Christopher Graham invests where it always pays off
Some people believe there is no such thing as a risk-free investment. But Christopher Graham, MEd, PMP®, knows better. A consistent donor to PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF), Chris invests money annually in the foundation’s worldwide educational efforts and it pays off every time – in human dividends.
Chris is no stranger to the continuing rewards of education. Certified in project management in 1997 when he worked for Coca Cola, Chris has since founded and manages his own project management consulting and education firm, TSI Alliance Group, in Atlanta.
“Education has been a strong part of my background and continues to be today,” says Chris who coaches agile practices of project management. “When I first learned about PMIEF, I realized its mission aligns with mine; I knew this was an organization I wanted to support. Now every time I renew my membership with Project Management Institute I also make a donation to the foundation,” he says of his yearly gifts.
Chris was first drawn to PMIEF when he read an article about work with nonprofit groups to promote project management skills in under-developed countries in Africa. “I saw how the education was helping people apply PM principles and better their lives in all geographical locations. Despite their prior educational levels, people learned that project management can be applied to all tasks, great or small. A project such as getting water to a remote village could be overwhelming to villagers. But when project management skills were applied, the task could be accomplished. This was life-changing.”
Improving lives is a dynamic Chris believes project management professionals should underwrite. “It is a sense of personal responsibility that drives me to donate funds to help support PMIEF’s educational work,” says Chris, who also takes a strong interest in exposing children to project management.
“There is little as impactful as educating children in basic project management,” he asserts, “because once learned, it is a skill that can take them anywhere in life. These children grow up into people who can solve problems, and experience the joys of accomplishment and success. Giving kids PM skills is a gift that lasts a lifetime. And no one can ever take it away from them.”
Married for 32 years and a father to two adult children, Chris says every member of his immediate family works in the project management space at TSI Alliance. Because he personally wanted to expand his ability to teach the skills he so strongly believes in, Chris earned a master’s degree in education from Western Governors University in 2017. “I wanted to get the credentials to make myself more effective at helping people understand project management,” he explains.
Because his schedule is so demanding, both professionally and due to volunteer work teaching basic computer and office skills at a community center, Chris laments that “spare time” is limited. But he already has a plan in mind to do more with PMIEF in the future. “Doing volunteer work with the foundation is absolutely on the horizon and on my radar. It is something I definitely want to do,” he says enthusiastically.
Chris hopes other project managers will be similarly inspired to support PMIEF in deeds and donations. “Through the foundation we can make important investments. We can invest in our children. After all, they are the future. And we can invest in developing countries of the world that otherwise would not have an opportunity to learn project management skills, because when we lift up one, we lift up all.”
Join donors like Chris in lifting up the world community and future generations through support for PMIEF. It is an investment that never fails.