John R. Patton ( 15 September 1944 – 4 October 2018)


10 December 2018

Published inPM Philanthropist (archived)

John Patton headshot

John Patton’s 74 years “in residence” on planet Earth has left behind a better world for his having been here. His life and continuing legacy have positively impacted the PMI and PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) communities, as well as the many lives that have been improved by his project management outreach.

In 1983, Mr. Patton founded Cadence Management Corporation, a project management training and consulting firm working with organizations across 47 countries. Though he served as president and CEO until 2016 and as Chairman of the Board until his 2018 retirement, Mr. Patton carved out precious time for himself and his staff to undertake volunteer training activities for PMIEF. In fact, from 2008 to 2018, he and his Cadence team provided more than US$500,000 of pro bono training to teachers and nonprofit organizations on behalf of PMIEF.

Mr. Patton directly gave some of the training, and was especially gratified when helping nonprofits working in disaster management and humanitarian aid. He commented on how much they needed the training he was able to provide, and took pride in watching trainees come to the realization that project management principles could help them do their work more effectively. Mr. Patton’s willingness to share knowledge and opportunity has become part of his legacy. Following Mr. Patton’s retirement, Cadence has continued its PMIEF collaboration under new company leadership.

Always eager to go the extra mile, Mr. Patton did not limit his support to volunteer hours. He also became a PMIEF Leadership Society donor for many years, giving not only his time but his treasure. Additionally, he served on the PMIEF board for more than three years and was the chair of the board for one year.
Earlier in his life, Mr. Patton received a BA degree in romance languages from the University of Oregon. While on a college-era mission trip to work in an underserved Colombian orphanage, he met Esneda Correa who would later become his wife of 52 years. After college, the newlyweds moved to Barcelona, Spain where Mr. Patton earned a degree in Hispanic studies, followed by an MBA from Portland State University upon their return to the United States.

Mr. Patton died while working on his final project, the design and construction of a new home. His frequent social media pictorial posts outlined major milestones and roadblocks alike, revealing the consummate project manager in action. In a fitting tribute to Mr. Patton, his family requests “… memorial contributions be made to PMIEF (, which brings project management knowledge to youth worldwide.”
Mr. Patton will be sorely missed by the entire PMI community which remains in his debt for his generosity of expertise, time, and spirit. His was a life well-lived.