Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reflections on 40th BDPA Anniversary * Norman Mays

Norman Mays
Guest Blogger: Norman Mays, Past National President
'My 40-Year Historical Overview'

From Alpha to Omega - beginning to end – is an age old way of telling a story or reflecting upon the life of someone or something. For my brief story, there is a definite Alpha and may there not be an Omega for ages to come.

My 40-year journey with BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates) began in 1975, when founders Mr. Earl A. Pace, Jr., and the late David Wimberley created BDPA Philadelphia Chapter. I heard about the organization from Mr. Wilbur McReynolds, a mutual friend of Earl Pace. At that time, I was a Captain in the US Army, stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland and assigned to the first official US Army organization dedicated to Computer Systems Security. After being invited to be a speaker at one of the Philadelphia Chapter’s monthly program meetings, and coming to understand the value of the mission statement, I joined BDPA in 1976, not realizing that I had begun one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

I have remained involved with BDPA for the past 39 of those 40 years because the original mission statement spoke to me.
To accumulate a pool of data processing knowledge and business experience with the intention of utilizing these resources to strengthen the expertise of the minority members of the data processing community; offer this expertise to minorities evaluating data processing for future career / business potential; and broaden the data processing knowledge of the minority community as a whole and participate in all activities directly related thereto.”

NOTE: The current mission statement has fewer words, but still embraces the original vision.
That was it for me. Throughout my 20 years of service in the US Army, my experiences have taught me that service and commitment are crucial keys to personal and organizational success.

Now, before I go any further, I want to give a standing ovation and strong kudos to those persons who over the years have volunteered their time, energy, talent, expertise, counsel and on occasion, a personal 'coin or two' while serving as: active members; committee chairpersons; chapter officers; outside directors; national officers; and any other positive support activity/position.

Some of the past National presidents
As our elected servant leaders (though not listed here), the lineup of National Presidents over the past 40 years deserve special praise. Like life, being a National BDPA President is not always an easy task, but from my experience, it is and certainly has been worth it. Life goes in cycles, sometimes up and sometimes down. But through it all, we have been blessed to have had some awesome, very talented 'Captains at the helm' of our BDPA ship. May that blessing continue.

My personal advice?
By keeping one’s eyes on the mission and one’s heart on the people it takes to make it happen, one will rarely, if ever, go wrong.
During the early days of my membership, I served as a National Vice President, two terms as National President, founded the Washington, D.C. Chapter, founded the Cleveland Chapter, and helped other chapters form to enter the BDPA family. As of this writing, I am still actively involved in BDPA Cleveland Chapter.

So here is a question: What is your commitment to the mission and vision of BDPA and how are you serving?

Throughout the years, BDPA and our members have been recognized for their accomplishments, via many media sources. One special media source has been the Diversity Careers in Engineering & Information Technology Magazine.

 I have selected two issues for you to review online.
  1. You can go to: www.diversitycareers.com. There you will see their last issue (December 2014/January 2015); however, their previous issues are available by selecting the link “Click here for Digital Edition”, then select the “Archives” tab near the upper right corner.
  2. My specific selections are: [“October/November 2010”, pages 90, 91 & 93 and100 & 101] -- highlights from our 2010 National Conference and Career Fair. 
  3.  The next selection is: [“October/ November 2012”, pages 93 to 96 and 98 & 99] – it highlights the work of Dr. Jesse Bemley and Kevin Robinson as part of the STEM portion of our high school student program.
  4. Additionally, the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), born out of BDPA, is highlighted on pages 100 & 101 of the same issue. They are comprised of senior level IT professionals whose role has been to mentor members seeking greater career responsibilities.
Dr. Jesse Bemley
This story would not be anywhere close to telling without recognizing a true, “in the trenches” supporter of BDPA. He is one who has implemented the Mission by creating and guiding the BDPA High School Student Computer Competition (HSCC) and the BDPA IT Showcase -- Dr. Jesse Bemley. His foresight, patience and commitment have been invaluable. Through the BDPA family, the lives he has touched and their personal and economic impacts are astronomical. Why wouldn’t a person join BDPA when they have friends like Jesse? (EDITORIAL NOTE: Honor Dr. Bemley with donation to the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund).

Dr. Demo Solaru
On another note of interest – in 2008, while listening to the Ambassador of Tanzania during his conference keynote speech, Dr. Demo Solaru (BDPA Cleveland) and I were inspired by the ambassadors request for BDPA to become more involved globally. Dr. Solaru and I represented BDPA on a trip to Tanzania, Africa to explore and promote a student-based IT educational concept we called 'The BDPA IT Corps'. It’s similar to the Peace Corps, except the design is with computer technology and our HSCC students. The concept was enthusiastically received by everyone to whom we spoke. Timing became the primary downside. The effects of the recession of 2008 reared its ugly head for our corporate sponsors, members, and ultimately for BDPA. Though the original form of the program has been downsized, the greater concept is still viable.

There is so much more that could be said about the past 40 years – the outstanding people, programs and events that have occurred in our local chapters is a story all by itself. The corporate support has been fantastic. Participation in the annual BDPA Career Fairs has been great. I love the coffee cups and pens! I understand the business case and many members have elevated their careers through BDPA. Kudos to each of you!

Earl Pace, Jr.
The value of the non-profit “wing” – our BDPA Education and Technology Foundation cannot be overlooked as a major growth factor for BDPA. One of our former National Presidents, Mr. Wayne Hicks, has been at the helm for many years. He is another of BDPA’s blessings.

In closing, I think it’s only fitting that we recognize our co-founder, Mr. Earl A. Pace, Jr. for all the work he has done over these past 40 years. Along with your blood, sweat and tears, BDPA has been elevated to the high levels of credibility. For example, Mr. Pace was inducted into the CompTIA Information Technology Hall of Fame in 2011, joining the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Please remember – WE – All of us are BDPA. So don’t hesitate to flash a warm smile and give a Big BDPA Family Hug as often as you can.

Much love to everyone. WOW! It’s been an awesome 40 years!!

Norman Mays, Past President
National BDPA

Monday, June 29, 2015

High School Computer Competition Team (Atlanta, 2015)

BDPA Atlanta uses its Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program to teach high school students how to create Web Applications using the following programming languages; HTML, CSS, SQL, MySQL, and PHP.

BDPA SITES students learn how to code. They also receive coaching regarding their personal and professional development. BDPA Atlanta volunteer works with students on team building, public speaking, time management, presentation skills and goal setting. The chapter seeks to equip, encourage and enlighten its students for current and future opportunities in the IT industry.

Maurice Weston, Majazz Allah, Madeline Veira, Evan Marable, Lloyd Alexander, Jamal Musa
Jonecia Trice, Akilah Weston, Suntheng Taing, Nicolas Badila, Austin Marable

Not in the Picture: Yash Shirsath, Zaria Brown, Jordan Thompson
BDPA Atlanta chapter has a strong legacy in the national championship having won the entire thing in 2012. The chapter now plans to take a new group of youngsters to Washington DC to compete the 30th annual National BDPA HSCC championship.

You can help BDPA Atlanta chapter with a secure online donation! The next step is yours. What say u?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

CIA Seeks Talent to Protect Our Nation at BDPA Career Fair

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agreed to seek out diverse technology talent at the BDPA Career Fair being held August 21-22, 2015 in Washington DC. This is the first time that CIA agreed to sponsor BDPA and we look forward to learning more about the company during the 37th annual BDPA Technology Conference.

Make a difference in your career. Consider the global employment opportunities at the CIA. They are looking for a diversity of people for the important job of keeping America safe.

We encourage other corporations and government agencies to reach out to BDPA by phone (301.584-3135) or email (corpsales@bdpa.org) if they would like to find ways to engage with Black technology professionals.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BDPA Youth Technology Camp Schedule (August 19-22, 2015)

Please contact Youth Technology Camp coordinator Jamesetta James on (301) 584-3135 if you have questions or wish to register your child to attend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

BDPA iRadio Show: June 23, 2015 (Chris Phillips, Pierre Campbell)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guest on the June 23rd show:

Chris Phillips - director, CompTIA - Now leading the CompTIA’s Cloud, Mobility, and one of their newest communities, Future Leaders, Chris Phillips is a 15-year veteran of IT channel sales, marketing and management, with more than 25 years of success in building sales and marketing programs for technology and retail industries. His career gives him great insight into the needs of both solution providers and vendors. Before joining CompTIA’s communities, he was a member of CompTIA’s channel training faculty. Previous to CompTIA, Phillips oversaw the channel development program for SYNNEX Corporation and he brought the first mobile app to the IT distribution space. 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. You can find CompTIA via Twitter: @CompTIA

Pierre Campbell - chief executive officer, The Leadership Network - Pierre Campbell comes to the table with Leadership Development experience in Operations Management, Recruiting and Sales. He shared his knowledge and enthusiasm as a featured speaker for the 2014 BDPA Technology Conference held last year in Indianapolis. A motivational speaker who specializes in leadership and personal development, Pierre is a dynamic development coach and mentor with demonstrated achievement. A natural “people person,” his exceptional communication style and leadership development techniques allow him to break through corporate cultural barriers to maximize the talents of each team member, exceed team expectations and explode myths about how to make a company profitable. Pierre can be found on Twitter - @PierreCamp

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Computer Sciences Corporations Will Visit Job Seekers at BDPA Career Fair

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) made a commitment to become part of the 2015 BDPA Career Fair being held August 21-22 in Washington DC. BDPA is very proud to have CSC on board as a corporate sponsor. Current and past presidents of BDPA local chapters in Detroit, Hartford and Washington DC have worked at CSC. BDPA believes that #AmazingWorksHere when you talk about CSC!

Whether your background leans toward business or technology consulting, you can make the most of your career at CSC. Helping its clients to optimize their enterprise is what CSC is all about about. This could include everything from application modernization, cloud computing and big data to supply chain management, mergers and more. They will help you to succeed with their team of experts and ongoing CSC training.

We encourage your employer to contact the BDPA Corporate Sales team about joining CSC with a booth at the upcoming career fair. Just give them a call (301.584-3135 x108) or send them an email (corpsales@bdpa.org) for additional info!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: 'Racism in IT Industry' (BDPA Atlanta)

Tia Buckham-White
Cross-posted by Derrick Brown
'Meet DS Brown - The Aspiring Critical Thinker'

People, the problem of the color line still persists. Race does matter. And what’s really sad about this statement is the fact that there is no such thing as race when considered along the color line. There is only one race, the human race. We are all without question human beings, deserving or respect and opportunity. Yet, because of racism, colorism, and all the other negative isms Race does matter, and how it affects us all is something we must consider critically.

BDPA Atlanta’s June monthly meeting was around the powerful topic of race, or rather racism, and how it affects our lives. Our discussion would be led by our very own Tia Buckham-White, BDPA Atlanta member and founder of Notre Internationale, The Self-Awareness Company.

She started our discussion by introducing us to the work of Dr. Robin Diangelo of THE GOOD MEN PROJECT. He has stated that the two most effective beliefs that prevent us (whites) from seeing racism as a system are that racists are bad people and that racism is conscious dislike.

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Grant Award: HCSC Corporate Community Involvement ($5,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to accept a $5,000 grant award from the Health Care Service Corporation Corporate Charitable Trust on behalf of BDPA Dallas chapter. The award is a direct result of the work that BDPA Dallas is doing with its annual Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

The grant award letter read in part:

Dear Community Partner,

In recognition of the important community work your organization provides, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas is pleased to provide your organization with the enclosed check of $5,000.

We appreciate the significant work being done by your organization and wish you continued success.

Ross Blackstone, senior manager
Integrated and Strategic Communications
Management Steering Committee Representative
BlueCross BlueShield of Texas

This is great news for BDPA Dallas chapter and its president, Chad White. We encourage all supporters of this local chapter to help ensure that we're able to give college scholarships to high-performing students via a secured online donation!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

This Week in BDPA (June 14-20, 2015)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.