ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. – Marilyn Graves, a Capital Improvements project manager for the AEDC Aeropropulsion Combined Test Force, was named 2016 Project Manager of the Year by the Southern Middle Tennessee Branch of the Project Management Institute Chattanooga Chapter.
Graves said she is truly honored to receive this recognition.
“There are over 80 members in the Southern Middle Tennessee Branch of the PMI Chattanooga Chapter who all have distinguished careers in Project Management,” she said. “To be selected among these esteemed colleges for my contribution to this field is very humbling. Just to be nominated for this award is an honor because you know that someone took the time to recognize the hard work that you put forth to manage the projects assigned to you. I am very grateful to my supervisor, Bob Schwer, for nominating me.”
According to the nomination criteria, a Project Manager of the Year demonstrates project management excellence through the effective management of the three constraints—resources, schedule and scope—to deliver a quality project, as well as utilize the principals of Project Management Body of Knowledge. This individual also shows skills in managing, motivating, informing and enabling a project team to achieve customer satisfaction.
Robert Schwer, manager of Capital Improvement Projects for the Aeropropulsion Combined Test Force and Graves’ supervisor, said he chose to nominate Graves because she consistently oversees her projects with excellent attention to detail and delivers results.
“She digs in and determines what is needed to ensure her project and customers are successful,” he said. “Her work and customer-first focus helped her effectively develop and deliver detailed and complete contract documents allowing the Next Generation Turbine Engine Test Capability program to get off to a successful start.”
Schwer added that Graves’ planning strengths are developed from years of project management experience and she effectively utilizes planning to ensure she has the right team and team skills.
“She provides detailed resource planning on her projects and identifies gaps in critical skills required for project success,” he said. “Recently she worked tenaciously to ensure a skill gap was satisfied and although not permanently resolved, was satisfied in the short term to meet the immediate needs of her project. Thanks to her persistence and her understanding of the business, she led the way to a better understanding of process for other project managers requiring resources not available within their direct organizations. Additionally, Marilyn’s detailed planning and scheduling has proven useful in successfully meeting project milestones and delivering work executions within limited outage windows.”
Graves started at AEDC in June of 1982 and first worked as an electrical engineer in the Controls Branch. She then moved to the Instrumentation and Controls Branch, where she later migrated into project management after received her master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Tennessee Space Institute. In 1993, she left AEDC to pursue other opportunities, but returned in 2005 as a project manager and now serves as Capital Improvement Project Manager with NAS. Graves joined PMI in 2011 and has been an active member in the Southern Middle Tennessee Branch since it was established.