Greetings Ocean State PMI Chapter Members!
On behalf of the Board of Directors of OSPMI, we hope you all enjoyed a happy holiday season.
With the start of a new calendar year, it is common for people to make changes in their lives. Whether it will be to start a diet; begin using the long-dormant exercise equipment; or make a commitment to spend more time with family and friends, there is a general feeling that things will be different. This is true for OSPMI as well.
Some of these changes have already been communicated at chapter meetings:
- We have a new leadership team in 2015. They have officially take their positions on January 1st.
- We are increasing the annual membership fee for the RI chapter to $25.00. This is in keeping with the amount charged by other chapters in our area.
- We introduced a new web site in 2014, and will be making more changes to it in 2015.
Those of you who have looked at the registration page for our January Chapter Meeting may have noticed that we are offering hors d'oeuvres instead of a full plate dinner. The reason for this is that we need to be more cost-conscious when it comes to our chapter meetings. For the last couple of years we have held our chapter meetings at a financial loss. Our reserves have covered the gap so that we could bring you the best speakers and the best experience while attending our meetings.
The cost of locations and more importantly food and refreshments has increased significantly over the past few years; so much so that last year, it cost the chapter considerably more than what we could charge our members. We must make financially orientated changes so we can continue to offer the best speaker value to you without jeopardizing our future while maintaining PMI required financial reserves for our chapter.
Our 2015 strategy for Chapter Meetings:
Due to contractual arrangements with hotels, our first two meetings of 2015 - January and February - will be held using hotel locations. This is important because hotel venues are the most expensive. There are upfront costs and expectations on how much food and refreshments will be purchased by the organization renting their space. Most hotels do not allow for potentially less-expensive outside food vendors.
Therefore, for the January and February meetings, we will not be offering meals at the chapter meeting. Rather, a cheese and fruit display will be available, as will hot hors d'oeuvres at each table for people who purchase the dinner option. Due to the aforementioned hotel costs, we are charging the same price as we've done for events that included meals. We must do this to come as close to break-even from a financial perspective as we can. (As usual, we will offer a presentation-only option at both meetings.)
Going forward, we are looking at ways to continue to provide valuable content via world class speakers yet, bring down costs so we can offer you a continued positive experience at a reasonable price. Among the ideas we are pursuing:
- Find more no-cost locations to host our chapter meetings. Typically companies that host our meetings do not charge up-front fees.
- Find locations that allow us to bring in outside, lower cost (but high quality) dinner food and refreshment.
- Extend our reach to the hundreds of chapter members who do not attend meetings by continuing to provide world class speakers in Project Management and by ensuring that the venue can accommodate higher numbers.
How can you help?
Simply said, plan to attend one or more of your OSPMI Chapter Meetings and rest assured that these are not 'organizational meetings' such as those you spend your day in. Our VP of Programs spends a great deal of quality time on your behalf in sourcing great speakers, which is the theme and agenda for each meeting.
To perhaps help with making it easier for you to attend, another factor we believe that needs to change is typically past chapter meetings have lasted past 9:00pm. This is at the least inconvenient for many in our Chapter's region, given many members travel some distance to get to and from home, and many also start work at an earlier hour than the coveted 9-5 work-schedule.
We are looking at different time slots and for the first few meetings we will start the meeting at the same time, but finish by 8:30pm, which will get you home earlier.
Your OSPMI BOD is working hard to explore the changes that we believe are necessary to continue to bring value to you but which also allow Chapter Meetings, and our other Programs, to take on different formats so that we can reach a greater number of you in a way that supports your professional life in Project Management.
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at one of our 2015 Programs whether it be at one or more Chapter Meetings, our Forums in Project Management, our outreach to area not for profit organizations that struggle with Project Management, our OSPMI Project Recognition program --- and more.
Robert Massoud, PMP, MBA
Shepperd Luce, PMP
January 5, 2015