Shocking But True: I’m Officially Certifiable

CJ-Fitzsimons-and-Roland-OtI was recently invited to participate in the inaugural three-day training for International project management from the International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) in Röthenbach, near Nürnberg, Germany. On the first morning of the training, Roland Ottmann, Chair of the IAPM’s Expert Advisory Board, took me aside and whispered, “I have a surprise for you this evening, CJ.” I was left with that puzzle for the rest of the day.

That evening, the IAPM’s Christmas dinner was held in the nearby Zwinger-Melber restaurant. As you can probably guess from the background in the photo, the building dates from the late 18th century. The surprise came during dinner: I was made the first IAPM Certified International Project Manager! In his speech, Roland said the award was in recognition of my contributions to the field of international project management over the years, especially in my role as project leader for the 2004 book Internationales Projektmanagement – interkulturelle Zusammenarbeit in der Praxis (“International Project Management — working together interculturally in practice”).

I was surprised that my contribution to the book was being honoured after all these years. And I was delighted that a topic close to my heart – how people from different backgrounds can work together more effectively – was being recognized. Unfortunately, the combination of surprise and delight left me unusually at a loss for words, as my short acceptance speech testified.  My thanks to Jonathan Albert who captured the moment on his phone.

Photo: Jonathan Albert (

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