20 09 2023 at 00:00
Interview Kris Troukens
25th Anniversary PMI Belgium Chapter:
This year, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of our PMI Belgium Chapter. At this occasion, we would like to highlight all our former Presidents who, thanks to their involvement in the PMI Belgium Chapter, have made it evolve, grow…
PMI Belgium: Historic Background
Since the early nineties, PMI members residing in the Belgium - Luxembourg area were part of a large Chapter called Norden.
At a first PMI Europe Conference in June 1997 in Paris, the idea was born to create a more local Chapter for the Benelux countries. After significant preparation work of a founding Board of Directors, the PMI Benelux Chapter was officially recognized by the Project Management Institute as an independent component in the fourth quarter of 1998. We started with 80 Belgium Chapter Members.
Knowing that such a progress is build up gradually, my fellow past Chapter presidents and I will guide you through the impressive 25 years evolution of our Chapter.
Since that start-up, our Chapter has grown to one of the largest in Europe. At the end of July 2001, the Chapter had more than 850 members and more than 300 certified individuals.
In November 2001, the new PMI Netherlands Chapter was founded and as a result of this split our Chapter was renamed PMI Belgium Chapter from January 1, 2002, onwards.
On 30 June 2010 the new PMI Luxembourg Chapter was founded.
On 12th October 2013, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of our Chapter during the PM Fair 2013 at the Volvo premises. We had the privilege to welcome 6 presidents.
On the picture, from the left to the right: Jim Roofthooft, Louis J. Mercken, Jan Van Broeck, Chris Kindermans, Wim Gardin, Kris Troukens.
Let me start with a very active past president…
I would like to introduce you to Kris Troukens.
Kris was President of the PMI Belux Chapter from 2012 to 2013. After his mandate Kris was also very active int the caritative organization PMI Without Borders.
As a first question I would like to ask you: how are you doing?
I’m doing very well, thank you very much. My work has kept me really busy lately which is why I am no longer able to attend the events I appreciated so much in the past. Maybe one day that will change again, let’s wait and see.
How did you come to PMI BeNeLux Chapter? And why do you decided to take the mandate as President?
I first attended the Belgium Chapter events because >I was interested in becoming a PMP, whilst working at IBM. I quickly started helping with registrations, and organization of events. Since it was a “fun” bunch of people to hang out with and wasn’t difficult to convince me to put in a bit more time, so I started taking on some official roles in the Board of PMI. Ultimately this leaded to some ‘promotion’ and I ended up being President. This gives you some freedom but also some responsibilities to maintain the Chapter in good health. I think I can look back at some nice years because we had some exciting events. Even after the time as president I continued into a role of regional mentor for Europe-South at PMI. Another very pleasant moment in my years at PMI, whilst helping out other Chapters and trying to connect and learn from each other.
During your mandate, what is your good experience?
I remember a lot of events that were really fun to organize. The many Belux/BeNeLux events, the speaking events from top guru’s such as Harold Kerzner and Greg Ballestrero. And the many local events where we tried each time to come up with something specials, such as the Tram-experience, the many New-Year cocktails, and countless events such as the one at the Euro-space center, the bus-tour, and many others.
And what do you identify as a bad experience?
Frankly I don’t think we had bad experiences, all the time it was working with volunteers, and you just try to make it as pleasant as possible for the whole team.
If you look into the mirror, how do you evaluate your mandate? What would you do differently?
The mirror is telling me that I am getting a little older, but I wouldn’t do/or have done anything differently. I have tried giving the maximum, and that has brought me a lot of joy, especially when attendees are thanking you for the good moments you brought them.
How to attract members to become presidents?
It is a rich experience where you get to know a lot of people Nationally but also internationally, and it opens a lot of fun opportunities.
What do you advise to the current president and to the coming presidents?
Enjoy the moment, continue the good work, and try and innovate. Having a brainstorm starting with an empty page can sometimes do wonders.
Any anecdote to share with us?
We had one such brainstorm session, where we came up with hundreds of “crazy” ideas for a new format of Chapter event. Well, some of the ideas finally came through, such as the Tram and Bus events, which after all are not so difficult the realize.
How do you imagine the PMI Belgium Chapter in the future? And how do you imagine Project Management?
The Chapter is evolving, I am sure, but with the help of some younger blood and ideas, new things which attract today’s PMs should be possible. Project management is changing, but it will always require people with some experience, so maybe after all, my grey hair is going to pay off 😉
What can I wish you for in the future?
Some more fruitful professional years before I intend to retire and enjoy life (even more)
What do you want to also share with us?
PMI has brought me a lot. By choosing the PMI career steps I took, and always on a voluntary basis, I managed to travel around the world, attending regional and global congresses and that with a ll expenses paid. With PMI everything is possible if you put in some time yourself.
I would like to thank you very much for agreeing to share your experience with our members and I am looking forward to welcoming you at the PM Fair on 13th of October 2023.