03 March 2021 at 02:00PM
Member Spotlight - Keith Harrington
How did his journey start? His first “official” Project Manager job began when he joined DHL in November, 2004, but his project management journey actually began many years before. In fact, as a child, " I exhibited the innate traits of successful project managers when in the school recess yard my friends wanted to play football, but I brought a pencil and paper out of the classroom to create plays. Most of the kids didn’t want to plan and simply wanted to play (Sound familiar?). I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the beginning of honing my skills as a servant leader."
After graduating high school, Keith went to a trade school to study electronics technology, because he had a fascination with figuring out how things work and a knack for troubleshooting problems. He worked his way up through Motorola as a Network Analyst and then joined American Power Conversion (APC) to become a Data Center Operations Manager. Throughout this part of his career, Keith was leading teams by creating plans to implement new networks, build out new data centers and manage daily operations on a 24x7x365 schedule. In essence, "I was performing daily operational tasks while creating and managing informal projects before I even knew of the “Project Manager” profession."
After obtaining his Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) degree, Keith decided to move his family from Rhode Island to Arizona to start a new phase of his career outside of the data center. His peers at Motorola helped him relocate. In 2004, Keith learned about the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP) credentials and realized his IT background and the PMP would allow him to change careers while still being connected to technology, which he loves.
Over the past 17 years, Keith Harrington has intentionally selected and joined various companies to gain experience in transportation and logistics, digital education, financial services, healthcare, hospitality and have for the past 5 years been with a terrific network marketing company, Plexus Worldwide. Throughout the course of this journey, he have honed skills as a Project Manager, Program Manager, Portfolio Manager, ScrumMaster and Executive having successfully developed and currently leads an outstanding team of professionals in an Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO).
I asked Keith Harrington, what he is pastionate about, and he replied, "mentoring my team members to ensure they have the skills and experience to have a successful career in project, program and portfolio management. I had a very good mentor at Motorola that set me on a successful career path and I want to do the same for everyone I can help." After some reflection he felt his colleagues would describe him as analytical, disciplined, honest, and confident which some could describe as arrogance. His introspective traits struck me as a person who respects other's time which has helped his track record of getting projects done.
He believes in the social good, in November, 2020, he became a proud member of the Cancer Support Community of Arizona’s Board of Directors, which is near and dear to his heart since members of his family are cancer survivors. He has also been a blood donor for the past 37 years and a contributor to the Rhode Island Food Bank and St. Mary’s Food Bank for more than 30 years.
Keith Harrington is a gifted storyteller. When I asked him what was on his bucket list besides adding books to an ecletic library he broke it into two parts. "On a social and spiritual level, I want to make sure my family and people that know me consider me a genuine friend that gave back more than I received. On a physical level, I want to build my dream house to spend my retirement years creating, fabricating and giving back to my community."
If you get a chance to speak with Keith Harrington at a breakfast meeting, you will find him engaging. You might even leave with a bit of wisdom.