The third annual Ithaca Branch Professional Development Day was held on Friday, September 15, 2017 at Ithaca College. It was a great success!


L to R: Dawn White, C. Kelly White, Paula Wedemeyer, Debra Howell, Christy Schaffer, Steve Wilson, Dina Maxwell, Sara Khozeimeh



Speaker: Debra Howell, Director of Information Technology, Infrastructure, Properties, and Planning at Cornell University
Topic: Lead From Where You Are

Leadership is an attitude, not a job title. Anyone can be a leader. It doen’t matter where you started. What does matter is your own self-awareness of who you are now and where you want to go! In this interactive session, you will get an opportunity to do a self-assessment of your leadership blindspots, discover opportunities to lead from where you are, and be inspired to add to your leadership toolkit the essential skills of authenticity, integrity, empathy, and humility.

Debra Howell has over 18 years of experience providing strategic direction in all areas of information technology and and thrives on leading and facilitating complex workplace and technology processes, development talent from within, and collaborating with others to build the most effective computing environment. She received her Masters of Industrial and Labor Relations degree from Cornell University in 2006 and is a certified PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). Debra has an extensive background in facilitation, organizational change, team building, and performance management. She serves as Treasurer on the Cornell Club of Ithaca Board, the Vice Chair of Operations on the Board of the Friends of the Ithaca Youth Bureau, and is the Information Officer on the Board of the NYS ACE Women’s Network. Additionally, Debra served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a medic from 1993—2001 and is now an Office of the Secretary of Defense certified Master Trainer and spends her free time volunteering as an instructor for Army Reserves Family Programs and the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

Speaker: Christy Schafer, Performance Excellence Champion, Project Manager at Corning Incorporated

Christy has worked for Corning for over 10 years in Corporate Real Estate, Finance Shared Services, HR Benefits, and Global Security. She is best known for Project Management and Performance Excellence. She is a certified Black Belt, ASQ Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence, and a Project Management Professional. She is also the Treasurer for the ASQ Corning- Elmira section 0202 and the United Way Campaign Leader for the Corning Global Security division.

Speaker: Steve Wilson, Program Manager/Sr. Project Manager at Bosch Security Systems

Steve has over 25 years of project and program management experience, managing multi-million dollar engagements for Fortune 500 companies in North America. He has strong expertise in both classroom and virtual project management training, with experience in Product Development, Portfolio Management, Program Management, Project Management Tools, PMO, and Project Management Training. Steve has been a featured keynote speaker at project management events, is PMP and PMI-ACP certified, and has been a member of PMI since 2003.

Steve is also President and Co-founder of Journey Training Institute specializing in project management and leadership training. Steve is the Principal Consultant and Lead Instructor for PMP® and CAPM® Certification Exam Prep training as well as Project JumpStartSM focusing on the application of PM concepts and tools. He has trained over 1,000 PMs throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia over the last 15 years.

In addition, Steve authored a book titled: “Leadership Spirit” A Collection of Leadership Applications For Practicing Leaders, Project and Program Managers. This invigorating book allows you to see examples and perspectives that can be immediately applied to your professional and personal life. The direct application can be a great help to those who desire to grow their project and program management leadership skills.

Steve holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Education and worked as a professional educator for 14 years.