2021 President's Letter


Welcome to 2021 and the start of a new and exciting year full of optimism and reflection.  While we have embraced the ‘new normal’ of our virtual working environments, we remain hopeful that 2021 will see the end of the global pandemic so that we can again embrace our friends and colleagues with warm hugs and handshakes.  Even though our lives have been forever changed by the circumstances of 2020, our BA Community has adapted admirably and taken advantage of this downtime to seek career advancement!  I’m happy to report that seven of our Palmetto Chapter Members have received their IIBA Certifications in 2020!!
Angelia Davis (CBAP & AAC)
Anne Gaudreau (CCBA)
Olivia Hampton (CBDA & AAC)
Lakshmi Karthika Pathuri (CBAP)
Eva Ramon (ECBA)
Zelin Thompson (ECBA)
Denise Woernley (CBAP)

As we look forward to our plans for 2021, let's take a few minutes to celebrate our 2020 accomplishments.  During 2020, the Chapter provided a total of 10 networking and professional development opportunities to our members and guests virtually (for a total of 207 Virtual Attendees) as follows:

  • On January 14 and 15, Michael Roberts, Director of Customer Engagement with CPrime, spoke on The Impact of DevOps on the Business Analyst. This session was provided as both a noon and evening session to allow for a broadened schedule with a total of 13 Attendees.
  •  On February 25th, Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP, PMI-PBA, CSM, began her BA Toolkit series with a session on Top Visual Models for Getting Requirements Right.  We had a total of 32 Attendees for both the noon and evening sessions. 
  • On April 7th, Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP, PMI-PBA, CSM, rounded out this series with her session on 5 Tips for Uncovering Expectations. This was also a noon and evening event with a total of 32 Attendees.
  • On May 19th, we held our third Annual General Meeting with 11 Attendees, where in addition to the Business Meeting, Danelkis Serra, CBAP and IIBA Chapter Operations Manager, presented Leading in Today’s Environment.  Chapter Members who were not able to attend this meeting can request a copy of the business meeting information by sending us a message via the Contact Us link on our website.
  • On June 17th, in collaboration with 2 of our sister IIBA Chapters, Bluegrass and Cincinnati, Yulia Kosarenko, author of Business analyst: a profession and a mindset, spoke about Success in business Analysis – with a MindsetIt was exciting to network and share knowledge within our combined BA Communities and 5 of our Palmetto Chapter BA Community was in attendance.
  • On July 15th, we again collaborated with our sister IIBA Chapters, Bluegrass and Cincinnati, where Mindy Bohannan, CBAP and Xpert Agile Analyst with Excella, gave an engaging presentation on I’m a BA Girl in an Agile World.  Our Palmetto Chapter Attendance was 5 for this collaboration event.
  • On July 27th, we kicked off our third virtual BABOK Study GroupOur enrollees included 17 new students and eight returning students preparing for IIBA Certifications.  The returning students were participants from our previous two study groups who accepted our offer to retake the course at no charge.  Our newly elected VP of Professional Development, Oliva Hampton, is committed to helping our BA Community become certified and went the extra mile to help our students – Thank You!  A sincere Thank You to the seven instructors (Barbara Carkenord, Stacey Caulder, Olivia Hampton, Mary Person, Adriane Sagal, Sandra Strenk, Nic Valdes) for their hard work and dedication preparing and delivering these sessions!  Thank You to Danelkis Serra, CBAP and IIBA Chapter Operations Manager, for answering our attendee’s questions about the Certification Applications and Exams.  Also, a big shout out to our Silver Sponsor, Watermark Learning, for providing our participants discounts to their Certification study aids!
  •  On November 2nd, we held our 3rd Annual Chapter Awards Watch Party while celebrating Global BA Day AND our Three-Year Anniversary as a local IIBA Chapter with 9 of our fellow BA’s! During our celebration, we tuned into the virtual IIBA Chapter Awards Announcement Ceremony, where our Chapter had been selected as a finalist for the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award.  Simply being among the finalists is a great honor for our very young Chapter and we look forward to what we can accomplish together in 2021! 
  • On November 13th, the Chapter hosted our inaugural half-day virtual conference - Palmetto BA Day!  We had an incredible lineup of dedicated speakers that provided 3 tracks with 3 sessions per track, as well as two keynote sessions.  While we certainly missed not meeting everyone ‘face-to-face’, there are definitely advantages of virtual conferences in that all of our sessions were recorded so our attendees wouldn’t miss a thing!  The recordings are available to our 49 Attendees for 6 months after the conference and the site is still open for conversations and networking.  Big thanks to Kyle Anderson and CPrime for making this experience a breeze for our team.
  • Rounding out the year on December 8th, Marti Konstant, MBA and author of Activate Your Agile Career, shared with 26 Attendees from our BA community about how to Future-Proof Your Career In A Time of Disruption

A huge thanks go to our outstanding Board of Directors and Volunteers.  An amazing team effort goes into each and every one of these events, which we would not be able to deliver without their passion and commitment!
In 2020, our Chapter also collaborated and engaged with two other professional associations:

  • We were a Preferred Partner at the Agile Week Carolinas - The Ultimate Agile Virtual Conference on October 6th through 9th.
  • We collaborated with the PMI Metrolina to share ideas and event information with our communities.

On the Membership Front, we are very excited to report some statistics of our 2020 Membership Roster:

  • Total of 43 Chapter Members at December 31, 2020
  • Renewed 16 of our 2019 Chapter Members in 2020
  • Gained 27 New Chapter Members in 2020
  • 16 of our 2020 Chapter Members hold an IIBA Certification

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our 2020 Palmetto Chapter Members for your support during the year!  Members are the lifeblood of our organization and your involvement is extremely important to us and very much appreciated!  Your membership enabled our Chapter to provide the offerings in 2020 listed above, and we hope that you will continue to support your local IIBA Palmetto Chapter in 2021.
On the Sponsorship Front, we are extremely grateful to our 2020 In-Kind Sponsor – Watermark Learning!  Again this year, we are working hard to expand our sponsorship reach to bring additional value to the Chapter through enhanced programming and meeting opportunities. Our sponsors truly drive our Chapter offerings and increasing sponsorship funding and opportunities helps us broaden our programming reach.
On the Chapter Governance Front, our Chapter amended its Bylaws to clarify the board member election process for a smoother transition.  We are happy to report that two of our board positions were filled during the 2020 Elections! Please join me in welcoming Stacey Caulder as Vice President of Membership and Olivia Hampton as Vice President of Professional Development.  In addition, please help me to welcome Angelia Davis as our new Director of Certification.
As 2020 neared an end, our Board came together for a series of special planning sessions where we assessed the Chapter’s current position and began to brainstorm possible program plans for 2021, while considering the uncertainty of resuming in person meetings.  As a result, our IIBA Chapter community is teaming up to Co-Host several of our events to broaden content and create more opportunities for networking with BA’s across the country. 
With that said, I’m happy to report those 2021 Programming Plans below.  As we continue to finalize our 2021 calendar, be on the lookout for additional information in our emails, social media and on our Website HERE.  Until further notice, our events will continue to be Virtual.

2021 Scheduled Events:

  • January 19th, Pamela Paterson, CBAP and best-selling author, spoke about Creating Requirements During Times of Constant Change.  We were happy to Co-Host this event with our sister IIBA chapter, Ottawa-Outaouais.
  • January 28th, Judy Alter, CBAP and Chair of IIBA Global Council took us on an IIBA Website Tour:  Highlighting Membership Benefits.  We were happy to Co-Host this event with our sister IIBA chapter, Birmingham. 
  • February 11th will kick off the beginning of a NEW Lunch and Learn Series we are calling the “Technique Boutique” which will be conducted every other month in collaboration with our sister IIBA Chapters, Ottawa-Outaouais and Halifax.  Our first Technique with be Journey Mapping!!  Plan to join us for an engaging learning session by Registering HERE.
  • February 24th, Pamela Thomas, CCBA and Six Sigma Black Belt, will speak about Applying Lean Thinking to Business Analysis.  This event will be in collaboration with our sister IIBA chapters RTP (Raleigh) and Charlotte Metro.  Join us for this enlightening discussion by registering HERE.

2021 Events in the Planning Process (details to follow):

  • Monthly Chapter Meetings
  • Lunch and Learn Sessions – minimum of every other month
  • Partner with PMI Metrolina for joint event opportunity in April
  • Board Elections and Annual General Meeting in May/June
  • NEW:  Virtual ECBA Study Group in the 2nd Quarter
  • 4th Annual Virtual BABOK Study Group in July/September 2021
  • 2nd Annual BA Conference - Palmetto BA Day tentatively in the 4th Quarter
  • National BA Day/Palmetto Chapter 4th Anniversary/Watch Party in November
  • Holiday Social in December

While it is very exciting for our team to make these plans, the Chapter depends on sponsors and volunteers to execute them.  As the Chapter grows, we hope to engage additional BA’s and volunteers who are interested and willing to help make these plans possible for the entire BA Community in South Carolina.  If you are interested in volunteering for our Chapter, please visit our website here for a listing of these opportunities and send us a message via the Contact Us link on our website.

Moving forward in 2021, we need your help for the Chapter to be sustainable. Here are the many ways to get involved:

  • Join IIBA and the Palmetto Chapter
  • Sign up to become a volunteer for our Chapter
  • Register for the next event
  • Let us know if you are interested in becoming certified
  • Submit ideas for Chapter meeting presentations

Finally, thanks to every one of you, the members of our IIBA Palmetto Business Analyst community!  We appreciate the many ways that you have supported our efforts and paid it forward to your fellow BA’s. You are the reason we are here and do what we do.  Thank you for participating in our events, for volunteering, and for offering your feedback and input.  I can’t wait to share this New Year with you!


Lianne Watford, CBAP