Friday, August 28, 2015

National BDPA Elections (2016-2017)

National BDPA conducted its bi-annual elections earlier this month.  Here are election results for the organization's board of directors. The two-year terms of the newly elected board members will begin January 1, 2016. Election results for the National BDPA Board of Directors are as follows.
Mike Williams
National President
Coram Rimes
National Vice President, Finance

Pamela Sexton
National Vice President
John Malonson
Regional Vice President, West

Kirk Williams 
Regional Director, West
Felicia Jones
Regional Vice President, South

Sharnecia Williams
Regional Director, South

Curtis Jenkins
Regional Vice President, Northeast

Hayward West
Regional Director,Northeast

Michael Wulf
Regional Director, Midwest

William Smith
Regional Director, Midwest

These newly-elected officers will join with other soon-to-be appointed officers under the leadership of our incoming National BDPA President Mike Williams.  All of BDPA-Nation wishes the very best to each of these brothers and sisters for stepping up to serve as regional and national leaders for our organization. Our plan is to be the wind beneath their wings over the coming two years!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kirk Williams Re-elected as BDPA West Region Director (2016-2017)

Kirk Williams
Good evening BDPA Delegates and West Region Delegates. Thank you for allowing me to represent BDPA West as the Regional Director in 2014-2015. I would like to introduce myself and share with you why I am seeking reelection as the West Regional Director.

Name: Kirk Williams

  • CEO of KW3 Consulting
  • 18 years of management consulting experience. Expertise in program and project management, organizational development and change management.
  • Prior to KW3 Consulting, worked as a Senior Manager for Accenture PLC (formerly Andersen Consulting), leading large transformation projects in the banking and high technology industries.
BDPA Involvement:
  • Served as BDPA West Regional Director for the past two years
  • Served as VP, Strategy, for the BDPA Los Angeles chapter for three years
  • Participated in the BDPA Los Angeles’ high school program in 8-10th grade
What are my goals for the West region and what would be the first step I would take to achieving those goals?
  • KEY GOAL - Grow our presence in the West Region
    • Grow membership of Los Angeles chapter by 25%
    • Establish two new chapters – Seattle and Phoenix
    • Establish and grow presence / interest in San Diego and Denver
    • Partner with other organizations to grow presence and interest (e.g., NSBE)
  • Next Steps
    • Strengthen our Google Meetup model in San Diego and Denver to build interest and identify potential resources to help with our expansion efforts
    • Establish Google Meetup model in Seattle and Phoenix
It has been a pleasure serving as BDPA West Regional Director. I look forward to the potentially opportunity to continue to help drive our growth efforts in the BDPA West Region.

Thank you for your time, cooperation and support as current BDPA West Regional Director.

Kirk Williams, Director
BDPA West Region

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Scholar Turayo Tijani Follows Unexpected Path

Turayo Tijani will use the 2015 Johnson & Johnson Scholarship for BDPA Students to complete her studies of actuarial science at Morgan State University. We asked Turayo to share some insights on her story with us:

Turayo Tijani
My life thus far has taken many unexpected paths. I came to the United States in 2003 by pure chance. My grandmother was coming to visit her daughter, and she was illiterate in English so I was chosen to accompany her. My visitor’s visa expired in 2005, and I did not find out until the junior year of high school, around 2010. While in high school, I found a mentor in my soccer coach. She helped guide me in my future plans after graduating from high school.
I attended the closest post-secondary institution which was Prince George’s Community College, and the experience was a dream. I had the best professors a student could ask for; ones who did not teach from the text but used it only as a supplementary material. I was again lucky to meet another faculty member, the adviser to the multicultural Kaleidoscope club. She helped me find available scholarships for which I was eligible, and she provided a platform for me to speak to high school students about my experiences as an undocumented student in college. I graduated from Prince George’s Community College in 2014 and transferred to Morgan State University to study actuarial science, a major recommended by my high school soccer coach.

My full name is Motunrayo which in Yoruba means “I see joy again”. Despite the adversity of being an undocumented student, I have been able to find supportive people throughout my life. My high school mentor helped me pay for school by suggesting tutoring and hair braiding. I was already helping out my classmates with their advanced placement classes, so becoming a tutor was relatively easy. I also knew how to do hair, so the opportunity to earn money from it was welcomed. And when I received my work authorization, I was able to legally work at my community college as an experienced tutor.
Now at Morgan State University, my goal is to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in actuarial science complemented with some IT technical skills. I plan to take my first actuarial exam in October, and to prepare for a SQL certification course by the end of the year.

My involvement with BDPA is through the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship. Being selected to receive this scholarship means a great deal to me. It is one less item on my list of concerns, and it means that I will be able to focus solely on classes and on learning the material than on the payment date of my tuition. Getting this scholarship provides that cushion of one less worry, and it also serves as encouragement to further my studies.

Johnson & Johnson was recently named the BDPA Epsilon Award winner as the 'Best Company for Blacks in Technology' at our recent national conference. The consistent effort in which they provide funding for this scholarship is a powerful reason why the company was recognized. Our hope is that others will see what we are doing ... and take steps on an individual or corporate level to help us do more!

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 16, 2015

Kevin Rabinovich Uses Monsanto Scholarship to Study Architecture at Clemson University

Kevin Rabinovich
Kevin Rabinovich has been a long-time member of the BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. Kevin is a pianist, designer, developer, and director of TEDxYouth@ColumbiaSC. He's passionate about ideas, design, and coding. He founded TEDxYouth@ColumbiaSC, Columbia's by-youth, for-youth conference in 2011, which has attracted over 500 attendees and over 30 speakers from around the world in total.

Kevin has been playing piano since 5 years old. He was in the A. C. Flora High School jazz band and accompanies school chorus concerts and musicals. He led the FalconProgramming club at his high school, teaching club members about programming and game and product design. He also directs the school-wide Hour of Code, in which students are introduced to programming through a game created by FalconProgramming. Kevin was also part of CodeDay Columbia, a 24-hour hackathon for Columbia's high school and college students.
Kevin wrote, “My most memorable BDPA moment was when my team (Greater Columbia) got second place at the national High School Computer Competition championship. It was very rewarding, because all of our team’s hard work and preparation had finally paid off, and we were happy to beat the team who had previously beat so many others by showing them the power of teamwork and collaboration.”
Participating in BDPA has allowed him to gain access to a variety of scholarships, which are very relevant to his chosen field in technology. Kevin majors in architecture at Clemson University. His career goal is to become an MLG interaction designer.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

World Wide Technology Becomes a BDPA Silver Level Sponsor

World Wide Technology (WWT), the largest privately held minority business enterprise technology company in the United States, recently expanded its commitment as a Silver Level Sponsor to the 37th Annual BDPA Technology Conference & Career Fair, August 18-22 at the Washington Hilton in Washington DC. WWT’s commitment helps to support the BDPA High School Computer Competition, conference registration, event sponsorship and several other initiatives.

The WWT Advanced Technology Center is a collaborative ecosystem to design, build, educate, demonstrate and deploy innovative technology products and integrated architectural solutions for their customers, partners and employees around the globe. With more than $6 billion in annual revenue, WWT ranked #59 on the 2014 Forbes’ Largest Private Companies list and #28 on the 2015 Fortune ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list. WWT employs more than 3,000 people and operates over 2 million square feet of warehousing, distribution and integration space throughout the world.
Juanita Logan
"World Wide Technology is proud to support BDPA in its mission to advance careers from the classroom to the boardroom,” said Juanita Logan, WWT Senior Manager. “BDPA’s accomplishments and incredible growth is exceptional and worthy of esteemed recognition as it celebrates its 40 year anniversary. We look forward to continuing a strong partnership with BDPA and working together to drive technology innovation into the future," she added.
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has 40 chapters across the United States and is the largest African American Information Technology Association in the country. BDPA continues to fulfill its mission and work to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members.

To become a BDPA partner or sponsor like World Wide Technology or to learn more about the National BDPA Technology Conference, as well as sponsorship opportunities, please contact BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email at or (301) 584-3135 x108.

Friday, August 14, 2015

BDPA Names Top 2015 Honorary Co-Chairs

National BDPA recently announced Marc Di Francisco, President of Premier Event Management; Terry Halvorsen, Principal Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Information Management/ Information Technology and Information Assurance; Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, congressional representative of the District of Columbia; David L. Steward, President and Chief Executive Officer of World Wide Technology; Dr. E. Faye Williams, National President/CEO of the National Congress of Black Women; and Harry Wingo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce as their top Honorary Chairs at this year’s 37th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair, "Evolution of IT--Embracing the Digital Future," August 18-22, 2015 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has 40 chapters across the United States and is the largest African American Information Technology Association in the country. BDPA continues to fulfill its mission and work to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members.
Marc Di Francisco
  • Marc Di Francisco is the President of Premier Event Management (PEM), producers of the regional CIO Forum for the Society of Information Management (SIM). These executive CIO conferences provide the nation’s top senior IT executives and CIOs in each region with solutions to run their IT organizations efficiently. Premier Event Management produces knowledge driven Executive IT conferences in response to the ongoing needs of CIOs and Senior IT Practitioners. Premier is committed to producing these high-end executive conferences with honor and integrity, with an emphasis on peer-to-peer networking and the sharing of information and knowledge.
Terry Halvorsen
  • Terry Halvorsen is the Principal Advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Information Management/Information Technology and Information Assurance, as well as non-intelligence space systems, critical satellite communications, navigation, and timing programs, spectrum and telecommunications. Serving previously as the Acting Department of Defense Chief Information Officer, his long career includes being appointed as the Navy Chief Information Officer. Before serving as the Department of the Navy CIO, Mr. Halvorsen was the Deputy Commander of Navy Cyber Forces. He was responsible for providing leadership for over 16,000 military and civilian personnel and supporting over 300 ships and approximately 800,000 globally dispersed computer network users.
Eleanor H. Norton
  • Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her thirteenth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transits. She also serves on two committees: the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. She came to Congress as a national figure who had been a civil rights and feminist leader, tenured professor of law, and board member of at least three Fortune 500 companies. Congresswoman Norton has been named one of the 100 most important American women in one survey and one of the most powerful women in Washington in another. She simultaneously earned her law degree and a master’s degree in American Studies from Yale University. Yale Law School has awarded her the Citation of Merit for outstanding alumni. Additionally, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has awarded her the Wilbur Cross Medal for outstanding alumni, the highest award conferred on alumni. She is the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees.
David Steward
  • David L. Steward, Co-founder/President and Chief Executive Officer of World Wide Technology (WWT), a systems integration company, has been at the helm since July 1990. WWT provides technology and supply chain solutions with a focus on the commercial, government and telecom sectors. The company aids its customer base in the planning, procurement and deployment of IT products and solutions. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, WWT is the largest Cisco reseller to the U.S. federal government and holds several major purchasing contracts. WWT employs over 1,700 people and operates more than 2,000,000 square feet of warehousing, distribution and integration space in 21 facilities throughout the world. In 2011, WWT's total revenue was $4.1 billion, making it one of the largest African-American owned companies in the United States.
E. Faye Williams
  • Dr. E. Faye Williams is National President/CEO of the National Congress of Black Women and former Counsel to the U.S. Congress’ District of Columbia Sub-Committee on the Judiciary and Education. She is a former Professor of International Law at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Dr. Williams was the first African American to run a viable political campaign for the U.S. Congress in Louisiana – narrowly missing victory after a mysterious “computer breakdown”. She received nearly 100,000 votes and came within 6/10ths of 1% of being credited with winning a Congressional seat. Supporters often refer to her as “Louisiana’s Congresswoman in Exile”. Dr. Williams later worked briefly as White House Liaison to the U.S. Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration. She is an appointee by President Barack Obama to the Presidential Scholars Commission. She has authored three books and contributes weekly to Trice-Edney Wire Service.
Harry Wingo
  • Harry Wingo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, hails from the District of Columbia and has experience in technology and internet law policy, cybersecurity, telecom and cloud computing, and smart grid technology. Wingo is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Yale Law School and founded the District-based cybersecurity West River Solutions consulting firm. Wingo spent over six years as a Navy SEAL officer and worked in Google’s Washington office. He headed a program to hire veterans and also served as counsel to the U.S. Senate. Known for his outstanding organizational, political and leadership skills, Wingo strongly supports veteran hiring.
To learn more about the BDPA Annual National Technology Conference and Career Fair in Washington, D.C. as well as sponsorship opportunities, please contact BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email at or 301-584-3135 x108.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grant Recipient: BDPA Milwaukee ($1,011)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation proudly announces that it approved a $1,011 grant for BDPA Milwaukee chapter. The funding came primarily from an online fundraiser that BDPA Milwaukee chapter worked on the Crowdrise platform. The funds will be used for participation of students at the 2015 BDPA Technology Conference.

BDPA Milwaukee Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program trained 27 young people this year. The young people arrived at BDPA from a variety of Milwaukee area schools that included Rufus King, Washington, Kradwell, Brookfield Elementary, Brown Deer and many more. The young people were taught web development, programming and database technology as well as 21st-Century business skills from a dedicated cadre of instructors and advisers.

Back:  Gnanam Chokkalingam, Markyla Towns, Jayla Childress, Asia Canada, Kapil Chokkalingam
Front: Alvin Cherry, Alex Hudson, Xavier Jones, Vendah Jones, Isaiah Jones
Not Shown: Makyle McIntyre, Price Hunt
The SITES volunteers and instructors came from a number of corporate partners in the Milwaukee area: County of Milwaukee, GE Healthcare, Jason Industries, MillerCoors, Milwaukee Public Schools, Rockwell Automation, Tech Mahindra and many others.  BDPA Milwaukee continues to seek support from its members and sponsors. You can make a secure online donation to the BDPA Milwaukee SITES Scholarship Fund right away!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

BDPA Invites Press to 2015 National Technology Conference

Please join the 37th Annual National Technology BDPA Conference and Career Fair, August 18-22,  at the Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC.   BDPA is the oldest and largest African American non-profit national organization comprised of more than 2,500 Information Technology professionals and STEM college students.

Highlights of the conference will include:
  • Town Hall address by General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday, August 19 at 11am;
  • FREE Technology Career Fair with interviews on the spot on Friday, August 21 from noon-6pm & Saturday, August 22 from 10am-3pm. Career Fair is open to the public;
  • Youth Technology Camp sponsored by Best Buy;
  • Awards Gala Reception sponsored by Johnson & Johnson;
  • BDPA IT Golf Classic Tournament;
  • Hack-a-Thon with a $1,000 prize sponsored by Cigna and World Wide Technology;
  • Networking sessions, seminars, receptions and much more.
Advanced press registration is suggested. Registration will ensure press kit and credentials and access to the press lounge. On-site registration will also be available. Register at:

If you have any questions, please contact Brenda Parker at We look forward to your participation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Believe in Ohio: Let's Change the Headline

On the night of July 4, 2015 Cleveland’s Channel 5 ran a headline “5 Children Shot in Cleveland over Fourth of July”. Although this headline is specific to Cleveland, it could have happened in Cincinnati, Columbus or any other major city in Ohio. I believe that we have the opportunity to help change the headline and the future for children in urban areas.

By next March, I want the headline to read, “5 Cincinnati Public School Students Win over $45,000 in Scholarships and Awards. This is possible….

The 20th century, often called the “American Industrial Century”, was a time when Ohio and other states comprised the world’s preeminent economic force. The 21st century can be called the “Global Innovation Century. Today, facing unprecedented world competition, Ohio cannot reach its economic goals without contributions from many more Ohioans, including underserved, urban populations.

To build a more competitive, resilient and prosperous economy, Ohio must begin to intentionally connect African Americans and Latinos in urban areas to the state’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-driven, Innovation Economy. The Believe in Ohio program does just that.

Believe in Ohio provides urban students deep exposure to STEM disciplines, uniquely enhanced with entrepreneurship tools. To ensure broad participation in the program, Believe in Ohio has adopted Inclusive Competitiveness – an interdisciplinary framework to improve the performance of underrepresented Ohioans in the Innovation Economy – to help urban students become more successful STEM education competitors and economic contributors.

Young people in urban centers need to know that the true path to success is to fill the dual pipelines of productivity – becoming “intrapreneurial” employees and job creating entrepreneurs in next generation industries. These industries are largely in STEM areas that represent our state’s present and future economic promise.

That’s why Believe in Ohio created the Urban STEM Mentor Network . . . and we need your help this school year!

Believe in Ohio needs STEM and business professionals and entrepreneurs, like you, to show the way. In as little as 1 hour per month, you can support a motivated student along the path of this new century economy. Your task will be to simply coach a young person through a scripted process – the Roadmap to Future Jobs & Prosperity - to prepare them to compete for close to $1 million in scholarships and awards. Yes, this can be done in about 1 hour per month.

The Believe in Ohio Urban STEM Mentor Network Support Team is ready to assist you to be the one to make an impact on our urban youth.

Click on to get started today and help to rewrite the leading story.