A Future in Project Management

Eric Wright

Vets2PM

Vets2PM trains veterans to obtain the Project Management Professional credential PMP® and prepares them for a hiring interview with a two-page executive resume and an interview-skills workshop. In addition, it offers lifetime job coaching and placement assistance.

Vets2PM is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business. The company was founded in January 2015. Headquarters are in Frederick, Maryland.

The company delivers its services and support both face-to-face and online during live, instructor-led webinars. Several veterans have taken training while posted in the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

After 15 months of operations, the company had hired its first employee and six independent contractors. It was on track to increase its client numbers by a multiple of 4 – to nearly 500 veterans trained as project managers in 2016. Already, 48 veterans had achieved certification and received substantial promotions or landed new careers as project managers.

Vets2PM plans on recruiting for two full-time staff employees and up to eight trainers over 2016. To teach for the company, the candidate must be articulate, have demonstrable teaching experience either in uniform or out, be a veteran, and hold PMP® certification. The company provides clear objectives and left and right project boundaries, and then lets veterans use their ingenuity and experience to devise plans of execution and metrics of success.

Vets2PM understands that veterans are dependable, they do not quit, and they get the mission done – in other words, they get projects delivered. Vets2PM has calculated that, for every veteran placed into a project management position, the U.S. economy gets a $46,000 boost in spending. The company wants to help 200,000 of them find meaningful careers, something most of them say they need.


VETERANS AND CO-FOUNDERS

Vets2PM Co-Founder and CEO Eric Wright served on active duty as a Petty Officer 2nd Class with the United States Navy during the Persian Gulf War and post-9/11 as a Title 10 Staff Sergeant with the California Army National Guard. He has received several awards, including the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, Navy E Ribbon with silver letter E device, Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star device, and Southwest Asia Service Medal with double bronze star device.

On the civilian side, he has held supervisory, management, and executive roles in project and program management across education, healthcare, sales, financial services, defense, and retail.

Vets2PM Co-Founder and President Tim Dalhouse is a retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant with 24 years of active-duty service. He joined the Marines in 1985 and received avionics training at Naval Air Station Millington, Tennessee. He served in the Fleet Marine Force with Marine All-Weather Attack SquadronVMA(AW)-224, Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadrons 1 and 2, Marine Attack Squadron 542, and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14.

He deployed overseas six times, including two combat deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served as an avionics instructor, the NCOIC of Recruiting Sub-Station Asheville, North Carolina, and as an enlisted assignments monitor at Headquarters, Marine Corps.

Dalhouse was one of nine master gunnery sergeants to attend the 2008 Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Symposium in Washington, D.C., representing the Marine aviation community. His awards include the Meritorious Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, and NATO Medal.


A VETERAN SUCCESS | JOEY EISENZIMMER

Joey Eisenzimmer is a Marine Corps veteran who served five years on active duty, attaining the rank of sergeant. His MOS was military police, and his duties also included service in a special reaction team.

In January 2016, he became the first official hire for Vets2PM, joining up as marketing coordinator. His responsibilities include managing projects, identifying Internet marketing opportunities and objectives, developing Internet strategies, monitoring and controlling social media platforms, creating and distributing content, implementing marketing and advertising campaigns, tracking and analyzing marketing data, researching industry trends, and performing market analyses.

A suggestion by his wife led Eisenzimmer to Vets2PM. “I had been searching for about a year to find affordable/reliable project management training,” he said. “My wife came across their professional page on LinkedIn. She pointed me in their direction, so I checked them out. I participated in their free initial evaluation with Eric Wright, and he taught me how to translate my military experience into project management. I participated in their PMP Boot Camp via webinar in May 2015, and passed the exam in August 2015.

“Later, Vets2PM put together a mentoring program for veterans who were on their journey to becoming PMP’s, so I volunteered to help. I remained active with the group, which is very tight-knit.

“The opportunity to come aboard as marketing coordinator came up in a conversation with Tim Dalhouse. I was interested in entrepreneurship, and asked Tim for insight/advice and what his thoughts were on starting an internet marketing company. The next thing I knew, we were working together to come up with a position for me with Vets2PM because they were growing very quickly. They needed a dedicated marketing employee, and the rest is history.”

Eisenzimmer was excited about the challenges. “As a veteran, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity,” he said. “They are a startup – which often requires long hours and getting your hands dirty. But more importantly, the experience of being on a team like this and building a new organization is a dream come true. I think the owners are true innovators and a testament to the incredibly intelligent individuals that make up our military population.”

He likes that he gets to make an impact at the organization. “Vets2PM has given me the opportunity to identify opportunities, develop plans, execute, and deliver organizational objectives,” he said. “This is pretty much the opposite of most other places I’ve worked in the civilian sector, where they just want drones to complete arbitrary work and go home. Instead of punching in for a 9-to-5 job, I’m making relevant, impactful decisions, leading and controlling initiatives. But the best part is that our efforts are truly helping veterans.”

How has his military background helped him at Vets2PM? “Many military experiences assist me in my current career,” he said. “First and foremost, understanding what our veterans face day in and day out while serving, the struggles that come with transitioning to the civilian sector, and the continued challenges we face to find meaningful opportunities/careers. Second, as part of an organization that serves the veteran population, this motivates me more than ever to adapt, overcome, and maintain my commitment to service, similar to experiences we face in the military.”

Eisenzimmer enjoys working alongside other veterans. “We all understand each other and have each other’s back 100 percent of the way,” he said. “Everyone served, is a family member to a service member, or has great experience with the military community, so there’s no discontinuity. I’ve been in the civilian work force, and know what it’s like to say you were in the military and people have no clue what that means, or how to utilize your skills. Vets2PM has a group of seasoned professionals at the helm who are hungry and passionate about helping veterans obtain great careers by capitalizing on their strengths and experiences.”

He encourages veteran job seekers to weigh their choices carefully. The first option may not be the best option. “Find your passion and make it a career,” he said. “If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the civilian world, create your own path. We’re great at that. There are no obstacles, only opportunities. If you need a degree to do what you love, go earn it. Do you need a professional certification to earn a promotion or open new career opportunities? Then go get it. “I’ve seen too many veterans with so much to offer become discouraged about their future or apprehensive about their next move. Ask questions, seek out mentors, adapt and overcome.”

Wednesday April 20, 2016

This article appeared in the May-June 2016 issue of Search & Employ Magazine