People of SFU

Staff Achievement Award recognises community-building team of project managers

March 09, 2023
From L-R: Maggie Lee, Darren Mann, Amanda Maharaj and Kimberly Sivak lead the award-winning Project Management Community of Practice

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, three Simon Fraser University (SFU) managers from two different portfolios recognised the need to connect and support the many staff across the university engaged in project management. They saw an opportunity to share best practices and resources—rather than duplicating work, to increase efficiency and strengthen capacity.

Kimberly Sivak, project manager, Institutional Strategic Awards; along with Maggie Lee, project analyst and Darren Mann from the Digital Transformation Office launched the SFU Project Management Community of Practice (PM-CoP) in September 2020. Amanda Maharaj, project manager, from SFU’s Partnership Hub joined the PM-CoP leadership team in 2021. This year, the four dedicated volunteers have earned an SFU Staff Achievement Award in the Team Award category. 

Since its creation, the grassroots initiative has engaged over 100 staff members across the institution hosting virtual events, providing free workshops and promoting networking opportunities. They have created a SharePoint database of tools, templates, online training and resources from SFU and external project management professionals. There are mentoring opportunities, and even a book club.   

The success of the group is owed to the hard work and efforts of team leaders Sivak, Lee, Mann and Maharaj.

“We are thrilled that the community we envisioned has been so well-received,” says co-founder Kimberly Sivak. “It is very rewarding to see resources being shared and to facilitate staff coming together to help each other strengthen their professional skills. We are very grateful for the award and excited to build upon the momentum of the PM-CoP network.”

The PM-CoP hosts ongoing workshops and offers access to resources online. To learn more, read the Q&A with Darren Mann, and visit their web page. To join the community, send an email to