Saturday, March 28, 2015

BDPA and CompTIA Announce a Strategic Alliance

With more than 2,000 members, 3,000 academic and training partners and tens of thousands of registered users spanning the entire information technology (IT) industry, CompTIA has become a leading voice for the technology ecosystem. They focus their initiatives on supporting the success of businesses across the full IT channel, from the largest vendors on one end to smaller businesses providing IT hardware, software and services on the other, as well as the IT professionals that make the industry run.
We empower IT companies and professionals worldwide with knowledge and resources to enhance their businesses and careers; after all, their success is our success,” said Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA. “Thanks to our collaboration with BDPA, we’re making our resources available to a new audience. Together, we can equip individuals and organizations with the right education, tools and training to make a positive impact in our industry.”
CompTIA has invested millions to develop a growing portfolio of resources in the areas of IT education, IT certification, IT advocacy and IT philanthropy to help professionals such as BDPA members to become more successful. With the CompTIA and BDPA partnership agreement, BDPA members will receive a 40% discount on certification courses, discounted CompTIA membership, presence on the CompTIA website and much more. BDPA will provide CompTIA with brand exposure of its products and services to BDPA members, logo presence on the BDPA website, features in BDPA newsletters, and a complimentary booth at the Annual BDPA Technology Conference & Career Fair to be held at the Washington DC Hilton, August 18-22, 2015.
I am honored to announce the strategic alliance of CompTIA Member Services and BDPA. This partnership with CompTIA will allow BDPA to continue to bring quality programs and training to its members through its local chapter communities,” said National BDPA President Pamela Mathews.
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the IT industry. And, with over 40 chapters across the United States, BDPA is the largest African American Information Technology Association in the country. The organization is a catalyst for professional growth and technical development for those in IT and continues to bridge the digital divide by providing training and career growth opportunities for its members. BDPA remains committed to excellence and providing a wide spectrum of resources to its members, corporate sponsors, businesses, educational institutions and the African American community.

To become a BDPA partner or sponsor like CompTIA or to learn more about BDPA’s National Conference and sponsorship opportunities, please contact BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email at or (301) 584-3135 x108.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Renews Its Platinum Level Sponsorship

The long-term investment into BDPA by Johnson & Johnson has been ongoing for well over a decade. It continues into 2015 as Johnson & Johnson renewed its Platinum Level corporate sponsorship of the 37th Annual BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC. Johnson & Johnson agreed to underwrite a variety of activities that include the BDPA IT Showcase, college scholarships, career fair, BDPA Job Board participation and an investment in three Northeast region chapters. Johnson & Johnson believes in the BDPA mission of advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry ‘from the classroom to the boardroom’.
"Johnson & Johnson continues to set the bar, both financially and collaboratively, in terms of partnership with BDPA. This is a wonderful way to start our 2015 campaign and 40 years of BDPA," said National BDPA president Pamela Mathews.
Globally recognized at home and abroad as an agent of goodwill for over a billion people, Johnson & Johnson has earned a reputation as a leader in providing innovative ideas as well as products and services -- one person at a time. They are the world’s largest and most diverse medical devices and diagnostics consumer health care company. BDPA has seen the commitment by Johnson & Johnson to diversity in its workplace, marketplace and its relationships with suppliers.

"Johnson & Johnson is excited to partner with BDPA in 2015," says Johnson & Johnson chief information officer Guillermo Ardon. "As we look to accelerate innovation to better serve the more than one billion people a day who rely on Johnson & Johnson’s products, we’re excited that our partnership with BDPA will help us strengthen our talent through diversity and encourage young minds to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members.

Please contact the BDPA corporate sales team by email ( or phone (301.584-3135, x108) if you want information on becoming a corporate sponsor.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Believe in Ohio Program to Establish Urban STEM Network

As part of its “All Hands on Deck” Inclusive Competitiveness strategy to reach all Ohio high school students, the Believe in Ohio (BiO) program of The Ohio Academy of Science today launched a statewide campaign to create the Urban STEM Mentor Network. Inclusive Competitiveness is an interdisciplinary framework of policies, strategies, practices and metrics to improve the performance of underrepresented Americans in the Innovation Economy.

The Urban STEM Mentor Network will support Ohio’s next generation of innovators to create new products, services and jobs through the application of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). BiO is the only statewide Ohio student education program to integrate entrepreneurship and innovation as pathways to job-creation.

Based on the principle of “Each One Teach One,” over the next six months, beginning in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, the BiO Urban STEM Mentor Network campaign will recruit mentors from African American, Hispanic and other STEM business professionals and entrepreneurs, educators and college and university students. The goal is to increase dramatically the number of mentors in Ohio’s urban areas for the 2015-2016 school year.
Dr. Julian Earls
If our state and country are going to continue to be prosperous, then all parts of our society need opportunities to become innovators and competitors in today’s Innovation Economy, including youth in Ohio’s urban areas,” said Dr. Julian M. Earls, Retired Director of NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and lifelong mentor and advocate for minority STEM education.

For that to happen, however, we need accomplished African Americans, Hispanics and others in STEM from all over Ohio to serve as inspirational role models and mentors for our urban youth,” continued Dr. Earls, who is also President of Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio, the collaborative partner with The Ohio Academy of Science of Ohio in the development of the Believe in Ohio program. “Students can be successful when they see people ‘who look like them’ who have made successes of themselves and are willing to help them.”

For the sake of our children, their children, and our state, it is critical that this initiative be successful. To that end, we have assembled an extraordinary leadership team of community leaders to galvanize support across the state,” added Dr. Earls.

Mr. Johnathan Holifield ( is overall statewide director and coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network and served as subject matter expert for the Ohio Board of Regents Subcommittee on Inclusive Competitiveness. Mr. Holifield helped develop the BiO program and is a nationally recognized leader of Inclusive Competitiveness. He was founding Executive Director of CincyTech in Cincinnati, former Vice President for Inclusive Competitiveness at NorTech in Cleveland, and a founding partner of Scale Up Partners, a national Inclusive Competitiveness consultancy.

Ms. Mary McWilliams ( is the Columbus Metro Inclusive Competitiveness Coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network. Ms. McWilliams is Electronics Engineer Team Leader for the Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense, and Chair-Elect of the Professional Executive Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Mr. Wayne Hicks ( is the Cincinnati Metro Inclusive Competitiveness Coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network. Mr. Hicks is Executive Director of the Black Data Processing Associate Education & Technology Foundation, and the owner of Hicks Enterprises consulting firm in Cincinnati.

Dr. Bilal Bomani ( is Cleveland Metro Inclusive Competiveness Coordinator for Believe in Ohio’s Urban STEM Mentor Network. Dr. Bomani is a Senior Research Scientist whose work has been featured in a TED talk.  He is Vice President of the National Technical Association – Cleveland Chapter that focuses on STEM opportunities in the Cleveland, Ohio area.

Click here to see the full bios and photos of these coordinators.
    Throughout my professional life, in the spirit of “Each One Teach One”, I have reached out at every opportunity to young people to encourage and mentor them to pursue careers in Science and Technology”, stated Dr. Earls. “Now, I am calling on my younger peers to do the same.”
    The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio developed the program entitled Believe In Ohio, A STEM Bridge to Ohio’s Innovation Economy of the Future, with support from The Ohio General Assembly and The Ohio Board of Regents. More information is available at

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    BDPA Announces Annual Awards Luncheon to Honor Members & Sponsors

    BDPA Cincinnati Chapter is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Awards Luncheon (THEME: 'Embracing the Digital Future') to be held at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber (3 E. 4th Street; Cincinnati 45202) on April 10, 2015. BDPA plans to recognize its outstanding volunteer members and corporate sponsors. The chapter is a professional organization that seeks to advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom via its programs and services.
    BDPA Cincinnati is a safe place to volunteer and sharpen corporate leadership skills”, said Awards Luncheon chairperson Janice Lee. “This luncheon lets us thank the volunteers who ‘do the work’ and the corporate sponsors who provide financial support and advice to the chapter’s board of directors.”
    The luncheon will honor five individuals and one corporation for the chapter’s highest honors. The following awards will be presented: Community Service Award, Corporate Sponsor of the Year, Director of the Year, Executive Officer of the Year, Member of the Year and Spirit Award
    The luncheon is a wonderful opportunity for us to express our appreciation to the corporate sponsors and hard working volunteers that make the BDPA Magic happen year over year,” said BDPA Cincinnati president Dalric Webb. “Through the financial, in-kind, and volunteering efforts of our sponsors and supporters, the chapter is able to make a difference each year in the lives of underserved students and individuals focused on STEM careers. We hope all who attend find this brief ceremony to be enjoyable and empowering.”
    Your attendance is requested to support the program. Tickets for the luncheon are $25.00. Proceeds from the banquet will underwrite scholarships and educational opportunities for area youth. For more information on the luncheon or BDPA Cincinnati chapter, call (513) 549-6991, email or log on to

    Sunday, March 8, 2015

    IT-oLogy Renews Bronze Level Sponsorship

    BDPA Greater Columbia chapter proudly announced the renewal of its Bronze-level sponsorship from IT-oLogy. IT-oLogy is a non profit collaboration of businesses, academic institutions and organizations dedicated to growing the IT talent pipeline, fostering economic development and advancing the IT profession. The organization works tirelessly to promote, teach and grow information technology with its programs and services.

    BDPA Greater Columbia receives in-kind facilities donation to conduct its annual computer camp impacting 8th-thru-12th graders as well as its monthly program meetings for IT professionals in South Carolina.
    Lonnie Emard
    "IT-oLogy values the partnership and alliance with BDPA because combining our efforts to solve our national IT talent shortage is creating a winning formula for employers, professionals, students and ultimately for the economic condition of the USA," says IT-oLogy president Lonnie Emard.
    IT-oLogy provided a college scholarship to BDPA student member Jerron Jamerson. Jerron is now an IT intern with Duke Energy as he completes work on his computer science degree from Winston-Salem State University. BDPA is very proud of its long-term partnership with IT-oLogy.

    Sunday, March 1, 2015

    Message from BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President

    Dalric Webb
    As we enter the last month of the first quarter in 2015, BDPA Cincinnati is still putting the pedal to the metal! In case you haven’t been keeping up with the postings on the chapter's Groupsite page, there has been a flurry of activity in the last month and coming up as well! The BDPA Computer Camp team has rounded the corner and is now going into week #11 of its schedule.

    The students have done EXCEPTIONALLY well in absorbing the teachings from BDPA volunteers. Many of the students have already completed interactive webpages. We are looking forward to our students competing in the upcoming BDPA Midwest Regional High School Computer Competition on June 20th. BDPA will use the regional competition to finalize on the members of the HSCC team that we plan to take to the 37th Annual BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC. We are counting on the support of family, friends, sponsors and volunteers as these students move on their journey 'from the classroom to the boardroom'.

    Rodney Swope
    Our 2nd Annual IT Recruiters Roundtable was held on one of the coldest nights of the year. However, the energy in the room heated everyone up! Our chapter's VP-Member Services, Karen Lipscomb, led the panel discussion focused on hiring tips, job opportunities and timely resources. Our March 2015 program meeting will feature Rodney Swope, Minority Business Accelerator director, who will share key insights on being an entrepreneur and connecting to the vibrant economic and innovation ecosystems within Cincinnati. We hope spend the evening with us to learn from Rodney, network with like-minded professionals and enjoy some light refreshments.

    BDPA Cincinnati encourages you to join us on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 6:30 pm for island-style dining and salsa dancing at Margaritaville in downtown Cincinnati. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind tropical experience at the Margaritaville Restaurant at the Horseshoe Casino. The fun really starts at 7:30 pm when BDPA member Malik Spencer gives us lessons on Salsa dancing! Malik has taught dance workshops all over town and we look forward to seeing the improved Salsa techniques of our guests on March 25th!

    Finally, we hope that all of our supporters, sponsors and volunteers will make plans to join us at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber for the 10th Annual BDPA Awards Luncheon being held on Friday, April 10, 2015 @ 11:30. We will recognize both the 'Member of the Year' and the 'Corporate Sponsor of the Year' at this celebration. Tickets are only $25.00 and you are encouraged to RSVP right away!

    2015 is off to a FANTASTIC start! Our chapter membership grew to more than 200 in February! We hope to continue that trend with the active engagement of our members. Remember, this is YOUR organization. What are you looking to get out of it? What are you putting into it to obtain those results? Are you engaged? Did you attend the last program meeting? The last social? The last computer camp session? The chapter is ACTIVE in our communities – we’d love to have you join us.

    Looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!

    Dalric Webb, President
    BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    BDPA Cincinnati Chapter Selects Its Future President - Na'Shawnda Peterson

    Na'Shawnda Peterson
    BDPA Cincinnati chapter, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals, announced a new member of its executive team. Na’Shawnda Peterson was named President-Elect and will become the chapter’s president in 2016-2017. Na’Shawnda is a business solutions manager at GE Aviation. She is responsible for maintaining IT infrastructure for a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines. Na’Shawnda attended both the College of Wooster and the University of Cincinnati.
    "I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful organization and use my expertise to support its mission. I look forward to a great year and making a difference in our community," says Na’Shawnda Peterson.
    In her new role, Na’Shawnda coordinates the activities of the chapter vice presidents with an emphasis on chapter operations, corporate sales and marketing. Also, she serves as the assistant vice-president of the finance business area.
    We are very excited to have Na'Shawnda join the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter Board of Directors”, said BDPA chapter president Dalric Webb. “Na'Shawnda brings over 15 years of technical experience and professionalism to the team. Her engagement is a key pillar in our long-term strategy to advance the careers of technology professionals from the classroom to the boardroom.
    BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the second-largest chapter in the nation. The chapter meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. In fact, the chapter meets next on Wednesday, March 18th to discuss ‘Innovation and Minority Entrepreneurs’ at Brown Mackie College (1011 Glendale Milford Road; Cincinnati OH 45215).

    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Message from BDPA Atlanta Chapter President

    The motto of BDPA is 'from the classroom to the boardroom'. BDPA Atlanta’s motto is 'Learn, Grow, and Achieve'. Our local motto supports the educational cycle that we apply to our members and anyone we encounter. It most especially applies to our kids, the young men and women who join our programs seeking to grow in technology.

    This past Saturday we again firmly committed ourselves to living up to our motto and forging a legacy of growth and innovation. BDPA Atlanta hosted it High School Computer Competition kickoff at Microsoft.  Microsoft is committed to supporting efforts at community uplift. They allowed us to use their meeting rooms. They supplied computers, surface tablets, and software that served as an introduction to computer programming.

    Even my daughter found it incredibly exciting and had her first introduction to the world of coding. I’m getting her started early. When the time is right she will definitely be in Black Girls Code, BDPA, and in completing the cycle by joining the Information Technology Senior Management Forum as she journeys to the boardroom ... if she doesn’t decide to be veterinarian. She loves animals.

    This weekend’s event was the result of a strong team, communication, engagement and the power I believe is truly inherent in us all when we come together to accomplish great things. And understand this is a GREAT thing. I firmly believe in building a network, leveraging a network, and creating an opportunity. Connections made during Saturday’s kickoff possible. Growing those relationships made it successful. Continuing to nurture these relationships will expand our efforts and positively impact the lives of more youth.

    BDPA Atlanta will continue its tradition of educating students in IT, and will broaden that mission by working with partners like Microsoft. This is exciting and necessary work. However we cannot do it alone. If you think you can help us engage our youth in technology then please, join us.

    The Aspiring Critical Thinker,
    D.S. Brown, president
    BDPA Atlanta

    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Grant Declination: Nissan Foundation (Los Angeles)

    BDPA Los Angeles chapter (president, David Malonson) and BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF)  learned that our $2,000 grant proposal to the Nissan Foundation has been turned down. The declination letter read as follows:

    Mr. Hicks,

    Thank you for submitting your grant application to Nissan Neighbors on behalf of BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. We regret that Nissan will be unable to fund your program in the fiscal 2014 grant year, which ends March 31, 2015. Nissan's educational funds are fully allocated to other programs in this fiscal year.

    BDPA Education and Technology Foundation provides a valuable service to the community. We wish you continued success in your endeavors.

    Thank you again for your interest in Nissan Neighbors.

    Nissan Neighbors

    BETF will continue to seek out funding opportunities for our west coast chapter. We encourage you to help by making a secure online donation to the BDPA Los Angeles Scholarship Fund.