February 18, 2016
Michael Baker International Honors
Second Class of Project Excellence Graduates
The second class of Michael Baker International project managers graduated from the Project Excellence program on Thursday, February 4. The 22 project managers completed 78 hours of classes and trainings spread across four months, culminating in a graduation ceremony at the company’s downtown Pittsburgh office.
The Project Excellence graduates gained a new toolbox of project management capabilities, leadership, presentation and negotiating techniques and, more importantly, an extended network of their Michael Baker International peers from around the company.
The project managers chosen for the program are nominated by their office executives based on current performance, future potential and passion for our company and industry. Participation in the program is not guaranteed; after being nominated by their office executives, Project Excellence candidates must then be approved by their regional directors and ultimately selected by the executive staff to participate in the program.
“I firmly believe in this program, and I believe in each and every program participant," said John Whiteford, chief operating officer. "Nominations for Project Excellence are deliberate, and selection is recognition that leadership understands the contributions the candidates have made and their drive to increase their capability for future leadership roles. The program is about giving participants the tools needed to succeed, so when they go back to work, they’re smarter and better connected to others in the company. We’re looking for articulate evangelists who take what they’ve learned and spread the ideas and concepts to their projects and to others.”
The company re-launched Project Excellence in 2015. Program instructors include subject matter experts within Michael Baker International and a variety of outside consultants who collaborate to teach courses on budgeting and accounting, profit/loss management, client relationships and overall project management.
“Project Excellence is extremely important to our entire enterprise, as it steers a standardized approach to project delivery, collaboration and communication across the company and defines who we are,” said Kurt Bergman, chief executive officer, during his address to the graduates. “We are a growth-oriented company, and that means more than numbers. Growth means creating new opportunities and expanding into new regions, and we are equipping you with the tools to move the company in the right direction.”
Three additional Project Excellence cohorts are planned for 2016. The company plans to enroll and train more than 700 employees by 2018.