Saturday, May 24, 2014

Norman Fleming (MillerCoors) Wins BDPA Epsilon Award for 'Professional Achievement'

National BDPA annually selects and awards the BDPA Epsilon Award to recognize and celebrate key contributions and accomplishments of its members. The 'Outstanding Professional Achievement' award is presented to individuals who have reached or realized a significant milestone in their career, corporate or otherwise, that is noteworthy. One of the 2013 Epsilon Award winners in this category is Norman Fleming, senior director at MillerCoors.

Norman Fleming Wins 2013 Epsilon Award
Mr. Fleming earned this honor from BDPA because for his numerous impressive career achievements. He has over twenty-six years of deep professional business and technology experience including the following:
  • Senior Director of Enterprise Business Solutions, MillerCoors (Present). He oversees a Business Information Solutions (BIS) portfolio of over 600 business systems across the entire enterprise. He is accountable for a $90 million annual budget that supports strategic business planning, portfolio management, project management, business analysis, SAP center of excellence, and most importantly, attracting, developing, and retaining the best diverse employee talent in the US and Puerto Rico markets.
  • Senior Director of IT Client Relationship Management, Astellas Pharma (2010). He oversaw business solution areas, provided strategic IT leadership, a broad understanding of how technology can be applied to fulfill business objectives, and led the portfolio process for the Americas region in US, Canada, Central America, and South America.
  • Program Integration & Management leader, Deloitte (2008). He designed, led and operated large scale technology delivery programs with a strong focus on predictability, results management, method alignment, delivery, risk, quality and estimation. He also provided an integrated set of advisory and implementation services to CxOs and IT Executive Management.
  • Other positions include: IT Leader, Merck; Business Systems Manager, Kraft Foods; Director of Client Services, The New York Times Company and approximately 12 years in various management roles at the Chicago Tribune Company.
He has been recognized by Who’s Who in Science & Engineering, Who’s Who in International Professional Management, and received the highest recognition award at the Chicago Tribune company, the President’s Award.  Mr. Fleming holds many certifications and is active community leader. He also graduated with distinction and earned a MBA in Information Systems and he earned his Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Management.

Norm has been a consistent leader within BDPA.  He served on the national BDPA board of directors for many years.  He also came very close to becoming National BDPA president in 2007. Soul clap to Colleen Mayer for submitting the 2013 Epsilon Award nomination for Mr. Fleming.

You can follow Norman Fleming on Twitter: @NPFleming1016
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Friday, May 23, 2014

BDPA Cleveland Shares Its Wisdom re: Cisco Networking Academies

The Cisco Networking Academy, established in 1997, teaches students networking and other information technology-related skills, preparing students for entry level jobs as well as higher education in engineering, computer science and related fields. The Cisco Networking Academy is preparing its students for jobs of the future with initiatives such as the 'Internet of Everything' that create meaningful job opportunities for Cisco Certified Networking Associates.

BDPA Cleveland chapter program meeting in May 2014 focused on the topic: ‘Cisco Networking Academies’. There were 16 people in attendance for this chapter event.

The guest speaker, Len Tabaj, was a teacher in the Cleveland Heights High Cisco Networking Academy for the past six years. He began teaching in the Networking Academy in 2000 for the Cleveland Municipal School District. Len helped to open eight Cisco Networking Academies in the Cleveland Municipal School District as a teacher trainer. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Cleveland State University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Len also holds a Career Technical Network Systems Professional License.

Chapter president Demo Solaru provided his review of the meeting,
This meeting was a blast. We got a lot of information from the presenter and got quite a crop of new faces. If ever there was a presentation that we need to get out there, this is the one. You can’t just ask for job opportunities, they are there for the taking by the ‘certified’ and Cisco provides an excellent means to start out making $40k-$50k for those who will put their backs into it. I gather the Department of Labor will PAY for Cisco certification if the individual is currently unemployed. Certification in as few as 16 weeks ain’t bad.
I will be gathering the information on this and I really believe we need to do something Ohio–Wide and preferably Nationwide to rally young and old folks (that’s us) to this opportunity. Even those in the retirement throes should think about certification so they can teach at an academy – the pay looks pretty good for part time (something like $38k, fairly relaxed and only a few hours a day).
Please reach out to Demo if you would like more information.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Take Five: LaDonna Crum (BDPA Greater Birmingham)

BDPA provides its members with unique opportunities to develop leadership skills in a comforting environment. One person who has taken full advantage of the career-building opportunities in BDPA is LaDonna Crum. LaDonna is currently serving as president of BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter ... one of the fastest growing chapters in the nation!

We recently asked LaDonna to participate in our Take Five interview series.

  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - I originally heard of BDPA in 2003 as a recent graduate of Franklin University (Columbus, Ohio). But I didn’t get the opportunity to join at that time. However, a co-worker invited me to a BDPA program meeting when I moved to Birmingham, AL. I joined BDPA after this meeting. A little later I became the chapter's High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Coordinator. I served in that role from 2004-2006.
  2. What is your favorite part of working with BDPA? - My favorite part of working with BDPA is the personal growth. BDPA gives me the opportunity to communicate with other IT professionals. At the same time I have the opportunity to learn from these professionals. Also, BDPA afforded me the opportunity to move into a leadership role and lead our local chapter. I have expanded my networking circle on a local, regional and national level since becoming part of BDPA.
  3. What future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA? - The future evolution I would like to see in BDPA is the overall growth of the organization on a national level. I would like to see BDPA as a primary Information Technology forum for our industry and community throughout the United States. For instance, I would like to see a greater connection between BDPA and government officials at both the federal and municipal levels.
  4. Why should someone pay $100 membership dues to join BDPA? - BDPA is an investment in your personal growth. You will have the opportunity to network with other IT professionals; give back to your community; grow in terms of your technical and professional skills and an improved opportunity for career enhancement.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) - Your donation benefits students in our community by exposing them to the world of information technology. This will contribute to a greater future for them in the workforce and in our community.

I encourage all of our readers to help LaDonna grow the programs, scholarships and services offered by BDPA Greater Birmingham. One immediate way you can support is through a secure online donation to the chapter's HSCC scholarship program!
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bemley Scholar James Arama Shares Educational Success with His Mom

One of the shining stars in BDPA history is James Arama. James is a 2-time national BDPA High School Computer Competition champion who used his Jesse Bemley Scholarship money to help fund his computer science degree at Marist College.

BDPA cannot take full credit for the educational achievements of this young squire. He had a powerful example set for him by his mother.
James wrote, "The graduates to be! My mom graduates today from South Central College with her nursing degree. I'm graduating from Marist next week with my computer science degree! Flew in for the day to capture this moment. We made it!!!! #beyondblessed"
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation wants to provide more college scholarship funding at the upcoming 36th annual BDPA Technology Conference on August 5-9, 2014 in Indianapolis. We are short of our fundraising goal. We encourage you to make a secure online donation in honor of James Arama and his mom!
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Macy's Renews Its Sponsorship of BDPA Atlanta Chapter

Macy's reaffirmed its sponsorship commitment to the BDPA Atlanta chapter for the sixth time in the past eight years. A major reason for the long-term support is the employee involvement that Macy's has in BDPA.

There are a number of Macy's employees who are BDPA members in both Atlanta and Cincinnati. Also, Macy's employees currently serve as BDPA South region director, Atlanta chapter president and past High School Computer Competition championship coach. BDPA seeks to have such strong employee engagement from its other corporate sponsors around the nation!

Macy’s, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2013 sales of $27.9 billion. The company operates about 840 stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. The company's diverse workforce includes approximately 175,700 employees.

Please contact the BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email or phone (301.584-3135, ext. 108) if you have interest in learning more about partnering with BDPA on a corporate level.
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Overview: BDPA High School Computer Competition

The BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) was founded in 1986. What started as a two-team event between Washington DC and Atlanta GA has grown to over 20 teams from BDPA chapters around the nation. It’s designed to introduce our youth to the field of information technology and encouraging them to seek higher levels of education, and groom many of them become our next generation of IT professionals.

The HSCC program consists of three parts: Oral Questioning, Computerized Examination and a Programming Component. On the first day there is an oral round robin of questions. Also, there is a computerized examination using Adit Quiz Software. Each student is given 15 minutes to answer as many questions as they can. Questions for these first two stages of the competition cover a variety of computer fundamentals and BDPA history.

On the second day, each team is given a Program Specification for a challenging business problem. They have seven hours and one computer to analyze, design, program and document a solution to the problem. In building their business application, the teams have a choice between technologies such as: Java Technology (Sun Microsystems), Software PHP (Open Source), .NET (Microsoft). Students use these technologies in conjunction with SQL to retrieve data from a database and generate dynamic HTML content for display in a web browser. They are then required to present their solution to a team of judges.

Check out this behind-the-scenes video of the programming challenge from a past HSCC championship.

2012 National HSCC Champions
The winning teams are announced on the final night of the annual conference as part of the Awards Gala. It is a tense and joyous moment for all the HSCC students. It is also a very memorable moment as evidenced by the many HSCC testimonials that we've gathered over the years.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation wants to give out college scholarships to high-performing students in the annual HSCC championships. We cannot do so without your support. Please think hard about what you've read ... and give as your heart drives you. You can make your secure online donation in support of BDPA college scholarships right now!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

BDPA and Per Scholas Announce Strategic Partnership

The opportunities for success with the underserved minority community in Cincinnati just received a boost as the Cincinnati branches of Per Scholas and BDPA joined forces to help train the next generation of IT professionals.

Wayne Ivy, associate director, Per Scholas and Dalric Webb, president, BDPA Cincinnati, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations. The strategic alliance connects the two organizations in effort to advance the careers of technology professionals in the greater Cincinnati region.

Per Scholas, a national IT training nonprofit with offices in Cincinnati, Columbus, New York and National Capital region, offers free, high quality technology education, job training, placement and career development opportunities to people in underserved communities. BDPA seeks to advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. Both organizations want to encourage unemployed and under-employed adults interested in a technology career.
BDPA is proud to partner with Per Scholas,” said Webb. “BDPA endeavors to strengthen and develop more strategic partnerships within the community to empower individuals with greater opportunities for success, networking, employment and training.”
Wayne Ivy (Per Scholas)
Already BDPA leaders have participated as guest speakers in the Per Scholas IT-Ready computer technician training.

This 8-week course provides students technical skills training for A+ certification and career preparation to enter the IT industry,” said Ivy. “We had great feedback from [the BDPA visit] to the classroom. The students really enjoyed the words of wisdom from the BDPA speaker.”

For more information, contact Wayne Ivy at (513) 221-3208 or BDPA Cincinnati VP-Strategy & Planning, Dr. Prince Ellis, on (513) 549-6991.
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Friday, May 16, 2014

Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students (Deadline: June 30, 2014)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to open up the application period for any graduating high school student or current college student interested in the 8th Annual Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students!

The purpose of the Lilly/BDPA Scholarship is to recognize outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

Lilly/BDPA Scholars will be awarded a one-time $5,000 scholarship that may be used to pursue an information technology focused degree at an accredited four-year college or university of their choice. The Lilly/BDPA Scholarship may be used to supplement benefits from the college or university a student plans to attend and fellowships from other foundations or organizations. Students may use the scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other college-related expenses.

Scholarship winners will be selected based on the application, essay, and letters of recommendation.

To be eligible for Lilly/BDPA Scholarship, each applicant must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a member of BDPA
  • Be a graduating high school senior or current college student in good standing at the time of their application.
  • Demonstrate academic achievement (minimum GPA of 3.0)
  • Exhibit leadership ability through academic or civic involvement and participate in community service activities
Complete application packet must include the following:
  1. Application Form
  2. Current official sealed transcript
  3. 500-word essay on “Why Information Technology is Important”
  4. Two signed letters of recommendation
  5. Passport-sized photo
Click here to download application!

Scholarships will be awarded only to students who fully meet the scholarship requirements. All application materials must be POSTMARKED by June 30, 2014 in order to be eligible.  Incomplete, e-mailed or faxed applications will not be considered!

We will announce the two winners of the Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students during the 2014 National BDPA Technology Conference in Indianapolis.   We are very proud of our past Lilly/BDPA scholarship winners:
Cameron Hughes (2013 Scholar)
  1. 2007, Daniel Puente (University of Texas)
  2. 2007, Christian West (Northwestern University)
  3. 2008, Khalia Braswell (North Carolina State University)
  4. 2008, Lee Reed (University of Michigan)
  5. 2009, Hung Vo (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  6. 2009, Carrine Johnson (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School)
  7. 2010, Leslie Vasquez (Pike High School)
  8. 2010, Gerardo Dominguez (Chicago State University)
  9. 2011, Jala Cruz (North Central High School)
  10. 2011, Adwait Walimbe (John Marshall High School)
  11. 2012, Allen Warner (Valdosta State University)
  12. 2013, Risa Christopher (Indiana University)
  13. 2013, Cameron Hughes (University of California, San Diego)
Do you know any high school or college kids looking to study in a technology-based field during college? Can they use a $5,000 scholarship? If so, you need to share this information with them right away!

Any questions?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chipotle Foundation

The Chipotle Foundation provides scholarships, in-restaurant fundraisers, donations and a Scrip program for eligible nonprofit organizations.   The amount of the successful funding provided to your nonprofit varies.

The primary areas of focus include education, youth sports, and community improvement projectsThere are no deadlines.  Simply fill out the contact information on their website.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is willing to work with any of the 46 local BDPA chapters around the nation.  Your chapter needs to do enough research to determine if you want to apply for sponsorship, fundraiser or donation.

The next step is yours. What say u?
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Unum Seeks to Recruit Diverse IT Talent via BDPA Job Board

National BDPA is pleased to announce that one of the nation's largest insurance companies, Unum, agreed to purchased access to the BDPA Job Board for the next year. The company seeks to recruit diverse information talent from within our BDPA members and supporters.

Unum is a company of people serving people. A Fortune 500 company, Unum is a market leader in disability, group life, and voluntary benefits. Their products and services meet the needs of a diverse workforce that includes four generations, growing ethnic diversity and changing family dynamics.

A strong commitment to social responsibility is one of Unum's core values. In fact, they place particular emphasis on contributing to positive change in the communities in which they live and work. Helping communities become better is a natural extension of the commitment they make each and every day to their customers — to help employers manage their businesses and employees protect their families and livelihoods.

BDPA is very grateful to Unum vice president Sydney Crisp for his personal efforts in creating this corporate partnership. Sydney has been a BDPA supporter for the past decade ... working with us while working for major corporations like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Sydney proves again the power of relationships as you strive to move forward in the nonprofit world.

Please contact the BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email or phone (301.584-3135, ext. 108) if you have interest in learning more about partnering with BDPA on a corporate level.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mayo Clinic Renews Its Commitment to BDPA Career Fair

Mayo Clinic has been a BDPA corporate sponsor for over a decade. They renewed their commitment in 2014 with their decision to have a booth at the BDPA Career Fair taking place on August 8-9 in Indianapolis.

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit medical group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Mayo Clinic also serves over 70 communities through Mayo Clinic Health System with locations in Minnesota, Iowa, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Collectively, these locations care for more than 1 million people each year.

Many of our BDPA leaders on a local and national level have worked for Mayo Clinic. We are very proud that the company continues to find a powerful value-proposition in BDPA programs, scholarships and services. Please reach out the BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email or phone, (301) 584-3135, ext. 108, if you want to learn more about its sponsorship program.
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