In the winner's circle: UW-Platteville Online graduate wins national award

Creates project management office for Churchill Downs, home to Kentucky Derby

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – A graduate of University of Wisconsin-Platteville Online — with a master of science in project management — has won a national award for his work at Churchill Downs Incorporated. Another graduate was a top five finalist for facilitating the construction of a high school in conjunction with a not-for-profit Christian organization in Mali, West Africa.

Chuck Millhollan, a 2003 graduate of UW-Platteville Online’s master program in project management, earned the 2011 Kerzner Award sponsored by the International Institute for Learning Inc. (ILL) and administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)—the world’s leading project management member association.  The award recognizes project management professionals who demonstrate superior performance, outstanding skills, and innovative project management techniques.

 “I truly believe that project management creates a sustainable competitive advantage that results in world-class companies and diversified leaders," Millhollan said.

As director of program management at Churchill Downs, he created the Churchill Downs, Inc. Project Management Office, which has evolved into an Enterprise PMO responsible for leading projects and programs across all business units, including four thoroughbred horseracing tracks, three casinos, two software development groups, and a bloodstock research group.  

Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, was the first in the horse racing industry to fold project management into its business model. Millhollan used the Enterprising Ticketing System to demonstrate the power of project management. The initiative allowed Churchill Downs to abandon its dated ticketing system with one that allows it to prioritize and manage its ticketing sales, admissions and related marketing efforts. 

In addition to public recognition, Millhollan will receive IIL training valued at $5,000 and a $3,000 contribution to the Kentuckiana PMI.

Another alum in top five

Another UW-Platteville Online graduate Olatunde Olatona, was a top five finalist for the Kerzner Award. As a product manager, he worked with Action Missionaire Interafricaine (AMI) in Mali, Africa, to enable the small community of Farakala realize its dream of a high school. 

Driven by his vision of “education for all men” it provides a safe place for generations of youth to access resources that support educational advancement resulting in an improved quality of life for the entire community.

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