Monday, December 14, 2009

Take Five: John Eckenrode (Baltimore)

John Eckenrode is the president and founder of CPSI. John has vast experience as an employee and contractor, having progressed through the ranks from programmer to project manager. I met John when his company hosted a quarterly meeting for the National BDPA Board of Directors. I've worked more closely with John over the past year in his role as a director of the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF).

John was kind enough to respond to our Take Five questions:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - Through the strong leadership of one of our long time contractors, Denise Holland. Denise was passionate and persistent in getting me involved with our local chapter and in national events.

  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - By far, the High School Computer Competition (HSCC). I believe some of the most valuable experiences we can give our young high school students are those which involve "success, we did it, wow, I learned something, it's a big world out there, etc." The HSCC fits this bill AND is very "grass roots" in that most of the money contributed to the chapters goes right to the students expenses for the program.

  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - Helping lead the fight in Maryland to repeal the computer services sales tax the legislature passed in 2007. I, along with many others, worked very hard to win the repeal. This effort was one of my most rewarding professional experiences.

  4. Who is your hero and why? - I don't have any one hero, but rather a list of people over time, all very wise and learned individuals. Some of them include biblical characters like Moses, King Solomon, Jesus Christ, and the Apostle Paul. From a public service perspective, I consider Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Ronald Reagan to be my list of the top three presidents, as well as Winston Churchill. From a business perspective, I most admire Jack Welsh (GE), Bill Gates (MicroSoft), Sam Walton (WalMart), Ray Kroc (McDonalds), Tom Watson Sr. (IBM), and a few others. As far as authors go, my top three are Jim Collins' "Good to Great", Machiavelli's "The Prince" and Sun Tsu's "The Art of War", written over 3,500 years ago.

  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Our children are our future. We need to make a difference one child at a time.

What are your thoughts about John's answers?

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