Project Management Day of Service: A New Tradition

Posted in Community Involvement / Pro Bono Program on January 28, 2015
Project Managers non-profit representatives gather in the ballroom of the Sheraton Tysons Hotel for the Project Management Day of Service

Project Managers and non-profit representatives gather in the ballroom of the Sheraton Tysons Hotel for the Project Management Day of Service

Over 300 Project Managers (PMs) and representatives from nearly 100 local nonprofit organizations (NPOs) filled the ballroom of the Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Virginia. Peering down from the balcony above, one saw a sea of heads leaning into computer screens and groups of listeners gathered around  flipcharts as Project Managers outlined strategies for stakeholder management, organizational redesign, communications plans, and other mechanisms/systems/tools that can vastly improve the performance of an organization.

The date was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2015. The occasion was the first ever Project Management Day of Service (PM-DoS), brainchild of M Powered Strategies® (MPS) president, Kendall Lott.  To make it happen, all five DC Metro Area Project Management Institute chapters came together, under the direction of Laura Barnard, to form a special Program Management Office (PMO). Partnering with the Taproot Foundation, they assembled a cadre of PM Subject Matter Experts to meet with charity and nonprofit organizations in this massive day-long “Scope-A-Thon.”

Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (left) with Kendall Lott (right)

Secretary Penny Pritzker with Kendall Lott

Secretary Penny Pritzker of the Department of Commerce gave the opening remarks.  Speaking to Martin Luther King’s role as a preacher, she highlighted his message of community service. The event elicited strong emotional response from the nonprofit sector, who came away thrilled with the actionable direction they were given, and from the Project Managers, who saw in a new light the importance and the impact their work can have. There were tears, laughter, and “Aha!” moments.

For Kendall, as a member of the regional leadership of the PMI chapters, it was a significant moment.  “The work PMs do, planning into the constrained resources of time, money, staff, and capacity, is so important and valuable to NPOs…and a real chance for PMs to see the impact and value of their work.  Today, we mattered, and we felt it.”

Jessica Nielsen highlights an organizational fine point

Jessica Nielsen highlights opportunity for change

Jimmy Church, PMP, of M Powered Strategies®, worked with two non-profits: the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a Virginia-based preschool that provides comprehensive learning services to children of working families, and Hatch International, of Washington, DC, that helps innovators in developing countries get the support they need to develop and introduce their products to the marketplace. Both organizations requested assistance with the development of a roadmap and a communications strategy to expand and improve their outreach to donors, investors, and other funding sources. “It was amazing how much we were able to accomplish in just a few hours,” Jimmy remarked. “Non-profit leaders are so strapped for time and resources that having an expert listen, ask probing questions, and then help them organize their thoughts and prioritize their next steps proved to be invaluable.”

Carl Crampton, PMP, visits the MPS table

Carl Crampton, PMP, visits the MPS table

MPS staffer, Perry Morton, PMP, worked w/ Baltimore Corps, which develops and supports community leaders from various fields. Perry was able to help their recruiting lead by pinpointing her marketing challenges, offering potential solutions, and setting specific milestones so she could achieve those solutions.

Carl Crampton, PMP, of M Powered Strategies, summed up the experience eloquently. “It was a great way for us PMs to show up and make a difference. The variety of non-profits was staggering, as was the need. It was transformational.”

Planning has already begun for next year’s Day of Service. Taproot, Kendall and the PMO all hope to double the attendance and double the impact next time around.

Welcome, Josh Erb!

Posted in Human Resources / PACE Program on January 15, 2015
Josh Erb

Josh Erb

Josh Erb comes to M Powered Strategies directly following his work with the International Republican Institute (IRI), where he coordinated three delegations to observe the recent presidential and parliamentary elections in Tunisia. He has a Master’s from the University of Chicago’s Social Sciences division, and wrote his thesis on the political weight of immigration policy in France. Josh graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies, a program which allowed him to design his own major. His thesis was about immigration in the European Union. He is fluent in French and has studied Moroccan and Standard Arabic extensively. He fills his free time with post-modern fiction and the occasional hiking trip in Shenandoah.

Welcome, Janet Boutilier!

Posted in Human Resources on January 06, 2015
Janet Boutilier

Janet Boutilier

Janet Boutilier comes to M Powered Strategies (MPS) with seven years of experience in government and nonprofit consulting. She most recently worked on a contract supporting the Business Analysis section in the Department of Information Technology at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition to her background in IT business analysis and project management, she brings a variety of skills in communications, professional development planning, stakeholder engagement, and website development from her past experience as an association management professional. Janet also holds a Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Janet Boutilier has a Bachelor of Science in Music from Indiana University, with a Major Outside Field in Business and a Minor in Economics. Her wide ranging background has taught her that no matter the industry, the same principles of leadership, client service, and drive for excellence apply. She is passionate about public service and excited to contribute to the MPS team working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

PREP News: January 2015

Posted in PACE Program / PREP / PREP Newsletter Archive on January 06, 2015

From all of us at MPS, we wish you a Happy New Year! To kickoff 2015, we are excited to share a few announcements.

In This Issue: ANSI Audit, PACE Cohort 5 Concludes, Holiday Gift Giving for SOME, Oversight Group Recruitment

M Powered Strategies® Gets HUBZone Certification

Posted in Business Development / Corporate Updates on January 05, 2015

Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) logoConsistent with its mission to increase the effectiveness of organizations and the communities surrounding them, M Powered Strategies, Inc. (MPS) has been awarded HUBZone certification status as recognized by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Having employed some of the best and brightest talent from up and coming urban DC communities for over the past 13 years, MPS is proud to be recognized as a new member of the SBA HUBZone program and looks forward to contributing to continued economic development in historically underutilized business zones. MPS sends a warm thank you to the SBA for this tremendous opportunity and looks forward to an exciting 2015!