GRAND RAPIDS — The Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute ( held its second annual awards gathering for an inter-collegiate project management competition April 16 at Davenport University in Grand Rapids.

Seven teams from five schools competed for $11,000 in cash prizes, and a Grand Valley team won the top prize of $5,000.

PMI is the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. It has more than 700,000 members and credential holders in 185 countries with 677 of those members in the Western Michigan Chapter.

The competing schools were Davenport University, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo College and Michigan Technological University.

Winning second place and $3,000 was Michigan Tech Team B. Third place and $2,000 went to Michigan Tech Team A. Fourth place and $1,000 went to Kalamazoo College Team B.

An executive panel judged the final four teams, who got to the finals through two earlier levels of competition.

“THE Project 2013 will once again give students real-life business experience rather than a mere academic exercise,” said Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering and Judge for THE Project 2012 and 2013.

Other judges included James Mitchell, Chair, Mitchell Intellectual Property Law, PLLC; Carole Valade, Editor, Grand Rapids Business Journal and Gemini Publications; Joe Jones, CEO Grand Rapids Urban League and owner of E.E. Milestone and Associates Inc.; and Gary Granger, President and CEO the Granger Group.

The teams created a project plan that was linked to one of Governor Rick Snyder’s Reinventing Michigan strategic initiatives “Keeping Our Youth – Our Future – Here.” Each team was given the same scenario, budget and time frame facts. The teams worked with PMP credentialed mentors from January to March to craft the plans based upon PMI standards and the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which is now the ISO standard for project management world-wide.

Benjamin Todd, mentor to the winning GVSU team’s last year and this year said, “This competition was a great experience for myself and for the team. We all learned a great deal.”

For more information regarding the THE Project 2013 or plans for THE Project 2014 contact Ted Kallman at 616-634-2918 or go to


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