MiniBio Series - Carla Callum, PMI Houston Director of Sponsorship

    Tell us a little about yourself!

    I was born in the tropical island of Jamaica and that’s where my project management profession budded, blossomed and matured.

    My professional background spans both the Business and Legal fields. So, in addition to being Project Management certified (PMP), I also have a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London and, am currently in my final semester of a Masters in Law from the University of Houston. 

    Some may ask: how do you merge the two professions? In combining project management with legal knowledge, termed Legal Project Management (LPM), lawyers can further their training by acquiring PM competencies and non-legal scenarios

    that require extensive knowledge of legal framework conditions, especially in international and construction projects. This not only helps law firms and practitioners work more efficiently and increase client satisfaction, it also gives them a competitive edge. The beauty about project management is that it may be applied to all professions.

    Notwithstanding, my day to day focus is in using my legal knowledge in the drafting of contracts, contracts negotiations, and compliance.

    When I started as a PM, I worked from the regulators’ viewpoint on several multi-million local and international contracts, ensuring that such government-awarded contracts met all regulatory laws and satisfied tender process procedures and policies. Since moving to Houston, my focus has been to further this journey and advance myself while making my mark in this discipline of Project Management.

    How long have you been working in Project Management and what's your current professional position?

    As the Contracts and Project Manager for Rubix Systematics, an Information Technology and Security Services company in The Woodlands, TX, that designs, manages, and implements information technology & security solutions, I draft, negotiate, and conclude all vendor and customer contracts and agreements. Additionally, I manage all IT projects for the company, from small businesses with a single entrepreneur to large defense contractors looking to become NISt 800-171 compliance.

    How long have you been involved with the Houston PMI® Chapter and in what capacities?

    I joined an amazing team of volunteers in November 2016 and have been working with fellow Chapter members since to secure our valued sponsors on a yearly basis. I started as the Sponsorship Lead and in 2018 was appointed the Director of Sponsorships. I report to the VP of Outreach and manage our Sponsor/Vendor Leads and Accounts Managers. 

    What are the biggest benefits you’ve realized from volunteering at PMIH?

    Many project managers join their Chapter to maintain their certification; but being a part of the Houston Chapter has benefitted me in many other ways. Not only have I had the pleasure of meeting so many brilliant minds who have a passion for what they do in their everyday professional lives, but I have met lifelong mentors who help me continue to learn the tricks of the trade, management strategies, and best practices from on a daily basis. I gain value from ensuring that our stakeholders’ benefits are realized, developing program initiatives, and creating strategies to engage our sponsors and meet their demands. I also benefit from brainstorming with fellow teammates, sharing knowledge in our weekly and monthly meetings, and attending any other executive or region meeting that the Chapter believes is necessary for our professional development.

    Describe the most interesting/challenging/exciting project you've ever been involved with.

    In addition to working with the Chapter in its planning and execution of its Annual Conference and Expo, the most interesting, challenging and exciting project I have worked on to date was an investigation I led in 2011 for a Commission of the Parliament of Jamaica. The investigation pertained to non-compliance allegations regarding the Proposal for the Financing, Development, Ownership and Operation of a FSRU LNG Re-Gasification Terminal and Natural Gas Transportation System. The projected life of this project was approximately seven months. Result: The Prime Minister of Jamaica, based on our report to the Jamaican Parliament, halted the project based on findings of irregularity and impropriety in the government award process. The most challenging part of this project was the data collection, which included the preparation of requisitions from local and international parties, interviews conducted, and legal research. Notwithstanding, with the implementation of a comprehensive project plan and oversight, the project was completed within the set timelines.

    Feel free to add any other tidbits you think would be an interesting add.

    Overall, it has truly been a great experience being a part of the Houston Chapter and I look forward to continuing to improve my PM skills and expanding on my knowledge base by learning from the vast number of PM leaders in the Chapter.