Thursday, June 9, 2011

Take Five: Stan Washington (BDPA Chicago)

Entrepreneurs are a key stakeholder group for BDPA on both a local and national level. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) would love to see more IT entrepreneurs taking a philanthropic interest in BDPA programs and scholarships. As such, we were very happy to learn that Stan Washington agreed to chair BDPA's Entrepreneur Advisory Group.

This special interest group assists BDPA entrepreneurs with programs, policies and opportunities that will allow them to continue to grow both in knowledge and influence. We have a wide-range of entrepreneurs within BDPA ... from those who are in the annual Black Enterprise Top 100 list to those who were forced into business ownership as a result of downsizing or outsourcing in the IT industry.

We were pleased that the Entrepreneur Advisory Group chair, Stan Washington, agreed to participate in our 'Take Five' interview series.

Stan Washington
  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? -  A friend of mine introduced me to BDPA years ago. As Senior Director of Technology and Operations for a $21 Billion portion of McDonald’s Corporation I knew about BDPA and told many people about the group, but did not personally participate. What a mistake! There is a need for mentoring and BDPA is a great place to meet people who face the same struggles I have been blessed to overcome in my 25 year stint in technology.
  2. What do you see as the biggest benefit of your BDPA membership? - As a career coach I develop plans for executive development. I tell those who want to take on a more “senior” leadership role to execute “Mentor Mondays.” In other words set aside time to mentor someone. BDPA is a rich environment that has the potential to grow people and help them reach their career goals.
  3. What future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA? -  As an executive I was always looking for emerging trends. I unfortunately see a negative trend of African Americans reaching high ranks and staying in those positions. We have a tendency to “scatter” when troubled times come about. I would like to see more career development that is not focused on “self” rather “overall group development.”
  4. What would you like entrepreneurs to know about BDPA? -  Entrepreneurs are always interested in helping and we are focused in growing our businesses. I always look for the one or two individuals that I can mentor to grow their potential because they can get to know me and they become my ambassadors to grow my business. I believe in “growth by giving.”
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BETF? -  Speaking of giving, as an entrepreneur the greatest measure of success is where you put your money. I give to some very specific faith based organizations and it makes my business that much better. If the members of BDPA are not into giving I would urge them to research BETF and faith based organizations to understand how to bring someone else “up.” As I said before it’s about “growth by giving.” The more time, talent and treasure a person shares the more growth they will experience.

Our hope is that Stan will be able to do good things for BDPA entrepreneurs. What would you like to ask Stan?

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