Uptown Charlotte Community Meeting

November 14, 2017
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
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Heist Brewery
2909 North Davidson Street Suite
Charlotte, NC 28005

Serving As A Volunteer Judge For The First Tech Challenge Robotics’ Competition:  An Insider Perspective Of The Competition And How PM Best Practices & Education Technology Are Being Used To Support The Program’s Implementation & Scale Up

Ron Kantor

Presented by: Ronald Kantor, PhD

The First Tech Challenge is a Robotics’ Competition whose purpose is to inspire and educate middle and high school students in various aspects of engineering (electrical – mechanical) and computer science.  In addition, the program focuses on the “how” as well as the “what,” as it attempts to inculcate humanistic values of respect and collaboration based on a framework called “gracious professionalism”.   Aside from a small internal staff based out of New Hampshire, First Tech’s entire operation relies on the use of volunteer labor serving as coaches, referees, scorekeepers, and judges.  The First Tech program has increased in size over the past ten years to such an extent that their recent World Finals in Houston required the participation and collaboration of close to 1000 volunteers to support the participation of more than 75 teams of students from across the US and around the world, who with their support teams and parents numbered close to 15,000 people. 

This presentation will include visual documentation of First Tech’s Southern Regional Finals in Athens, Georgia and their World Finals in Houston.   Dr. Kantor will provide an explanation of how First Tech uses technology and methods derived from the PMBOK to help meet its meet the risks associated with rapid scale up, the need to on board an extensive corps of volunteers, and the frameworks used to judge and rate student teams and their performance as teams and individuals. Materials will be shared that explain how First Tech has met organizational challenges in two specific areas: (1) how they have rapidly scaled up their program(s) while maintaining quality outcomes; and, (2) creating complex algorithms for evaluating team and individual performance.  It is the hope of Dr. Kantor that after listening to this presentation and discussing the merits of the First Tech program, other members of our PMI Metrolina chapter will be inspired to volunteer and support this worthwhile educational program for the upcoming season and beyond.

Ronald J. Kantor, Ph.D., PMP – CSM brings more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of L&D work focused on educational technology, organizational development and performance enablement.  He has worked as a program and project manager, senior learning & solution architect, an evaluation strategist, technical architect and strategic management consultant.

Dr. Kantor is a PMP and is certified as a Scrum Master and Social Media Strategist.  He holds a doctorate in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt University and an MFA in Expanded Media from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and attended Bard College as a John Bard Scholar in History.  He currently lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and 16-year-old daughter and is a member of SSPI, ASTD, PMI, and HCM.

Hope to see you at the meeting!

Chapter Meeting Presentations 
As a means of helping chapter and local community members who are certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP®) satisfy the continuing education requirements for re-certification, PMI Metrolina Chapter arranges its monthly meeting schedule to allow a 1.5 hour PDU training session to be incorporated into its normal meeting. 

Topics presented during these sessions are designed to not only satisfy the PDU requirement for re-certifying as a PMP, but to also provide wide appeal to people involved in project management regardless of whether or not they are certified PMPs. The 1.5-hour sessions meet the educational requirements to qualify for 1.5 PDU credits for maintaining PMP® certification or to meet the requirement for attending 35 hours of formal project management education prior to applying to sit for the PMP® exam. 

The sessions are open to all.

Important Chapter Meeting Information

Monthly PMI Metrolina Chapter Meetings:
PMI Metrolina Chapter holds it monthly chapter meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. We meet at Byron’s South End located at 101 West Worthington Avenue, Suite 110, Charlotte, NC, 28203. There is plenty of free parking, a light rail stop, and the location is close to uptown.

PARKING INSTRUCTIONS: The new parking deck is located adjacent to The Design Center, next to the Atrium Building at the corner of Hawkins St. and Doggett St. For GPS purposes, you may prefer to include the address: 240 Doggett St., Charlotte, NC, 28203.

Once parked, guests would have the option to walk to the Design Center by crossing Hawkins St and straight up Tomkins Alley to enter the breezeway into the Courtyard Building and Byron’s South End. In addition, guests can turn left onto Hawkins St., and turn right onto W. Worthington to enter Byron’s South End from the Worthington St. side. 

Each guest needs to bring their ticket with them inside Byron’s South End. Our staff will have barcode stickers available that need to be applied to the backside of the ticket. As the guest leaves the deck, they will insert the ‘validated’ ticket at the gate for exit at no-charge.

If for any reason this does not work, send your receipt to vpfinance@pmi-metrolina.com for reimbursement of your parking fees.

REGISTER EARLY:  In order to keep our costs low and provide the best member value possible, we are required to provide our chapter meeting venue caterer with a headcount on the Friday prior to the meeting. It is for this reason that we have discounted pricing for advance registrants. In order to receive the advance registration pricing, you must register, and make payment, for the meeting online before noon on the Monday before the meeting. If you register for a chapter meeting and then later find you are unable to attend, please contact us by email before the start of the chapter meeting and we will perform a one time, no cost transfer of your registration to the following month's chapter meeting. If you register after the stated deadline, we cannot offer you the discounted price and must charge you the full price.

In order to qualify for student pricing, you must be a full time student and show your college/university ID at the door at registration.

In order to qualify for active duty military pricing, you must be currently enlisted and show your military ID at the door at registrration.

2017 Chapter Meeting Fee Schedule:
(Advance pricing ends at noon on the Monday prior to the meeting.)

Members in Advance: $20
Non-Members in Advance: $25
Members and Non-Members at the Door: $30

Students in Advance $12
Students at the Door $20

Active Duty Military in Advance $12

Active Duty Military at the Door $20

New Chapter Members Take Note:
Individuals join the chapter though the PMI website. It can take up to five (5) business days for PMI process a new chapter membership before it shows up in our chapter database. New chapter members will not be able to register for chapter meetings at the chapter member rate until that occurs. The chapter does not want you to wait until your membership is processed, before you attend a chapter meeting. New members who are not able to register for the chapter meeting as chapter members before the advance registration deadline should email vpmembership@pmi-metrolina.com. You must send your email before the advance registration deadline in order to be eligible for the member advance registration rate. Please attach a copy of your receipt from PMI to the email, showing that you have joined the chapter. If you follow these instructions, you will be charged the advance registration member rate for the chapter meeting. The Membership team will work with you to process your registration either over the phone or in person at the chapter meeting registration table.


$20.00 Student Registration
$12.00 Earlybird rate before November 13

$30.00 Guest Registration
$25.00 Earlybird rate before November 13

$30.00 Member Registration
$20.00 Earlybird rate before November 13