Helen Tanona was born near Manchester, England but grew up in northern New Jersey, about 45 minutes outside of Manhattan. After graduating from high school, Helen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rutgers University. While at Rutgers, Helen discovered a love for online learning as a means to figuratively shrink the size of large, core curriculum classes and worked with Rutgers's Teaching Center (TEC) to develop the Digiclass platform used at Rutgers for many years thereafter. While working to scope the Digiclass objectives and gain support from stakeholders, Helen learned that she's a better project manager than she is a developer. She spent the next twenty years working as a project manager, program manager, portfolio manager and project management office (PMO) leader.
In 2018, Helen completed her Masters of Science in Executive Leadership at Champlain College in Vermont. 100% of her degree was earned online. The experience reinforced Helen's objectives - to bring people closer to each other and therefore more engaged in joint learning - while confirming that there's much more that can be done in this space. Helen is delighted to bring her passion and experience with online learning to strengthen the PJM graduate experience at Northeastern University.
EducationMaster of Science from Champlain College (2018)
Agency of Digital Services - Portfolio Manager
Leader of a portfolio office with ten direct project management and business analysis staff and more than 30 contracted personnel. Professional development of direct staff, including functional (hard) skills and leadership (soft) skills. Champion and trainer of project management methodologies (Waterfall and SCRUM).
Agency of Human Services - Program Manager
Led a distributed team of 50+ State personnel and contracted developers to progress the State’s Insurance Exchange and Medicaid eligibility and enrollment system (Vermont Health Connect) to incorporate Economics Services programs (SNAP, TANF, etc).
Keurig - Senior Manager, Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO)
- Led a project management office with greater than $100 million dollars in development budget.
- Directly led a strategic project, accountable to the CEO, that delivered greater than $100 million in recurring revenue.
- Developed and drove incremental improvement in project management methods and tools, increasing new product development portfolio performance by 50%.
- Facilitated portfolio management for the chief operations officer.
- Regularly delivered in-class and online training in project management processes and tools.
- Authored the training series for the company’s project management tool (PPMT).
Lehman Brothers - Assistant Vice President, Project Management Office
- Project Manager for back-office (operations) systems modernization projects.
- Led the introduction of a global portfolio management process for business-critical mainframe applications and subsequently trained management in adoption of the portfolio management process.
Rutgers University - Instructional Technologies Developer & Project Manager
- Project Manager & Developer for the Universitys web-based learning management system, Digiclass.
- System was showcased at the 2008 Northeast Association of Language Learning Technology (NEALLT) conference.