2023 Volunteer Recognition Awards

At the end of each year, we hold a (virtual) celebration to thank all our volunteers for their service to the LA Chapter. We also give out awards to honor individuals and teams that have made a significant positive impact on the Chapter.  This year the awards were presented in January and go to: 

Individual Volunteer Award: Eric Brown

brown-eric-200x200.jpgAs VP of PMO/Administration Eric spearheaded several initiatives throughout the year that left a lasting positive impact on the Chapter. One notable change was the implementation of managing our projects using shared Trello boards. Eric demonstrated exceptional leadership in optimizing project processes, ensuring efficient collaboration among team members, and enhancing overall project visibility. This streamlined workflows, leading to improved transparency and accountability and enhanced communication among team members. This initiative not only increased project efficiency but also fostered a collaborative and dynamic work environment within the team. Furthermore, creating a Social Impact Trello board made the team’s efforts real and achievable. This innovative initiative not only optimized project management within the team but also successfully organized and enhanced PMI-LA's Social Impact efforts. The Trello board streamlined collaboration, making it more accessible and efficient, resulting in increased community engagement and successful execution of social impact efforts.

Eric's contribution to the development of a new Project Intake concept showcases his strategic vision and commitment to continuous improvement. This promises to revolutionize how projects are identified, evaluated, and initiated and is expected to enhance overall project efficiency, ensuring that PMI-LA remains at the forefront of project management best practices.

Eric has also set the stage for development of a Volunteer Onboarding project. Although in the initial stages, this project is anticipated to have a profound impact on the chapter by providing a comprehensive and engaging introduction for new volunteers. By fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment, this initiative is set to strengthen the sense of community within PMI-LA, encouraging sustained volunteer engagement and contribution.

Eric’s achievements have collectively made a significant positive impact on PMI-LA, demonstrating his commitment to innovation, efficiency, and community building.
Congratulations Eric and thank you for going above and beyond to support the Chapter!

Individual Volunteer Award: Tia Eskandari


Tia stepped up as Director of Mentorship in 2022 to revitalize the LA Chapter Mentor Program
She carried on leading the Program in 2023 and made process improvements.
Tia has made it more welcoming to new mentees/ members. Allowing more members to join the Program, and running 2 sessions in the Spring & Fall. Tia also changed the format of the Program so that the Chapter could serve more members – one mentor to 2 or 3 mentees (as there are always more mentees than mentors)

In October she was recognized by the PMI-LA Board of Directors for her leadership and was voted Volunteer of the Month. Under her guidance the program has provided a collaborative environment for 50 Mentees and Mentors. The Program has helped build stronger bonds between Mentees and Mentors. And our Mentees often “pay it forward” and become Mentors themselves.This Program also helps our Chapter improve our retention numbers.
Congratulations Tia and thank you for going above and beyond to support the Chapter!

Individual Volunteer Award: Tracy Bader


Tracy has been a steadfast member of the Marketing Team for the past 5 years. She has taken ownership of the weekly scrolling deck, updating it without fail every Monday so that all events that are held that week have the latest and greatest in upcoming events. She worked hard to put the new PMI branding into all our presentations and updated all our brochures to the newest logo. She participated in the Marketing Schedule (offerings for sponsorship) meetings and helped establish guidelines for sponsors to post into our scrolling presentation.

What makes Tracy exceptional is the fact that she took over the Marketing campaign tracker and ensured that all new events were posted and ready to be discussed and assigned for our weekly Marketing meeting.  We implemented a new idea – and that was to give all member access to the scrolling deck weekly – and she produced the PDF that you see in “What’s Happening” under the Marketing tab.  You could say she was the “first point of contact” for any new event for the chapter!  While this was not a project, per se, it was continuous improvement into a well-oiled machine.  It is because of dedicated volunteers like Tracy that the marketing team stayed on point and up to date this year!     
Congratulations Tracy and thank you for going above and beyond to support the Chapter!

Charlie Lopinsky Volunteer of the Year Award: Barbara Cooke


Barb has been a long time Trustee and member of the Chapter serving in various leadership positions. But she has stepped up in the last couple of years and gone “above and beyond” the normal Trustee role. Barb has continued her operational role with the Membership Team as Director of Volunteers. This involves responding to all volunteer inquiries in a timely manner; spending time interviewing members to assess their suitability and matching them to open volunteer opportunities within the appropriate functional area. She is the friendly face of the Chapter keeping new members engaged.
On a monthly basis, she reminds us all to enter our volunteer hours in the VMS/ Better Impact system to track our time commitment to the Chapter, and to help with end of year reporting. And she promotes other events to volunteers and members, such as the New Member Orientation and the end of year Volunteer Appreciation Event. In addition, she has had to mentor Membership VPs new to their role.

Barb has continued to take the lead for the Trustees – attending monthly BoD Meetings, Strategy Meetings, Satellite Meetings and networking events. She also took the lead on the Nominations Committee. She has documented all the tasks, kept copies of documents & emails updated, and keeps to a strict timeline to ensure it is all seamless to our Chapter members. She coordinated with prospective candidates, arranging interviews where necessary. She worked with the Technology VP to ensure communications on the website were updated in a timely manner; and worked with PMI Global on the election ballot; and updated the BoD on the final results. And some of this was carried out while she had covid! The Nom Com runs smoothly when she takes the lead, and it is a pleasure to be part of her team.

LA is one of the few Chapters that have Trustees to rely on to provide continuity to each new BoD year on year. Barb is always reviewing the info & documents that we have at the Chapter, most recently working on our Rewards & Recognition Program, to help with member retention. She is someone we can always turn to for knowledge and advice on things such as Bylaws, Nom Com, bank funds etc.
Barb takes her volunteer role as seriously as a regular job and is a shining example to us all with her dedication to the LA Chapter. She sets the standard for the Trustees – and is always willing to help others.
Congratulations Barb and thank you for going above and beyond to support the Chapter!