Monday, December 31, 2007

Where Are They Now? Dr. Stephanie Parson

One of the great friends of BDPA over the years is Dr. Stephanie Parson. She was a charter member of the BDPA Rocky Mountain chapter when it was founded in April 1989. It is also worth noting that today is Stephanie's birthday!

I met Stephanie when she was an executive at Walt Disney World. She was a key player in the successful 2002 national BDPA conference held in Orlando. Stephanie helped us land Roger Berry, WDW Chief Information Officer as the keynote speaker for the Awards Gala that year.

Stephanie served in national leadership positions with BDPA from 2002 through 2005 as both one of our Outside Directors and as VP-Strategy & Planning. Her place in the BDPA Hall of Fame is based on the intense passion that she brings to vision and strategic planning for our organization. She taught us how to create a shared 3-year stategic direction and base on current year budgets on a detailed 1-year business plan. We still use that methodology in our strategic planning today.

On a professional level, she left WDW and started her own company ... Crowned Grace. She is very active with an organization of chief executive officers known as CEO Space. In fact, her involvement in CEO Space resulted in recent opportunity for her to become part of an investment opportunity in Costa Rica. Here is what she had to say about her visit to South America:
  • 4 hour drive from the airport to our cabins!
  • 1 hour drive each day to the plantations
  • 3 hour walk on 1 plantation (only able to see ~1/4th of this plantation)
  • 3 hour horseback ride on another plantation (able to see ~1/8th of this plantation) My horse knew that it had been years since I had been on a horse
  • 2 hours down (and up again) 500 steps to get to the waterfall
  • 2 hour hike in the rain forest (rained for about 1.5 hours --- HEAVY RAIN!)
  • Saw an active volcano Saw monkey's, creatures with long tails, beautiful birds, dogs, flowers and so much more Met wonderful people!
  • Created LONG TERM Strategic Alliances
  • Wet...Covered in Mud...Covered with Ant Bites...Broken fingernails...Broken toenails...don't even get me started on my hair :->
Who knew that wood was a profitable venture??? Who knew that replanting the rain forest would be such a profitable experience???"
You can see Stephanie and her partners in this 4-minute video from Costa Rica. Hmmm, I need to get that sista a BDPA Foundation T-Shirt that she can be wearing for her next YouTube video (smile).

Do any of our BETF-Blog Readers remember working with Stephanie? Care to share your rememberances with us?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Message from Cincinnati Chapter President

Brenda Gunn-Hogan shared the following message with members of the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. She gives a great review of accomplishments over the past two years for her chapter. Here is her message:

To: BDPA Members and Supporters

It has been a pleasure serving as your President for the last two years. I want to thank everyone for all the support and encouragement you have given me. We have been very successful this past year and I would like to share those successes and all the progress we have made together. To name a few:
  • Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship Program (SITES) High School Computer Camp
  • The Leadership Connection - BDPA Cincinnati's mentoring program
  • IT Fusion - Emerging Trends in Information Technology, a panel of senior IT experts discussed technical innovations occurring today and ended the year with another great IT Fusion presentation from Kenneth Frank
  • Our Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) was active again this year providing leadership and support
  • The celebration of our volunteers and sponsors - 7th Annual Awards Luncheon took place at the Bankers Club
  • Project Management Prep Class
  • Midwest Regional Computer Competition
  • BDPA Cincinnati Annual Cookout
  • At the BDPA National Conference students representing Cincinnati:
    • Participated in High School Computer Competition
    • Participated in Youth Conference
    • Placed first and second place respectively in the high school portion of the 2007 BDPA IT Showcase
  • During the BDPA National Conference the Cincinnati chapter:
    • Honored with the Professional Development award
    • Won 2nd place Chapter of the Year award
  • Annual Education Luncheon to honor the students that participated in the Computer program as well as the volunteers that make it happen

In closing, I would again like to thank all those who volunteered their time and the Board of Directors who worked long hours to make these advancements possible. I would hope that our renewed commitment would allow the same for the New Year as Janice Lee begins her reign as president! It is this commitment that keeps BDPA strong.

Best wishes for the New Year and always,
Brenda Gunn Hogan
2006-2007 President
BDPA Cincinnati

Please take a moment to share some love with Brenda and some words of encouragement and support with Janice!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

High Performance Computing 101 (Washington DC)

BDPA Washington DC chapter founded in May 1978 is the 6th largest chapter in America. Part of the success for this chapter is the strong program meetings that they hold each month. This month ... January 2008 ... is no exception. The chapter's program meeting will cover everything that you ever wanted to know about to know about high performance computing (HPC), the TeraGrid, “Internet2,” “Web 3.0,” and “next steps”. This is a program meeting that you will not want to miss if you are in the Washington DC area.

The guest speaker will be Dr. Jesse Bemley. He will explore HPC, or a more current and evolving definition of HPC referring to High Productivity Computing, and reflect the purpose and use models of existing and evolving architectures, the supporting ecosystem of software, middleware, storage, networking and tools behind our next generation of applications currently under development.

This is a profesional IT networking and catered chapter event. Online registration is requested. You are encouraged to invite co-workers and college students to this meeting. Here are the logistics:

Date: Thursday, January 24, 2008
When: 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Where: ASAE Conference Center
1575 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Do you have any questions about this topic that you want to ask in this forum?

Friday, December 28, 2007

BDPA IT Showcase Sponsored by Johnson-Johnson

One of the best things that I did while serving as a national BDPA officer was appointing Dr. Jesse Bemley to serve as the conference delivery manager for the BDPA IT Showcase.

My vision was twofold. First, I wanted to find a way for HSCC alumni to continue to participate in the annual BDPA technology conference after their high school careers ended.
Second, I wanted to inspire young African American technologists to continue their educational arc through the Ph.D program by providing role models ... successful African American Ph.Ds in the computer science, engineering and information technology fields.

Dr. Bemley took the BDPA IT Showcase from a one-day event to its current position of being a 3-day event, sponsored by Johnson-Johnson, at the 30th annual BDPA Technology conference in Atlanta, GA. IT Showcase activities are now a part of the Youth Technology Camp (YTC) and Adult Forums. The main IT Showcase occurs on Thursday.

The activities include presentations, both paper and poster, of advanced computing topics. Participants are high school and undergraduate students. The focus is leading edge technologies, hardware and software methodologies, research proofs of concepts encompassing, but not limited to, intelligent technologies (i.e., smart toys, machine learning, genetic algorithms), wearable computing, web technologies, high performance computing, computing curricula, computational science and so forth.

Demonstrations are incorporated in the presentations where applicable. Presentations/projects are judged in two categories, college (undergraduate) and high school. Three awards will be made in each category. Previous showcases have answered questions such as:
  • What is a smart toy?
  • Can machines actually learn?
  • Is there a difference between virtual humans and avatars?
  • How will high performance computing change IT as we know it?
  • Will genetic algorithms put more programmers out of work
  • Can neural networks actually be trained?
  • Why would anyone want to wear a computer?
  • Should I get an Internet phone?
  • Are those movie/video scenes actually computer-generated?
  • Can I actually make maps on my computer?

Click here for a copy of the 2008 IT Showcase Handbook.

Our hope is that all 49 BDPA chapters will identify HSCC alumni or college students to participate in this year's IT Showcase. We are pleased that Johnson-Johnson stepped up to become sponsor of the 5th annual BDPA IT Showcase taking place on August 6-8, 2008 in Atlanta, GA. Let's see if we can make this the largest IT Showcase in BDPA history!

Any thoughts or questions?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

SITES Program Orientation (Detroit)

There are a number of components of our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. One of those components is our High School Computer Competition (HSCC). HSCC is a national program that brings teams from all corners of the United States to compete nationally for the crown of National Champions.

BDPA Detroit chapter participated in this program for over 18 years resulting in 5 national championships and several regional championships. BDPA Detroit chapter averages a Top 5 placement in the 18+ years of participation at the national level.

The chapter is proud to announce 2008 support from their partners and sponsors --> Detroit Public School District, Compuware Corporation, EDS, The Detroit Lions Retired Players Charities, and the Detroit Youth Foundation. BDPA Detroit chapter seeks young adults interested in advancing their education and career using information technology. BDPA Detroit chapter provides Web Development training that is comparable to the same training to youngsters in Southeast Michigan ... training that they would not otherwise receive until they attend college.

The program is free! BDPA Detroit chapter needs your help. Can you spread the word to your students, friends and organizations in Southwest Michigan?

BDPA Detroit SITES Program Orientation

Date: Saturday, January 19, 2008
Time: 9:30 AM

Location: Compuware World Headquarters
1 Campus Martius, Downtown Detroit, MI
(Free Parking in the Compuware Parking Garage)

You can contact Glynis Talley ( or Tonji Zimmerman: ( for more information on this orientation session.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Internet 'Necessary' to Africa's Growth

Hat-tip to BDPA Philadelphia for letting us know about a professor whose work in spreading information technology in Africa has been awarded by the Internet Society who hit out at critics who say the continent should focus first on basics like water and sanitation. Nii Quaynor, professor of computer science at the University of Cape-Coast, Ghana, said affordable computing was "necessary" to Africa's development.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

BDPA Cleveland Election Results

BETF-Blog Readers, please join me in congratulating the 2008-2009 officers of the BDPA Cleveland chapter.

2008-2009 BDPA Cleveland Chapter Officers

These brothers have the challenge of maintaining the remarkable legacy of a chapter, founded in November 1980, that currently sits as the 8th largest chapter in America. Share some love in the comments section for Kenneth (shown in photo) and his incoming leadership team.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wayne's 2007 Blogging Year-In-Review

It has been a remarkable year for those of us in the afrosphere. The number of blogs included in the Black Blog Rankings (BBR) grew from 75 to over 600 in the course of a few months. We saw the creation of both the Afrosphere Bloggers Association and The AfroSpear.

Mainstream media become much more aware of our presence as evidenced by events in Jena LA, Paris TX and Atlanta GA. Many Black bloggers are regularly featured on weekly National Public Radio broadcasts. Heck, a Black blogger was recognized as one of the 25-most influential African Americans in the country by Essence magazine.

I encourage all BETF-Blog readers to check out the comprehensive 'Black blogging year-in-review' perspective provided by Yobachi earlier this month.

I was inspired by my sister (Kyra Hicks) to create two blogs in 2007. The Electronic Village (BBR #34) was brought to life in Jan 2007 and redesigned in Sep 2007. The BDPA Foundation Blog (BBR #342) came online in Aug 2007. Both blogs evolved during the course of the year. Generally, the mission for both blogs is to share information that will inform and uplift our readers about people of African descent. The BETF-Blog tasks itself with an added goal to raise funds for the education and technology programs of BDPA.

We track our popular posts throughout the year. However, it is tradition to reflect on the year just ended. As such, we share with you our list of the top ten posts for 2007:

  1. Black Blog Rankings - I got pissed when a blog listed the most influential bloggers in the world ... and not a single person of African descent made the list. I channeled my anger into the creation of the Black Blog Rankings. I publish updated rankings on the 1st day of each month. The inaugural publishing of the Top Ten Black Blogs took place in Sep 2007.
  2. Jena 6 - The saga of justice in Jena, LA is well-documented on my blog and elsewhere. Without doubt, the major reason that the Electronic Village rose into the top 5% of all Black blogs was our coverage of the Jena 6 situation. I didn't know it at the time, but our blog was one of a handful of Black blogs that helped fuel the fire resulting in over 20,000 marchers descending on Jena in early September. I summarized my thoughts originally in a post titled, Jena 6: An American Tragedy.
  3. HSCC Testimonials - Jena Six showed us high school kids going in a bad direction. I also wanted to show high schoolers going in the right direction. BETF wants to provide scholarships and funding for the high school computer competition (HSCC). As such, I share testimonials from HSCC students on my blog. One of the most powerful testimonials came from a youngster in Charlotte, NC.
  4. The AfroSpear - One of the biggest accomplishments for Black bloggers in 2007 was the creation of The AfroSpear. My post explaining the evolution of the AfroSpear is one that I hope to update in the future.
  5. Barack Obama - One of the first major stories in 2008 will be the results of the Iowa caucus. If Barack Obama wins that state caucus it will be one of the biggest stories around the world. For now, it is a dream and a prayer for many of us. My support for Barack Obama came after reading his first book. He is a remarkable brother ... and I truly believe that America needs him in the White House. I posted about Obama and his family a number of times during the year, however, I'm most proud of the fact that my blog provided live/streaming video of his appearance with Oprah Winfrey in South Carolina.
  6. Nooses - One of the negative outcomes of the Jena Six story was the rapid and visible rise in the number of hateful nooses placed in public places to intimidate African Americans. One of my most powerful posts this year gave a history of lynching in America.
  7. Tasered While Black - African American Political Pundit recently told me that our blog inspired him to create Tasered While Black (BBR #298). Back in March 2007, I shared my first post that talked about tasers.
  8. Only A Dad - My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary earlier this year. My father succombed to cancer later in the year. I shared his photo with my blog readers in a post dedicated to my Dad.
  9. Hot Ghetto Mess - Another time when the power of the blogosphere showed itself to me was during the battle with Black Entertainment Television over a degrading television show. At one point, I saw direct action taken by a BET advertiser as a result of our blogging efforts. My inital post on this effort was simply entitled, BET is a Hot Ghetto Mess.
  10. Don Imus - I was surprised by the speed in which this story circulated through the blogosphere. I joined with many other Black bloggers when I wrote that Imus should be fired.
Anyhow, these are my thoughts on the 2007 year-in-review.

Now, I am interested to learn what you think. After all, you have been a blog reader for some period of time.

What would you care to share about the past year. Were there other posts or themes that you thought should be in the Top Ten? Where do you want us to take this blog over the next year? What say u?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Amazon Kindle - Have You Tried It Yet?

I am in Los Angeles CA this week visiting with family. My mom and sister both have Amazon's new wireless Kindle. Here is what my sister had to say about it:
"Have you tried the new Amazon Kindle - the hand-size ebook reader? I can't believe it - I got one! Plan to use it extensively this weekend as I downloaded a mystery by a favorite author. Like many others, I'm not crazy about the size page forward and backwards tabs (shown in photo) because it's too easy to leap pages by accident. What I will really enjoy is the EASE of getting new books via Amazon - literally purchase online and the book appears on your device. No trying to learn how to transfer files from a computer. I was surprised to also have internet access via Kindle as well as ability to listen to music via MP3 files."
Do any of you have (or plan to get) this ebook reader?

Friday, December 21, 2007

2008-2009 BDPA Strategic Direction (Houston)

BDPA Houston chapter, founded in June 1995, is currently the 27th largest chapter in the nation. However, they plan to increase their membership total in the coming weeks and months with a strong monthly program meeting schedule. BDPA Houston is the first chapter to host the new national president, Denise Holland, as a guest speaker. She will be in Houston to talk about the 2008-2009 BDPA Strategic Direction that her executive committee is putting in place for the successful growth of BDPA.

Here are the logistics for the meeting:

Date: - Tuesday January 8, 2008
Time: - 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Place: - Houston Area Urban League
1301 Texas Street (Downtown Houston at the corner of Caroline)

This should be an excellent opportunity for BDPA stakeholders to speak directly with the highest ranking member of the BDPA team.

We realize that not all BETF-Blog Readers cannot be in Houston on January 8th. As such, we encourage you to ask questions right here. What would you ask president Denise Holland if you had the opportunity?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Gimme Consumer (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter, founded in December 1989, is now our fifth largest chapter in the country. The chapter hosts outstanding monthly program meetings on a variety of exciting information technology topics designed for your professional development.

The January 2007 program meeting is entitled, 'The Gimme Consumer'. The guest presenter is Michael Wilson, Chief Technology Officer for Bridge Worldwide, an innovative, interactive leading relationship marketing agency for national and global brands headquartered in Cincinnati. Bridge Worldwide was named one of the Top 25 Places to Work in America (2006 & 2007)!

'The Gimme Consumer' presentation by Michael will address today’s consumer and focus on trends that are emerging based on new technologies available such as Internet, Facebook, Google and Tivo among others.

Here are the logistics for the January 2008 program meeting:

When: Thursday January 17, 2008
Networking: 6 pm - 6:30 pm (bring your business cards!)
Presentation begins at 6:30 pm

Where: The offices of ResolvIT
895 Central Avenue – 1st Floor Conference room – Cinti, OH 45202

Who: Those in technology as well as friends and supporters of these organizations.

Cost: This event is free, however we ask that you RSVP

You can RSVP for this event by phone (513.956-0636) or email (

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Technology is the Root of All Evil

I came across these thoughts from Philip Emeagwali that I thought would be of interest to you. Nigerian-born Philip Emeagwali won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, the Nobel Prize of supercomputing. He has been called "a father of the Internet" by CNN and TIME and voted history's greatest scientist of African descent by New African.

According to history books, gun-wielding European slave traders kidnapped one in five Africans and transported them across the oceans to the Americas. A less visible, but no means less drastic technological tool of suppression, is the compass, a device used worldwide for navigation. In the same way that Britain used its maritime knowledge and the US harnessed its intellectual capital to rule the world, the early slave traders used the simple compass to wreak havoc on civilization.

It is a sad fact that the innocuous navigation tool originated during and was fuelled by the Atlantic slave trade. The technological development of the innocent compass, invented in China for religious divination 2,000 years ago, allowed Africa to be ravaged in unspeakable ways.

It was the compass that created the Atlantic slave trade, enabling the early colonial navigators — and their blood merchants — to chart an accurate course from Gorée Island, off the coast of Senegal, to Brazil; paving the way for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which began on August 8, 1444. This trade in human merchandise covered four continents and lasted four centuries, and serves as a shameful beacon for the depravity of human greed and conquest.

The compass became the de facto weapon of mass destruction, which led to the de-capitalization and decapitation of Africa. It created the African Diaspora with one in five people taken out of the motherland. It was the largest and most brutal displacement of human beings in human history.

Today, it is hard to imagine that such destruction and the wholesale abduction of a race could result from a tool as common as the compass. Yet, as a people who survived the slave trade, we must draw our strength from lessons learned from the past and draw our energy from the power of the future. And the power of the future lies in "controlling" technology and harnessing it for the benefit of mankind, not for his destruction.

The people of Africa must take note that the Internet is our modern- day compass, and within it resides our own clay of wisdom. As we prepare for our great journey into the cyberspace of the future, with its technological promise — its clay of wisdom — we must understand the strategic value and potential of this all-important tool. Our image of the future inspires the present and the present serves to create the future.

Africa's lack of substantial technological knowledge of the Internet and its potential may lead it to be assaulted or manipulated in unexpected ways, just as it was devastated generations ago for the lack of a simple compass. We didn't recognize the power of the compass then; the danger is that we don't recognize the power of technology today. While Africa merely contemplates the future, the West, the quickest off the mark to wield technology's weapons, actually makes the future.

This fact, and how the power of technology can be wielded against the poor, was brought home to me clearly when I received the following email recently:
"About a year ago, I hired a developer in Africa to do my job. I am paying him $12,000 a year to do my job, for which I am paid $67,000 a year," the sender wrote. "He's happy to have the work and I'm happy that I have to work only 90 minutes a day. Now I'm considering getting a second job and doing the same thing."
Technology in the hands of others has been used to exploit Africa for centuries. But now it's time for Africa to grasp technology and finally embrace the modern age's clay of wisdom and advancement. Africa has the chance to show the world how technology can be used for good, not evil. And the people of Africa can use today's technology, not to mimic their own exploitation, but to right the wrongs of the past and empower themselves with the same tool that has been used to oppress them in the past. Africa can provide a shining example for the world in using technology for its own upliftment and the benefit of mankind.

This time, it is our choice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

High School Computer Training (Los Angeles)

BDPA Los Angeles Chapter invites all parents, students (grades 9-11), and volunteers to participate in their annual High School Computer Training Program. Prior programming knowledge is not required to attend. This program is a subset of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program that takes place in all 49 chapters around the country.

During the program, students will learn Computer Science 101, Software and Network fundamentals, Dynamic Web Page Design (PHP), Relational Database Management (SQL, MySQL), Team Collaboration, Team Diversity, Time Management, and how to craft Effective Presentations. Five hard-working students will be invited to an all-expense paid trip to Atlanta GA to compete in the national High School Computer Competition with an opportunity to win thousands of dollars in college scholarship money. Click here, here and here to see a testimonial from students who participated in this event in the past.

The Parent-Student Orientation will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2008 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Tom Bradley Youth and Family Center (5213 Pico Blvd; LA 90019). Please contact John Malonson III by phone (310.430-2093) or email ( to RSVP your child or to learn more about the program.

Finally, if you cannot attend ... but, you would like to support this effort ... please click here to pledge a donation to the Jesse Bemley Scholarship fund!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nii Narku Quaynor Wins Postel Award

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation congratulates Dr Nii Narku Quaynor, Chief Executive Officer of Network Computer Systems (NCS), for being the first African to receive the John B Postel Award at the just-ended Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr Quaynor is one of the most prominent and distinguished Ghanaian icons and achievers known for his selfless, exceptional and professional dedication towards development in the area of ICT in Ghana. Dr Nii Narku Quaynor is a Fellow of the Ghana National Honorary Awards of Fame. His efforts resulted in great strides not only in the technical community but in the other disciplines as well. It is important to underscore his great work as one of the pioneers also of the building of institutions for the knowledge economy in Africa such as AfriNIC.

Do you think that BDPA can connect with IT professionals such as Dr. Quaynor in the coming months?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Barack Obama Uses LinkedIn Network ... Do You?

Many of you know that I actively use the LinkedIn Network. I'm not alone.

Barack Obama is the first presidential candidate to use LinkedIn as part of his campaign strategy. He recently asked a question on LinkedIn about entrepreneurs and small business owners. His question generated 1,496 responses!

The Obama organization encourages folks using LinkedIn Network to his campaign link to our profile. I appreciate the brother for using new technology resources to reach out to tech-savvy citizens.

In fact, Barack Obama's use of LinkedIn Network Groups encouraged BDPA to create a similiar Group as well. Are you a member of the LinkedIn Network yet?

Election Results * BDPA Charlotte (2008-2009)

BDPA Charlotte chapter, founded in September 1998, is the 10th largest chapter in the country. The chapter recently concluded elections bringing in vibrant new leaders for 2008-2009. Please join us in congratulating the new officers:
  • President - Charles Moore (Wachovia)
  • President-Elect - Julius Clark (Wachovia)
  • Immediate Past President - Kimberly Green (ADKG Worldwide Holdings)
  • VP-Finance - Lawrence Belton (Wachovia)
BETF-Blog Readers, can you name any of the prior chapter presidents in the 10-year history of the BDPA Charlotte chapter?

Friday, December 14, 2007

BETF & Greater Columbia Chapter Receive $1,000 Volunteer Grant

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation, in conjunction with Greater Columbia chapter, is proud to announce receipt of $1,000 grant from IBM Volunteer Grant program. This funding will be used to support the youth education program for Greater Columbia chapter in 2008.

The volunteer earning this $1,000 grant is Paulette Johnson-Davis. Kudos to Paulette, BDPA Greater Columbia chapter president, for leading the effort to get this funding!

Does your company have a volunteer grant program?

Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet (New Jersey)

BDPA New Jersey chapter, founded September 1980, is the 13th largest chapter in the country. Remarkable accomplishments have taken place within BDPA New Jersey under the leadership of chapter president Don Brown this year. BDPA wants to recognize those members, sponsors, students and entrepreneurs that have volunteered their time, talent and energy to develop IT professionals in the community from the 'classroom to the boardroom'.

BETF-Blog Readers are invited to celebrate at the BDPA New Jersey Awards and Recognition Banquet. Here are the logistics:

Date: Thursday, January 31, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm - Cocktail Hour
7:00 pm - Banquet

Location: The Galloping Hill Inn
325 Chestnut Street; Union NJ 07083

Click here to purchase tickets. Your admission includes hor d-oeuvres at the reception as well as a gourmet meal at the banquet. A cash bar will be available. Corporate attire is suggested.

Do we have any folks from New Jersey reading our blog? If so, please POST A COMMENT with your thoughts on BDPA!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bemley Scholar Heading to Brown University

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation received paperwork from one of our prolific HSCC alumni this week. As such, we are now processing a Bemley Scholarship payment for Kathryn Wiseman (Southern Minnesota, HSCC Class of 2004-2005).

Kathryn was on team that took home the silver medal from the 2004 national high school competition held in Dallas, TX. Even more remarkable, she came back the next year as part of a team of young high schoolers that became national champions at the competition held in Detroit, MI.

Kathryn is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineerng from Brown University (Providence, RI). She earned a total of $4,000 from the Bemley Scholarship fund.

Kathryn provided us with her testimonial earlier this year. Her words are powerful. I hope you see how important it is for us to increase the number of Bemley Scholarships next year. We can only do that with your help! Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Bemley Scholarship Fund in recognition of the work put in by these remarkable young people.

Are you from Minnesota? Are you proud of this remarkable student? If so, go ahead and use the POST A COMMENT link below to wish Kathryn well as she move on to college. Let's make the BETF-Blog an interactive experience!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Technology Advice & Tutorials

Faulkner Information Services has been a respected provider of IT and communications information services for some 40 years. Their subscribers include business planners, consultants, service providers, IT staff, libraries, technology providers, and government agencies. It would be nice to see more BDPA members taking advantage of this service.

You will be able to access the IT Advisory, Topics & Tutorials Section to visit the comprehensive, web-based library contains more than 1,200 expertly written reports that examine the critical issues, trends, market conditions, products, services, and vendors driving the IT and communications industries.

The information is organized by key subject areas including wireless communications, broadband, mobile business, electronic commerce, IT asset management, information security, content management, enterprise data networking, e-government, application development, web site management, converging communications, telecom and global network services, and Internet strategies.

The library includes a broad range of reports including technology tutorials, marketplace trends, implementation guides, product and service profiles, standards reports, comparison and selection guides, and more. BDPA exists to advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. This digital library is one of the ways that BDPA seeks to help its members.

After you visit the digital library, please come back here and POST A COMMENT sharing your thoughts. Your insights will help others. Doable?

Chapter Prez Excited About Future of BDPA in Philadelphia

Our blog is based on premise that if you know more about BDPA programs and services you will be more likely to donate to our foundation.

Will you? Time will tell. Time will also tell us if the BDPA Philadelphia chapter can defend their 'Chapter of the Year' award next year. They had a great time at the 2nd annual awards banquet held in their town earlier this month. You can see a number of the photos from the banquet in our Flickr photo album.

BDPA Philadelphia chapter recently completed elections. The incoming president is Monique Berry (Vanguard). She shares her thoughts on the future direction of the chapter:

'I am excited to have this opportunity. Throughout my career, I've volunteered in many capacities professionally and personally. I never visualized having an opportunity to serve as President for BDPA Philadelphia, an organization that has been so central to my career. I hope that I can make a real, though small difference for the future.

I want to manage the organization well and serve as an ambassador with a strong focus on the image of Blacks in technology and increase the number of technology professionals associated with BDPA. I will encourage our professional members to volunteer with us to develop our high school member skills so they are better prepared to enter college; groom our college student members to enter the workforce and contribute to society; and finally to coach our members to take charge of their careers through lifelong learning.

Towards that end, I’m pleased to announce that Curtis Jenkins has agreed to focus on developing a Corporate Advisory Council for the Philadelphia Chapter. President-elect Hayward West will spearhead an effort to revitalize our SITES programs. And I am confident that all of the Philadelphia chapter officers will continue to work toward strengthening our organization.'

Monique Berry, President (2008-2009)
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter
Please POST A COMMENT at the bottom of this post if you would like to encourage Monique and her chapter! We would also love to hear from other chapters about the reigning 'BDPA Chapter of the Year'. Will the award stay in Philadelphia again next year? Now is a good time to sell those wolf tickets!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Annual Awards & Christmas Celebration (Los Angeles)

Andree Justin (shown in photo with national president Gina Billings) is the president of our BDPA Los Angeles chapter. Her chapter is currently the 16th largest chapter in the nation.

She wrote,

"On behalf of BDPA Los Angeles Chapter and Board, we wish a happy holiday season for you and your families. Attached is our December newsletter with great information about our newly formed Corporate Advisory Council and our High School Computer Competition Program kick-off. Please note that our December Program Meeting, Wednesday, December 19, 2007, will be a Christmas/Awards Meeting at Marie Callender's Grill located in the Los Angeles Howard Hughes Center. Hope you can make it."
There is a picture of your friendly BETF-Blog host on the 2nd page of the chapter's newsletter. It serves as another reminder to me that I need to drop about 60 pounds! Anyhow, I hope that those BETF-Blog Readers in Southern California will make a point of attending the December 19th program meeting.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Message from Atlanta Chapter President

I recently was talking about the future of BDPA with Teresa Williams (2nd from left, pictured with other members of Atlanta chapter board of directors), president of BDPA Atlanta chapter. Her excitement for the future of her chapter shows clearly in her comments below:

"I am just too excited about our 2008 HSCC Team that I have to tell someone!

After we had to withdraw this year, I vowed to continue working it and we have been blessed. First, Georgia Perimeter College approved the use of their classroom, which is fantastic because it has all the latest hardware & software, 24 workstations, and it's free! Then we were able to snag Wes Williams, a HSCC Alumni from Memphis, who is attending college in Atlanta as our HSCC Coordinator. He's young, passionate about BDPA & HSCC, & has a proven track record of winning. Wes has promised us a winning team and we intend to make our presence known come August!

After that we shared our program launch letter with the members and asked them to bring their teenagers and to spread the word. Wayne, we had such a tremendous response that we had to stop taking students on November 12th! This past Saturday, we had 38 students and their parents show up. These kids came from High Schools across the city. As a result of this we have started the beginnings of a partnership with Frederick Douglass High School, where I was asked to sit on their Technology Advisory board. In reverse the head of their Technology program has agreed to join our chapter. She's a young energetic teacher who personally transported four of the students on Saturday.

Next on my agenda is to work on funding for these kids. We have a funding goal of $10K... be on the lookout for some surprising things soon!"

Teresa Williams, president
BDPA Atlanta Chapter
, Teresa mentions Wes Williams (shown in the photo to the left) in her message above. He is a brother with an amazing history in BDPA. He competed for a number of years on the 4-time national HSCC championship teams from Memphis. He coached the BDPA Chattanooga HSCC team to the bronze medal in the 2007 national competition held in Washington DC. Now, the young brother is going to try to win scholarships for the team in Atlanta. Wes Williams is a tremendous young brother and he will be a blessing for the young people participating in the youth education programs down in Atlanta.

Do we have similar excitement in other BDPA chapters around the country? Do we have any Atlanta chapter members who want to share their thoughts on Teresa's message above?

Election Results * BDPA Philadelphia (2008-2009)

BETF-Blog Readers join the rest of BDPA nation in congratulating the winners of the BDPA Philadelphia chapter elections. The 2008-2009 elected officers are:

  • President: Monique Berry (Vanguard Group)
  • President-Elect: Hayward West (Deloitte)
  • Immediate Past President: Curtis Jenkins (Rohm Haas)
  • VP-Finance: Cedric Edwards (CIGNA)
Monique and Curtis are in the photo. We hope that Monique, Hayward, Curtis and Cedric will take a moment to POST A COMMENT to let us know what they're thinking about 2008 plans for Philadelphia chapter.

In the meantime, why don't you share some love in the COMMENTS area for these four outstanding BDPA leaders.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Register Now for the BDPA Conference

We shared information about the 2008 National BDPA Technology Conference taking place on August 6-9, 2008 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel; 265 Peachtree Street NE; Atlanta, GA 30303. You can call (404) 577-1234 to make your hotel reservations ... make sure you ask for the special BDPA rate of $129/night for rooms while they last.

Many of you know that you will be attending. Therefore, we encourage you to take advantage of the early-bird conference registration rate of $250/members and $350/future members.

Click here to register immediately!

BDPA Reflections: Dr. Will Bundy

I have been a member of BDPA for almost 20 years. I've served on the National BDPA Board of Directors for most of that time. Recently, I asked some of the current and former leaders within BDPA to reflect on their experience.

Dr. Will Bundy is the first to accept my offer. I met Dr. Bundy in 2002 at the national conference held in Orlando, FL. He is a proven warrior having served our nation as a submariner in the US Navy. Dr. Bundy opened my vision of BDPA corporate relations when he negotiated on behalf of FleetBoston Financial the first Platinum-level corporate sponsorship in BDPA's history.

Here are BDPA reflections from Dr. Will Bundy, who concludes four years of service as a National BDPA Outside Director at the end of this month.
"Since becoming associated with BDPA as an executive at FleetBoston Financial and continuing as a member of the National Executive Committee, I believe BDPA has continued to evolve into the premier professional organization for African American Information Technology professionals in the United States.

As the FleetBoston Financial leader responsible for affiliating with BDPA, it seemed the prospects for embracing the organization would be limited. There was apathy toward affiliating with BDPA among members of the FleetBoston Financial Operations and Technology management team along with a general lack of appreciation for the advantages of a professional development organization that would promote advancement of African American associates. Over time, the number of FleetBoston BDPA members grew along with the establishment or revitalization of chapters in Albany, New York; New Jersey; Rhode Island and Boston. BDPA members in these FleetBoston Financial-based chapters embraced the idea of networking, mentorship and professional development offered by BDPA.

It was my hope that BDPA would evolve into a truly effective networking and professional development organization that would assist its members in overcoming either outright bias or undercurrents of race-based bias in their work environments through effective networking, mentoring and leadership development. Those ambitions for BDPA have been advanced over the last four years with concepts that I had a hand in promoting. These concepts included the BDPA IT Institute, BDPA Epsilon Corporate and Individual Awards, and a regional representation approach that would improve national BDPA governance.

The BDPA Institute was conceived as a substitute for technologist-to-executive bridge programs that are offered to majority corporate associates on a fairly routine basis. The number of African Americans selected for fast-track advancement programs in corporate America is dismal. It was hoped that the BDPA Institute would serve to provide executive development education to BDPA members who wanted to advance to the boardroom. The concept called for offering certification in progressive leadership and executive development levels that would be recognized by corporate managers and leaders. The institute has begun to produce graduates at the Associate, Professional and Master IT levels with aspirations of developing a pool of BDPA members who are ready for advancement to leadership positions.

Epsilon Award winners have been showcased at the last three BDPA national conferences. Working with past national president IBM, Lockheed Martin and Allstate Insurance with a number of companies benefiting from recognition as companies that actively support development of Black IT professionals.

Epsilon Awards for Individuals designed to recognize both professional and career development were established after I realized that BDPA did not promote its members in a public way. We knew we had members who had made significant positive impact, but there was no formal program to recognize our brightest and rising stars. The Epsilon Individual Awards program continues to grow and should become the crowning event during the annual national conference. While we applaud the nascent capabilities of the high school competition winners it is vitally important that BDPA should extol the accomplishments of its leading professionals.

It has been my hope to see the national organization gain a level of stability, continuity, and successor development in its leadership. A model that seemed best for BDPA is the regional representation model where leaders from national regions become part of a national governing board for BDPA. Committees with elected chairs would handle key events and oversee member business areas with a national executive director and small staff empowered to manage the day-to-day business of the association. It seemed better to form a more collaborative and representative governance organization that would be inclusive rather than rely on over-burdened member vice presidents akin to a part-time corporate model. That effort is under consideration and I hope that it moves forward.

Finally, it has always been my hope that BDPA would grow and become a professional association capable of assisting its members with career advancement and one that would capture the support of senior leaders in major IT-based organizations. Organizations like NNOA with the Sea Services of the Armed Forces, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Black MBA Association set the standard that I had hoped BDPA would ultimately emulate. I believe BDPA is on its way to advancing the cause and development of Black IT professionals in their march from the classroom-to-the-boardroom."

William F. Bundy, Ph.D
Bristol, RI, December 2007

Dr. Bundy earned his place in the BDPA Hall of Fame many years ago. Please POST A COMMENT to express your thoughts on Will's reflections ... and at a minimum, take a moment to thank the brother for his volunteer service to our organization at such a high level for such a long time.

BETF-Blog Readers, what say u?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

25,000 High School Drop-Outs in Chicago ... What is Our Answer?

As such, we admire what Milt Haynes is doing. Milt is a past national BDPA president who is working to turn things around for 25,000 African American high school students in Chicago-land area that are dropping out of high school prior to graduation. Take a moment to check out Milt's video message.

BETF-Blog Readers, what say u?

Friday, December 7, 2007

BDPA & ITSMF Create IT Fusion Leadership Seminar Series (Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati and Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) are collaborating to bring another IT Fusion Event to the Cincinnati USA region! BETF-Blog readers are encouraged to participate in this IT Fusion event to welcome Kenneth Frank (Senior Vice President, Alcatel Lucent) as he shares insight on his journey from the Classroom to the Boardroom.

These IT Fusion events provide a forum where mid-career IT professionals can network with peers, senior IT leaders, and business leaders from various industries in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

ITSMF provides a supportive network for enhancing the leadership skills of the IT executives who make up our membership as well as an outstanding mentoring program that helps dedicated mid-level managers grow into executive roles. BDPA is a member-focused technology organization that remains committed to excellence and providing a wide spectrum of resources to its stakeholders. The organization is a catalyst for professional growth and technical development for those in the IT industry.

Here are the logistics for this upcoming IT Fusion leadership seminar:
  • When: - Monday December 10, 2007; Networking/Reception: 6 pm - 6:40 pm (Hors d'oeuvres, drawings - bring your business cards!); Program begins at 6:45 pm
  • Where: - Marriott Kingsgate Conference Center (Click here for directions)
  • Who: - Those in technology as well as friends and supporters of BDPA or ITSMF
  • Cost: - This event is free, however you must RSVP
I attended the last IT Fusion Event and found it to be extremely enlightening from both an educational and networking perspective. In fact, it was at the last IT Fusion event that I first learned about the whole Second Life universe. I am known as Villager Barbosa in SL in case any of you are active over there.

I am hopeful that all 49 BDPA chapters will find ways to collaborate with ITSMF. BDPA Atlanta chapter did it successfully a few months ago. Now Cincinnati chapter is showing how it can be done. Is your chapter interested in learning more or meeting a local ITSMF executive?

Anyhow, for more information on this December 10th IT Fusion event you can contact BDPA Cincinnati chapter by phone (513.956-0636) or email (

Thursday, December 6, 2007

African Infomation Society Initiative Announces African Winners

Mrs. Emily Nyarko, a journalist of TV3 Network in Accra, has been adjudged the overall winner of the African Information Society Initiative - Global Media Partnership Award 2007 in the multimedia/web media category.

Out of over 50 applicants from 27 countries, Mrs Nyarko's story captioned: "Developing ICT Enabled Education - The Future for Ghana" was the most revealing in her category, a letter from the organisers received in Accra on Tuesday said.

Other African winners include, Bayero Agabi of Nigeria in the TV video category with the topic: "Why the Phones are not Bridging the Divide"; Chabi Godefroy Macaire of Benin also won the first prize in radio category and Bamuturaki Musinguzi of Uganda taking the first prize for the print category with his story "Taking ICT to Rural Communities."
All award winners have been given scholarships to participate in an ICT conference dubbed: "Third Global Knowledge Conference (GK3)" from December 11-13 2007 in Malaysia where they would receive their prizes.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

20th Anniversary Awards Banquet (Dallas)

BDPA Dallas chapter is the 10th largest in the nation. They are hosting their 20th Anniversary Awards Dinner on Friday, December 7, 2007 at 7:00 pm.

Kimberly Vaughn is the chapter president. She is doing a wonderful thing by taking time to recognize and honor all of the past presidents of the BDPA Dallas chapter including:
I'm hopeful that y'all will reach out to these eleven good brothers and sisters and request that they POST A COMMENT here on this blog. It is like our own private Dallas chapter scavenger hunt. Can y'all help me get 'em here?

Anyhow, for those BETF-Blog Readers in the Dallas area, you need to attend this annual awards dinner. The keynote speaker is William Flowers ... yep, the same brother that is a past president of the chapter. Bro. Flowers is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the Information Technology Services department at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport.

During the past six years, as VP/CIO he led initiative to replace, upgrade and revitalize all Airport technologies. He has changed the perception of the ITS department throughout the Airport by insisting on exceptional customer service, high levels of reliability and economically sound solutions. During his tenure, he has been the driving force in the deployment of advanced technologies at DFW. Mostly, William is good peeps and you need to check him out in person on Friday night!

Here are the logistics for the awards dinner:

Theme: 'Advancing Careers from the Classroom to the Boardroom'

Place: The City Club; 901 Main Street
6900 Bank of America Plaza
Dallas, Texas 75202

Date: Friday, December 7, 2007
Time: 7:00 pm

Cost: $75.00 per ticket

For more information you can contact Kimberly Vaughn by email ( or phone (866.441-7024 ext. 715)

ITSMF Helps Fill Information Technology Industry Pipeline

A number of BETF-Blog Readers have asked me about the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF). I came across a comprehensive article that was published awhile ago in Minority Business News. I encourage you to take a moment to read the full article if you have time or inclination.

Some of the highlights include:

Carl Williams reached a lofty perch in the elite information technology industry in 1980s and ’90s when IT was not the most fashionable place for Africans Americans to be.

For some 20 years starting in the early 1980s, Williams worked in senior level IT positions as a chief information officer or vice president of information systems and technology for some large and important companies, including advertiser DDB Needham Worldwide and publisher Macmillan Publishing in New York, petrochemical firm Amoco Corp. in Chicago and investment house Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, Iowa.

His positions and active affiliations with organizations like the Society for Information Management put him in the loop of influence in the IT sector nationally. Yet, Williams would gaze across the landscape and could count other African Americans in executive positions in the field on one hand.

"I was constantly being sourced for senior-level professionals who happened to be people of color, and my pipeline was kind of dry," Williams said.

He decided he would move to fill and nurture that starved pipeline with African American IT talent, establishing the Information Technology Senior Management Forum in 1996. The ITSMF is a national organization focused on developing upper-level executive talent among African Americans in IT.

"My motivation was that I could see that it was a pretty decent career for folks if they really wanted to get into it and aspire to the top jobs," said Williams, the founding chairman who is now retired and consulting in Durham, NC

The organization says that fewer than 3 percent of all senior-level IT managers in the United States are African American — despite an African American population of 12.9 percent. The 95-member forum’s goal is to achieve a 10 percent participation of African Americans at all levels of IT management.

The ITSMF achieves its goals through sharing and leveraging members’ experiences, becoming role models and providing training, establishing networking platforms, identifying senior IT management promotion opportunities, developing strategic partnerships and mentoring high-potential IT professionals.

The group holds quarterly meetings, including one held in conjunction with the annual BDPA technology conference, and members openly discuss issues in IT, along with sharing ideas for advancing their careers.

The organization also holds an annual awards ceremony where it attracts high-level IT executives and presents awards to IT industry leaders and its corporate partners, which include Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard and EDS.

Another component for the organization is to create role models for aspiring African American professionals to emulate. "There aren’t many mentors for us that look like us. Our Executive Protégé Program provides a solution for that challenge by matching up and coming African American leaders with seasoned veterans. EPP is one of our cornerstone programs and allows our members to engage in mentoring to others and pass on some of their secrets to success," Curvie Burton said.
Click here to read the full article

[NOTE: The photo at the top shows the 2006-07 ITSMF Executive Board Members are (back row, left to right) Robert Perrin, networking Magellan Associates; Michael McNeil, membership, Pitney Bowes; Michael Robinson, Corporate Partners Program, Microsoft; Larry Quinlan, vice chairperson Deloitte; Carl Williams, ITSMF founder; Curvie Burton, chairperson, EDS; Bruce Carver, corporate secretary, Dana; Doug Ash, Executive Protégé Program, Lockheed Martin; Jerome Oglesby, personnel, Deloitte; and A.J. Pearson, programs, HSBC; (Bottom row, left to right) are Kim Tubbs-Herron, marketing, Microsoft; Viola Maxwell-Thompson, executive director; Louise Tilmon, executive assistant; Stephanie Hill, finance, Bank of America, and Elaine Norman, bylaws, American Cancer Society].

Would you care to share your thoughts on ITSMF? Have you seen more Black executives in the IT industry over the past decade?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

BDPA IT Institute Opens Up Winter 2008 Enrollment

The Winter 2008 enrollment period is now open for the BDPA IT Institute. The courses planned for the Winter term (Jan through Apr 25) are the IT Professional Certification taught by Will Bundy, Ph.D. and the PMP Exam Prep taught by Matthew Kioko, PMP. Additional courses may be offered based on demand.

I encourage BETF-Blog Readers to check out the exciting and rewarding certification programs offered by the BDPA IT Institute. There are four options that you can choose at very competitive rates:

  1. IT Associate
  2. IT Professional
  3. IT Master
  4. PMP Exam Preparation
It is simple to see the key benefits of Certification:

  • Career advancement, progression and promotion from sponsoring corporations/employers
  • Increased technology business acumen and leadership skills
  • Respect and prestige of being "certified"
  • Publication opportunities in field
  • Leadership, management and project management skill development

Cedrick Moore, former president of our BDPA chapter in Birmingham, AL recently completed certification as an IT Master. He wrote,

"The BDPA IT Institute Master Certification provided me with the tools that I needed to venture out into the workforce. With discussions about topics such as Six Sigma, Project Management, and Capability Maturity Model (CMM), I was able to research some of the latest technology best practices and methodologies. Having this information allowed me to secure a position with one of the leading technology companies in the world, Hewlett-Packard."
Anyhow, BETF-Blog Readers are encouraged to apply now for the Winter 2008 courses. For more information you can reach out to the BDPA IT Institute director by email ( or phone (800.727-2372).