MPS Assists Local Nonprofit

Posted in Pro Bono Program on March 27, 2017

pearls-logoM Powered Strategies recently finished a pro bono engagement with The P.E.A.R.L.S. Inc. (Purposefully Empowering and Reaching Little Sisters), a nonprofit based at a school in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which serves girls in grades 3 through 6. In existence since 2011, P.E.A.R.L.S. was experiencing some common nonprofit growing pains, so they came to MPS for help.

Arezu Hadjialiloo, Mariana Enriquez, and Karli Kloss of MPS all share a passion for empowering young women. “I wanted to work on this project because I was very excited about their mission,” said Arezu Hadjialiloo, the team’s Project Lead. “They perform work that I am passionate about, and as a former teacher it was wonderful to reconnect with educators and see the great work they do on the ground.”

The MPS team provided strategic communications, graphic design, and messaging support for P.E.A.R.L.S. According to MPS Communications Manager Karli Kloss, “The project was just plain fun. I was able to play around with some graphic design and branding work that I don’t usually do with my government clients. We provided ready-to-use communications tools for an organization in need, with a fantastic mission that I was proud to support.”

Over the course of three months, our consultants performed stakeholder interviews, created a stakeholder register, and redrafted the organization’s vision, mission, and long-term goals. This all rolled into a strategic communications plan that will help P.E.A.R.L.S. communicate effectively and consistently with its audiences as it continues to grow and expand.

“This project reminded me how under-resourced most nonprofits are,” Arezu added. “The will is there, the drive to achieve their mission is there, but the resources aren’t. Our deliverables might not seem like a lot, but hopefully we have given them just a little edge, for reaching out to donors and volunteers and other nonprofits.”

Being in service to others is a founding principle of MPS, and our staffers put substantial time and energy into pro bono projects for nonprofits. If you are interested in learning more about MPS Assists, contact our Community Engagement Manager, Kat McDonald, at

MPS Fosters Project Management Professionals

Posted in Professional Development / Project Management on March 24, 2017

PMPMPS is proud to announce the recent certification of four new Project Management Professionals (PMPs): Brian Wenzler, Lee Levy, Ashley Rezai and Allison Primack. That makes twelve PMPs at MPS, and more to come. At MPS, we actively encourage our consultants to avail themselves of the tools of Project Management and to master the rigorous skills and knowledge areas required to attain PMP certification.

Kendall Lott, President of M Powered Strategies, has been a PMP for over a decade. He was President of the Washington DC Project Management Institute (PMIWDC) in 2015, where he was recognized for excellence in leadership for a large chapter.  He also teaches a series of Project Management classes for the MPS Professional Apprenticeship for Consulting Excellence (PACE) program, and hosts monthly audio podcasts, “PM Point of View”, which are available for download on iTunes. According to Kendall, “The PMBOK [Project Management Book of Knowledge] offers hardcore practical tools and systems for real life consultants. But it’s not set in stone; it’s updated on a yearly basis. And swirling around that is a cadre of thinkers and professionals, writing books and blogs, delving deeply into the key areas of Project Management – Risk, Stakeholder Management, Scope, etc. They keep coming up with fascinating and radical new approaches. That’s the stuff I enjoy hashing out in my podcasts.”

Lee, who has always had an interest in project management, learned about Project Management shortly after coming into the company as a PACE apprentice. “I asked about it during my coaching sessions and asked other colleagues about their experience with the PMP. That sparked my interest …” One thing she likes about Project Management is that, besides the tools, “it provides a common language across the consulting sphere with colleagues and clients.”

According to Brian, “Project Management principles help me break down broad, ambitious initiatives that clients talk about into discrete milestones and objectives. This is key in translating ideas into action and eventually results.”

Allison is appreciative of MPS’ support. “I think it is great that MPS encourages us as professionals to engage in PMI/project management, since it is something that is relevant to any professional career, not just consulting.”

Kendall is proud of his staff’s push to certification, “Project Management is how we drive change, it’s an act of transformation and so it’s in the very DNA of MPS. We are happy that our team sees the need to develop these skills. Whether we are formal project managers or not, this way of thinking helps us get more done for our clients and for our company.”

Welcome, Maria Perez!

Posted in Human Resources on March 17, 2017
Maria Perez

Maria Perez

Before coming to MPS, Maria served as a political appointee in President Obama’s Administration.  She started out at the White House in the Office of Presidential Personnel.

From there she went on to work in a variety of positions at the U.S. Department of State. As Deputy White House Liaison, she supported the Secretary’s leadership, helping manage the relationships of all political appointees.  In the office of Commercial and Business Affairs, Maria provided strategic planning support to the Special Representative.  She also served as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States, where she represented U.S. interests on a multilateral stage.

Maria started her professional career as a Geometry teacher with Teach for America in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and is admitted to the Texas Bar.  She also holds a B.B.A. in Finance and B.A. in French from the University of Texas at Austin.