Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Take Five: Tim Wilson (Boston Metrowest)

Originally Posted: 1/10/2010
Tim Wilson is a past president of BDPA Boston Metrowest chapter. I've worked with Tim for a number of years. He is a long-time business owner who serves as a role model for many BDPA members that are business owners and entrepreneurs.

Tim agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - It was an accident. My close friend and I attended a meeting. We had never heard of BDPA and we just wanted to check it out because we felt it was time for us to become involved in something, as we had made good progress in our IT careers.

    As we were driving to the meeting be both agreed that we would make a donation and that would be it, no involvement, just a small donation.

    There was a very dynamic person there talking about BDPA ... her name was Diane Davis. She was very energetic and passionate about BDPA. As we left the meeting and I was driving back to my house, I turned to my friend and asked, “How did I become program chair? He said I don’t know I’m still figuring out how I got be entrepreneur chair.”

    We both realized that this is an organization with potential and it was what we were looking for to meet our need to give back using technology.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - I would have to say it was when the chapter sent its first team to compete in the High School Computer Competition. We were not sure we could pull it together. We had questions about funding - where we would find the students and how we would get them trained.

    It would not have happened if it were not for the chapter members coming together. They supported the goal and volunteered their time and we had our first team. We didn’t win but the students we had gained some valuable experience and learned some great lessons about team work and got to see great group of African American professionals engaged in a field where there are so few of us in.

    It was just great to see those young people come together the way they did.
  3. Tim Wilson
  4. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - I have to say when wrote my first program and it worked. I was a computer operator learning how to program. I had managed to get some testing time to run my program.

    When I put the card deck into the card reader and type in the commands to execute the program and saw the deck read in, I held my breath because I was hoping that once the program loaded it would not abort as it had done so many times before. Each time it would be for a simple keypunching mistake on my part.

    Then, the console started typing and it was a command to mount a scratch tape, a command that I had coded in my program. My program was running. When I saw that tape spinning, I knew that my program was working. In addition, when the punch card reader started up and creating a set of cards (which was output) I was very excited to know that this was happening because I had written the code to make it happen. At that point, I knew I was a programmer. I knew what direction I wanted my career to take, and I began to pursue my career to become and application programmer.
  5. Who is your hero and why? - My answer to this question is very, very personal to me. It is my late son Derek. We lost him in a car accident just two years ago. He was in the prime of his life. He had just gotten married and blessed my wife and me with our first grandchild and his sister with her only niece.

    My reason for saying he is my hero is because he never gave up when he hit a roadblock. I remember in his first year of college his second semester grades were shall we say reflective of a student that was not paying attention to their academic requirements. After having a rather strong father son talk, he came to me with a plan of how he was going to get himself back on track. He did and even though he had graduated a year later than he was suppose to, he graduated from college with his degree in Economics with a minor in Sociology.

    When he graduate he and a friend tried their hand in the music industry, and all I will say about that is it did not work out but he did not let that get him down. He found a job in sales and things started taking off for him. Derek always had a way of finding the answer when he was stuck. He would ask me for help but in the end, he always figured out what he needed to do. He told me his favorite quote was often misquoted Fredrick Douglas “Without struggle there can be no progress.” He would say, "Without struggle there is no success." There were certainly times he struggled but in the end, he was successful. I just pray I have the opportunity to let his daughter know what a great dad he was and would have been.
  6. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Just do it. You will not regret it.

Please share your COMMENTS on this interview from Tim. We all need to support brothers like Tim that give their time, talent and energy to BDPA. What say u?

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