, who work tirelessly to provide quality programs for the chapter members and we thank him for that. Please stop-by at A/V table at monthly meetings or at symposium and thank Dennis for his years of contribution to successfully managing A/V for the chapter events!



Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q15:

PMINJ VoQ

Alvin Chingcuanco

Alvin joined the Marketing team in March 2015 focusing on improving our social media presence.  Over the last few months, Alvin has made significant contributions to our social media sites including postings on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  These postings have helped increase attendance at various chapter meetings and workshops.  Over the summer, he led an initiative with students at Montclair State University to create a social media strategy and calendar of postings for our new chapter year.  With very limited supervision, he managed three student teams to create a social media strategy and identify content for these sites in six weeks.  He is now managing two volunteers to coordinate regular content updates.

Alvin was also instrumental in updating our chapter brochure.  He took the lead in facilitiating the necessary meetings to collect content from our board members and redesigned the brochure with a new format and graphics.  Alvin is a Project Manager / Office Manager for NBP Holdings Group and an academic tutor at DeVry University Paramus Campus.

He is completing his MBA with concentration in Project Management at DeVry’s Keller Graduate School of Management.



Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q15:

PMINJ VoQ

Jerry Meier

Jerry Meier has been volunteering as a member of PMINJ Programs On-Site Registration activities since November, 2011, when he joined the team led by Dennis Komsa.  As a dedicated team member with detailed knowledge of the On-Site Registration process, Jerry agreed to take the Team Leader role when Dennis stepped down in June, 2013.  Since then, Jerry has worked tirelessly to recruit, train, organize and manage a team of  volunteers who welcome members and guests at PMINJ Programs’ Monthly Chapter Meetings.

Each month, Jerry coordinates with his team members to develop a schedule to ensure full coverage of the registration table; obtains and copies meeting handouts; manages attendance tracking and reporting at the Main Meeting location; and verifies accurate headcount numbers for the dinner meeting bill. He also helps facilitate sponsor and outreach activity logistics.  Always ready and willing to tackle new challenges to improve the registration process, Jerry worked with John Bufe to pilot and deploy automated walk-in registrations via smartphone and has helped streamline attendance tracking using Google docs. 

An efficient, organized Team Leader, Jerry can be relied on to ensure On-Site Registration runs smoothly, and should be recognized for his longstanding support of PMINJ as a volunteer and Programs On-Site Registration Team Leader.



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q15:

PMINJ VoQ

Tod Burrus

Tod has been the “bedrock” volunteer for the Corporate Outreach Team. He has been PMINJ's ambassador and a project management evangelist at many of our Outreach events- handing out brochures, giving advice and (when available) candy to the people who stop by our PMINJ information tables.

Tod’s smiling face and easy manner of speaking with people have been key elements in spreading the word about the importance of project management as a profession and about the benefits and opportunities that PMINJ provides to members. As we have continued to reach out to project manager communities  in corporations, universities, state and local governments, and other professional organizations, we’ve always been able to count on Tod to volunteer and be present to represent PMINJ.

When Tod is not volunteering for PMINJ events,  he is a Business Development Manager for Analysts International Corporation (AIC) in Edison, NJ.



Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year 2014:

PMINJ VoY

Diane Dugan

Diane Dugan PMP, LEED AP, was awarded the most prestigious award of the PMINJ chapter, the Barbara Ann Fuller Volunteer of the Year award, at the Volunteer Recognition Dinner on 06 February, 2015 .

Diane is the consummate professional, photographer and volunteer. Diane was even working her own celebratory event as PMINJ’s photographer!  Diane attends most if not all PMINJ events; from monthly Program meetings, mid-size workshops to the large Symposium events.  Diane uses her talent to memorialize these chapter events.

Diane leads the Photography Team for the events, organizing photography activities, assuring coverage of speakers and vendors, and the post event gathering and finalizing of all photos for media and website release, with finesse. The Symposium events are especially demanding with multiple breakout rooms, 100’s of photos captured and subsequently sorted and edited.  In this way Diane shares her talents and further reveals her commitment and her art to the PMINJ chapter.

Diane is a joy to work with and the PMINJ chapter is grateful for her continued commitment to our chapter; thank you Diane!



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q14:

PMINJ VoQ

Adrienne Walcott

Adrienne Walcott joined the Volunteer Recognition team in March 31, 2014.  In this very short time of volunteering, Adrienne has gone above and beyond the expectation for her role as Volunteer Coordinator.  After training, Adrienne learned the VRMS system and efficiently manages it as coordinator for the PMINJ chapter.  In this role she manages volunteer engagements, tracks volunteer opportunities and application, updates VRMS database and Master Volunteer list, sends communication to new members of Volunteer teams, trains applicants in VRMS database and responds to any email questions received to volunteers(:@:)pminj.org.
 
She thoroughly enjoys her role as Volunteer Coordinator.  When she made a list of reasons to stay in New Jersey or move to Arizona, this was one of the top reason why she chose to stay in New Jersey.  When she is not volunteering, she takes violin lessons and plays in an orchestra. 

Her dedication is unmatched and she is very pleasant to work with.




Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q14:

PMINJ VoQ

Anand Shanmugam

Anand is one of the founding members of the newly formed Member Service Center.   He joined in April to help develop the initial launch of the Member Services Team.   He was a strong contributor in the development and organization of our Member Service page on the chapter website.     He assumed responsibility for Member Services during our peak period of new program year colliding with website challenges.    He escalated issues quickly and stayed on the task through to resolution.   He demonstrated and continues to demonstrate a commitment to our members to provide exceptional customer service.




Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q14:

PMINJ VoQ

Pamela Kunz

Pamela Kunz assumed the position of project manager for the 2014 Chapter Excellence Awards initiative with a minimal knowledge about the program, but she hit the ground running. Pam quickly reviewed all the available documentation, reached out to the Board members and was able to fully grasp the project requirements.

When global PMI published the Chapter Excellence application, Pam conducted a gap analysis, collaborated with many people, and was able to quickly gather information supporting PMINJ’s 2013 accomplishments. This was a big challenge since the categories being measured and the requirements for submitting documentation had changed dramatically from the prior year.

Pam went above and beyond to ensure requirements were understood and adhered to by the PMINJ Board members and she provided the insight and detailed work involved in demonstrating the quantifiable and measurable results. Under strict time constraints, Pam spent countless hours completing the new requirements. “Her dedication is inspirational,” one board member noted. “She even fills in at the registration desk at monthly meetings … she takes her work at PMINJ very seriously.”

We look forward to keeping Pam on in a new role—PM-Chapter Excellence, which she initiated by carefully identifying lessons learned and ways we can act upon them to continue to provide excellent service to our members!



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q14:

PMINJ VoQ

Mike Vitale

Mike Vitale  volunteered in February 2013. Mike immediately adopted the vision of bringing PM knowledge into  schools [k-12]. He started researching PMIEF [PMI Education Foundation] to see what other chapters were doing and what materials were available. He developed a small team and begin putting together a PMINJ custom presentation. They adopted the concept of working with students that were tasked to lead a project. This led to the connection with the Scouts in particular; the Gold and Eagle scout program and to schools involved in FIRST Robotics competition. They presented to a Boy Scout troop in November 2013, shortly followed up with a presentation in December 2013 to the Piscataway High School Robotics Team. To assist after the PM presentation Mike’s team designated a mentor to work with the team. The team is also working with the Hillsborough High School Robotics team.


Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q13:

PMINJ VoQ

Steve Tasker

Steve is one of two people on the Marketing team that distributes all email blast communications to the chapter. All email blasts are required to go out in a timely fashion. One added duty that the two volunteers have is to respond to all email inquiries about the email blasts. The questions they receive are quite varied.

Before taking this role, any questions from our membership regarding the email blasts went unanswered which lead to member dissatisfaction. Steve has answered questions from our membership on a variety of subjects. To answer the questions, many times he would have to find the correct person in the chapter to provide insight or figure out on his own how a process worked and give the member an answer. He responds to questions in a timely manner because many are time-sensitive when they relate to registration. His role has provided a great insight into the obstacles our members encounter. Another important part of this role is to transmit the feedback to specific VP areas so that they can respond to the issue. Steve’s role has provided an effective feedback loop from our members into the chapter.

Steve completed the Penn State Certification Program in March 2009. He joined PMINJ on 10/10/2007and became a volunteer for the Marketing team on 2/29/2012.


Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q13:

PMINJ VoQ

Gary Barrett

Gary is one of two people that distribute all email blast communications to the chapter. The email blasts are required to go out in a timely fashion. One added duty that the two volunteers have is to respond to all emails from anyone that receives these email blasts. The questions they receive are quite varied.

Gary earned his PMP in November 2006. He joined PMINJ in May of 2011 and became a volunteer for the Marketing team in February of 2012. Before taking this role any questions from our members responding to the email blasts were not answered which would lead to member dissatisfaction. Gary has answered questions from our membership on a variety of subjects. To answer the questions many times he would have to find the correct person within the chapter to answer the question or figure out on his own how a process worked and give the member an answer. He responds to questions in a timely manner because many are time sensitive when they relate to registration. His role has provided a great insight into the obstacles our members encounter. Another important part of this role is to get the feedback to specific VP areas so that they can respond to the issue at hand. Basically this role has provided an effective feedback loop from our members to the chapter.


Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q13:

PMINJ VoQ

Marc Matrulli

Marc Matrulli is one of our most dedicated volunteers on the PMINJ Programs Team, and is the Team Co-Leader for the Programs Venue Management Team.  Marc, along with his Co-Leader Dan Ackerman, is responsible for identifying venues for our monthly chapter meetings, negotiating contracts, and managing the relationships with each facility to ensure they deliver the best service to PMINJ attendees.

A project manager for over 15 years, Marc joined PMINJ in 2006 when his role at Johnson & Johnson included training on PM practices.  Marc earned his PMP in 2007, knowing the credential would help give him the credibility his role required. The strategy worked, and Marc is currently responsible for IT Portfolio Strategy and Process at Johnson & Johnson.

Marc has been a volunteer on the Programs Venue Management team since 2010. He is a gracious host and the Programs Team relies on Marc to work with the meeting facilities staff. A recent example of Marc’s dedication and initiative was his work with the staff at the Pines Manor after Hurricane Sandy to make sure all systems were “Go” for the November Chapter meeting. Like many other businesses, the Pines had lost power and suffered some damage due to the storm, and Marc stayed in close contact with the facility to ensure they’d be back in service in time for the meeting. 

Marc plays a vital role as a volunteer and Team Co-Leader for PMINJ’s Programs Monthly Chapter meetings. When asked why he volunteers and what he enjoys about his role, Marc said, “It allows me to leverage my Project Management skills and to interact with all the other Program Team volunteers that work so hard to make each Chapter meeting such a success.”

PMINJ Programs relies on the help of dedicated, talented volunteers like Marc to deliver successful Program Chapter meetings and provide valuable professional development opportunities to the members.  We appreciate Marc’s commitment, energy, and professionalism and thank him sincerely for his valued contribution to the PMINJ community.

Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q13:

PMINJ VoQ

Dan Ackerman

Dan is one of the exceptional PMINJ volunteers on the Programs Team, and currently the Team Co-Leader for Venue Management.  Dan, along with his Co-Leader Marc Matrulli, is responsible for the great facilities and excellent meals PMINJ members enjoy at the Monthly Meetings.  Dan started volunteering for Programs with the On-Site Registration team in 2009, and is still one of the many faces you may see behind the registration desk at the Main Location.

As Venue Management Co-Lead, even before the Program year begins, Dan is hard at work evaluating facilities and negotiating the contracts with venues to host the Main Location monthly chapter meetings.   Venues must be able to meet not only PMINJ’s requirements for space and technical specifications (presentation delivery and broadcast to satellite locations); they must also provide excellent dinners at competitive rates.   

In the weeks before each Monthly Meeting, Dan starts coordinating with the other Programs Teams and with the Venue to make sure the facilities and accommodations are in order.  He makes sure the Audio team has the connectivity in place and all is functioning or are getting the necessary support.  He also makes sure that the PMO and Networking LCI teams have what they need to run their respective pre-meeting events. 

On the day of the meeting, Dan works with the venue's event manager to make sure tables are set as expected, food is correct and plentiful, and everything operates according to plan.  He is the gracious host throughout the evening, making sure that last-minute logistics are addressed, and all the guests are enjoying themselves.  At the end of the meeting, he obtains the final count from the On-Site Registration team and works with the venue contact to review the invoice, making sure the Chapter is billed correctly and sometimes negotiating further discounts before providing approval for the Chapter to make payment.

The smooth execution each month is just another example of Dan’s skill as a PM. When not playing the role of Programs Meeting Venue-Meister, he works at Morgan Stanley supporting Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, where he recently completed work on a three year effort to integrate Smith Barney's suite of Corporate Equity business applications into the Morgan Stanley environment.  As Program Manager, Dan managed the Program Office and his team's linkage with the rest of the firm's integration efforts.  

A PMI, PMINJ member and PMP since 2005, Dan plays a critical role as a volunteer and Co-Team Leader for PMINJ’s Monthly Chapter Meetings.   When asked what he liked about volunteering for PMINJ, Dan said, “I like all of it.  It is great to be able to interact with so many people across PMINJ and be part of the success of our monthly chapter meetings.”

To run successfully and give the best service to its members, PMINJ relies on the help of dedicated, hard-working volunteers like Dan.  We appreciate Dan’s commitment and energy, and extend sincere thanks to him for his valued contribution to the PM community.



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q12:

PMINJ VoQ

Beth Hymowitz

Beth is a veteran volunteer for the Symposium Registration Team.  The PMINJ Community relies on the Registration team to handle on-line registration; send confirmation emails; distribute all the communications related to the event; and provide registration coverage on the day of the event.  The symposium team registers more than 1100 attendees for the two major events each year.  They resolve technical issues related to the on-line system, questions and quarries from the members and any cancellation / refund issues. Beth joined the PMINJ Registration team as a volunteer soon after earning her PMP in 2007.  She chose to volunteer for the Symposium Registration team because of her prior experience and interest in event registration processes and being a team player.  

Many PMINJ members are familiar with Beth’s symposium notices or perhaps she has helped you address a registration issue.  Beth is very prompt responding to any inquiry related to registration and if she cannot answer, she will get the request to the appropriate team lead and assure a response.  Beth enjoys working with the other Registration team members and cites its leaders, as essential to keeping the Registration system humming!  These team leaders cite Beth’s commitment to the team and how she always goes the extra mile.  Beth sends ‘Thank You’s  to attendees and more recently stepped up to email the  survey for IPM day event.  All these activities take up Beth’s time including weekends.

When she’s not volunteering with the PMINJ Symposium Registration Team, Beth is an IT Project Manager at Mars Information Services where  she partners with Business PM’s to advance global multi-segment projects and she is responsible for their PMO. 

Beth loves project management!  She especially enjoys working with engaged volunteers and coworkers, learning and addressing project challenges to deliver successful results.

The PMINJ chapter cannot run successfully without the help of dedicated volunteers like Beth. We appreciate Beth’s hard work and dedication for the chapter and desire to give back to the PM community.



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q12:

PMINJ VoQ

Morris Wrubel

Morris’s focus on IT Project Management came as a natural evolution during his 20+ years in data center, computer, and Help Desk support.   His skill in leading teams and working with technology are key ingredients to his success leading the PMINJ Programs’ rapidly growing Satellite Team.   His team is comprised of a network of over 25 members statewide, and they coordinate with the Programs’ A/V Team to broadcast the monthly programs to fifteen remote meeting locations around the state, from Mahwah to Atlantic City.

Always positive and decisive, with a project manager’s attention to detail, Morris works with his Satellite Logistics Coordinator to make sure each Satellite Coordinator gets the list of individuals who will be attending the meeting at that remote site each month, so members can be signed in and be confirmed eligible to claim PDU’s.  His prompt answers to logistics questions and regular communications with the Satellite Team throughout the month ensure each location is prepared to host as many as 25 guests for the meeting. 

After the event, Morris contacts each Satellite Coordinator to collect registration forms; discuss communications or logistics issues; and ensure continued improvements to this new process.  With his guidance and leadership, the Satellites have grown from a few small locations with a handful of participants to a thriving program whose attendance now exceeds registration at the Main Meeting location.

A PMP and PMINJ member since October, 2010, Morris first started volunteering as a way to earn extra PDU’s.  Originally he was a Marketing Team volunteer, when he was asked to assist the Programs Team in a Satellite Coordinator role, Morris immediately accepted.  With his help as a Coordinator, the team has developed a standard process for qualifying, setting up, and running satellite locations.  Now the Satellite Team Leader, he reports, “I enjoy providing an opportunity for PMINJ members to participate in the monthly Programs and enjoy local ‘networking’ when the Main meeting is not close to where they live or work.  It’s a way to ‘give back’ to PMINJ, and a great way to ensure that as many members as possible have access to the monthly Programs.”

PMINJ is a volunteer organization and the chapter’s success is attributed to volunteers like Morris who work tirelessly to provide quality service for chapter membership and we thank him for that.



Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q11:

PMINJ VoQ

Suzanne Walsh

Suzanne brings more than 20 years of experience in Healthcare Information Technology to her PMINJ chapter volunteering. She also brings a detailed oriented and pleasant personality that is needed for the Symposium Registration Team. Suzanne has been the Team Co-Lead for symposium Registration Team for the past 5 years and has worked tirelessly during the year to organize and stream line the annual event registration process. Suzanne and her team are instrumental for the on-line registration, confirmations, badges and gifts for attendees for the May Symposiums as well Nov IPM Day events. Before becoming registration team lead, Suzanne served as a volunteer on the Registration Team.  

The first step for a successful Symposium is to have smooth registration process. Every year over 600 members register for the May Symposium and over 500 members register for IPM Day Seminar, both online. There are significant efforts involved for planning, setting up team and assign responsibilities, setting up dates, setting up online registration with web master, continually monitor registration, answering phone calls related to registration and resolve any issues members might have registering for the events.  On the day of the event, Suzanne and her team arrives at the facility very early in the morning to set up registration tables with gifts and name tags. Due to hard work and dedication of volunteers like Suzanne, the chapter is able to provide quality events like symposiums to the members.   

Suzanne’s thoughts on her PMINJ volunteering experience:
“Initially when I joined PMINJ I thought that I would be able to attend some interesting seminars on Project Management and keep my PMP certification current.  After attending a few Chapter Events and seeing the quality of the programs as well as the knowledgeable membership, I knew I had to be part of the organization and help make things happen. I am proud and excited to be an active member of the PMINJ Chapter and encourage everyone to Volunteer as you not only help the organization, you help yourself and make many new friends and acquaintances”.

PMINJ is a volunteer organization and chapter’s success is attributed to volunteers like Suzanne who works tirelessly to provide quality service for chapter membership and we thank her for that. 



Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q11:

PMINJ VoQ

Lisa Blake

Lisa brings more than 25 years of experience in telecommunication and information systems to her PMINJ chapter volunteering.  She also brings a detail-oriented and pleasant personality that is needed for the Symposium Speaker Team.  Lisa has been the Team Lead for symposium speaker team for the past 3 years and has worked tirelessly, around the year for speaker solicitation, review and selection.  Lisa and her team are instrumental for creating the final agenda for the May Symposia and the November IPM Day events.  Before becoming speaker team lead, Lisa served as a speaker angel and was a proactive member of the team for over a year. 

The Symposium Speaker team is the heart of the symposium.  The quality of speakers is the most important factor for the success of the symposium.  There are significant efforts involved with planning, reviewing, and interacting with speakers to manage their needs.  Lisa and her co-lead are responsible for soliciting speakers, collating and reviewing documents from all the speaker proposals.  They check references and lead a team of volunteer angels through the rigorous speaker selection process.  On the day of the event, Lisa makes sure each speaker arrives on time, has an assigned angel and satisfies all their requests. 

Lisa’s thoughts on her PMINJ volunteering experience: 
“PMINJ offers a variety of great professional development opportunities, and volunteering on the Speaker Team for the Symposium and IPM Day and working to provide the best experience possible for our Chapter members is my way of saying "Thank you!" to PMINJ.   It's also a fun and rewarding way to meet and network with other PMs”. 

PMINJ's  success is attributed to volunteers like Lisa who work tirelessly to provide quality programs for the chapter members and we thank her for that. 



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q11:

PMINJ VoQ

Dennis Komsa

When you attend PMINJ’s monthly programs, you will almost always find Dennis Komsa at the sign-in table ready to help you register for the meeting.  In return for his dedication, strong leadership skills and proactive efforts as team lead of the On-Site Registration team, Dennis is being recognized as PMINJ’s Volunteer of the Quarter.

Dennis became a member of the NJ chapter in 2008 and, in the following year, volunteered to take lead role for the On-Site Registration team.  His strong leadership skills are evident as he deals with scheduling his team, now reaching 15 members in size, to ensure that there is ample registration support for each meeting.  As part of this responsibility, he deals with resolving any registration issues that are uncovered.

For each of the eight months that PMINJ holds a dinner meeting, Dennis will insure that there are sufficient volunteers to work at the meeting’s on-site registration table.  He has demonstrated flexibility in handling last minute changes in scheduling.  With a recent increase in volunteers, Dennis has improved the scheduling of team efforts so that each volunteer has some time off for dinner and networking.  Also, Dennis takes responsibility for bringing the registration supplies and name tags early to each meeting. 

In addition to handling the walk-in registrations on the evening of the meeting, Dennis assists in compiling the payment analysis that is done after registration is completed.  He also follows up on post-meeting issue resolution.

Dennis’ volunteer efforts do not stop with the PMINJ organization.  In addition, Dennis is an active volunteer with the Somerset County United Way; as a member of the Resource Development and Marketing Committee, he heads their Social Media efforts to expand the organization’s outreach program.  He has helped them establish a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, established a blog on MyCentralJersey.com and is currently in the process of implementing a high school intern program to lend staffing assistance.



Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q10:


Michael Lange

M Lange Michael Lange has been a member of the Program Evaluation team for 3 years. He has been consistent with his support.  As a team member, Michael is required to summarize anywhere from 30 to 50 evaluation forms every month using the team’s MS Excel spreadsheet. What has set Michael apart is his initiative. Over the years he has recommended various reporting improvements and modifications to the spreadsheet calculations which have resulted in more meaningful data mining.

In addition to his regular monthly activities of collecting data, Michael recently volunteered to help the chapter test the use of Survey Monkey to provide an electronic program evaluation survey for the satellite locations.  Michael created the program evaluation survey based on the paper version while at the same time enhancing the electronic version for ease of use and data entry.

The electronic survey has demonstrated it is possible for the chapter to go ‘green’ and improve the satellite location program evaluation reporting. The electronic evaluation form has reduced handwriting interpretation issues and reduced the time it takes to summarize and collate the various question’s answers into a single master MS Excel spreadsheet report.

Michael continues to provide improvements to the electronic evaluation form. Two great examples are the addition of a ‘pointer’ to the PMI.org site upon completion of the evaluation which serves as a reminder for program attendees to submit their PDU's and the addition of check box's for the various volunteer activities available, making it easier to complete and faster for chapter leadership to complete data searches.

 Michael has helped the program evaluation team make a difference and provides value added support to the chapter every day.



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q10:

Dave Case

Dave has been a member of the New Jersey Chapter since 1999 and received his PMP certification in 2002.  From 2000 through 2006, Dave was the chapter’s newsletter editor. He continued to generate the newsletter even while he was working at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once he returned to NJ to work at Telcordia Technologies as a Senior Project Manager, he became the chapter’s lead photographer. 

For the past three years, all the pictures taken at the monthly meetings and at the May/November Symposia have been the responsibility of Dave Case. During this time, he has taken over 1,800 pictures for the monthly meetings while he and his photo team have shot over 3,500 pictures for both the May and November events. A portion of these pictures appear on the chapter’s website. All of the pictures can be previewed at www.damaca.smugmug.com/pmi/.



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q09:

Sandy Sandlin

Sandy Sandlin has been named our Volunteer of the Quarter. Sandy works with the Programs' Evaluation Team to streamline the process and to make it easier for everyone to review the results.  The team that he is leading tabulates survey results from each of the eight monthly meetings held each year:

  • Around 175 - 200 people at the main site
  • 10 - 25 people at each of the satellite locations
There are currently satellite sites in Camden, Fairfield, Iselin, Princeton, and Roseland. While the amount of work is steadily increasing, the team is looking for ways to provide the results quickly.  Through Sandy's efforts, the Evaluation Team is a strong team which always remains positive and willing to help.


Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q09:

Barbara Fuller

Volunteer extraordinaire would best describe Barbara Fuller.  Barbara has been a member of the New Jersey Chapter since 2001.  Barbara has been a PMP for over 10 years. 

She has been actively involved in leading the Career Networking Group since 2006.  Under Barbara’s direction, she has transformed the Career Networking Group from chapter members in transition searching for a job to a true networking forum.  In addition to providing a venue for chapter members to network with each other, Barbara has been very instrumental in bringing in speakers to educate and motivate.  Speakers have coached Career Networking Group members in the art of communication, as well as boosting confidence.  Group members and participants have truly mastered the art of networking that goes well beyond job search. The group meets at 5:30 prior to regularly scheduled chapter meetings each month.  By attending these meetings and sessions, members have learned how to create a resume that gets a second look, honed interviewing skills and perfected the effective 30 second elevator pitch.

Barbara was the program manger for the Seminar @ Sea event in 2008.  It was the first time such an event was offered by the New Jersey Chapter and Barbara accepted and rose to the challenge!  She worked tirelessly to negotiate contracts with suppliers, including the cruise ship, attract sponsors to participate in the event, secure dynamic speakers, and provide a venue of overall fun.  Barbara successfully achieved a mix of fun and learning to all participants’ satisfaction.

Most recently Barbara program managed the successful Career Workshop held at Rutgers University this past June. The theme of the workshop was getting your career in shape for summer. In addition to securing Rutgers School of Business as a host/sponsor and inviting career coaches, Barbara also taught an elevator pitch session herself.

After completing her undergraduate and graduate education in Ohio, she relocated to Dallas, Texas and soon connected with AT&T where she worked for 21 years. To take on additional challenges as an in-house consultant, AT&T relocated her to New Jersey. While at AT&T, Barbara held various positions of increasing responsibility focused on program and project delivery.  Her final assignment at AT&T was establishing and running a PMO. Her work there caused a transformation in the information technology organization; the people, the processes and the client perception. 

Barbara left AT&T to pursue her own business within the project management consulting arena.  Her company is called Process and Project Solutions, Inc..  She has successfully built her client base utilizing project management skills to manage large scale initiatives for customers or to provide process or project consulting expertise. Recently she formed a professional and personal coaching business for individuals, entrepreneurs and companies called “Focus on You, Now”. It embraces her passion of developing people and teams using her many years of coaching experience. 

When asked about her successes whether in her corporate life, as an entrepreneur or a leader of volunteers, she recognizes the talent, and excellence of the people on the teams she has led.



Volunteer of the Quarter 2Q09:

Maureen Sammis

Maureen Sammis has been a member of the New Jersey Chapter since 1992, when she achieved her PMP status. She has been a role model of a volunteer for more than 7 years, mainly supporting the Symposium and the International Project Management Day events with communications.  She has also contributed two poster presentations to chapter symposia.

The Symposium Communications Team that Maureen leads is our connection to the world. The role has grown through the years. Currently, Maureen’s team develops content and writes articles for the chapter web site, for specific e-mail notifications, for chapter newsletters, and for PMI News articles. These pieces of journalism involve pre-event and post-event objectives, and rely on input from the entire Symposium Team. Maureen’s team takes feedback gracefully, while meeting the deadlines. You know what is going on with upcoming symposium and International Project Management Day events, thanks to Maureen and her team members.

Maureen spent 35 years of her career with AT&T. For her last 5 years, she was the Vice President of Customer Service, serving large business customers with worldwide networks.  She was one of the first executives on the AT&T Project Management Organization board. After retiring from AT&T in 2004, Maureen has taken on new challenges. She currently consults for Creative Resources, interfacing with customers in the gourmet food industry to design, develop, and deliver custom packaging, which is created in China.  Her extensive project management skills, as well as her communication and diplomacy skills, are used daily.



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q09:

Steve Gould

While many students who have taken PMINJ Chapter’s PMP Exam Prep class are familiar with our talented instructor team, the class would not be possible without the tremendous dedication of Steve Gould, a less visible volunteer who works behind the scenes to ensure the course runs smoothly and professionally.  And although the instructor team has varied from class to class, Steve has remained a constant - supporting this class quietly and relentlessly since 2001. 

Steve has multiple responsibilities. All students receive a large binder of materials that include a variety of formats. Steve is responsible for coordinating the printing and distribution of these materials, using his excellent negotiation skills to find the lowest price and resolve various problems with printing facilities. His dedication and flexibility has enabled smooth transitions over the years as our materials grew from 500 to 800 pages, from overhead transparencies to computer-based slides, from hotel sites to formal training facilities. And on 3 Saturdays of each year for the past 8 years, no matter the location, no matter the weather, while the rest of the world is sleeping, Steve is up at the crack of dawn delivering the handouts to the class. 

But Steve is not the kind of person to let his responsibilities end at the delivery. He always takes the extra step to distribute materials during class and follow-up with diverse student requests, whether to adjust a thermostat, or replace a light bulb in the LCD projector; he's even moved walls in training rooms.  No matter the situation, Steve always embodies the PMP Code of Conduct by treating everyone with courtesy and respect.  While tensions may rise, he remains a cool and calming presence, and always gets the job done.

Probably the most difficult of his responsibilities is maintaining version control of the materials. Because different instructors customize their sections, or the PMBOK undergoes revisions, or updates are made in the spirit of continuous improvement, there are always changes being made. Therefore managing the version control is an absolute essential element.  It is a very difficult task, and like everything else, Steve handles it with aplomb and good humor. Steve's relentless dedication makes the chapter’s PMP Prep Course a best in class offering.



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q08:

Jane Banfield

Countless contributions were made by volunteers on the 2007-2008 PMI/NJ Programs team.

While everyone worked hard to make these meetings successful, Jane Banfield efforts have been instrumental in the success of the programs.

Besides working with the caterers and the audiovisual contacts, she has also interacted closely with the satellite sites to ensure that the people in these locations are able to hear what is going on at the meetings as well having the ability to ask questions. This has resulted in her visiting the main meeting locations and arriving at the main location the day of the meeting anywhere from mid afternoon to a couple of hours before the start of the meeting. She has spent hours working with the audiovisual contact at the main meeting location adjusting the equipment to improve the sound quality. Due to her patience and attention to detail, the attendees at the satellite locations have had very good experiences. In fact, the contact for the Marlton location sent a note to the Board thanking us for our efforts.



Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q08:

Eileen Szperka

Eileen Szperka brings more than 30 years of experience in health care, financial, clinical and management information systems to her PMI NJ chapter volunteering. She also brings a can-do attitude and terrific people skills, which are needed on the Symposium Facilities Team. Eileen has been the Team Lead for Facilities for the past 3 symposium events, including new locations with record-setting attendance. Before that, Eileen was a proactive member of the Symposium Facilities Team for over a year. 

The Symposium Facilities Team is where the rubber hits the road. There are significant planning as well as execution and closing activities, and tremendous amounts of interdependencies to be managed. Eileen is responsible for selecting the symposium locations, negotiating the facilities, A/V, and hotel contracts, addressing the changing needs of speakers and vendors, providing the essential layout diagrams that help attendees navigate the events easily, ensuring that the A/V is perfect and has back-ups, and most importantly, that the food part of the experience is excellent both in terms of quality and service. As we have more events and events get longer and more complicated in terms of programs, the challenges of the Facilities Team increase, but Eileen has built a strong team and mentored a co-lead, which will help us continue in this area with excellence.

Eileen’s thoughts on her PMI NJ volunteering experience:
     “After passing my PMP Certification in July, 2005, I decided that I didn’t want to belong to an organization and not be active.  Then I went to the PMI NJ November Symposium and was so impressed with the group that I signed-up to be on a committee.  Since then I have been active on the Facilities Team for the Symposium, first as a team member and in 2007 as Team Lead.
     Although working on the Facilities Team can be challenging at times, it is very rewarding when things come together and you hear from the attendees that it is the best event they have attended. Volunteering has broadened my understanding of how project management impacts other industries.  It allows you to network with people you might otherwise not have met.  I have had the chance to be mentored by some individuals that I see as role models and I have developed friendships that I know will last.”



Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q08:

Kelly Rasmussen

For years, she has been a great asset to the PMI NJ Chapter successfully supporting the monthly meetings, the Annual Symposium, PMP training class, International Project Management day, and more. Kelly started volunteering as the Project Manager – On-Line Registration in 2004. At that time, there was a project manager responsible for manual registration and one for on-line registration. Due to her diligence and willingness to please, this volunteer position has expanded. Starting this year, registration is only available through the on-line registration and therefore the entire registration process is her responsibility.

She works behind the scenes to ensure that the online registration system runs smoothly and the resulting list of registrants is correct. She is the one who you contact if you encounter such issues as your password for the on-line registration system is suddenly no longer valid or if you never received an e-mail message indicating that your registration was accepted by the system. In addition, she maintains the list of those individuals who decided to take advantage of registering for the 8 meetings to be held during the program year in September and checks that the final registration list is accurate. She also creates the formatted registration list used by the On-Site Registration Team and Career Networking Program Group as well as the one for generating the name tags for each evening meeting. She trained someone to print the name tags and serves as the backup to this position.

In addition, Kelly has become in many cases the first point of contact for not only questions related to Programs registration but also the other events sponsored by our chapter. She takes the time to find the appropriate individual to respond directly to each member’s inquiries. Given all of Kelly's efforts to support the chapter, Kelly is well deserving of this PMI/NJ "Volunteer of the Quarter” recognition.



Volunteer of the Quarter 4Q07:

Harry Chiovarou

Being “The A/V Guy” is one of those jobs that if done well, is in fact invisible! So, many of you may not know Harry the way the PMI NJ Symposium Planning Team does! But join us in recognizing Harry as our first "Volunteer of the Quarter”. We are starting this form of recognition to show our appreciation for some invaluable team players, without whom our events would not be successful.

Harry joined our Facilities Team as the point person for audio-visual needs in 2004. He has now successfully supported 5 major events at four different locations! Every space has different challenges in terms of ensuring that the speaker can be seen and heard by everyone in the audience. He is responsible to solicit, select, manage, and work with subcontractors. There are the technology unknowns! And there is the holding your breath phenomenon on the day of the event, in between responding to calls to fix a microphone that has suddenly stopped working or other glitch. In all of this, Harry has shown leadership, patience, perseverance, adherence to the highest standards of quality, and, yes, good cheer! For this we honor him!

Harry can only recall “one time when there was a potential for problems. It was before the 2006 Symposium, when the in-house A/V contractor could not get the dual projectors working in the General Session room. He was up until about 1:00 AM trying to fix it. Luckily the technician who came at 6:00 AM was able to fix the problem.”  And no one except the planning team knew about it!

Harry recommends volunteering to chapter members: “Volunteering is not only a good way to get PDUs, it is also good for getting noticed and for networking. I’m glad the chapter has given me the opportunity to do something I enjoy.”

Stop by at the upcoming IPM Day Event November 1 or at next May’s Symposium to let Harry know what a great contribution he is making!