Donor Spotlight: Patti Jansen


10 December 2018

Published inPM Philanthropist (archived)

Patti Jansen headshot

Patti Jansen, PMP, was caught in a perfect storm of personal upheaval. She fought a battle with breast cancer, cared for—then lost—her beloved husband, provided oversight for her elderly parents, then subsequently lost her father. Despite it all, she wrote a check to support PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF).

“Even during personal troubles when you feel you do not have the capacity to help, you do,” says Patti, underscoring the importance of making a donation. A member of the PMI Mile-Hi Chapter in the Denver metro area, Patti is a senior project manager in IT with EchoStar Corporation, a global provider of satellite communication solutions.

Before becoming a project manager, Patti was happily employed as a technical writer. “But I decided that it was time to pursue something that would allow me to keep growing personally and offer expanding career opportunities.” With a chance to move into project management within her company, Patti earned her project management certification at the University of Denver. And once she had some project management experience under her belt, Patti realized that earning a Project Management Professional (PMP®)certification would open yet another window of opportunity.

 “I was very interested in teaching and training. So, I started teaching various modules of the PMP® program and sharing my experiences with project management at Colorado State University’s Denver branch,” says Patti. “I also edited some PMP study books and wrote a book, Microsoft Project for Mere Mortals. I was very active teaching, training, editing, writing, and volunteering for the Project Management Institute (PMI) as well.”
When serious illness struck Patti and her husband, things changed.  “I could no longer give my time and effort,” she recalls. “But I reasoned that if I didn’t have time or energy to volunteer and provide my services, at least I could give money to help support someone who is more able to do it. Making a donation was my way of being able to substitute for the time I could not put in.”

Patti is particularly attracted to PMIEF’s around-the-globe educational outreach because it aligns with her own affinity for teaching. Additionally, it ties in with an effort undertaken by her late husband when he was a member of the Peace Corps.

“He went to Nepal and helped people learn how to lay pipes and bring water into their community,” she explains. “There was clearly a management component to that effort. How do you do it most efficiently?  What order do you do things in? How do you get things accomplished on time? If you have a miniscule budget, how do you bring resources together and get the work done? That is what project management is all about. If we can bring that kind of understanding to people and start putting discipline around it, the tasks of living will become easier for people in underprivileged or emerging regions.”

Patti is thankful that her health and strength are on the rebound, as is her desire to become active once again. “Emotionally, I am getting back to where I can give my time to things once again. And honestly, considering the worldwide efforts that are being done by PMIEF, I believe this is the group I’ve got to get involved in. PMIEF’s educational outreach is the area in which I want to put my efforts in the future.”
In the meantime, Patti plans to continue giving to PMIEF regularly. “As I get older, my capability to give more increases, and that is what I try to do. Why? Because this is important to me; it matters. That is the message I want to send.”

Donors like Patti—and you—keep the wheels of support turning for PMIEF’s efforts around the world. Give, because “ … it matters.”