Saturday, April 21, 2012

Message from Atlanta Chapter President

Building and Growing a Stronger BDPA

Felicia Jones
On January 1, of every year, we all sit down and begin to write our New Year’s resolutions. We write things like: lose weight, eat healthier, and get promoted! At least, that is what I put on my list. However, unlike most people, I have the BDPA Atlanta chapter that will help me accomplish one of my goals. And this organization can help you reach your career goals too. We are very committed to developing our members and the community at large by providing career enhancing programs that will increase their technical skills, business knowledge and personal growth. Our primary focus for 2012 is “Building and Growing a Stronger BDPA” and that is exactly what we are doing! Just in this first quarter we have accomplished a great deal like:
  • Re-launched a new website – It’s very user friendly making it easy to navigate through and find information fast. The robust colors and animation gives the site a more modern and up-to-date look. Check it out for yourself at
  • Hosted our 3rd Annual Career Fair – The event offered resume makeovers, mock interviews, one on one career coaching and a Critical Success Workshop led by Derrick Brown (VP Business Management). The event was sponsored by CCCi and was held at Matrix Recruitment Services. Along with CCCI and Matrix, we had several IT companies and Staffing agencies in attendance, i.e., Macy’s Systems &Technology, FIS, Pyramid along with staffing agencies.
  • Kicked-off our Membership Drive – We started the New Year with a membership drive by offering new and potential members an opportunity to win an iPad2 by renewing or joining the organization. The iPad2 is donated by World Wide Technology, Inc and will be given away during our April 18th meeting; member must be present to win! We also had our quarterly membership drive during our 3rd Annual Career Fair; we had 5 people to join that night. We have doubled our membership and it’s continuing to grow.
  • Created and kicked off several new programs:
    1. Tech Talk Webinar Series – Bi-monthly webinar series which are informational and educational. The webinars are on the latest IT trends, topics and what’s affecting the IT community. Some of our webinars were: Crash Course on SharePoint Technology, Scrum Certification Q & A and How to Get the Job You Desire.
    2. Success Alliance - A professional development support program which helps the individual to define and set their career, business and/or academic goals. The program is designed to help them succeed by giving them all the tools needed to achieve their goals. They learn how to manage their goals like a Project Manager, analyze goals like a Business Analyst, problem solve using Agile and measure their progress using Six Sigma. This program is the brain-child of Jacqueline Sanders (VP Education & Professional Development).
    3. College Liaison Program (CLP) - We have expanded our mentoring programs to the college level. Through a partnership with DeVry University, our CLP will begin to mentor computer science students for future success. The CLP will take the form of a campus lecture series and mentoring circles facilitated by BDPA members and representatives of our corporate sponsors. By adding a collegiate level to our programs we plan to make our motto “From the Classroom to the Boardroom” a reality in the Atlanta area. We will also start our very first BDPA Atlanta College Chapter.
    4. Real Talk with BDPA Atlanta – The series gives you the opportunity to go behind the curtain and learn more about the members and supporters of our chapter. You get to learn more in-depth and personal information about our monthly speaker in our ‘Speaker Behind the Topic’ series. Our Real Talk series have been very successful and we have other local organizations following our lead. 
  • Launched our 2012 SITES (Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship) / High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program; we currently have 15 students. The training classes are held at DeVry University who do a wonderful job in supporting the HSCC program by providing a place and the equipment to train our students for the past 5 years. We have a great team of volunteers being led by Wesley Williams (Dir SITES). They are truly dedicated to the growth and overall success of our students. They will compete in the Regional Competition; last year our students brought home 1st and we expecting the same results this year. They are also looking forward to the National competition where they and we are expecting to bring home 1st Place
  • Created a New Face for Atlanta – We did a major overhaul in our overall look. Sharnecia Williams (VP Marketing) single-handedly changed the face of BDPA Atlanta. She re-created our logo, social media skins and the look of the website. She created all new marketing materials, templates, a watermark and upcoming events video Montage to play during our networking time.
Whewww! As you can see, we have been VERY busy and there is still more to come. We are geared up and looking forward to the 2nd Quarter. I hope you will jump right in and assist us in driving the upcoming events home. With your support, we will be Building and Growing a Stronger BDPA!

Felicia Jones, President
BDPA Atlanta Chapter

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