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Vision Statement

The PMI Nashville Chapter will be recognized locally and globally for its innovative approach to fostering professional development and elevating the project management profession.  Through outreach to the community and unique education opportunities, the chapter will become the definitive resource for growing the industry as a whole.

Mission Statement

The premier association for existing and aspiring Project Management professionals, PMI Nashville promotes the growth and competitive advantage of its members through education, mentorship, and networking opportunities with peers and professionals in a multitude of industries.

Chapter Bylaws

Nashville chapter bylaws are available  here

PMI Nashville Board for 2018

Past President Anil Sawhney
Anil Sawhney
Anil Sawhney has been involved in Project Management for over 17 years and has successfully managed several large scale projects in the government and private sector. Anil is a PMP and a Six Sigma Black Belt certification. Anil is currently working as Project Manager with Genesys Telecommunication Labs where he provides project management expertise across delivery and implementation of Genesys Cloud solutions and Professional Services. Anil is passionate about quality, customer satisfaction and strives to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability through automation and process improvement. Anil has been involved with local non-profit organizations and is a past President of India Association of Nashville. Anil has been with the PMI Nashville Chapter for over 9 years and has served as VP of Technology, Communications and President Elect before taking the President role. Anil lives in Brentwood with his wife, Sujana, and 2 kids, son Aarush and daughter, Aditi.
President David Benneyworth
David Benneyworth
David Benneyworth works at Thomas & Company as their CIO. The company assists their clients in the processes for Wage Verification requests, Unemployment Claims, and Workforce Opportunity Tax Credits.  David’s role provides leadership and guidance for all technology initiatives which help to improve and extend the operational efficiencies.

Previously, he worked at E+ CancerCare as their Director of Project management, Cigna-HealthSpring as Applications Manager, and Take Care Health as a Sr. Project Manager.  He has focused most of his IT career in the healthcare business sector leading numerous software development projects.

David joined the PMI Nashville chapter in 2009 and soon began assisting the chapter by volunteering on the membership team helping with registration for the monthly meetings. Outside of the PMI world, David volunteers with the Boy Scouts, Second Harvest Food Bank, and his church.

Immediate Past President
Lucie Hayward
Lucie is a CISSP and PMP certified project manager, specializing in project management and cyber security. She has managed projects for Target, Hershey, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and is currently a Director with the Cyber Investigations practice at Kroll Advisory Solutions in Nashville.

Lucie is an avid traveler and knitter, and a proud resident of East Nashville. Originally from Minnesota, she has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a BA from the University of St. Catherine.

President Elect Vikas Jain
Vikas Jain
Vikas is an Engineer, MBA, PMP and has over 20 years of programming and managing experience across multitude of industries. Vikas is currently working as a Senior IT Project Manager at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Vikas has been involved with the PMI Nashville Chapter for over 6 years in different roles and served on the board for 2 years as VP of Technology before assuming his current role of VP Of Finance in Jan 2017. He looks forward to continuing serving the board and PMI Nashville Community as VP of Finance for another year.
VP of Administration Shankar Suman
Shankar Suman
Shankar Suman is a Certified Project Management Professional with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering; completing Six Sigma Black Belt in 2017 with strong analytical and strategic planning skills. He has over 11 years of experience in manufacturing industry and owns project management, operations, compliance, supply chain, product design/redesign, vendor relationships and purchasing – on a national and global scale at Procon Products (dba Standex International).

His favorite aspect of project management is working with various stakeholders to understand their business objectives and leading collaboration to identify and implement solutions. Shankar believes in giving back to community and is involved with “Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville” and “Nashville Rescue Mission” as a volunteer. He had also volunteered with “Read to Succeed” program in Rutherford county in the past.

VP of Professional Development Phoebe Zhang Phoebe Zhang assumed the role of Director of Study Group for Nashville PMI Chapter this January. She currently works for Apricity Resources as a Sr. Project Manager. Prior to joining Apricity, she worked for Vanderbilt University and CVS Health managing various type of projects. She has extensive working knowledge and experiences with Information Technology, Higher Education and Healthcare industries. She loves working with other dedicated and talented professionals to help those who are new to the PM profession and make the world a better place through her day job and volunteer work.
VP of Volunteers Radha Kakkar
Radha Kakkar
Radha Kakkar is a seasoned Sr. Project/Program Manager within Deloitte LLP’s IT (Information Technology Services) practice in Nashville. People, Customers, Projects – are her passions. She has over 12 years of experience delivering technology projects including large software development implementations.  She holds a Computer Science Engineering degree from India. She is also a Certified Project Management Professional, Certified Six Sigma Black Belt Professional, Certified Deloitte Faculty and a Quality management examiner. She currently serves as a VP of Volunteers of PMI Nashville. Apart from work, she is passionate about creating business value and great workplaces through training professionals. She keeps her passion alive by facilitating various Project management and Process Excellence, and Up your Game workshops at Deloitte.
VP of Membership



Richard Pickett

Richard is a certified SCORE mentor with the Small Business Association, with LSSGB and CSM certifications.  His current focus is mentoring solopreneurs and small business owners while running his third Internet startup and filling the role of product owner at his corporate job.  His extensive experience includes directly mentoring 3,600+ small business owners, and everything from software development to systems administration and virtualization.
VP of Technology Anil Sawhney
Mayur Mehta
Mayur is a Project Management Professional (PMP) with 20+ years of experience in insurance, healthcare, consulting and publishing. Mayur holds an MBA, BS Accounting and BS Logistics & Transportation along with PMP, ScrumMaster, Six Sigma Green Belt and ITIL certifications.
Mayur joined PMI in 2008 and previously served as PMI Nashville Director of PDU Registration from 2015-2016. He helped simplify the process at PMI Nashville to submit PDUs on behalf of its members earning the 2015 Volunteer of the Year award.
In his spare time, Mayur stays busy with his family and kids’ activities.
VP of Communications




Kim Pettit

Kim is a program manager for LexisNexis, managing software development teams in the US, Canada, and India and has been with the company for 18 years. She holds PMP and CSM certifications, led the successful transformation of her teams from Waterfall to Agile and is passionate about driving her teams to excel.  She has been a volunteer with the Nashville PMI chapter for 7 years, and in her spare time she enjoys running, hiking, and volunteering with her church.
VP of Education Tricia Yates
Tricia Yates
Tricia Yates has been involved in Project management for 25+ years including Government projects in the Aerospace Industry where I began my career, Commercial projects in the Private Sector of the Automotive Industry and in my current role as Director of the Customer Project Office at Schneider-Electric, a global Specialist in Energy Management.  My projects have included product development managing engineering teams and customer facing projects deploying customized software and hardware.
VP of Marketing And Publicity Michael McSurley
Michael McSurley
Michael McSurley has 18 years IT experience with a focus in IT leadership, software development lifecycle, and software engineering. His past IT roles refined him into a key IT leader and project manager offering consistent responsibility for IT personnel, resources, and budget allocations. He is experienced in the delivery of required IT project deliverables and long-term IT organizational initiatives that have inspired companies to achieve new levels of efficiency and profitability. He holds a BS in Computer Science and an MBA in Technology Management. He is  PMP Certified, an Microsoft® Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and ITIL V3 Foundation Certified.
VP of Communities of Practice

Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper has over 10 years of project management and software development experience. He is a certified PMP, Scrum Master and Scrum Product Owner. He leads the outreach to veterans transitioning into civilian careers of project management through the Onward2Opportunity program and is spearheading the chapter task force exploring the potential for machine learning in the project management domain.Tom recently left the Division of TennCare where he helped with the launch of the State of Tennessee Medication Therapy Management pilot and is now the COO of Ziran BioPharmaceutical.
VP of Metrics john_stoneJohn Stone John has been involved in PMI since 2010 and PMI Nashville since 2013. He has managed several large-scale projects in the Healthcare Industry from the hospital and vendor side. John is currently working as a Senior Project Manager with MEDHOST in Franklin, TN where he provides project management expertise across delivery and implementation of MEDHOST clinical and Financial solutions in over 1,100 facilities across the US. John has nearly 25 years of clinical information system and client services engagements achieving success from EMR development to implementations and conversion/migrations, to optimization. Settings include academic, community, and multi-facility environments.
VP of Programs Rakesh Gupta
Rakesh Gupta
Rakesh currently works in HealthStream as Director, Research DevOps, providing application development and support for its Patient Experience product line.  Rakesh has 18+ years of experience in software design and support, and 10+ years of project management experience. Rakesh has experience leading development of multiple applications that perform critical business functions as well championing development of applications that automate and improve day to day operational workflows. Rakesh is a PMP, has received his MBA from Strayer University and his Masters in Data Science degree from Lipscomb University.

In the late spring of 1996, a small group of interested parties gathered in the first meeting to discuss the possibility of a Nashville Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI). With the wonderful support of the East Tennessee Chapter, nationally recognized for their programs and participation, a Request for Charter was drafted and submitted with 25 signatures. At the October 1996 International Symposium, PMI issued their 96th Charter to Nashville, Tennessee.

Renee Mepyans was elected as the first President. Bob Woolf designed a logo which features the Parthenon, Athens of the South, representing one of Nashville’s most famous architectural landmarks.

belmont-from-the-walkwayDue to the generous financial support of BellSouth and efforts by members, the first meetings were held at BellSouth 4:00 p.m. each month. George Campbell gave our first official program presentation. The Chapter attendance averaged a mere 15-25 persons per meeting. In the fall of 1997, the Nashville City Club was the site chosen for Chapter breakfast meetings but attendance remained similar. Also during 1997 came the emergence of the Chapter newsletter thanks to the efforts of a few committed board members.

In January of 1998, Bob Woolf was elected President and another move was made to the Maxwell House Hotel in the Metro Center for lunch meetings. The Chapter participation grew significantly, averaging 25-50 at each meeting. In the spring of 1998, a program featuring Mayor Phil Bredesen drew 65 in attendance. The luncheon format was proven to be far more successful and continues to this day. Through the generosity of NORTEL, all Chapter Board meetings were held at their offices monthly and continue to this day The first training class for preparation of members to sit for the highly respected Project Management Professional (PMP) exam was conducted. By the year-end, the Chapter enjoyed a 115% increase in membership with 110 members. The Chapter’s crowning moment was in October, 1998 as it received the prestigious Chapter of the Year Award (chapters 1-3 years) in Long Beach, California at the PMI International Symposium.

In 1999 and 2000, Hardy Seaborn was elected to serve as President. Chapter meetings were moved to the Wyndham Garden Hotel. During 1999, the chapter received the chapter achievement awards for membership growth for the region and sustained superior performance. The Nashville Chapter gave assistance to the formation of a chapter in Memphis also in 1999. As of December 2001, the Nashville Chapter membership reported 269 members. Attendance at Chapter meetings has steadily grown to about 100 attending. Outgrowing the Wyndham Hotel, the luncheon meetings were moved to Holiday Inn Express on West End Avenue.

In 2001, Marsha Dollarhide served as President. The PMI Nashville Chapter received three awards — Chapter of the Year Award (for chapters in existence for 1-4 years), the Award of Excellence in Education and the Sustained Superior Performance Award — during the PMI Leadership Meeting held 10/31-11/03, 2001 at the Opryland Hotel, Nashville, TN. These awards were for efforts completed by the Chapter during 2000.

broadwayIn 2002, Wesley Lankford served as President. The focus in 2002 was on enhancing project management educational seminars and events. Sponsorship was piloted with Athena. Attendance at lunch meetings began to range from 100-125 members and guests during this period pushing the capacity of the Holiday Inn facilities.

In January, 2003, Faye Smith, PMP, was elected to serve as President of the PMI Nashville Chapter. One of the focus areas for the chapter was on increasing community awareness of the PMI Nashville Chapter and of project management as a discipline. Efforts were increased in the areas of Education, Marketing, and Publicity. Additionally, the Nashville Academic Outreach Program for High Schools Students was launched in the fall of that year to introduce project management knowledge, and project management as a career choice for students. The chapter participated in the 2003 Williamson County World of Possibilities Career Fair, and received honorable recognition for its involvement in that event. With the launching of the Academic Outreach program, the Nashville PMI Academic Outreach committee worked through 2004, developing a project management program for and curriculum for high school students, and delivered this pilot program to students in the classroom setting in the spring and fall of 2004. The concepts, materials, and experiences of the PMI Nashville Chapter Academic Outreach Program for High School Students are now being used to develop a similar program on the national level through the National PMI Education Foundation.” The PMI Nashville Chapter also received an achievement award for Sustained Membership in 2004.

In 2004, Melinda Hagan was elected to serve as President. Planning for the chapter’s first annual Symposium started in May with one of the first meetings at the former Pargo’s restaurant in Maryland Farms.

Ed Asci was President for 2005 and 2006, with the 1st and 2nd annual Symposiums taking place at the Willis Conference Center. The success of these first Symposiums served to establish them as annual events which have been recognized nationally. More than 350 people combined attended the Symposiums.  Luncheon attendance continued to grow, reaching peaks of 135 members.

In 2007, Lee Malone began his term as President. The 3rd annual Symposium took place for the first time at the Nashville Convention Center, and included the monthly luncheon. Annual awards were now announced at the luncheon (instead of at the Holiday celebration each December). The inability to accommodate the luncheon registration (a good problem to have) required a search for new facilities.

For 2008, Laura Klepper was elected President. The chapter leadership structure changed to include a new layer, recognizing the need for additional leaders. The board’s Directors became Vice Presidents, and the additional layer was designed to include directors reporting to the respective VPs. The former Vice President position was changed to reflect the past practice of promoting that position to the next President. PMI Global added a requirement for an annual scorecard from all chapters to capture metrics across the entire organization. To cover that need, an additional position was added to the board (VP of Metrics) to replace the former VP of Publicity. Recognizing that the membership was spread out across Nashville area, the chapter opened up the luncheons to other locations besides the Vanderbilt Holiday Inn. The Millennium Maxwell House and the Cool Springs Marriott allowed some chapter members in those areas to attend for the first time.  The 4th annual Symposium was held at NCC for the second consecutive year, with almost 350 in attendance at the annual luncheon alone.

nashville-1In 2009 and 2010, Charles Lebo served as President. The volunteer structure continued to expand, as additional positions were added to promote chapter leadership development opportunities (over 20 directors added in the first three months alone of 2010 alone, a testimony to the dedication of the executive board).  Along with the volunteer growth, the foundation was laid for an Operations team, comprised of the directors and led by the VP of Administration and the President Elect.

The 5th annual Symposium took place at the end of April 2009, under the guidance of Jennifer Schenck, and was a great success in spite of the economy.  In July 2009, Rusty Thompson moved the chapter website to a new vendor and overhauled it to make use of new technologies, with unlimited future potential. To meet PMI Global’s requirement for an annual scorecard from the chapter, surveys for each event and the annual chapter survey were aligned with similar questions, and the first annual scorecard was submitted and approved by PMI Global in September 2009.  The chapter closed out the year in the black, even with a volunteer appreciation night at a Predators game in December.

2011 has been a banner year under the leadership of the current president Chip Nuttall.  Membership surpassed 1000 early in the year.  A renewed emphasis on the monthly luncheons resulted in new locations, speakers, and time slots.  Justin Graham, VP of Programs, lead his team to create a great series of luncheons with high attendance and satisfaction ratings.

In 2011, the LIG’s and SIG’s turned into Communities of Practice.  PMI Nashville concentrated on IT, Business Intelligence, Retail, PMO, and Healthcare Communities of Practice lead by Angie Bates and a great team of volunteers.  Christia Victor, VP of Professional Development, also expanded our services to the membership by not only coordinating PMP related events, but also in jump-starting the Mentoring Program as well as expanding our Study Group offerings.

Late in 2011, the Chapter Website was revamped for a more modern and professional look.  The new website promotes more social features with refreshing takes on some of the most popular pages of the site.  2012 will hold some exciting things for Phase 2 of the website project.




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