Greg Gomel admits to being a project management evangelist. Every time he begins working with a new company—he has established three Program Management Offices—he sets out to mentor his team with regard to the opportunities available through PMI and PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF).
Education is a high priority for Greg, and he says that’s one of the reasons he supports PMIEF. “I’ve lost count of how many folks I’ve assisted in getting their PMP certification done. For those of us who are able to take care of ourselves or whose companies may provide for our educational needs, that’s great. But there are many people who are not in that position. And many more who would never be exposed to project management tools if it weren’t for the foundation,” he says.
Even though project management has become a well-known profession in the last 25 years, Greg believes PMIEF plays a significant role in exposing youth to project management concepts and tools that will shape their future education and careers. “With the push towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education, we need to make sure folks have an awareness that project management is a vital component of both,” he says.
After his first gift to PMIEF in 2010, Greg was impressed to learn even more about the breadth, reach and availability of the foundation’s no-cost educational resources. “When I started getting more information back from the foundation about what they were able to do with my donations, I decided to step it up. And I have been continuing to give at a higher level since that time,” he explains. Since increasing his giving in 2011, Greg has been a member of the PMIEF Leadership Society.
While he is impressed with the role PMIEF liaisons—designated ambassadors who link the foundation with the chapters—have played in educating members about the reasons to give, Greg feels it is the responsibility of every PMI member to help get the word out. “I think they need to ask themselves, how did you get to where you are? Was there someone who helped you or provided you an opportunity? Of course there was. Don’t you feel that same obligation to go help someone else out?” he says.
Greg believes that sharing information about the project management resources available on the PMIEF Website can assist those in mentoring others. Whether those who may need mentoring are youth in schools, leaders in nonprofit or non-governmental organizations, or the administrative assistant at his company, Greg wants to make sure that those who need to learn about project management have the chance to do so.
When asked what PMIEF means to him, Greg said, “It means people helping people. For those of us that have achieved a level of competency in our field, we have the obligation to pay back the investments that others have made in us to those who are coming up behind us.”
That’s the reason, he says, giving to PMIEF is so important: “Because if we don’t build what we need for the future, it’s not going to be there.”