Chapter Communications Blog

Anecdotes of the early PMI Switzerland years, continued

Author: Karolina Letowska, PMP

PMI Switzerland Chapter President 

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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

Anne-Laure Héritier - December 2021

Anne Laure Héritier

Anne-Laure has 20+ years of international Project Management experience with European and Chinese SME/SMI active in various fields such as human resources and entertainment, non for profit, safety equipment’s manufactory, wine trading and healthcare.

Having two Master’s one in philosophy and one in Business Management she started her career piloting HR projects as consultant facilitating team building. She continued in the Trust industry where she graduated STEP (Trust and Estate Practitioner) managing complex structures and foundations for HNWI. She acted as trustee advising clients in launching, planning and structuring any type of assets holding.

She founded her fiduciary company Capital Emergence SA in 2009 developing a project methodology and in association with Chinese based partners launching investment match-making services to bridge Latin American and EU projects with China. She is specialist in strategy implementation and corporate management acting at C level for different companies and family-owned business.

Her last involvement is as Director and Head of Trading for a Swiss Chinese company piloting health and educational project for autistic children in China.

She has three fantastic kids 15, 21 and 23 and is passionate for traveling, dancing, reading and among all sailing. She grew up sailing and competed more than 15 years as a skipper in Mediterranean and French Atlantic coasts.
She graduated PMP in June 2021 and joined the Swiss PMI chapter to network, exchange know-how with peers and finding new project and position opportunities. She is volunteer to develop the network of French speaking part of the Swiss PMI chapter.

You can learn more about Anne-Laure by visiting her LinkedIn profile.


Author: Joachim Dehais, PMP

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Autumn is underway, Indian summer colours our days, and our mentors are hard at work, bettering themselves and their protegees in one fell swoop. In the mentoring program, you will be put in contact with experienced professionals that can advise you on a course of action to advance in life.

For example, last year, one of our mentees decided to go on a sabbatical to reflect before taking new steps. On his return, he applied to a highly sought job, and with the help of his mentor, got the position he so desired!

Give it a try, see what’s in it for you, it costs nothing but a membership.

You can join via our platform, or simply look at the latest mentoring news on our website!

I look forward to talking with you,

Joachim Dehais, PMI Switzerland mentoring program lead

Event report on the 3-part project management workshop series in collaboration with Girls in Tech Switzerland

Author: Ka Yi Hui, PMP

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In September 2021, the Social Good team (Benoîte Grisouard, PhD, PMP, Enrico Bornisacci, PMP, Johana Ten Hove, PMP, Saul Figueroa, PMP) in collaboration with Girls in Tech Switzerland held a 3-part series of workshops. This project aims to 1) introduce project management concepts in the Girls in Tech community, and 2) raise the awareness of gender equality in Switzerland within our project management professional community. 


Before we started each workshop, the event co-organizers from Girls in Tech, Anne-Sophie Scharff and Laura Bourne-branchu, talked about the gender equality situation in the tech sector in Switzerland. These numbers showed we still have a long way to go, but the first step is to recognize and understand the problem and then take action to improve it.


During the first workshop, Benoîte led the presentation on Project Management fundamentals. The participants learned the project management vocabularies, worked on hands-on exercises such as a project charter and a work breakdown structure in breakout rooms using miro boards. Specially, they focused on a real-life example, organizing a wedding celebration. At the end of the workshop, Benoîte was very impressed by our participants' plan and would love to be invited to some of those wedding celebrations!


"Change is the only constant in life.", nobody can predict the future. Enrico led the second workshop, which discussed risk and change management. Following up with the wedding planning, we worked together with the participants to analyze risk and make the risk management plan accordingly. After the workshop, no matter if it's new COVID restrictions or a rainy day, the wedding celebration was well prepared for any risk that may come up!


Last but not least, in the third workshop, I talked about communication, leadership, and stakeholder management. One cannot learn to ride a bike by reading books. That's why I designed a few active listening exercises for the participants to practice with each other. We created a safe space by not recording the session and set a few ground rules. The participants and the event organizers openly shared their thoughts and attentively listened to each other. After the workshop, we were delighted that some participants said they would use and practice what they learned in their everyday lives. 


In summary, it is a fruitful exchange with Girls in Tech Switzerland! And we are excited to have more different collaborations in the future.  

Learn more about the PMI “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” initiative


GirlsInTech Global


Follow GirlsInTech Switzerland on their social media:

Editorial PMI Switzerland Newsletter November 2021

Author: Shalini Krishnan, PMP

Shalini Krishnan

Dear PMI Switzerland members and supporters,

Autumn is in full swing and just like that the last quarter of the year is coming to an end. However, PMI Switzerland's list of exciting ways to get involved is far from over! 

The November newsletter is full of information about topics such as mentoring and our upcoming Volunteer Day for PMI Switzerland volunteers.  Make sure to read on to see how to participate in our 20 years of PMI Switzerland anniversary game for the chance to win a weekend in the Swiss mountains

We also debrief for you the 3-part project management workshop that took place in September, as well as inform you about an upcoming in-person PM Masterclass that you can still register for.  

Happy (belated) Halloween and happy reading!