Chapter History

Chapter History

2017 will be the 42st Anniversary for Project Management Institute Central Ohio Chapter (PMICOC). PMI was founded in 1969 by working project managers. PMICOC was founded in 1975, behind the driving force of an OSU professor interested in project management and became the 3rd chartered PMI chapter after Houston and San Francisco.

PMICOC celebrated its 35th Anniversary in 2010 as a PMI Chapter. Colin Powell was a Keynote speaker that year at the Chapter’s Professional Development Day (PDD). During that year, as part of the celebration, history highlights were collected and compiled regarding the history highlights of the Chapter’s first 35 years of PMICOC.

During the first fifteen years (1975 – 1990), the number of members was relatively low, but the attitude was very positive. There was quite a buzz when membership got to 90. A chapter member that joined in 1979 tells me: “there was definitely a passion regarding project management as a discipline, and there also was frustration with a constant question being, ‘How can we get organizations to see the value of project management?’ (notice a theme here!) The issue of whether or not PMI would survive was a common topic. There was churn in the membership and other technology-based organizations were claiming to be the champions of project management. As you can see today that is a rather moot issue! All in all, it was an interesting time.”

The chapter was rescued from being on probation in 1981, when future PMI Fellow, Lee R. Lambert, serving as Chapter President (1982 – 1983) leveraged his Battelle work efforts in forming a new division centered on project management for a big work effort. The Battelle group comprised the majority of the chapter members. When the Battelle group moved out of state the membership representing construction became the dominant group, with a few members from the insurance industry, several from Pharmaceuticals, a group from the process control industry and a handful from nuclear energy (Piketon). Efforts to bring in people from other industries had little or no success due to most industries outside government and construction felt that project management was a subset specialty for a given discipline. With the loss of Battelle members moving out of state plus several companies no longer paying for chapter membership there was a drop in membership to between 40 and 60. Meetings were at the Jai Lai. If members brought their partners and we had a really big turnout there could be as many as 30 people!

Certification was spooling up during this time. Gary Monti became PMP number 14 in 1984 and served as Chapter President for three years. Gary provided the following insight on the early PMP years. “The test was taken at THE National Symposium (how times have changed) and was run by volunteers. The test was a printed booklet. The wait was at least several weeks before finding out if you passed. At the first test in Philadelphia 100 or so showed up. Some got nervous and left because there were no prep courses. About 47 passed. By the late 80’s there were few PMP’s world-wide.”

Over the next twenty years (1991 - 2010) PMICOC enjoyed membership growth from 35 to over 1500. This began with the re-activation of the Central Ohio Chapter in early 1990’s. A few new members that joined at that time became the driving force behind focusing the chapter’s efforts on in promoting the profession of Project Management, serving the networking and education (professional development) needs of Columbus Ohio metropolitan area residents, and focusing preparation training for members to obtain the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.

Hank Mensing was the driving force behind re-activating the Central Ohio Chapter after he joined PMI in the early 1990’s and found that the local chapter was not very active. With the help of PMI, Hank sent letters to the then 35 local members to determine if there was enough interest and critical mass to sustain and grow the chapter. When Walt Sutterlin got his letter, he informed Hank that he wanted to get involved and do more than just attend meetings. The initial meeting was successful and received not only good attendance, but also produced the interest and commitment for re-activation.

PMP certification training within the chapter had humble beginnings. Eight members of the chapter leadership group (Walt was one of them) volunteered to commit to teach the PMBOK to each other and then sit and take the test. To do this, they each selected a PMBOK area to become an “expert” and to instruct each other that PMBOK area. The initial training effort was done over four Saturdays with two PMBOK areas being covered each day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Teresa Criswell, who had already obtained her PMP agreed to proctor the test that was held on another Saturday. One hour was allotted for answering 80 questions for each of the eight PMBOK areas. To pass the test required passing each individual PMBOK area and by passing all of the PMBOK areas. The test was a printed booklet that was then returned to PMI for grading. Notification of results took several months. Walt became PMP number 1397. While everyone that took the test that day did not pass the first time, all did pass and received their PMP Certification.

The Central Ohio Chapter achieved steady growth in the 90’s that paralleled the overall growth of PMI and PMP certification numbers. A chapter newsletter was created and mailed to all chapter members and non-members that attended the events who requested to be on the mailing list. Each year five evening chapter meetings were held (one every other month), three PMP Certification training sessions (held quarterly), and a PM Vendor event that grew into our Professional Development Day event. Successes were celebrated for achieving membership growth exceeding each hundred member level, and like wise for member PMP level.

From these humble beginnings, some key chapter milestones achieved during this period were:

  • Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of Ohio in 2001, this made PMICOC, Inc. a non-profit, 501 C (6) organization
  • Began offering PD Workshops and Seminars in 2002.
  • Reached and surpassed 200 paid attendees at PDD in 2002; 300 in 2006; and 500 in 2007.
  • Chapter office was established in 2003 (1500   West 3rd Avenue, Suite 120, Columbus, OH.
  • First Professional Development Day held at the Columbus Convention Center in 2003.
  • Reached and surpassed 1000 members in 2003, 1500 members in 2005, 1976 members in 2013.
  • Reached and surpassed 500 PMPs in 2003, 1000 in 2007, 1385 in 2013.
  • Program offerings expanded from 16 in 2006 to over 50 in 2009.
  • Chapter Members Paul Shaultry and David Ross became PMI Distinguished Contribution Award Winners in 2007.
  • Began Monthly Theme Program approach in 2007.
  • Mentoring and PMOLIG were initiated as pilot programs in 2004.
  • First PMICOC Leadership Institute Course was planned in 2006 and conducted in 2007.
  • Chapter Member, Lee Lambert became PMI’s Professional Development Provider of the Year in 2007.
  • First Co-Sponsored Annual Women in Project Management Regional Conference was in 2008.
  • Began offering PMP Prep Boot Camp Training.
  • Saturday PD Workshops were initiated as pilot program in 2009.
  • Completed Strategic Business Plan and updated Chapter Bylaws in 2009.
  • Chapter Member, Lee Lambert became a PMI Fellow in 2009.
  • Annual election of President-Elect -> President -> Past President began with the 2010 Elections.
  • Recognition of Excellence for Component Leadership was awarded to Walt Sutterlin by PMI on 7 October 2010.
  • Recognition of Excellence for Volunteer Leader was awarded to Rick Schomburg by PMI on 7 October 2010.
  • Annual Chapter Volunteer of the Year Award was established in 2011.
  • First time in the history of the Chapter Hosted Region 4 PMI Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM) in June 2012.
  • Increased PMICOC Chapter Membership to 1944 (with 1365 PMP; 17 PMI-ACP; 17 CAPM; 3 PgMP; 2 PMI-RMP; and 2 PMI-SP) at the end of 2012.
  • Made available additional professional development opportunities for members to take advantage of in 2013.
  • Conducted first PMI-ACP Review Seminar and separate offering of CAFM Certification Training in 2013.
  • Moved PMICOC Office 1 October 2013 (Suite 120 -> Suite 315) 1500 West 3rd Avenue, Suite 315, Col. OH.
  • 2013 PDD had over 900 attendees for the fourth year in a row.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Richard Vail during 2015 Annual Awards Recognition Ceremony.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award was awareded to Walt Sutterlin during 2015 Annual Awards Recognition Cermony.
  • Moved PMICOC Office 10 August 2016 to 1335 Dublin Road, Suite 35A, Col. OH

Following are the names of the PMICOC Presidents that have served the chapter since 1991: Hank Mensing (1992–93); Walt Sutterlin (1993–95); Teresa Criswell (1995-96); Greg Jordan (1996-97): David Ross (1997-99); John Deis (1999-2000); Tim Bolwerk (2001-02); Walt Sutterlin (2003-04); Twyla Southall (2005-06); Tim Bolwerk (2007-08); Walt Sutterlin (2009-10); Beth Johnson (2011); Janet Hall (2012); Walt Sutterlin (2013); Kiran Govindaraju (2014); Bert Cousins (2015), Beth Rick (2016), Ron Wilinski (2017).

PMICOC is Structured and Ready for the Futurers

The Chapter’s successes have been due to the drive, dedication, and leadership of the people who not only got involved with PMI, but also made a difference through promoting the profession of Project Management and serving the networking and education needs of Columbus Ohio metropolitan area residents. For all of them, we extend our gratitude and appreciation for their contributions to that success. Now as during the early years, the attitude remains very positive and there definitely is a passion regarding project management as a discipline.

PMICOC will continue to foster professionalism in Project Management and provide a forum for the exchange of project management problems, solutions and applications. By accomplishing the Chapter’s mission, PMICOC promotes the profession of Project Management by and for our members, provides opportunities for project management education and the professional development of our members, and provides a framework for professional networking and social interaction among our members.

Today PMI has over 420,000 members and credential holders, with 250 chapters in over 70 countries. Project management isn’t just about projects—it’s about people. This is why it is important to get involved with PMI. Join the chapter and increase your opportunities for leadership, collaboration and networking.

PMICOC is part of PMI Region 4 (also known as East Central North America), which covers six states in North America – Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are 24 PMI chapters in this region and approximately 23,000 members. Of all the PMI geographical regions worldwide, Region 4 is the world’s largest PMI region in membership. PMICOC remains the 4th largest Chapter in Region 4.

Give your time and expertise. Gain an edge. As a member, you have many paths and opportunities to grow as a leader. Volunteers are the engine that allows the Chapter to provide its many professional development events and valuable benefits and services to our members. Be mentored by other experienced and successful leaders. Network and collaborate with peers who share your desire to lead and grow.

Be part of an organization that is “Vital and forward thinking - focused on the needs of project management professionals worldwide.” Make a difference through promoting the profession of Project Management and serving the networking and education needs of Columbus Ohio metropolitan area residents. The PMICOC leadership team is here to serve its membership and we look forward to many, many more great years as a Chapter.


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Chapter Membership

Total Members 2033
New Members Added 3
PMP® Members 1489
CAPM® Members 18
PgMP® Members 6
PMI-SP® Members 2
PMI-ACP® Members 49
PfMP® Members 6
PMI-PBA® Members 0
PMP/CAPM/PgMP/PMI-SP/PMI-RMP/PMI-ACP/PfMP/PMI-PBA are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.