Volunteers are a key component of professional organizations. The PMI UK Chapter is no exception. The brilliant team is preparing for Synergy, their flagship conference. Jonathan Clay, the incoming President, is keeping the wheels turning behind-the scenes.
I spoke to him about his priorities for his time at the helm. We began with the basics, then moved on to the more difficult question of Chartership. It was very interesting. Here’s the conversation.
Jonathan Clay, PMI UK PresidentJonathan. What does the President of Chapter do?
Simply put, you are the leader of the team. I am fortunate to have around 150 volunteers who volunteer their time for the Chapter. It is my responsibility to ensure that they are empowered in their roles, and have the tools to succeed. You must keep your hands off of the details and lead the Chapter Board to ensure that all Directors agree on a common strategy.
As President of PMI UK, you will need to travel a lot. We are a large Chapter with events taking places all over the UK. Every year, I try to attend as many events and meetings as possible.
As President, I need to be able to work closely with PMI Global Europe Chapters and other European Chapters in order to ensure that the UK and European needs of my members are met. This requires frequent calls with people around the world and a few overseas trips per year.
It sounds very busy. It sounds busy.
Why not? It was the logical next step, and it scared me. I had been on the PMI UK Board three years ago and knew that I had to apply when the opportunity presented itself.
This has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to learn new skills. I will be a better person no matter what happens over the two-year term.
What’s new in PMI at the moment
We have been increasing the number of local events over the past few years. We have opened new branches in Manchester, Belfast this year, giving more members the opportunity to attend events close to their homes.

We also launched “Passporting”. This initiative allows PMI UK members to access all other PMI Chapter events throughout Europe. If you are traveling to Europe for business, this means that you might be able attend an event even if you don’t have the time. Many European events are delivered English, and we have chapters in every European country from Turkey to Sweden!
It sounds great! I heard that you wanted to increase the participation and volunteering of women in Chapters. Why is that?
This is something that I am passionate about. Successful organisations must have diversity across their teams and at all levels. There are many women who volunteer for the Chapter. We have very few women in leadership positions.
I want to see more women in the Chapter. We are working to help our volunteers find clearer career paths. We hope this will encourage more women to push their limits and take on leadership roles.
What are your goals for the presidency?
I have many so I’ll choose three!
My first goal is to ensure that the organisation is well-positioned to succeed in the future. PMI UK has been around over 20 years. The profession has changed a lot. My presidency will ensure that the Chapter is well-structured and organized so it can continue to thrive for another 20 years.
My second goal is to ensure the Chapter continues to be a valuable resource for the profession and its members. I plan to achieve this by strengthening our regional presence and improving our digital services.
Last but not least …. my third goal is to empower volunteers and encourage them in their advancement within the Chapter. There are many talented people in our Chapter who, if I am properly equipped, will provide exceptional services to our members as well as develop into our leaders of tomorrow.