23 Oct PM Profiles: Meet Pamela von Eiff
Criterion’s program managers play a critical role in helping our Federal government customers meet their mission objectives. Each brings a unique perspective and background to their jobs, a combination of technical expertise and problem-solving capacity that helps Criterion develop and implement creative solutions to the challenges our teams face every day.
We recently introduced you to two of our key leaders in our Kansas City office. Today, we would like to profile Pamela von Eiff, a program manager for our USDA Forest Service contracts. She joined Criterion in 2015 and is a dynamic, results, and people-oriented leader with a proven ability to successfully manage large-scale initiatives with a diverse range of stakeholders. She has more than 25 years of experience, much of that in the financial services industry. Pam has a B.A. in economics and business administration from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
- What would you consider is your key subject matter expertise?
Communication is the thing I focus on most — communicating with my team, the customer, leadership, and my internal Criterion stakeholders. Communications encompassed in verbal engagements, emails, reporting, planning, and meetings are critical to help ensure people know what’s happened/is happening, what’s expected of them, and what to prepare for in the future.
- What is an important lesson learned in that area that you apply frequently to add value to your customers?
Years ago, I built reporting I thought the customer wanted and liked, but as the team evolved, it became a throw away. I didn’t proactively reassess as the project progressed and the stakeholders changed to ensure the information and structure still met the needs of the audience.
Lesson learned: Periodic check-ins to ensure reporting (and meetings) continues to meet stakeholders needs is key!
- Do you have a particular approach to solving problems?
I always start with focusing on the facts — what do we know, and what exactly do we think we’re trying to solve? Then I try to make sure I have the right people gathered to assess the situation and craft solution options.
- What drives you? What is the key to your success?
Two things drive me. First, I love it when things go well! There is a lot of satisfaction in that for me. Second, creating a positive and collaborative environment for the team and customer. The key to my success? I genuinely care.
- What do you feel is your greatest achievement in your role here at Criterion?
A happy customer and a good relationship with them. I really like the Forest Service!
- What is the craziest job you ever worked? Something that may surprise your co-workers?
I’m not sure how crazy this is but maybe it’s unusual. As a kid, one of my first jobs was mowing the local cemetery. It gave me lots of thinking time. Everything else has been fairly conventional.