PMI Orange County

Volunteer of Merit Awards

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• Darren McNeil currently volunteers with PMI-OC in the roles of Senior Social Media Specialist and Hybrid Event Production Engineer • He is nominated for VOM by Grace Wu Director of Dinner/Breakfast Program for his outstanding contribution with supporting the PMI-OC chapter social media aspects, Events and Meetings • Darren has been a part of PMI Orange County since mid-2019 and has been a volunteer since mid-2020. He received his PMP certification on the first attempt back in November of 2019 • Darren has been working with setting up the production of recording and streaming the event to the virtual attendees and took up the organization of accounts, design, scheduling, and content of posts and started PMI Orange County Chapters first Instagram account. He continues to innovate and improve the event/production quality and experience • When asked on a high point of his volunteering experience he said, "There are number of high points. Every time I think I've hit the highest point something else happens that beats out the previous one. If I had to pick one at this very moment, I would have to say having the Executive team provide me the opportunity of attending the PMI Global Summit held this year in Las Vegas." • Darren currently works as an Implementation Consultant at HdL Companies

Darren McNeil, Senior Social Media Specialist & Hybrid Event Production Engineer
June 2022

• Precious Curtis-de Vance currently volunteers with PMI-OC as Finance Specialist and is nominated for Volunteer of Merit Award by Yvonne Huynh Director of Finance and Accounting for her great work to support the Bi-Monthly Reconciliation process • Precious has been a member of the PMI-OC chapter for 4 years since 2018 and enjoys volunteering with PMI-OC and holds the PMP Certification • She enjoys her work as Finance specialist as it provides her the opportunity to Utilize her Excel skills to perform the Account Reconciliation every other month which helps to manage the chapter finances • Her best part of the volunteer journey is the opportunity to attend the seminars which provides an opportunity for her to meet people in many professional sectors and learn new things • She loves volunteering for the chapter as she feels that is a way for her to pay back to the organization in return for everything it provides to its members • Precious currently works as an IRC Disaster Recovery Coordination Manager for FEMA. She is working on the Hurricane Ida disaster recovery in Louisiana where she feels she is putting her project management skills to good use and making a small difference in the community

Precious Curtis-De Vance, Finance Specialist
May 2022

John Kienstra serves as Finance Accounting Manager for PMI-OC Chapter and was nominated for VOM by Grace Wu Director of Dinner/Breakfast Program for his outstanding contribution to PMI-OC chapter over last several years and on Board of Governors the last 3+ years John has been an active member and volunteer at PMI-OC since 2014. He implemented process to upload PDUs for attendees at chapter events providing value-add and saving time for them from self-reporting their PDU. John led the Finance Accounting area for three years and has worked with the Board of Governors (BoG) and Directors for many years developing annual budgets and quarterly financial forecasts. He has been part of the BoG nominating committee to attract, screen, and place ballot members John’s best part of his volunteer journey is to serve on Board of Governors. He loves to participate in all PMI-OC events and enjoys meeting new volunteers and help chart a path forward for the chapter John spent many years managing IT infrastructure and a few years managing information and cyber security. He is currently retired and enjoys volunteering for PMI-OC.

John Kienstra, Finance Accounting Manager
April 2022

William Noyes serves as Photography Chair for PMI-OC Chapter and was nominated for VOM by Bill Neil Director of online programs, and Grace Wu Director of Dinner/Breakfast Program for his work William has been an active member and volunteer at PMI-OC since 2020. As Photography Chair he really enjoys his volunteer work with PMI-OC and is pursuing his PMP certification soon William’s best part of his volunteer journey is to participate in all PMI-OC events - Dinner Meetings, New Member Orientation, Mentorship Kick-off Meetings, Women's Mixer Meetings, etc. and to interface with all the great PMI-OC teams and members William currently works as a Project Manager for IT Integrations and Transformation for Hubbell Inc, where he manages projects around the integration of Acquisitions/Divestitures, and Real-Estate footprint rationalization projects. Hubbell manufactures electrical products for construction, industrial, and utility applications and it also serves the Oil & Gas and Water Utility markets.

William (Bill) Noyes, Photography Chair
March 2022

Grace Wu currently serves as the Director, Dinner-Breakfast Program under Robbin Mackenzie Thomas, VP Operations. She was a member of PMI-OC before and rejoined again in 2021 and has received her PMP certification. Grace stepped into the Director, Dinner-Breakfast program role in January and has successfully pulled off the first dinner meeting event in February with the support from a group of amazing volunteers in the dinner program and other events. Grace really enjoys working with the team of volunteers at PMI and acknowledges that without them lending their valuable knowledge and experience and extra pair of hands, it would not have been possible for her to start the dinner meetings so quickly after the pandemic. Grace’s high point of volunteering is the support she received from other team members when stepping into this role and gave her confidence that together the team can continue to build up the dinner program to be value-add to our members. She is grateful for all the help and support she receives while volunteering at PMI-OC Grace currently works as Director, Global Delivery Program Management at CoreLogic.

Grace Wu, Director of Dinner/Breakfast Program
February 2022

Amy Wong currently serves as the Dinner Registration Coordinator under Grace Wu, Director, Dinner-Breakfast Program. Amy has received the CAPM certification and is pursuing PMP certification Amy has been an active member and volunteer at PMI-OC since 2018. She really enjoys her volunteer work with PMI-OC and appreciates the opportunity for assisting with the coordination of dinner meetings providing valuable learning and networking opportunities to all members. Amy’s high point of volunteering is to work alongside other project managers from different industries which open’s the learning opportunity for her and gain exceptional experience to advance her career. She is very thankful to be part of the PMI-OC team. Amy currently works at OC manufacturer QSC LLC.

Amy WongDinner Registration Coordinator
January 2022

Manish Gandhi currently serves as Director of Out-Reach for PMI-OC Chapter under Ramya Kailas, VP Communications. Manish has been with PMI-OC since 2011 and has received his PMP certification. In his current position as Director of Out-reach he is responsible for leading and directing the Outreach team to accomplish department mission and goals of partnering with local universities, military community, and corporations. Manish worked with IIL to bring them on as a sponsor for PMI-OC. IIL’s originally planned to sell PMI their education and training offerings to PMI-OC, Manish worked with them for many months and convinced them to become a sponsor of the chapter and negotiated with them to receive their product offerings for PMI program without having to pay for it. Anyone taking advantage of the IIL offerings will receive a 15% discount and 5% of the course fee will go to PMI-OC chapter, which will allow PMI to offer education and training not available before to PMI members and result in generating revenue for PMI and added value for PMI members Manish enjoys organizing bimonthly New Member Orientation events, introducing project management to novices, and aspiring some to take PMP, Leading Toy for Tots drive and attending LIMS with fellow volunteers. One high point of his volunteering was the networking bowling party event where he recently won a prize Manish currently works as a Program Manager at Prospect Medical Holdings. He manages a team and enjoys solving complex business problems with technology solutions.

Manish Gandhi, Director of Outreach
December 2021

Eric Smith currently serves as Director of Strategy Planning for PMI-OC Chapter under Mai Tran, VP of Strategy Eric has been with PMI-OC since Summer of 2018 and has received his PMP certification in December 2018. Eric has been leading the Strategy Planning team covering monthly BOG board meeting logistics as well as managing the Strategic Planning workshop for the chapter. The BOG Deputy position has seen quick successive turnovers in the last few months, but Eric ensured that the administration of the BOG monthly meetings is effectively supported through transition training including stepping in at the last minute to provide meetings management. Eric has recently also worked on the much-awaited membership survey project that will be presented early next year. He enjoys working with the BoG and the CoD, he held the BoG Deputy before and now transitioned to Director of Strategy. His high point of experience with volunteering is being able work with many quality people throughout the organization and seeing people’s excitement for Project Management despite the pandemic. Eric currently works as a Managing Director at State Street. He manages a team of developers and analysts within the financial services organization that supports automation of market trades from investment managers. He enjoys solving complex business problems with technology solutions.

Eric Smith, Director of Strategy Planning
November 2021

Abraham Ayala currently serves as the Finance Reporting Manager for PMI-OC Chapter under John Kienstra, VP Finance and Charles Caverly, Director Finance Accounts Abraham has been volunteering with PMI-OC since November 2020 and has received his PMP certification a year ago in October 2020. As the Finance Reporting Manager, he generates the Bog/CoD finance reports monthly and provides critical variance reports used by BoG to make informed decisions on current and proposed projects Abraham works through a manual effort to generate the forecasting for the reports and spends a lot of time understanding the budget items to match up and compare to the actual revenue and expenses. His high point of experience with volunteering is being able to meet and collaborate with exceptional professionals towards the Finance reporting structure of the Chapter. Abraham currently works as Product Line Specialist for Skyworks Solutions and looks forward to continuing volunteering and helping at PMI-OC.

Abraham AyalaFinance Reporting Manager
October 2021

Chad Yeargain is proud to serve as the Director of Career Enhancement at PMI-OC and works under Ramya Kailas VP Communications. Chad has been a volunteer with PMI-OC for the past 3.5 years and holds the PMP certification. During his time with PMI, he has successfully built two teams completely from scratch (Chapter Relations & Career Enhancement) and used the PMI platform to establish an annual event that provide Military Veteran's with the information & resources to become PMP certified and obtain gainful employment. Chad has taken the time to invest in people (volunteers), to encourage each volunteer to spearhead events and initiatives for each team which has benefitted the chapter by creating value-add events. As the Director for Career Enhancement, he recognizes the need to move PMI-OC chapter forward through the use of current tools and systems and ensure the chapter is partnering with many local organizations to stay proactive and relevant in the current environment. Chad currently works as Associate Consultant at Turner & Townsend and plans to continue volunteering at PMI OC and make further improvements with processes and have an impact

Chad Yeargain, Director of Career Enhancement
September 2021

Merrie Lee Wooten serves PMI-OC Chapter as Career Enhancement Project Coordinator and works with Eddie Lopez Career Enhancement Lead. Ms. Merrie Lee Wooten has been a Member of PMI-OC for the past 5 years and PMP Certified. As a Career Enhancement Project Coordinator, she has the opportunity to interact with lot of people and enjoys working with people and help them with their individual and community goals. In her words, she states, ‘this is a fun group of volunteers to work with and really enjoyed the beach bonfire event’ and hopes to continue serving on the PMI-OC chapter during this difficult pandemic time and beyond. Currently she works as IT Project Manager for Anser Advisory and as a consultant at MemorialCare.

Merrie Lee WootenCareer Enhancement Project Coordinator
August 2021

Yvonne Huynh serves PMI-OC Chapter as Finance Project Manager and works with John Kienstra, VP Finance and Charles Caverly, Director Finance Accounts. Ms. Yvonne Huynh has been a Member of PMI-OC for the past 10 years and she is PMP Certified. As a Finance Project Manager, Ivonne helps with managing the Chapter finances and enjoys working on all the projects for PMI-OC members along with the Board of Directors (BOD) and Council of Directors (COD). Currently she works at Northrop Grumman Corporation as Engineering Manager for Part Management and Standards.

Yvonne Huynh, Finance Project Manager
August 2021

Carissa Lombardi is proud to serve on PMI-OC Chapter as the Webinar Coordinator under Bill Neil, Webinars Program Manager and Katya Kazaryan, Director of Online Programs. Carissa started working with the webinars team in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world suddenly shifting gears and switching to virtual events, she states she had an extremely rewarding experience knowing that every virtual meeting she helped setup was making a positive impact during a difficult time in the community. She did a great job with the online webinar coordination and helped with continuity for the community during pandemic. Currently Carissa works as the Project Manager for “The Word & Brown Companies” in Orange County. She currently does not hold the PMP and is working towards getting PMP certified by December 2021.

Carissa Lombardi, Webinar Coordinator
July 2021

Eddie Lopez serves as the Career Enhancement Manager on PMI-OC Chapter and works with Chad Yeargain, Director of Chapter Relations & Career Enhancement and has been with the Chapter since August 2020. As the Career Enhancement Manager, the best part of his Volunteer Journey has been to get to know a group of great volunteers with whom he had the opportunity to learn and grow together to accomplish common and individual goals. Currently he works as a Program Consultant/Senior Project Manager in the Healthcare Industry and he is PMP Certified. He looks forward to continue serving the community as a team member on the PMI-OC Chapter.

Eddie Lopez, Career Enhancement Manager
July 2021

Katya Kazaryan serves as the Director of Online Programs on PMI-OC Chapter. She has worked diligently the past year during the pandemic on the Online Programs as they were more in demand with everything shifting to online. She has been with PMI-OC for over a year and currently works as a project manager at Pyramid Laboratories Inc.

Katya Kazaryan, Director of Online Programs
June 2021

Raymond Dimla is proud to serve as the Chapter Relations Lead for the Chapter Relations and Career Enhancement Team under the direction of Chad Yeargain. Mr. Dimla started on the team in August 2020 as the Creative Chair and when the new year started and more events were planned for 2021, Raymond assumed the role as Chapter Relations lead. As the lead, Mr. Dimla oversees all aspects of events under Chapter Relations and ensures that all events not only benefit the members of PMI-OC but assures that all events encapsulate PMI-OC’s and the team’s mission and vision. Raymond is on track to study for and pass the Project Management Professional certification by Fall 2021. What Mr. Dimla is looking forward to the most for the future of PMI-OC is the type of events that collaborate with Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion experts, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the LGBT Center Orange County. These types of events that feature important topics from respected speakers is what motivates Mr. Dimla to continue his work with PMI-OC. Mr. Dimla currently works as the Operations Project Manager for Penn Mar Therapeutic Center where he has been fortunate to work for over the past 15 years.

Raymond Dimla, Chapter Relations Lead
May 2021

Darren McNeil currently holds the current Senior Social Media Specialist position for PMI Orange County Chapter. Darren has been able to raise the bar on the chapter’s professionalism in the social media space. Upon beginning his volunteer ship, Darren was tasked with streamlining the organization of accounts, design, scheduling, and content of posts. He was also tasked with starting PMI Orange County Chapters first Instagram account. The change in professionalism has also been noticed by other chapters, who have asked to discuss how they can improve their social media presence as PMI Orange County has. Currently, Darren works as the Director of Project Management at Datanetiix Solutions Inc. He has been a part of PMI since April of 2019 and received his PMP on November 7th of 2019 on the first try.

Darren A McNeil, Senior Social Media Specialist
April 2021

Christine Chung has been a member of PMI-OC for 6 years and she is PMP certified. She has really enjoyed working as a Volunteer on PMI-OC which has given her the opportunity to work with amazing people dedicated to the success of PMI-OC. She has been working in IT for the past 30 years including many years of project management experience. Currently she is in transition and seeking a project manager position. She was able to back-up the Volunteer Director’s job duties while she was out sick in the past few months and has done a great job overseeing everything in her absence .

Christine Chung, Volunteer Coordinator
March 2021

Forrest Parson is PMP certified and a 10-year PMI-OC member. As IT director for PMI-OC, he appreciates working with amazing people dedicated to the success of PMI-OC. His high point as a volunteer was being assigned as the IT director and receiving support for being in the role by so many of the chapter’s volunteers. Forrest enjoys working in IT and project management and doubts he’ll ever retire. He is studying to soon add Data Scientist to his skillset. Forrest is loved by the team and everyone has just good things to say about him; and they love working with him. He is an asset to PMI-OC and doing a wonderful job as Director of IT.

Forrest Parson, Director, Information Technology
February 2021

Mina Moe has volunteered with the chapter since 2020. This is what she shared about her experience: “It has been such an amazing experience collaborating with teams, learning from professionals with diverse expertise, supporting PMI-OC all together. I am thankful for an opportunity to cooperate with different departments, promote and support PMI-OC events where members can bring along their families, friends, and colleagues to connect, learn, enjoy, and keep improving.”

Mina Moe, Director, Marketing
January 2021