Author: Karolina Letowska, PMP

PMI Switzerland Chapter President 

Karolina Letkowska NEW 100x100

As we are still celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Chapter, we continue with anecdotes from the past. “My” first president of the chapter, Paul Selwold, a very positive and charismatic person, shared his memory of the chapter. I still remember when we met at our first Board of Directors dinner, I was then elected as VP Finance. Paul said to me: Karo, so you are my VP Finance… hmm that would be an interesting year for us… and he smiled.

Anecdotes from Paul Selwold

My favorite memory, overall, is one that occurred when I had been volunteering as a journalist in the Comms team.  Since we are a distributed team, it was rare to see one another face-to-face, and we decided to have a Saturday afternoon together at the Blausee.  Team members arrived from every direction.

As it turned out, I was able to connect with Filippo Meloni on the way. He boarded the train at Olten that I was riding from Zurich.  We had a great time catching up and talking about life and enjoying the prospect of finally having the team together.  Then, from Bern to Blausee, we had to board the Postbus which went up the mountain. And during this time, shortly before we arrived at Blausee, it occurred to me that I did not bring anything to start the campfire with!  I asked Filippo if he had anything.  No. When we arrived at Blausee, I asked at the gift shop if they had matches or lighters.  No.

So there we were, waiting for the others to arrive, holding raw meat that we could not cook.

As people arrived, it was clear, no one smoked and so no one had any matches.  But we were all saved by Michael Schmid, clearly the one trained to survive in the woods.  With barely a shrug, he collected two twigs and started a campfire in the rain that had started to fall.  We were all able to enjoy cooked meat after all!  We had a great day in the end.  When we finished cooking, a family standing not far away approached and asked if they could borrow our fire if we were finished with it.  And I have repeated this story many times, usually when I see Michael has joined the group, because the trajectory from misery to happiness was so quick and so well appreciated by everyone.  

In the past years we have many memories together which will stay with us and be shared with the next PMI Switzerland generations.

I hope the Chapter has still many years to go and many stories to build.

All the best,

Karolina Letowska