MiniBio Series - Mame Leslie, PMI Houston Director of Public Relations

    Tell us a little about yourself!

    I am a Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 16 years of experience in Project and Program Management and Leadership roles of varying size, scope, budget, and influence. I have a proven track record managing the delivery of key strategic initiatives in technology, functional design, process improvement, competency development, and planning, resulting in increased organizational capability and efficiency.

    As a driven, dynamic leader I leverage my consulting skills, professional knowledge and established relationships in the international project community to effectively facilitate buy-in at all levels of the organization while providing innovative and focused solutions. 

    I first got into PM right out of the US Air Force Academy. I graduated with a BS in Management and dropped directly into the PM career field as an AF Acquisitions Officer in Dayton, Ohio. While in Dayton, I received my MBA in Project Management, Management and International Business. I also managed the weapon systems for the B1 and F-16 Programs (2000-2004). After that, I was assigned to be an IT PM in Montgomery, Alabama, from 2004-2007 where I managed the overall IT Enterprise for the Air Force working closely with Microsoft. I was given the opportunity to study French abroad in Strasbourg and deployed to South Korea.  In 2007, I left the Air Force and joined the consulting industry in Hartford, Connecticut, with The Hartford Insurance Company.  In 2008, I received my PMP and participated in a senior management program with Fidelity in Boston, Massachusetts. I returned home to Houston in 2011 and took a position with Deloitte Tax as a PMO Lead from 2011-2015.  In 2016, I moved to Deloitte Global to set up a PMO.

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

    I have been working in Project Management since 2000.  I am currently the Director of Business Development for a startup company called En Route Cleaners.  We hope to disrupt the dry-cleaning industry by providing same-day service to business professionals at their workplace parking location/garage.

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

    When I returned to Houston, I immediately became involved with PMI Houston, working on the annual conference.  I led the Social Networking Committee (team of 1 at that time).  In 2012, I co-chaired the conference with David Thomas.  From 2013-2016, I stayed involved with the conference via the social networking committee, where we added networking games to the program to incentivize attendees to get to know each other and have fun in the process. In 2016, I presented a breakout session to the Houston and Dallas Chapters about communications at our conference. I am now Director of Public Relations for PMI Houston Marketing.

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

    I have made life-long connections (and friends) with professionals who share the same passion for project management as me.  By getting involved in the conference, I’ve had the chance to meet many volunteers and attendees who I look forward to seeing again each year.  Getting involved in the Board of Directors has allowed me to gain exposure with other PMI teams across the region to help the Houston Chapter grow.

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

    That would be my current position as Director of Business Development for En Route Cleaners.  I have leveraged my PM background to get the company up and running and I am tapping into a new skill set (sales) trying to sell the concept to prospective clients.  Working with a start-up is exciting and challenging.

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

    I am a proud “Auntie Mame” to 18 nieces and nephews who live in Houston, Utah, and Indiana.  I love to travel with my husband of 18 years and my lil’ one (“Random” – a 7 y/o Chihuahua).  I love to go to Broadway show and the movies any chance I can get.  I am training for the Houston half marathon (this will be my 7th half or full marathon).

    June 2018: Letter from the President

    The Houston economy was significantly impacted by the fall in oil prices in late 2014. Economic growth in Houston has since has been at a lower rate than its average annual growth rate. On top of that, the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey last year and its aftermath had another major impact on the economy as homes, businesses, infrastructure, plants and many facilities were destroyed or shut down. Displacement and layoffs resulting from the economic downturn impacted many Houston families.

    The Houston economy is resilient of course. Future economic growth for Houston is looking promising.  Crude prices are jumping up. The price was up close to $73 a barrel in May for the first time since November 2014. If the oil prices stay above $60 a barrel in 2018 as forecast, the Houston metropolitan area is projected to add around 75,000 jobs. Good news for Houstonians!

    PMI Houston feels the pain the professional community of Houston is going through. We have been trying to help job seekers in our monthly meeting, networking events and through job posting on our website. I am pleased to report that we are embarking on another initiative. PMI Houston is planning a series of events to help job seekers. The first non-traditional event is being scheduled for July 2018. It will be a workshop titled ‘How to Land Your Next PM Job in 40 Days’. Stay tuned for details.

    If there are potential employers and recruiters who wish help in this initiative, please get in touch with us. This has to be a collective effort to help those who are in need at this point in their lives.