President's Letter: Greetings PMI Houston & Happy New Year!

Posted by admin on 01/12/2021 9:44 pm  /   Home Page Highlights, Presidents Letter

Greetings PMI Houston & Happy New Year!

Ed Garcia, 2021 PMI Houston President

Greetings PMI Houston and Happy New Year!  We all have experienced a challenging 2020 and I hope you and your family are safe in these turbulent times. 

I’m excited to engage our PMI community to launch 2021 as we continue our journey to transform and reimagine the way we work.  With the start of each calendar year, we all look to start anew with a new challenge or learning, and I am honored to serve as PMI Houston’s 2021 President.  Until we have the chance to meet face to face for proper introductions, I wanted to share my journey with PMI. 

I first engaged with PMI training and methodologies in the mid-’90s.  Just like a good book you cannot put down, the PMBOK 1st edition publication was our teams’ go-to source for reference and I was hooked.  From supporting and leading teams locally with the benefit of in-person daily engagement, which we all miss these days, to efforts on global teams with late video calls to be respectful of multiple time zones, PMI publications have always been the core reference.  I have always been open to learning new and better ways to work smart and drive efficiencies, so my passion for continuous learning aligns clearly with our PMI teachings and philosophy for knowledge and empowerment.  My recent mission has been engaging with PMI to research and study leadership effectiveness in matrix organizations and I will soon publish these results.

In our current environment with so many daily challenges, our resilience to work together is our strength for success.  I am looking forward to working with our great PMI volunteers to provide you the best resources for learning, opportunity, and career growth.

Stay safe,

Ed Garcia

President, PMI Houston

Thoughts about 2021

Posted by admin on 01/12/2021 9:34 pm  /   Home Page Highlights, Spotlights

Thoughts About 2021

Tom Goebel, PMI Houston Director Of Communications


An old song goes “Woke up this morning / The blues all around my bed”.

Well, I woke up this morning and it was 2021 – not the blues – all around my bed. The hype has been at peak levels, and everyone is soooo glad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror (2020 hindsight, perhaps?)

I am as glad to see the arrival of 2021 as anyone. But not for the reasons you might suspect. I’ve never subscribed to the “hard reset” view of new years. Nothing changes without our complicity. In other words, change comes from within. It is there that we see change, and not from external sources like the ticking over of the odometer of time.

I worked for a guy who had a great way of looking at things. About events and performances, he often said “it’s never as bad as was initially reported, and it’s never as good, either.” I feel the same way about 2020 and 2021. When we reach a point where we can look back at this time with an objective eye, I expect that 2020 won’t seem so bad (by that time, surely some other year will have supplanted 2020 as The King Of All Bad Years), and 2021 – even if it turns out better than we’d even expected (is that even possible?) – won’t seem as good as all that.

So what are we to do? Resolutions? We’ve seen how well those work. Scratch resolutions. Instead, I propose a revolution. The process of self-betterment is a war – you win some battles, you lose some battles. Some battles you win are the same as battles you previously lost and vice versa. Hopefully, you find that eventually, you are winning more of the turf you lost than losing turf that you won. You don’t have to watch for this, and nobody will have to tell you. You will recognize it when it happens.

Moral of the story? Well, we can sum it up in

  1. Nothing’s ever as bad as it first seems.
  2. Keep fighting to learn. You will eventually start gaining wisdom.
  3. Don’t look for your gains or losses. Somebody close to you will be only too happy to fill you in.

And THAT’S the secret to 2021.

January 2021: Tips & Discussions from Project Management Toastmasters Club

Posted by admin on 01/12/2021 9:29 pm  /   Home Page Highlights, Toastmasters

Project Management Toastmasters Clubs

Tips and Discussions from Harold Eaton, PMI Houston Contributor

"Those who tell the stories rule the world” – Native American Proverb

From Toastmaster International's "90 Tips From 90 Years"

59. Avoid negative topics. Try to focus on positive or uplifting messages. While sometimes it’s necessary to speak to a negative topic, include positive ways the issue can be improved or resolved.

Speak Up, Young Professional!

Six reasons to hone your public speaking skills early in your career

1. You'll Stand Out Among Your Peers

  • In a world of text messages and emails, the ability to speak well gets noticed.

2. You'll Demonstrate Leadership Potential

  • Confidant & competent public speaking demonstrates readiness for the next level

3. You'll Become a Better Thinker

  • The best way to learn something is to teach it or at least speak it in front of a group

4. You'll Gain Credibility (Whether You Deserve It or Not)

  • When you're the one with the courage to speak up, you get the credit

5. Your Ideas Get Considered

  • The ideas that get presented get considered.

6. It's a Ton of Fun

  • Entertaining an audience with a good story is a 2-way street. It is fun!


Strengthening communication skills is a key to connecting with people and improving relationships.  That leads not only to more emotional fulfillment, but a more harmonious society.  [Dr Ralph C. Smedley]

The Quest for Confidence

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of The Confidence Code, suggest a trifecta of steps to cultivate confidence: leave your comfort zone, fail fast, and nurture a growth mindset.

These confidence cultivation steps dovetail with Toastmaster's experiences.

1. Take a Chance

  • Storytelling provides a means of sharing experiences and conclusions.

2. Fail Fast

  • Lessons come quickly for Table Topics speakers

3. Nurture a growth mindset

  • Those who believe are the most likely to succeed.


“Speak Up, Young Professional” Excerpted from the December 2020 Toastmasters Magazine article Nathan Magnuson

“The Quest for Confidence” Excerpted from the December 2020 Toastmasters Magazine article by Emily Sachs

You can learn more about telling your stories at a Project Management Toastmasters Club! Project Management Toastmasters clubs are open to all, but members are predominately professional project managers. Houston Area Project Management Toastmasters Clubs are sponsored by PMI Houston and aligned with the goals of PMI International.   Certified PMPs receive Professional Development Units (PDUs) for participation.