Astronaut, Dallas Mayor to Address Project Managers

Aug. 10, 2009

Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and retired NASA astronaut and UT Dallas alumnus Jim Reilly will be keynote speakers on Aug. 13 to about 300 professionals as they gather to refine their skills in managing projects large and small.

The 3rd Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium is expected to draw managers who oversee projects in a variety of fields — engineering, construction, healthcare, transportation and overseas projects among others. They will hear breakout-session speakers on topics ranging from using emotional intelligence in managing to how to develop an award-winning public sector project to how to create opportunity in a slow economy.

Although Leppert and Reilly have worked in very different fields, their experiences show how critical it is to involve skilled managers in large projects, says Jim Joiner, director of the Project Management program at UT Dallas School of Management.

Skills needed to manage projects are universal, Joiner says, regardless of a manager’s professional title.

“What we see are managers from all levels in a company — and from industries across the board — who need better tools to handle their projects,” Joiner says. “That’s what this symposium is designed to do — give these professionals skills they can take with them next week to more effectively do their jobs.”

Joiner says the symposium speakers represent thought leaders in project management, including Tony Parella, president and CEO of Shared Technologies, which has been listed for the past two years as one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Parella will be the keynote speaker on the conference’s second day.

“By our registrations, we can tell we’re offering information managers need,” Joiner says. “Our attendance started out two years ago with about 100 people. Last year we doubled attendance.”

The symposium will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday, Aug. 13 and Aug. 14 at the UT Dallas School of Management. Cost for the symposium is $500. Registration information is avaialable at the conference Web site.

“One area the School of Management excels at is offering relevant professional development opportunities,” says Jerry Hoag, dean of the school’s Executive Education area. “Jim, who’s been in the project management field for decades at locations around the globe, knows what project managers are looking for when they take valuable time off to attend this symposium.”


Media Contact: Jeanne Spreier, UT Dallas, 972-883-4759, jeanne.spreier@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Above: Symposium speaker Jim Reilly is a retired NASA engineer and astronaut and a UT Dallas alumnus.

At right: Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert will also make an appearance as a keynote speaker.

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