PMINJ PMP Instructors 

All our instructors are PMP-certified and have many years of experience working in project management for major corporations and organizations.  Most of them have also taught project management for corporations, colleges and other training organizations.  In other words, they can “do” and “teach” project management.  What this means for our students is that they can explain difficult and complex project management concepts clearly using “real world” examples to help students better understand – and retain – the course material. 

Our instructors generously give of their own time as PMINJ volunteers to help teach this course for two reasons:

  1. They have a passion and appreciation for the subject of project management and believe in its importance both as a business skill and a life skill.
  2. They have a strong desire to give back to the project management profession by helping their fellow project managers succeed.



Sonia Avilés, MBA, PMP, CBIP


As a senior IT project manager at a major medical devices company in NJ, Sonia is responsible to develop, manage, and deliver global systems implementations, merger and acquisition integrations, and process improvement initiatives.  With over 20 years’ experience in project management, first for major life insurance companies in NYC then for a major pharmaceutical company in NJ prior to her current position, Sonia brings a broad perspective across industries to the project management arena.

An innate love of teaching has driven Sonia to seek a volunteer trainer position with the PMINJ PMP exam preparation group.  She also volunteers as in-house trainer for her current employer, where she trains at global sites across the US and Europe.  Sonia’s training experience also includes development of PM training materials and a presentation of a successful EDI project at a pharmaceutical industry conference in Philadelphia.

In addition to certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Sonia is also a Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) and holds an MBA with a concentration in Information Technology Management.


Pramod Chivate, PMP


With many years working as an IT and project management professional, and well over 15 years in the management consulting industry, Pramod is an experienced professional with a proven track record in all phases of IT project management in a number of industries.  Pramod has extensive experience in leading complex IT programs, defining project management standards, setting up and leading program management offices and implementation of enterprise project management tools.

Pramod is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a trained CMMI assessor and has delivered training in process improvement, requirements management, data driven project management among others.


Peter Failla, PMP


Peter brings 25 years of financial services expertise focusing on IT project management, process optimization, compliance, and marketing.  He has led various group wide project management training initiatives.  Currently, he leads a large team of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) licensed professionals servicing institutional retirement customers.
Peter is a Project Management Professional (PMP), and Six Sigma Master Black Belt.  He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Villanova University and an MBA from Rutgers University.  He is FINRA Series 24, 7, 63 and 66 licensed.


Rajasekhar Nandyala, PMP


Raj has been actively managing projects and project portfolios for about 25 years, with a focus in Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering, Enterprise Software Product Development, eCommerce, Cloud Technologies and Software as a Service application deployments.  Raj has worked in the private and public sectors, and has held project leadership positions while working with customers in Asia, Europe, and the United States.  His industry-specific experience includes Industrial Engineering, consumer products, pharma and training; with specific expertise in Customer Relationship Management and strategic Human Resource Management.

Raj holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Masters of Business Management degree with specialization in Production and Systems Management, and is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional (PMP).  He has delivered PMP exam preparation training at PMI Bangalore India Chapter for about 10 years, prior to commencing the volunteer teaching assignment with PMINJ.


Kendra Newman, PMP


A technology and learning project manager, Kendra has over 19 years of experience managing network infrastructure, application development, as well as classroom technology integration undertakings in the Higher Education arena.

After earning her Master’s degree in Project Management from Keller Graduate School in 2005 she began designing and facilitating project management and PMP exam courses for various corporate entities, universities, and community colleges.  In addition to her current project manager position within a university Project Management Office, Kendra serves as adjunct faculty for a community college teaching technology and business courses.


Elias Shamiyeh, PMP

Instructor / Course Co-Manager

484 888-4106

Elias (Eli) has over 15 years of experience in program and project management as well as bio-statistics and has successfully led projects in the pharmaceutical industry.  He started teaching project management in 2015 for PMINJ.

Eli received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Biology (minor) from University of Virginia, college of Wise, a Master of Science in Mathematics from George Mason University and a Master of Business Administration from Colorado State University.  He holds certifications as a Project Management Professional (PMP).


Paul Travers, PMP


Paul Travers is vice president of Finance Transformation & Technology Support for a global company that provides  insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs. This includes leading the company’s deployment of a lean based continuous improvement initiative as well as technology projects & support for Finance, Actuarial, Treasury and Procurement globally. 

Prior to his current employer, Paul’s most recent role was the Managing Director for Program, Process & Risk Management for the Chief Technology Officer at a major online broker where he was responsible for program management, risk management and ITIL (infrastructure service management) and Lean process improvement initiatives.  A senior program and process improvement leader with over 25 years senior management responsibility for business, technology and client service operations global programs and enterprise wide portfolios at several major financial institutions.
A former Lieutenant Commander (Special Duty Intelligence) in the US Naval Reserve, Paul was mobilized twice post 9/11 for Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom working for the Office of Naval Intelligence and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Paul received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a Masters certificate from George Washington University.  He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and ITIL practitioner.


John Tse, MBA, PMP, CSM

Vice President, Professional Development / Instructor

908 791-5312

John has over 20 years of experience in program and project management and has successfully led projects for clients in various industries, including financial services, telecommunications, automotive and retail.  He started teaching project management in 2001 for Boston University Corporate Education Center and has since gone on to teach and develop project management training for other corporations.

John has been PMINJ’s Vice President of Professional Development since 2014.  In addition to being responsible for delivering training and bringing training opportunities to the chapter, he also oversees the chapter’s mentorship program.  He was previously the chapter’s Director of Professional Development.  John has been an instructor for PMINJ’s PMP Exam Prep course since 2002.

John received his Bachelor of Science in Management and in Information Systems from New York University and a Master of Business Administration in corporate finance from Pace University.  He holds certifications as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM).

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