Thursday, September 5, 2013

Message from National BDPA President

Recap: 2013 National BDPA Technology Conference
by Monique Berry (Connect With Monique)

Monique Berry
After a week-long program of Board meetings, leadership training, workshops and conference sessions, the 35th Annual BDPA Technology Conference officially closed August 17th in Washington, DC. Information Technology professionals from varying industries and locations came together to learn, share ideas and build strategic networks.

With just over 500 attendees, BDPA's 2013 Technology Conference, Diversity in the Age of Convergence, provided a relaxed and open setting, allowing attendees to connect on a personal level and openly share professional experiences and challenges, Aside from the educational aspects of the conference, a little fun was to be had as well. Corporate partner MillerCoors provided an array of MillerCoors products at all receptions as well as the movie preview, Kards and Karaoke, spoken word with the Twin Poets, and a late night concert with Avery Sunshine.

On Tuesday night, Washington DC Chapter President, Perry Carter kicked things off by moderating the 2013 Advance Program Briefing to Industry (APBI) Topic of Discussion: Diverse Opportunities and Next Steps for HBCUs in the Age of Convergence. The panel addressed how colleges are proactively developing programs that attract minority students to S.T.E.M fields. Panelist also shared public, private, and academia partnership success stories. Panelist included, Dr. Rajni Goel, Associate. Professor and Computer Science Chair, Howard University; Dr. Daryl Stone, Professor Computer Science, Bowie State University; Michael Bing, Director, Washington DC Minority Business Center; H. Harrison Valentine, President and CEO, HBCU/MI Project Office; and Anthony Waterman, President & CEO, Waterman Engineering.

Roland Martin, the keynote at Wednesday night's opening ceremony, resonated with the entire audience. He said we are competing for our young people's attention with athletes and entertainers. He called BDPA members Superstars and Ballers and to capture the interest of our youth we need to show our Bling. He said that IT professionals are driving luxury cars like BMW's and Mercedes and we should be telling our youth that they can have these things to if complete their education and pursue careers in STEM.

On Thursday night, NCWIT sponsored a reception on Thursday, where Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives at National Center for Woman in Technology spoke to guest about NCWIT and their Aspirations in Computing award opportunities. JP Morgan Chase also hosted an invitation only reception where they highlighted technology and opportunities at Chase.

The Friday night Dignitaries Reception featured a CIO panel moderated by Dr. Julianne Malvauex. Panelist included Michael Braine, SVP, CIO Luxottica Retail & Optical Services; James D. Cook, CIO, Global Operations & Services, General Motors Company; Terry Halvorson, CIO, United States Navy; Garth Marcial, Worldwide VP, IT and CIO at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and Advanced Sterilization Products; and Addison McGuffin, Vice President, Business Technology Innovation, Health Care Service Corporation.

Read the rest of Monique's conference recap...

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