Friday, May 14, 2010

Take Five: Betty Hutchins (Southern Minnesota)

One of the most effective leaders that I've met in over 20 years with BDPA is a soft-spoken woman who currently resides in Minnesota -- Betty Hutchins. One of the best decisions that I made as national BDPA president was to appoint Betty to serve as the national vice president responsible for member services. She created or implemented some powerful programs during her tenure ... such as the BDPA IT Institute.

In any case, I'm pleased that Betty agreed to participate in the Take Five Interview Series.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? I learned about BDPA my last year of graduate school and joined the Atlanta Chapter after attending the NBMBAA conference in New York and the BDPA conference in Philadelphia (I believe). The warmth of the members from BDPA was so much greater than the NBMBAA members. Although there was no comparison in the two conferences, at NBMBAA, I saw Maya Angelou and Jesse Jackson, who were plenary speakers. And, I met Michael Baisden and Dr. Kunjufu at the book workshops. It appeared BDPA needed my help more and I felt more of a connection to the BDPA vision. So, I joined the Atlanta Chapter and worked with them to start the Chattanooga Chapter, then moved to Rochester and worked to start the Southern MN Chapter.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? The most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA has to be the young lives that the organization has touched. The many scholarships that BDPA Chattanooga, BDPA Southern MN and National BDPA has presented to students over the years is so remarkable and impactful. Also unique to BDPA is the great training and skills shared with the students in giving them another lucrative career choice that they may not have already considered.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? A defining moment in my life was my taking the programmers aptitude test at Blue Cross and passing it to be accepted into the Programmer Trainee Program, finishing the program in record time with some of the highest scores in the program and entering the world of Information Technology.
  4. Who is your hero and why? My heroes are my parents, who are both deceased. They instilled in me such a great work ethic and desire to be the best at everything that I could never repay them for all that they did. Because of them, I have a Bachelors degree and an MBA and today, my salary far surpasses even their combined income. I hope that they would be proud of not just what I have personally accomplished but by all that I give back to others through organizations like BDPA and United Way. I hope that they would be proud of the community acknowledgements that I have received like the Spirit of Caring Award and the Mayor's Medal of Honor.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? BETF has supported the BDPA scholarships for many years and is doing an outstanding job of continually improving. I have donated $100 or more each year to BETF for several years now and in the past this amount has been upwards of $250 or more. I very much respect the contributions of the foundation and hope they will achieve the goal of an endowment to support 4-year scholarships to BDPA scholars in perpetuity. I know we must help in whatever way we can.

If I were picking my all-time BDPA team -- Betty would be on it. What thoughts went through your mind as you read Betty's answers?

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