Making Real Impact through Skills-Based Volunteering

Posted in Community Involvement / Pro Bono Program on November 30, 2016

kind2Earlier this month, MPS employees Zully Barrientos, Paul Dolmon, Mariana Enriquez, Mary Flannery, Isaac Garon, Mara Goldberg, and Allison Primack  volunteered at a local law firm for KIND (Kids in Need of Defense), a nonprofit that partners with attorneys and law firms to provide pro bono representation to unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children. We were there to conduct intake interviews with Central American children for their lawyers. KIND provided a brief training to familiarize us with the interview process, best practices in communicating with the children, and legal terminology that otherwise would have gone over our heads.

KIND paired up groups of two volunteers with one child and his or her caretaker, and we spent the morning interviewing them (in Spanish) about the child’s life in their home country, their journey to the U.S., and their current living situation. These children have experienced trauma and hardship, so it was important to gain their trust and make sure they felt understood. To this end, we engaged them in conversation about their interests and tried to lighten the mood when topics got too heavy. The final step was to write up a detailed memo, providing recommendations to the lawyers on how to move forward with the case.

Without volunteers to help out, the backlog of intakes would be overwhelming. Besides being genuinely impactful and important, the work further developed professional skills that we, as MPSers, are passionate about. We were able to use our experience conducting stakeholder interviews with government and pro bono clients. Also, some of us have previously worked on or feel connected to immigration issues in Latin America, so the interviews gave us an opportunity to use this knowledge along with our Spanish language skills. It was clear that we were needed and that we were making meaningful change in a few children’s lives. As author Clarissa Pinkola Estes said, “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.”

Congratulations, PACE Cohort 10!

Posted in PACE Program / Professional Development on November 17, 2016
Jeremy, Ben, Mariana, Rob, Josh

Jeremy Faircloth, Ben Eden, Mariana Enriquez, Rob Denaburg and Josh Forgét

The lights in the glass lobby of the Shakespeare Theatre’s Harman Hall shone bright last Monday night as MPS staff, PACE alums, and members of the PREP Oversight Group gathered to honor the five graduating members of PACE Cohort 10: Rob Denaburg, Ben Eden, Mariana Enriquez, Jeremy Faircloth and Josh Forgét. PACE, which stands for Professional Apprenticeship for Consulting Excellence, now counts 41 certificate holders, who have successfully completed the 25-week program. Designed to bring transitioning professionals and entry-level consultants up to career-ready caliber, PACErs undergo a rigorous training, which includes paid client delivery, weekly professional trainings, career mentoring, and a business case presentation. The winner of this group’s business case presentation was Rob Denaburg. His topic was the Department of Homeland Security, specifically providing program development and support to the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD). Rob’s solution outlined a three-phase approach over five years to meet the goals of maturing ISCD’s programs, increasing efficiency, and securing America’s chemical facilities.

Patti McMullen, the director of the PACE program (and also an alumnus of Cohort 6) had nothing but praise for the group. “This cohort was an exceptional group to work with, providing impressive energy, time, and effort to both the PACE program and their client delivery. I look forward to seeing what they all accomplish.”

For more information about the ANSI-accredited PACE Program, please email Patti McMullen.

Welcome, Eddie Lee!

Posted in Human Resources on November 10, 2016
Eddie Lee

Eddie Lee

Eddie Lee joins us as a career consultant with experience in both the private and public sectors.  His expertise is in strategic planning with a focus on technology integration and shared services migrations.  Eddie served as a project manager for BP during the post oil spill remediation efforts. Additionally during his career he has provided advisory services to technology offices within the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice.

Eddie enjoys an array of hobbies, including cooking, eating, and being outdoors.

 

Welcome, Davin Hattaway!

Posted in Human Resources on November 08, 2016
Davin Hattaway

Davin Hattaway

Davin Hattaway has 15 years executive leadership experience managing all aspects of operations for 43 regional, national, and international nonprofit organizations. His professional background includes 12 years at Potomac Management Resources (PMR), a Virginia-based nonprofit consulting firm, where he served as a senior SME and Chief Operations Officer. Under Davin’s leadership, PMR became the top-ranked event planning firm in the Washington DC area as ranked by the Washington Business Journal.

Prior to PMR, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa and later continued his work with OASIS supporting rural nonprofits there. Davin is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and holds a degree in History from the University of Central Florida. Outside of work he enjoys hiking, caving, kayaking, and outdoor activities of all kinds; as well as practicing four martial arts.

Reasons for Success: The 2016 PMIWDC Volunteer Fair

Boasting over ten thousand members, the DC Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMIWDC) is more than the largest PMI chapter, it is also one of the most active. Thanks to the support of local businesses and universities, along with a commitment to community outreach – exemplifying their newly coined core value of “High Impact Community Leaders” – PMIWDC is able to galvanize its membership with meaningful events that support the community and promote Project Management as a way to cause change and deliver real results.

Most recently, the second annual Volunteer Fair brought together one hundred chapter members, plus all twelve chapter board members, twenty-five Project Management students from nearby universities, and representatives from fourteen local nonprofits. Attendees were able to meet with nonprofits to sign up for skills-based or other volunteering opportunities. Students mingled with PMs, networking and learning about Project Management from experts. A delicious dinner was served. And to top it off,  over 250 volunteer positions were filled – all in the course of precisely two hours.

“That’s what happens when PMs run an event,” said MPS President, Kendall Lott. “I have to commend VP of Programs Uma Hiremagalur and her Programs Team. This was not just a fun event that actually delivered some real outputs, but they built a PMO, took lessons learned from last year’s event, and developed a playbook to implement innovations to make the 2016 Volunteer Fair a resounding success. It’s what this chapter does at its best, piloting programs, then improving them for full implementation.”

We at MPS are proud to have been a key sponsor of the Volunteer Fair, donating the funds to offset the cost of attendance for all the nonprofits. We also sent a team of PMs from our staff to meet with the nonprofits as well as to recruit. As a recognized Employer of National Service, MPS is always looking for PMs who are community-focused and actively involved in making the world a better place.