PMI Educational Foundation

PMI Educational Foundation Liaison Newsletter


4 May 2012
tour de tonka bikers 2
2011 Tour de Tonka participants
Imagine that you have been training for a 100-mile bike ride. You pedal away from the starting line and quickly realize that the signs marking the course lead you in continuous circles around a lake without any guides pointing you to the finish line. This sensation of a never-ending "trip around the lake" is how it can feel if you do not have a project manager to lead your team.
Fortunately for riders, event organizers ensure that race participants reach the finish line. And fortunately for professionals, project managers ensure project completion.


Keep reading to learn about how PMI member Brian Grafsgaard, PMP, PgMP has helped merge the world of program and project management with the world of biking. We hope that this story will inspire you to consider how you can use your professional skills to help local community events operate more efficiently.


Warm regards,


Diane Fromm
PMIEF Program Administrator   


Member Highlight:

Using PM to Help Community Bike Event  

PMI member Brian Grafsgaard is coaching a team of staff and volunteers on program and project management (PgM&PM) techniques to help ensure the success of the Minnetonka Community Education's (MCE) annual Tour de Tonka bike ride. 


The Tour de Tonka, which is held each August in Minnetonka, MN, US (near Minneapolis) and boasts a roster of over 2,500 participants, offers five different routes that vary from 16 to 100 miles (26 to 161 km).   The Tour de Tonka also fosters a sense of community by collecting canned food and funds for a local charity while promoting and celebrating healthy lifestyles.


The routes take bikers alongside and around the community's multiple lakes via a series of roads and bike trails.  Due the complexity of the routes and rest stops, the event team must interact with multiple jurisdictions (state, county, and local) regarding construction schedules, rest area locations, safety needs and police patrol.  They must also coordinate over 300 MCE staff and volunteers as part of their year-long planning process. 



This multifaceted program, like any major event, could easily result in chaos without a clear plan in place.  Fortunately, Brian has made sure that the team takes advantage of the benefits of PgM&PM in every way possible using PMIEF's PM Skills for Life™.


He shares with the Foundation, "The materials provided by PMIEF distill the essentials in a way that is easily understandable.  Staff and volunteers now have a name for what they do and an understanding of the principles.  They have embraced both program and project management disciplines to guide the planning and organization effort required to successfully run such a large event." 

tour de tonka volunteers

Student volunteers point bikers

in the right direction


Brian knows that this training will extend far beyond this year's event. The team's high school-aged volunteers will be able to leverage the skills they have acquired in their future studies and future careers while adult volunteers will be able to incorporate them into other community work and their everyday lives. 


Using program and project management tools, this year's Tour de Tonka promises to be a smooth ride to the finish line!

For Your Chapter

Info for Your Chapter Members:


Great Work Promoting PMIEF Academic Scholarships!


We're happy that so many PMI communities are actively promoting PMIEF academic scholarships.  Over the past few months, it has been wonderful to see mention of them when we visit PMI chapter websites. With the 1 June application deadline less than a month away, we hope you'll continue to spread the word about these exciting opportunities for students of project management!

(Click on the image captions for two great examples.)

clear lake promotion











 Articles for Your Newsletter


If you would like to feature PMIEF in your chapter or CoP newsletter, we have articles that you are welcome to publish.  The following articles are available for your use:  

For Your Calendar
Upcoming June Webinar:
12 June 2012: Starting a Program with Nonprofits/NGOs
10:00am - 11:30am EST
This webinar will offer tips and strategies about starting a program with nonprofits and NGOs and will feature guest speakers. The first 30 minutes will be general information about the PMIEF and the Liaison position and the second hour will contain the content about starting a nonprofit/NGO program.
You will receive an email invitation to this webinar in the next few weeks.


Future Webinars:


These training sessions will be hosted by PMIEF staff and others from within the PMI community who are excited to share their experience and advice. 

The quarterly Getting Started trainings provide background information about the PMIEF and the liaison position and generally have a guest presenter who shares their experience as a liaison. The other quarterly trainings are themed around the topics listed below. 

As we plan our trainings, we are interested in your suggestions for topics that would be of interest to you.  


12 June 2012:            Working with Nonprofits and NGOs
6 July 2012:               Getting Started - New Liaison Training
5 October 2012:        Getting Started - New Liaison Training 
September 2012:        Scholarships and Awards
November 2012:        Integrating PM for Social Good into your Strategic Plan
Resources and Quick Links

New Resources:


April 2012 Getting Started Webinar:


The recording of the April 2012 "Getting Started" webinar is now available on the PMIEF Liaison webpage. The presentation offers an overview of the foundation and information and tips for PMIEF Liaisons.


PMIEF 20-Minute Presentation - Now in Spanish!


Thank you Monica Gonzalez, of the PMI Nuevo Cuyo chapter for translating this 20-minute overview of PMIEF into Spanish. To request the English version of this PowerPoint for chapter and regional events, please email us at


New! Project Aid Training Program


Donated by Project Aid, this resource provides training materials for teaching nonprofits and NGOs project managment. Thank you Project Aid for your generosity. 

For Liaisons:

For PMIEF Liaison-specific information, please visit the Liaison Webpage (under the About Us section of  There you will find resources such as a Liaison FAQ and an overview presentation about the Foundation--PMIEF in 10 Minutes.  

On the Liaison Webpage, you will also find past issues of PMIEF Liaison newsletters:

Quick Links:


PMIEF Website

Learning Zone: resources for youth and educational programs

Humanitarian: resources for nonprofits

Scholarships/Awards : professional and academic opportunities




For additional information, please email or call +1-610-356-4600 ext. 1128