From Student to Adjunct Professor to Global Team Leader: The PMP Journey of Mitch Johnson

In 2007, Mitch Johnson was a senior solutions analyst in the Tampa office of Pennsylvania-based Ikon Office Solutions. That was the year he earned his PMP certification, which ultimately sent his career trajectory skyward. 

“This was a time when copy machines were transforming into digital print stations with graphical interfaces.  A better understanding of project management was key to handling professional services, doing workflow analysis, requirements gathering, business analytics, and all the integration pieces associated with it,” said Mitch. 

With his PMP, he soon became the default Project Manager for Ikon and was relied on more and more for the common sensical, organized approach to managing projects and staff.  Beginning in 2008, he went from project engineer to manager of the Project Management Team of AVI-SPL, a company that partners with innovative communication technology partners worldwide.  The parent company currently has 85 percent of the Fortune 100 in their client base.  He remained with AVI-SPL for six years before a new opportunity presented itself that would refine all of his PMP skills and training. 

By 2014, he found himself at the top of his project management game and handling a team that did all the applications development for Bright House Networks’ Solutions Development and Operations group.  He had four project managers that reported directly to him and managed more than ten multi-million-dollar projects at a time. A sentinel achievement of his PMO team was the completion of the Monarch Project, which resulted in Bright House becoming the first management services organization in North America to successfully complete a migration to a single billing platform.  While there, he helped foster a highly diverse and effective project management team, thanks in large part to the communication and behavioral training he received while seeking his PMP in 2007.

Mitch was so successful so quickly after earning his PMP, author Diane Buckley-Altwies asked if he would be interested in teaching a project management course using her Core Performance Concept Achieve PMP® Exam Success materials for continuing education students at the University of South Florida. He agreed in 2008, and started teaching at USF’s Tampa campus.  He now teaches courses in project management, leadership and risk management.

“Not only was I a big fan of Diane’s tools from my own experience, but from a value perspective for students, you can’t beat what CPC provides,” said Mitch.  “Even after all these years of teaching, I still rely on their curriculum to better understand what I need to be doing and how to grow along with technology and other evolutions of project management. I have a real affinity for the content and the class and how we deliver it.” 

Mitch retired from Bright House in 2016, and is now putting his project management skills to good use by returning to AVI-SPL, where is now as a partner in the Tampa office and is transforming what had been primarily staffing services to be a more professional services company.  He’s added people to the team to support professional services side of the business, more than doubling their staff in a year and a half. 

“At AVI, I’m working on workflow business process improvement initiatives, and am now focused on solution architecture and building a global proposal center.  I strongly believe none of this would have been possible without my expertise in project management.”


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