Monday, September 1, 2014

BDPA Mobile Application Showcase: Richard Watts III (Central Illinois)

BDPA Central Illinois member Richard Watts III (University High School) earned first place (and a $6,500 college scholarship from State Farm!) for his efforts during the 1st Annual BDPA Mobile Application Showcase.

BDPA used this initiative to expose its student members to mobile application development and showcase the students' expertise during the annual national technology conference. The students were provided with foundation training for mobile application development and mentoring throughout the pilot. The 2014 BDPA Mobile Application Showcase featured high school and college students that designed, developed and deployed a mobile application (business, personal productivity or game) to a mobile device for display at the national conference.

L-R: Craig Brown, Markita Payne, Michael Tyson, Richard Watts III, Tonji Zimmerman, Jason Gibson
The BDPA Mobile Application Showcase was sponsored by State Farm.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why Give? * Your Last Will & Testament

Make a Difference in the Lives that Follow

In life, most people require some kind of assistance, whether it’s physical, financial or spiritual. Perhaps a local church congregation or food bank supplied meals during a tough time. Maybe you were given a scholarship that made the dream of college possible. You or a loved one may have been shown especially compassionate care in the hospital during an illness or injury.

And during life’s struggles, we are often reminded that more must be done to continue positive, humane acts of kindness, and to sustain programs for personal enrichment. We wish more funding were available for medical research, for domestic abuse shelters, or a treasured arts or music program.

Charitable organizations, like the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation, need financial assistance from people like you to continue their work. More than 80 percent of Americans contribute to the nonprofit groups of their choice throughout their lifetimes. But according to research conducted in 2000, only around eight percent of people chose to continue this support through a charitable bequest.

By making bequests and other "planned gifts," you can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in your community.

What better way to thank the people or organizations that have had an impact on your life, than to make a contribution from your estate through a bequest?

Gifts large and small are important. Charitable giving is not only for the wealthy!
  • Q1 - I have children and relatives. Shouldn’t I leave my entire estate to them?
  • A1 - This is perhaps the number one cause for reluctance when making a bequest. The truth is that, depending on the current tax laws, leaving a gift to charity in your will may reduce the estate tax burden on your heirs significantly. You should consult with a financial advisor or attorney to learn how giving may actually benefit your family after you’re gone.

Charitable Statistics: An Untapped Well of Good

  • There are more than 260 million Americans, of whom approximately two million die each year.
  • In 1996, 79,346 estate tax forms were filed with the federal government. (At the time, these forms were required for estates in excess of $600,000.) Eighteen percent of the forms listed a charitable gift.
  • In other words, 82 percent of the nation's wealthiest individuals left nothing to charity.
  • In addition, the IRS tells us that charity is getting a decreasing share of the money in these wealthy estates, from 21.8 percent in 1976 to 6.3 percent in 1992.
  • According to a 2004 Associated Press news story, only 42 percent of adults have wills, a five percent drop since 2000.
If only 20 percent of Americans left a charitable bequest, the current number of charitable bequests would more than double. Imagine what the impact to charitable organizations would be if the 80 percent of Americans who give during their lifetimes also made a charitable gift through their estate plans!
I suppose that the question for BDPA members ... especially those of you that have been officers or members for over ten years ... can you update your will to include BDPA in it?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Member on the Move: Alan Rosales (University of Rochester, Class of 2014)

Alan Rosales
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation began following the exploits of Alan Rosales in 2009 when we shared his High School Computer Competition (HSCC) testimonial on this blog.  Alan Rosales is a HSCC alumnus from the New York Chapter.

BDPA New York chapter legend Denise Hamilton recently shared an update on the academic accomplishments of this young squire.  Alan graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor of science in Biomedical Engineering in May 2014.   BDPA supported Alan's educational pursuits by providing him with at least two scholarships - Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship and Oracle Scholarship.  Alan appreciates BDPA for the scholarship awards.  Alan credits his participation in the BDPA HSCC program for sparking the idea to pursue a career in the biomedical engineering industry.

Alan was an active member of the University of Rochester campus.  He served in a number of leadership roles with the campus chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers up to and including its presidency in 2013-2014.  Alan also worked in the biochemistry research laboratory at the University of Rochester Medical Center under the guidance of Dr. Mark E. Dumont.

Alan’s short term goal is to volunteer at various research labs to determine whether he wants to work in cell and tissue engineering, biochemistry, molecular, genetics, or cancer-focused research. He plans to purse a PhD in either biochemistry or biomedical engineering.

BDPA provides programs, scholarships and services that help its young people win the future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Alan Rosales is an example of the wonderful results of the work being done in 46 local chapters around the nation by selfless volunteers such as Denise Hamilton.   Our nation needs to see more young people of color succeeding in STEM fields.   If you know of another nonprofit organization that is doing more in this space ... then donate to them.   However, if you know that BDPA is doing 'good works' that should be encouraged ... then donate to us ... and to it TODAY!   That is best way you can honor the graduation of Alan Rosales!

BDPA Birthday Love for Curtis Jenkins

One of the most accomplished BDPA leaders in our history is Curtis Jenkins. He celebrates his birthday today!

Curtis has been an active member and leader of the BDPA Philadelphia Chapter since 2002. Curtis Jenkins served as the Immediate Past President for 2008 and 2009 and also the Corporate Advisory Council Chairperson for BDPA Philadelphia. In his duties as Immediate Past President, he served as an ambassador, mentor, and voting member of the BDPA Philadelphia Executive Committee sharing his experiences as a President and member of the National Board of Directors for BDPA. As Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) Chairperson, Curtis is primarily responsible for the solicitation of CAC membership, scheduling and facilitating the quarterly meetings, maintaining the CAC Charter and serving as the focal point for information between the CAC and the BDPA Executive Board.

Prior to serving as Immediate Past President and CAC Chairperson, Curtis served as the Chapter President from 2006 and 2007. Prior to Chapter President, Curtis served for 2 years as VP of Business Management responsible for running the BDPA Philadelphia operations and Vice President of Professional Development responsible for the chapter’s monthly program meetings.

In addition to local chapter responsibilities, Curtis works on various National BDPA committees including the responsibility for the Elections and By-Laws Committees and the Human Resources areas as National Director of Logistics. 

Curtis has over 20 years of IT and business experience. Curtis is a Project Management Institute (PMI) certified, Project Management Professional (PMP) currently working as a Program Manager in the Information Technology Department, at Amtrak, responsible for Stimulus funded Police and Security Equipment Modernization efforts.

Prior to joining Amtrak, Curtis was a Project Manager at DOW Chemical (formerly Rohm and Haas) responsible for Merger and Acquisition Integration and the M&A Strategy development for low cost/shorter timeline integrations. Curtis was a Project Management consultant at Bank of America and a partner at Eustice Associates LLC, where he was responsible for developing and implementing strategies and projects that improved operational efficiencies that had a direct positive impact on a client’s bottom line. He has also worked in the financial services industry at Fleet Credit Card Services, BankOne, and FirstUSA Bank. While in the financial services industry, Curtis transitioned from the area of software development to project management. Before this, he worked for Verizon (formerly Bell Atlantic) and PECO.

Curtis has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Temple University and a graduate degree in Management of Technology from the University of Pennsylvania – School of Engineering and Applied Sciences & Wharton Business School.

Please join all of BDPA-Nation in wishing Curtis a very glorious birthday!

Friday, August 29, 2014

BlueCross BlueShield Shows New Robotics Technology at BDPA Career Fair

Did you see the Double telepresence robot showcased at the 2014 BDPA Career Fair by the folks from BlueCross BlueShield of IL, MT, NM, OK, TX? The Indianapolis Recorder was enamored enough to place a video vignette on their YouTube channel.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Message from BDPA Corporate Sponsor: MillerCoors

Norm Fleming
Norman Fleming (senior director, MillerCoors) is a long-time member and supporter of BDPA programs, scholarships and services. He believes that BDPA is filled with information technology thought leaders that are making a difference when it comes to preparing the Black community to win the future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Norman introduced BDPA to his company ... MillerCoors ... and the corporate partnership has flourished over the past few years. In addition to being a major sponsor at the national level, MillerCoors is working closely with our local BDPA chapters in Chicago and Milwaukee. In fact, MillerCoors hosts many of the public meetings for BDPA Milwaukee chapter!

Norman shared the following message earlier this month:

"Great news for MillerCoors. We were named “Outstanding Corporation of the Year” at the 36th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference & Career Fair held August 5-9, 2014 at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. The following BDPA awards/acknowledgements have been achieved during that conference week:
  • BDPA “Outstanding Corporation of the Year” - BDPA recognizes exceptional companies that provide African Americans with challenging and fulfilling career opportunities in Information Technology. MillerCoors was recognized as a company who have demonstrated a commitment to BDPA’s mission, people and an understanding that Diversity has a bottom line business case value. Key contributors: Karen Alber (BDPA/SIM CIO Panelist, BDPA Chicago Chapter Award of Excellence), Bill Eismont (Dignitaries Panelist), Carmen Giles (Milwaukee Chapter President), Ashton Clark, Adrienne Williams, Melodi Warren Anderson, Treccy Marquardt-Thomas (BIS summer intern), Dave Hora and BISLT.
Carmen Giles & Craig Brown
  • BDPA “Comeback Chapter of the Year” - BDPA recognizes chapters across the country that are committed to developing the Information Technology talent pipeline from the “Classroom to the Boardroom.” BDPA Milwaukee Chapter was recognized as the “Comeback Chapter of the Year” for its accelerated growth and commitment to students, members, and corporate sponsors. Compared to 45 other chapters across the nation, BDPA Milwaukee has attracted the highest percent of new members in one year. And, for the first time in its history, the Milwaukee Chapter sponsored eight local high school students in this year’s National High School Computer Competition championship. Key contributors: Carmen Giles (Chapter President), Allen Baylor, Adrienne Williams, Melodi Warren Anderson and Matt Brahm (HSCC Instructor)
  • BDPA Dignitaries Panel Discussion on the topic “Executive Presence” - MillerCoors sponsored the IT Senior Management Forum Networking and BDPA Dignitaries Panel Reception. CIOs, CTOs, SVPs, VPs, and senior leaders from Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies, and educational institutions convened during the BDPA conference to learn from top executives on the key “leadership presence” attributes required for aspiring IT and business leaders in their respective careers. The CIO/EVP of Eli Lilly, Global CIO of Deloitte (moderator) and VP of Johnson & Johnson were some of the key members of this distinguished panel. Key contributors: Bill Eismont (MillerCoors Panelist), Carmen Giles and Ashton Clark
  • JW Marriott Indianapolis – Point of Distribution (POD) - MillerCoors was the exclusive adult beverage provider of beer/cider products throughout the entire conference at every BDPA corporate reception, post reception party, and the Black-Tie Awards Gala. As MillerCoors recently launched Redd’s Wicked Apple nationally, this brand was the #1 consumed FMB product throughout the National BDPA conference at the second largest JW Marriott in the nation. MillerCoors promoted Wicked Apple, Miller Fortune, Crispin Original, Smith & Forge, Redd’s Apple Ale, Redd’s Strawberry Ale, Summer Shandy, Blue Moon, Peroni, Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Batch 19. And, MillerCoors’ branded glassware was showcased at the receptions. Furthermore, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Summer Shandy, and Redd’s Apple Ale were also served on draft at the JW Marriott sports bar. Key Contributors: JW Marriott (Amy McNeely), Monarch Beverage Co. (Ashley Searer), MillerCoors (Ryan Tohill, Norm Fleming)
Thanks to the MillerCoors team that spent the week in Indy promoting our company. We are proud to be America’s Best Beer Company!"

This is an example of the multi-dimensional relationship that BDPA seeks to have with each of its corporate sponsors. We are convinced that BDPA provides a remarkable 'return on investment' for Corporate America. If you or your company would like to learn more about BDPA sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to us by email ( or phone, (301) 584-3135, ext. 108.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Los Angeles ($2,743)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is pleased to announce approval of the funding request made by BDPA Los Angeles in the amount of $2,743.00. This grant disbursement flows smoothly with our vision to achieve, through investment in education and technology, an informed minority community prepared to lead and leverage the knowledge revolution for the benefit of the community-at-large.

The funding request was made earlier this month by BDPA Los Angeles chapter president David Malonson. The funding will be used to cover expenses incurred within the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Specifically, the chapter needed the funds to ensure the full participation of three students and a chaperone at the 2014 BDPA Technology Conference held in Indianapolis, IN.

BETF appreciates the aggressive fundraising efforts by BDPA Los Angeles chapter over the past year. We are hopeful to see similar activity from the other 45 local BDPA chapters around the nation. The funding process is explained in more detail on the BETF website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Technology Expresso: 2014 National BDPA High School Computer Competition Champions (Washington DC)

National BDPA crowned five young people trained by our Washington DC chapter as the 2014 national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) champions! This was the third national HSCC championship for BDPA Washington DC and the first since 1990.

L-R: Naomi Matthews (coordinator), Lauren Battle, Zion Emanuel, Johnathan Legrant,
Alex Li, Michael Wood (chaperone). Not Pictured: Beleicia Bullock
Throughout the year, local chapters provide after-school or weekend computer camps for the youth in their communities. These computer camps are designed to teach our young people to code (program), design websites, create databases, make presentations and work as part of a team. Eventually, each local BDPA chapter selects a team of up to five students to represent its city in the annual HSCC championship. This year the HSCC students were competing for over $43,000 in college scholarships sponsored by Oracle and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF).

Listen to the interview of the remarkable BDPA Washington DC youngsters conducted by David Blackman and Jacqueline Sanders (Technology Expresso Cafe'):

Current Education Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Tech Expresso Cafe on BlogTalkRadio

BETF would like to double the amount of college scholarships that we give out next year via the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund. We need your help to do so. It's not an ice bucket. It's simply an appeal to our members and supporters to help us advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. All you need to do is make a secure online donation today. Doable?

Monday, August 25, 2014

BDPA Birthday Love for Ollie Morgan

Please join us in remembering Ollie Morgan on his natal day! Ollie served on the national BDPA board of directors for a number of years as BDPA Chicago chapter president, national president and immediate past president. At the time of his passing he was an author and photographer living out his dreams in New Mexico.

Ollie was a key player in the growth of corporate sponsorships. He created the concept known as 'Corporate Advisory Councils'. We now have active CACs in many of our larger and more successful chapters around the nation. Ollie was the first to understand the importance of developing a 'return on investment' value proposition. Ollie's vision turned into the record-setting corporate sales revenue coming into the BDPA Chicago and National BDPA treasury over the past decade.

Ollie was a prolific writer. His articles about BDPA regularly appeared in the National JOURNAL and the BDPA Chicago PROFESSIONAL newsletters.

I appreciate the powerful legacy of Ollie Morgan ... particularly in the 1993-1995 era. Ollie should be a member of the BDPA Hall of Fame. For now, we honor him here in cyberspace.

Please share your memories of Ollie and think a good thought of him on his date of birth!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Where Are They Now? 2005 Conference Honorary Chairs

I enjoyed my final year as national BDPA president. One of the highlights of the year was hosting the annual BDPA Technology Conference in Detroit MI. I started my BDPA career as a member of the BDPA Detroit chapter back in 1988 ... so it seemed fitting to end my presidential term with the conference being held in downtown Detroit.

Anyhow, one of the important elements of any conference is the honorary chairs. These are the people who lend credibility to the gathering. They reach into their Rolodex to call on their colleagues to attend and support the event. The 2005 BDPA Conference Honorary Chairs were:
  1. Anthony Abbattista (Vice President, Enterprise Technology Strategy & Planning, Allstate Insurance) - Mr. Abbattista joined Allstate in 2003 and was responsible for enterprise strategy, applications, information services, technical architecture and technology governance.
  2. Bob Blackwell (BDPA Outside Director) - Robert D. Blackwell, Sr. was chairman and CEO of Blackwell Consulting Services (BCS), a company he founded in 1992 after 25 years with IBM. BCS appeared on the Black Enterprises Top 100 multiple times. Bob was also the keynote speaker at the awards gala in 2005.
  3. Curvie Burton (ITSMF Chairperson) - In addition to being ITSMF chair, Curvie was a senior director for EDS. At EDS he led a global initiative focused on development and deployment of a consistent business model for account operations. Curvie served as president of BDPA Detroit chapter back in 1992-1993.
  4. Stephen Finnerty (Vice President, Worldwide IT Operations, Dell) - Steve Finnerty was responsible for managing Dell's global supply chain and manufacturing systems. It was thru his vision and support that our BDPA Austin chapter was founded.
  5. Peter Karmanos, Jr. (Chairman/CEO, Compuware Corporation) - Mr. Karmanos ensures that Compuware delivers value to its customers. How? Simple - through the hottest distributed products in the market, through outstanding professional services and through the most respected mainframe software in the world. Compuware invested more in BDPA over the past 30 years than any corporation in America.
  6. George Maier (Vice President, Business Operations, Hewlett-Packard) - Mr. Maier led a multidimensional organization responsible for global customer account support and worldwide business process development.
  7. Chris Scalet (Chief Information Officer, Merck & Company) - Mr. Scalet is responsible for worldwide information technology operations with one of the largest companies in America. He was keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies of our 2003 annual BDPA Technology Conference held in Philadelphia PA.
  8. Marlin Wilson-Threatt - (Deputy Chief Information Officer, City of Detroit) - Ms. Wilson-Threatt was responsible for developing consistent and progressive information technology policies, budget and staff management, project implementation, and ongoing support of the network, desktops, and business applications.
These eight leaders helped us have a tremendously successful national conference in 2005. I wonder if this post will bring them through cyberspace to leave a COMMENT below? If not, perhaps you can tell us where they are now? What say u?