It began as a dinner in early 1969 among three men at the Three Threes Restaurant, a small, intimate gathering place just a few blocks from City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
The dinner was a continuation of several months of discussions between two of the men, Jim Snyder and Gordon Davis. By the conclusion of this meal, it was decided that a new organization should be formed to provide a means for project managers to associate, share information and discuss common problems.
Ensuing discussions resulted in the first formal meeting at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, on 9 October 1969. The by-product of this meeting was the birth of the Project Management Institute. Shortly thereafter, articles of incorporation were filed in Pennsylvania, signed by five persons, who are officially recognized as the founders of PMI - James Snyder, Eric Jenett, Gordon Davis, E.A. "Ned" Engman and Susan C. Gallagher.
James R. Snyder
Mr. Snyder is a founder of the Project Management Institute, a Fellow of the Institute, and a past Volunteer Executive Director, President and Chairman of the Board. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the PMI Educational Foundation, Treasurer of the Delaware Valley Chapter, and a member of the Editorial Review Board of Project Management Journal. Mr. Snyder, who is casually referred to as the "Father of PMI," has been awarded the PMI Man of the Year Award and is an Honorary Life Member of the Institute. He is also a founding member of the PMI Delaware Valley Chapter and the Pharmaceuticals Specific Interest Group (SIG). Mr. Snyder served as the project manager for the construction of PMI's World Headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA. The PMI James R. Snyder Center for Project Management Knowledge and Wisdom, located in the headquarters building, is named in his honor.
Eric Jenett, PMP
Mr. Jenett, one of PMI’s five original founders, was PMI's first Project Management Professional (PMP®). A PMI Fellow, Mr. Jenett was PMI's President in 1971, Chairman in 1972 and Secretary from 1975 to 1976. A founding member of the PMI Houston Chapter, Mr. Jenett was honored by PMI in 1975 for his Distinguished Contribution to the Institute. He presented at numerous PMI Seminars & Symposiums, served on a number of panels, and published a variety of articles in the Project Management Quarterly, later to become the Project Management Journal®, and in a number of other technical publications. He wrote and lectured on technical and project management topics and had more than 30 publications and presentations.
J. Gordon Davis, PhD
Dr. Davis was one of PMI’s original founders and member number four of the Institute. As a long-time contributor, he left a lasting influence on both the organization and the profession. Over five decades, Dr. Davis served PMI in many capacities, which included coordinating the Institute’s early engagement with academic partners and serving as a former Vice President of the Institute. He also served on the former PMI College of Scheduling board of directors from its initial founding. Dr. Davis challenged PMI members and volunteer leaders to establish project management as a widely recognized profession and to focus on the multi-disciplinary aspects of project management that play a vital role in bringing projects of all sizes to a successful conclusion. He received nearly every honor that the organization bestows, including the designation of PMI Fellow.
E.A. "Ned" Engman
On 29 January 1968, Mr. Engman sent a letter inviting people to be part of an organization dedicated to project management. Those getting the letter were James Snyder, from SmithKline and French; Dr. J. Gordon Davis, from the University of Technology of Georgia; John King, from AT&T; Russ Archibald, from Booz, Allen & Hamilton; and Eric Jenett, from Brown & Root. The invitation was a result of discussions that Mr. Engman and several of the other invitees had back in 1967. At the time, Mr. Engman was the national representative of CPM Marketing for the automation company McDonnell, with main offices in Houston (now the McDonnell Douglas Corporation). It was the very nature of his role in McDonnell that nourished Mr. Engman’s great interest in project management. The invitation resulted in a meeting in early 1968 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, to create a project management organization.
Ms. Gallagher worked in project management with her fellow founder James Snyder at the SmithKline and French laboratories in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She participated in the 1969 meeting, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, in which the five original founders and one more trusted person were looking to give a structure to PMI, and where they named themselves in order to cover several positions at the brand new organization. She served as treasurer, vice president of technical services, and director, and presented articles in annual meetings. Along with her fellow founders, Ms. Gallagher’s goal was to bring people from every field of the project management profession together, to learn, share and advance the profession. After she moved to Chicago, Illinois, USA, Ms. Gallagher participated in the PMI Midwest Chapter and played an essential role in the conception of PMI Seminars and Symposiums in 1977.