The Programs Committee Announces Changes

    The programs committee has gone through a considerable amount of change in the last year.  We still offer 7 venues, and 4 Lunch and Learns.  For details visit:       

    This year the Board has taken a longer-term strategic view, and as a result, the Programs committee has been reorganized.  The positions previously designated as Venue Directors will now be designated as Venue Leads, and three new Programs Directors have been created to work with the Venue Leads. I would like to welcome our new Speakers Director, Yolanda Franklin, and three Programs Directors - Ajay Aripirala, Chris DelGardo, and David Wilkerson, and wish them every success in their new roles.  For clarity, please see the provisional organizational chart below.

    In addition to this organizational change, there have been a number of personnel changes:


    •         Long-time venue lead Jayant Palker at College Station has voluntarily stepped down, and has been replaced by Ian Soares.

    •         Tim Powell, of the Downtown venue, has voluntarily stepped down, and has been replaced by Sineria Ordonez.

    •         Wendy Valot, who did a fantastic job establishing the Energy Corridor venue, has voluntarily stepped down and we are currently looking for a replacement. So if you are interested, please let me know.

    •         We have changed both the location and the lead at the Galleria venue.  LaToshia Norwood was elected to the board as VP Marketing, and was replaced by Mohammad Ali Minhas.  We have had some issues with the new venue and will be using the United Way facility until the end of the year (apologies for any inconvenience).

    •         At the North Venue, Edwin Jabbour has successfully organized the move of the North Venue to its new location at Campioni Italian Restaurant, with the able assistance of Alexis King.

    •         The South West venue continues under the able guidance of ND Nebo, but has had to move to a temporary location at the First Colony Library due to renovation work at the regular Schlumberger location.

    •         Last, but not least is our Woodlands venue, which remains unchanged and is led by Dr. Janis Warner, at the SHSU Woodlands campus.

    Both the North and Galleria moves were initiated because of consistent financial losses experienced at the venues.

    Lunch & Learns

    We have two L&Ls in the south/central area, which were led by Bruce Garrett, a longtime supporter of PMIH and Toastmasters.  Bruce has retired and moved to New Braunfels. We are currently looking for a replacement for these locations:

    o   Stage Stores

    o   Texas Medical Center

    We also have two L&Ls in the west area, which were previously led by Larry Short.  Larry has voluntarily stepped down, and has been replaced by Chris DelGardo.  These locations are:

    o   BP

    o   Shell

    Here is the organization chart:


    I would like to thank Jay, Tim, Wendy, LaToshia, Bruce and Larry for all their hard work and support over the years, and wish them every success in the future.  At the same time, I would like to welcome Ian, Sineria, and Mohammad Ali to the team and wish them well in their new roles.

    I would also like to commend Edwin, ND, and Janice and everyone else who have consistently worked hard to provide worthwhile programs to our members.

    MiniBio - VP of Membership


    Jim Benvie answers our questions:

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

    I have been a full-time project manager for around 20 years, but did part time project management for 10 years before that. I retired last year from NOV and have started my own consulting company, “TyauvinOn Solutions”.

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

    I first volunteered at the North venue, as what we now call an ambassador, in 2005. I then became the North Venue Director, for 4 years before being elected to the board, as VP Programs in 2016.

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

    This is a difficult question for any project manager, and I cannot think of one that clearly stands out from the rest, during my professional career.

    However, before I moved to the US, I was a volunteer with the Scouts, and designed a weekend long training exercise, based in a fantasy universe. The scouts had to use all their learned skills, and logic, to navigate a fictional world and prevent an alien invasion. This took many weeks to design, coordinate, and implement. It was both interesting and challenging, and it was wonderful to see the excitement and commitment of the scouts.

    Which part(s) of the Chapter’s Strategic Plan really resonate with you and why?

    Working on the development of the Service Catalogue.

    I enjoy meeting the members directly and working with the programs team to provide and, refine the range of programs we deliver. 

    If you could change something about the Project Management field, what would it be and why?

    I am interested in introducing gamification into the training of project managers.

    Project managers do a lot of academic training, but often the first time they deal with a problem is when they do it for real. The use of simulations, or games, has been proven to improve real world performance of pilots and military personnel, and I believe the method should be used for project managers.