Thursday, December 31, 2015

Message from National BDPA President

Pamela Mathews
Hello everyone!

I pray that each of you experienced a wonderful and safe holiday season. As we come to the close of 2015, I am excited and reflective about what WE were able to accomplish through strong teamwork, communication and collaboration. Here are my top three for the year:
  1. BDPA celebrated 40 years of taking our members from the classroom to the boardroom.  We are the oldest and largest minority technology organization in the world and we are well-positioned for the next 40 years based on the momentum we have generated this year.  Please enjoy the 40th anniversary memories from one of our BDPA pioneers, Dr. Jesse Bemley.
  2. Established a critical, mutually beneficial partnership with CompTIA. One of our key goals for this year was to increase our member value proposition. This partnership provides greater accessibility to resources that will strengthen and enhance our members current and future career opportunities; and
  3. Elected a very strong team of leaders for 2016-2017. The incoming leadership team possesses the drive, experience, vision and tenacity required to build on our current momentum. I encourage everyone to read/listen intently, act expediently, share the good news about BDPA and support this team moving forward.
Mike Williams (2016-17 president), Pamela, Donna & Earl Pace
We have incredible momentum as we move into 2016. In January, your leadership team will meet to review and agree upon the tactics that will be employed to live out our strategy and fortify relationships that will be critical to our overall success.

Another imperative in 2016, will be furtherance of the regional organizational structure. While the national organization is here to support the chapters, the regional teams are the ears, eyes and legs that ensure the national strategy is understood and carried out locally and that our chapters are healthy, growing and sustainable. We have much work to do here and I am confident that our incoming Regional leaders are up for and will succeed with this challenge.

A few reminders:
  • Please remember to renew your membership as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss out on existing and new member services. Please log in to your account, via, to check your status.
  • Register for the 2016 Conference (Atlanta, GA) as soon as possible. Visit the Conference site via for more information. The early bird registration will be extended until the end of January to ensure that everyone can take advantage of this incredible discount.
I would also like to recognize our outgoing National Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Chapter Leaders for another successful year. Finally, THANK YOU again for the privilege to serve our great organization as President. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or comments.

Pamela Mathews, president
National BDPA

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Linda Clement-Holmes Wins BDPA Epsilon Award for Career Achievement

National BDPA annually selects and awards the BDPA Epsilon Award to recognize and celebrate key contributions and accomplishments of its members. Nominations are accepted across five categories and they are evaluated by a team of National BDPA members. One of the categories is Career Achievement. This honor is reserved for highly experienced professionals who have significant career accomplishments or contributions throughout their career.

BDPA is pleased to announce that Linda Clement-Holmes has won the 2015 Epsilon Award for Career Achievement. Linda is the Chief Information Officer for Procter & Gamble. In this expansive role, Linda is responsible for building capability within the Company’s Information Technology (IT) function and providing IT governance oversight. Among her responsibilities, Linda is responsible for P&G’s global IT infrastructure, driving enterprise architecture; corporate applications; maintaining compliance and effectiveness of information security; leading IT innovation; and ensuring a best-in-class employee and workplace experience.

Linda Clement-Holmes
Linda joined P&G in 1983, becoming a global “executive of firsts” across several disciplines. She was the first African American senior vice president in the IT function, and the first female African American senior vice president, and now president, within P&G. She led the first vision and strategy for P&G’s e-mail system, led the partnership with HP to provide core information technology services, and spearheaded delivery of broad business and employee services to Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. As Chief Diversity Officer, Linda crafted the first company-wide diversity and inclusion strategy and established P&G’s first Global Inclusion & Diversity Council, significantly elevating P&G’s Diversity Inc. and Working Mother Magazine rankings.

Linda is widely recognized for her leadership and business acumen. Recent honors include Purdue University’s Krannert Business Leadership Award and Purdue Old Master, American Business Awards’ Female Executive of the Year, Working Mother’s 'Working Mothers of the Year', YWCA’s Career Woman of Achievement, the First Tees Values award, the Howard University Global Visionary Leadership Award and the Diamond Leadership Award from the IT Senior Management Forum. She has been listed among Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders, Uptown Professional’s Top 100 Executives and Black Enterprise magazine’s Top Executives.

Linda remains active in community, business, and service organizations, many holding Board of Director and Officer positions. As a role model for IT leaders, African Americans, and Women, Linda exemplifies Career Achievement.

You can follow Linda on Twitter: @lwch

Friday, December 25, 2015

Daylee Hopson Uses Monsanto Scholarship to Study Computer Science at University of Missouri

Daylee Hopson
Monsanto is a powerful BDPA sponsor. They announced four college scholarships at the 2014 National BDPA Technology Conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana. One of the winning scholars is Daylee Hopson, a student member of our BDPA St. Louis chapter. She plans to use her Monsanto Scholarship at the University of Missouri as she studies computer science.

Daylee was recommended for the scholarship by the late BDPA St. Louis president Toni Love.
Daylee wrote, "Being a member of the BDPA has been a very memorable experience for me. Toni Love, was a dear friend of my family. If it weren’t for her encouraging me to join the BDPA, I would not have received this scholarship. She wanted me to get this scholarship, and I wish I could tell her that I did. Nevertheless, this experience has only made me eager to be more integrated into the BDPA community."
Daylee's career goal is become a Computer Network Architect or an Applications Software Developer.
Daylee wrote, "I am good with computers, but I am more interested in the math side of the job. Math is enjoyable to me, and with the world of computers gaining an all time high, there couldn’t be a better choice. When considering a Master’s degree or PhD, I will not be limited to any one career. As technology improves, I too will attain a greater comprehension of computers. This means that I will always be employed because I will always know about the new things arising."
Daylee is a remarkable example of the BDPA mantra -- 'from the classroom to the boardroom'! We are glad that she is using this college scholarship to further her career in the IT industry. Our hope is that we will see her back at the National BDPA Technology Conference being held next year in Atlanta!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Judaea Lane Wins BDPA Epsilon Award for Community Service

Judaea Lane
National BDPA annually selects and awards the BDPA Epsilon Award to recognize and celebrate key contributions and accomplishments of its members. The 'Community Service' award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated, by meaningful results, strong partnership and collaboration with entities in the communities they reside. One of the 2015 Epsilon Award winners in this category is Judaea Lane.

Judaea Lane has been a member of BDPA New York Chapter for over 15 years. Judaea has held numerous roles within the chapter such as Student Chaperone, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and Chapter President. Some of her key accomplishments as President were conducting Community Events such as Black Family Technology Awareness Week and Cybersecurity Awareness and distributing over $5,000 in Scholarships to BDPA’s HSCC students. Currently Judaea is the National Board Development Governance & Bylaw Chairperson.

In 2008, Judaea was recipient of the MetLife Foundation Volunteer Service Award for the BDPA New York chapter. The award honored MetLife associates who have made a difference in their communities through volunteer work. For over 8 years, Judaea has been a member of Central Nassau Club of National Association Negro Business & Professional Women Club (NANBPWC). She is a member of the National Technology Team where she provides help desk support to senior members. Recently Judaea participated on a panel at the United Nations, where she demonstrated how to use technology as part of disaster preparation. Other key accomplishments were planning, organizing and managing the club signature events such as the NANBPWC’s Annual Luncheon and Women’s History Month Program.

Judaea serves on the Executive Board of Nassau Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. In 2014 Judaea received the Outstanding Community Service Award from National Pan Hellenic Council of Nassau/Suffolk Counties. Last, Judaea’s biggest passion is conducting digital literacy awareness to seniors for her church. Inspired by God’s word, her favorite scripture is Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will establish your plans.”

Judaea receives Epsilon Award from BDPA founder and national president.
Due to Judaea’s strong leadership skills and compassion for volunteering in the in the community, she is worthy recipient of the BDPA Epsilon Award for Community Service.

You can follow Judaea on Twitter:  @jeytechconsult

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Grant Proposal: Nissan Foundation (BDPA Middle Tennessee)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with the officers of the BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter to submit a grant proposal to the Nissan Foundation seeking $6,000 for the 2016 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The funding was requested via the Nissan Neighbors program. We hope to have an answer within the next few weeks.

In the United States, Nissan Neighbors is a community-focused initiative dedicated to improving communities through charitable contributions and in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations working in three focus areas: education, the environment and humanitarian aid. All organizations applying for funding through Nissan Neighbors must meet the following requirements:
  • Have 501 (c)(3) non-profit status;
  • Support projects compatible with one of the Nissan Neighbors focus areas; and
  • Serve communities surrounding Nissan's affiliate locations, including Middle Tennessee (location of Nissan Americas corporate headquarters and manufacturing assembly plants in Smyrna and Decherd)
Nissan Neighbors accepts grant applications throughout the year. In support of a greener environment, the Nissan Neighbors application process is administered online. Hardcopy and paper applications are not accepted.

BETF is willing to work with any of the 47 local BDPA chapters to obtain the funding that they need to successfully deliver their 2016 SITES program. Simply reach out to the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BDPA iRadio Show: December 22, 2015 (Dr. Will Bundy, Herchran Singh, Rene' Yarborough)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

The guest on the December 22nd show:

Dr. Will Bundy
Dr. Will Bundy - director, The Gravely Group - Dr. Will Bundy is a proven warrior having served our nation as a submariner in the US Navy. Dr. Bundy is is currently focused on the future of technology.  He wants to ensure that BDPA is aware of the work being done with autonomous controls and unmanned systems.  In his past, Dr. Bundy expanded BDPA's vision of corporate relations when he negotiated on behalf of FleetBoston Financial the first Platinum-level corporate sponsorship in BDPA's history.   He served from 2003-2007 as an Outside Director on the National BDPA Board of Directors.   Dr. Bundy is the creator of the annual corporate and individual Epsilon Awards presented at each conference by BDPA.   He offers a unique perspective to the good works of BDPA that we look forward to sharing with our BDPA iRadio Show audience.  You can follow Will on Twitter -- @GravelyThe.

Herchran Singh
Herchran Singh - college student, Gustavus Adolphus College - Herchran Singh is a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College.   She is a long-time member of the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter.  She competed 3 times (2011-2013) as part of the chapter's High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team ... earning Dr.Jesse Bemley Scholarships each year from her participation.  Her team won the championship in 2011 and 2013.   This past year she won the bronze medal in the 2nd Annual BDPA Mobile Application Showcase ... earning a State Farm college scholarship.   Herchran is hardworking and strives for excellence through the deep desire to learn. She leads others by activating, motivating, and encouraging them to reach their highest potential.  She has been on the Dean's List at her college and she won the Aspirations in Computing Award from the National Center for Women in Information Technology in 2013.  Her BDPA legacy is powerful and our BDPA iRadio Show will enjoy hearing her thoughts on BDPA and her preparation to compete at the annual conference over the past five years!  You can follow Herchran on Twitter - @herchranksp

Rene' Yarborough
Rene' Yarborough - senior manager, Baxter International - Rene' Yarborough is a senior IT manager at Baxter International. She has been in BDPA for many years as she moved from Cincinnati to Philadelphia to Chicago. She was recently elected as the Administrative Vice President of our BDPA Chicago chapter. Our BDPA iRadio Show audience looks forward to hearing about the BDPA journey of Rene' as well as her aspirations for the future of BDPA Chicago chapter.  You can follow Rene' on Twitter - @renerochelle

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Beleicia Bullock Plans to Use her Bemley Scholarship at Bowdoin College

Beleicia Bullock
Beleicia Bowdoin earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship for her work on the 2015 High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Washington DC. Her commitment to leadership is exemplary. Beleicia is graduating from the Maret School, where she has had a chance to grow both academically and socially. She is involved in a variety of clubs, including the Black Student Union, Student Admissions Tour Guides, and The Woodley Leaves, Maret’s newspaper.

In addition to being a devoted student-leader, she maintains an unwavering commitment to community service. Currently, she is concluding her Gold Award, which is the highest award that any Girl Scout can earn. For her project, Beleicia founded Operation: GirlCode. This initiative fosters a sisterhood among girls in the male-dominated HSCC championship and has retained a record number of girls for the HSCC team trained by BDPA Washington DC chapter. In addition to her Gold Award, Beleicia also serves as a teen advisor for the National Campaign for the Prevention of Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Here, she contributes her time to promote the Planned Parenthood and create more effective campaigns for the organization.

Many of the skills that Beleicia learned by participating in and leading community service projects, she was able to apply in the workforce. In 2012, Beleicia obtained her first internship at the Hirshhorn Museum. Here, she was the editor-in-chief of the museum’s teen newsletter and a social media intern. The next summer, she interned at the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a summer English instructor. There, she worked with youth on improving their writing skills, while also promoting the exploration of African American art, literature, and poetry. Finally, after graduating from high school, Beleicia started working at the Rock Creek Group, a global investment and advisory firm for institutional investors.
2015 Silver-Medal Winning team included Beleicia Bullock, Lauren Battle, Johnathan Legrant, Micah Moore and Zion Emanuel.
When asked to reflect on her experience with BDPA, Beleicia wrote, "After a scary introduction to computer science, I was so sure that programming was not for me. However, my mother thought that I should give it another try, so she signed me up for the HSCC. It was probably the best decision she has ever made for me. Three years later, I am looking forward to creating the foundations for my computer science career at college and really exploring all that technology has to offer. The HSCC helped to mold my thinking and trained me to think technically and efficiently. Simultaneously, I was able to learn a great deal of social skills, such as how to lead a team, take criticism constructively, and plan projects."
While she is sad to leave her life at Maret, family and friends, Beleicia is incredibly excited to attend Bowdoin College in the fall. There, she plans to double major in computer science and Arabic, as well as minoring in economics and finance.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

BDPA Leadership Tip: Ignore the Excuse and Attack the Problem

It's important not to get hung up arguing about or debating the validity of excuses. Every BDPAer makes excuses at one time or another. It's better to ignore the excuse, and focus on the job at hand.

For instance, a BDPA volunteer tells you that he "would have finished the job but people kept interrupting me."
Wrong Answer: "Why did you let them interrupt you? And, by the way, who was interrupting you?"

Right Answer: "Fine. What is the status of the job now, and when will you be finished?"
The right answer keeps the discussion focused on the job, not the excuse. As a general rule, attack the problem and ignore the excuse.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Grant Award: Christ Church Cathedral ($15,000)

Christ Church Cathedral
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter is pleased to announce that it won a $15,000 Christ Church Cathedral grant award for its Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. The funds will be used to sustain the interest of disadvantaged young people in science and technology. BDPA introduces computers and basic software programming to underserved young people in the Cincinnati Public School system and local colleges and universities. 80% of the US jobs created in the next decade will require math and science skills. The average salary of STEM employees is 70% higher than all other occupations. Student interest is simply too low in science, technology, education and math (STEM) areas. 84% of middle school students say that they would rather clean their room, eat their vegetables, go to the dentist or take out the garbage than learn math or science.

BDPA will use the Christ Church Cathedral funding to respond to these troubling statistics with the SITES program that teaches advance computer science and community responsibility to students from disadvantaged communities. The centerpiece of the SITES program is the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) that is taught at the BDPA computer camp on Saturdays. BDPA is reaching out to 8th-12th graders to participate in the computer camp. Youngsters are encouraged to apply online at and attend the orientation session on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at Cincinnati State.
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter is extremely grateful to Christ Church Cathedral for their $15,000 grant in support of the BDPA mission to improve the number of minorities interested and engaged in technology within greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky,” says BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Dalric Webb. “Christ Church Cathedral has been a long time supporter of the BDPA mission and through their support, the BDPA Cincinnati team of volunteers has been able to make a positive impact on engaging youth and professionals within our community to more opportunities in the technology field”.
2015 BDPA Cincinnati SITES Students
The 2016 SITES students will participate in a 30-week computer camp program and become eligible for the Brandon Berry Memorial Scholarship. Out of the program, five students will be selected to represent Cincinnati in the National BDPA HSCC championship held on August 10-13, 2016 in Atlanta, GA.

BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. For more than 25 years, BDPA Cincinnati has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members. BDPA Cincinnati is the largest and fastest-growing of the 47 chapters that exist around the nation.

For more information on the SITES program or BDPA Cincinnati chapter, call (513) 549-6991 or email

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BDPA Announces New Board Leadership – Tammy Koontz (State of Ohio)

Tammy Koontz
BDPA Cincinnati chapter, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals, today announced a new member of its board of directors. Tammy Koontz appointed to serve as the director of the chapter’s Communications Department.

BDPA Cincinnati is the largest (out of 47) chapters in the nation. The Communications Department is responsible for communicating BDPA information via all appropriate platforms (online and offline). This department is solely responsible for maintaining current and relevant content on the chapter website ( Finally, this department ensures that chapter members have their technical articles published in both local and national publications.
"Tammy brings a deep technical and communications background to this volunteer position along with a high level of passion for student success in technology! This is a winning combination for a volunteer in this role and will enable Tammy to make a significant positive impact on both the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter operations and the communities we serve,” said BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Dalric Webb. “I look forward to having Tammy's energy, expertise, and experience on the team as we continue to drive improvements in the diversity of individuals in the Cincinnati technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom.”
Tammy has been an educator for the State of Ohio over the past 25 years. She is a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa.
Tammy says, “I will engage members in providing articles and information for the newsletter and to maintain current information as well as updates.”
BDPA Cincinnati closes out 2015 as the largest BDPA chapter in the nation. The chapter is being considered as a host for the 2017 National BDPA Technology Conference. A new chapter president is coming on board in a few weeks. This is a remarkable time for any of our Cincinnati-based supporters to reach out to the chapter by email ( or phone (513.549-6991) to discuss ways that we can work with you or your organization. Tammy got involved. Now it is time for you to do the same thing!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Anthem Invests in BDPA Atlanta Chapter

Anthem invested in the basic BDPA corporate sponsorship package earlier this year. That investment provided them with corporate members, access to the BDPA Job Board and a banner ad on homepage. At the time, Anthem indicated a desire to identify internally what associates are members of local BDPA chapters in Atlanta, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Richmond. The company sought sponsorship, speaking and hosting opportunities at these chapters.

BDPA Atlanta chapter president Derrick Brown opened up a dialogue with the folks at Anthem's corporate headquarters. He was awarded with a $2,000 investment that includes co-sponsorship of the chapter's Holiday Party

There are remarkable opportunities for BDPA to partner with many champions in Corporate America.  Follow the example set by Derrick Brown to grow your chapter in both size and financial strength.  Feel free to reach out to the BDPA corporate sales team if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nonprofit Storytelling: 6 Tips for Interviews

By Merritt Engel

Ask any non-profit, and they'll tell you there's nothing better than a personal, heartfelt story to put a face on their cause. Far better than organizational blah-blah or sterile statistics, stories help donors (and future donors) learn an organization's personality. Stories help donors feel engaged in the work - and see the difference they can make in a real person's life. They empower the organization and its supporters to continue on. Messaging Shangri La!

But getting stories (good stories especially) is easier said than done. Here are a few tips we've learned from interviewing hundreds of people who have received help from charitable organizations.
  1. Start with the End in Mind - Do your homework. Get the "story behind the story" from the program manager before you ever pick up the phone. Think of the story you want to end up with and backtrack from there to draft your questions.

  2. Never Use the Word "Interview" - The word "interview" makes people feel like they're being interrogated by Woodward and Bernstein. It can cause anxiety and stage fright. Instead, ask if you can "chat for a few minutes about the assistance he/she received."

  3. Talk Less, Listen More - Use the first minute or so to make the interviewee feel at ease-express your thanks. After that, zip your lips. Closed-ended questions will give you just what you might expect-one-word, dull answers. Ask questions like "what did the help mean to you?" and give people time to think about and respond to the question. Resist the urge to fill dead air as some of the best responses come when the interviewee is given the floor.

  4. Veer from the Script - As mentioned in #1, a list of questions is always a good idea. But that said, it's a starting point. Listen closely to the interview, and be ready to jet off in another direction if needed. Use probing questions to get more in-depth answers.

  5. Get Approvals - No surprises. That's our motto. After you've drafted the story, give the interviewee a chance to review for accuracy. Most make no changes, but it's better to know any problems before publishing it. Keep a paper trail-you might need it.

  6. Be Prepared for Anything (and I mean anything) - Interviewing for non-profits is unique. You're talking to people who were-or are-in crisis. Don't be surprised if you encounter hostility, tears and any other emotions. Listen and be empathetic, but never say, "I know what you're going through." Most importantly, stay calm no matter what's thrown at you.
Source: Merritt Engel is Vice President of Merrigan & Co., a Kansas City-based agency that specializes in messaging for non-profit organizations.

The BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) seeks volunteers that can help us capture the story of past winners of the Jesse Bemley Scholarship, Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students and Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. Please contact BETF by email or phone (513.284-4968) if you would like to discuss this volunteer opportunity.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Call For Presenters * 2016 BDPA Technology Conference

BDPA Conference Audience
The primary BDPA Technology Conference audience consists of multiple levels of IT professionals, from entry-level technologists to senior level managers and corporate executives. Entrepreneurs and educators will also be in attendance. Workshop content and instruction should be geared to a level that is appropriate for the target audience.

The Youth Workshop audience will include middle and high school students. Your presentation’s objective is to enhance the students' capacity to explore and utilize emerging technology. The presentation should also inspire and empower these future professionals to embrace and effectively use Information Technology in their academic and professional careers.

All information must be submitted online at by January 29, 2016.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

ThoughtWorks Renews Sponsorship of BDPA Dallas Chapter

ThoughtWorks made a commitment to renew its in-kind funding for facilities and food at the monthly program meetings hosted for technology professionals in the Dallas area. BDPA Dallas has used this continued relationship with ThoughtWorks to broaden its appeal to the community. The chapter is now the 12th-largest in all of BDPA. BDPA Dallas chapter president Chad White has his eyes firmly set on cracking the 'Top 10' in the coming weeks!

ThoughtWorks is community of passionate individuals whose purpose is to revolutionize software design, creation and delivery, while advocating for positive social change.

They are focused on helping our technology industry improve, and believe in sharing what they learn. They do this by writing books, blogging, running events, talking at conferences, and championing open source. They also do it by being part of the monthly professional development seminars put on each month by BDPA Dallas chapter.

We seek to uncover similar corporate relationships in all 47 local chapters around the nation. BDPA chapters in Cincinnati and Dallas have now unveiled their corporate partners for the monthly program meeting. What corporation is stepping up in your town to 'make a difference' for African American digital professionals?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Seeking Students for BDPA Cincinnati Computer Camp

2015 BDPA Cincinnati Computer Camp
BDPA Computer Camp is recruiting students in the greater Cincinnati area for its 2016 program. The program helps students explore the world of information technology, while laying a solid foundation for future collegiate and professional careers. The program has an intensive training curriculum for 8th – 12th grade students. The program prepares students to compete in the Regional and the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) annually.

All new and previous students, as well as their parents or guardian, should meet with the BDPA Computer Camp committee on January 9, 2016 from 9 am – 2 pm. Please click here to apply.

Please email for more information and details! Or you can call BDPA Cincinnati chapter on (513) 549-6991.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Brown Mackie College Renews Sponsorship with BDPA Cincinnati

Brown Mackie College (Cincinnati)
Brown Mackie College agreed to renew its in-kind sponsorship of the program meetings hosted on the 3rd Wednesdays of each month for BDPA Cincinnati chapter. The monthly face-to-face gatherings are a major reason that BDPA Cincinnati is now the largest local chapter in the nation.

Monthly program meetings hosted by Brown Mackie College in 2015 included:
  1. 3D Printing
  2. Everything You Need to Know about the BDPA Computer Camp
  3. Big Data: Friend or Foe?
  4. Challenge of IT in Sub-Saharan Africa
  5. Diving into Augmented & Virtual Reality
  6. ePublishing
  7. Financial Strategies for Small Businesses
  8. Innovation and Minority Entrepreneurship
  9. IT Recruiter's Roundtable
  10. The Internet of Things
  11. The Smart Grid
  12. What Cloud Means for Business
Brown Mackie College also informs its students about BDPA programs such as:
  • sponsored college student memberships - Other BDPA sponsors are willing to pay the $25 membership dues for any interested Brown Mackie College student
  • recruit Brown Mackie College students interested in competing in the 3rd Annual Mobile Application Showcase
  • recruit Brown Mackie College students to compete in our 14th Annual IT Showcase 
  • recruit Brown Mackie College students interested in helping us train high school students at our BDPA Computer Camp
Brown Mackie College demonstrates to other organizations how important it is to find a way to work with the local BDPA chapter in your geographic area.
"Looks good and I’ll keep our students in the loop," says Julie Gabbard, Information Technology director, Brown Mackie College. "I hope they all sign up!"
BDPA seeks to advance the careers of African Americans in the technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom. We want to take a quantum leap in the number of sponsorships involving BDPA programs, scholarships and services over the coming weeks.  Please reach out to BDPA by email ( or phone (301.584-3135 x108) if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

BDPA Cincinnati Seeks Major Grant Funding from Interactive Intelligence Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Cincinnati chapter to submit a $20,000 grant proposal to the Interactive Intelligence Foundation.  Interactive Intelligence Foundation seeks to provide funding for 2016-2017 grant periods. It is important that the grant proposal contains the following minimum criteria:
  • How well your organization’s project aligns with the mission of the foundation, which is to utilize available resources and funding to foster life improvements for at-risk youth.
  • Heavier weight is given to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects, as well as those projects with a specific start/stop time and measurable outcomes.
  • The Interactive Intelligence Foundation does not fund administrative or overhead costs, all money received from the Foundation should be appropriated to the specific project that funds were requested for.
  • The demographics of age groups served by the organization should be 0 – 18 years of age.
2015 BDPA Cincinnati SITES Students & Instructors
We feel that the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program conducted by our BDPA Cincinnati chapter meets these criteria.    We should have an answer by mid-January 2016 on our request.

BETF seeks to work with any chapter interested in submitting grant proposals.  Please reach out to the BETF executive director if you are interested in learning more.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Human Capital Logistics Scholarship for Briana Abraham (BDPA Greater Columbia)

Briana Abraham
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to administer the Human Capital Logistics (HCL) Scholarship for BDPA Students. BDPA Greater Columbia student member Briana Abraham won the scholarship and plans to use it to continue her studies at George Mason University. The HCL Scholarship recognizes outstanding BDPA Greater Columbia student members, 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. Applicants must be financially current members of the BDPA Greater Columbia chapter.

Briana seeks a computer science degree with a focus on cybersecurity. Her career goal is to become a reverse engineer. She worked the past two summers as a research intern at the University of South Carolina.

We asked her to share thoughts on her experience with BDPA.
2014 HSCC Team (Greater Columbia)
"I joined BDPA during my junior year in high school, shortly after I became interested in Computer Science. BDPA gave me a space to hone my programming skills, while also allowing me to collaborate with peers who held similar interests, and who were passionate about software development. My time at BDPA has greatly increased my teamwork skills, presentation skills, networking skills, and of course my programming skills.

My most memorable moment in BDPA is during the 2014 National BDPA Technology Conference, when the awards were announced for the High School Computer Competition, and it was revealed that my team had placed second. That moment was filled with elation, joy and camaraderie. My teammates and I, were thrilled to see that the days spent together in preparation for the competition had paid off. We were shocked. The moment for me was particularly special, as prior to this venture, I had no experience with web development, and being able to contribute meaningfully to the team's success, was fulfilling.
HCL is owned and operated by BDPA member Phyllis Coleman. Phyllis is a long-time supporter of BDPA ... including her service as president of BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. It is wonderful to see BDPA entrepreneurs and small business owners reaching back to 'make a difference' with our young people.

We hope that other BDPA business owners will find a way to support our young people with either scholarships or sponsored memberships. Contact BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Friday, December 4, 2015

BDPA Cincinnati Announces New Board Leadership – Robert Mickens III

Robert Mickens III
BDPA Cincinnati chapter, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals, today announced a new member of its board of directors. Robert Mickens III appointed to serve as the director of the chapter’s Benefits Department.

BDPA Cincinnati is the largest (out of 47) chapters in the nation. The Benefits Department procures discounts and other benefits for BDPA Cincinnati chapter members. These benefits fall into the following categories: hardware, magazine subscriptions, software and training. The department will contact various corporations in the local area to secure discounted pricing for BDPA members. The department will create a written document that shares the specific and tangible benefits that accrue to our chapter members. Finally, the department will provide relevant content on membership benefits for chapter website and other online platforms.
We are excited to have Robert join the strong team of volunteer leaders on the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter board of directors! Robert brings deep and broad technical expertise as well as a strong passion to the vision and mission of the BDPA team in making a positive impact on improving the number of diverse Information Technology professionals in the career pipeline ‘from the classroom to the boardroom’,” said BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Dalric Webb. “We look forward to Robert's own vision and input as we continue to deliver value to our students, members, sponsors, supporters, and the communities in which we live.
Robert is a database administrator for Data Intensity. He is a proven leader and strategic thinker that translate business goals into applicable objectives that render positive results. Robert is experienced in developing initiatives, with employees and customers in mind, while utilizing the insights and direction of upper management. He is capable of leading teams with a track record includes implementation of various company projects, compliance, and operational transitions.

BDPA looks forward to Robert serving in a leadership position with the Cincinnati chapter board of directors.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Message from BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President

Dr. Dalric Webb

As we head into the final month of the year, your BDPA Cincinnati chapter is still going strong and making a positive difference in the communities in which we live and work. From getting more students interested and excited in Information Technology and STEAM related careers, to expanding the networking of STEAM related professionals and improving job opportunities, BDPA Cincinnati Chapter continues to outperform against our goals and objectives. We are on track to end the year holding onto our LARGEST CHAPTER IN THE NATION status with a stretch goal of reaching 300 members by the end of the year! Our membership growth and retention is a direct testament and compliment to the value our members see and receive from being a part of the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter. Thank you to each of our members for your support and participation!

Program Meeting  audience
If you missed last month’s program meeting on 'Big Data - Friend or Foe?' with our honored guest speaker, Barb Kruetzkamp (GE Aviation), you missed a VERY informative session with EXCELLENT networking engagement and potential job opportunities. There were several organizational leaders in attendance as well as several recruiters actively seeking candidates for open jobs. Our program meetings are rapidly becoming known as THE place for IT/STEM connections to happen! Be sure to RSVP to attend this month’s program meeting on 'The Challenges of IT in Sub-Saharan Africa' with our special guest speaker, Russell McMahon (University of Cincinnati).

Na'Shawnda Peterson
As this is my final message as the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President, let me take a moment to thank ALL the volunteer leaders of the chapter, the sponsors and supporters, corporate executives, and organizational recruiters who have put forth their time, talent, and treasure to make the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter such a well-run, effective, and impact organization! It has been a humble honor to be a part of this wonderful team of volunteers! To the incoming President, Na'Shawnda Peterson, we have put together a strong structure of documented processes for the chapter operations and have begun engaging several promising community and organizational partnerships for an even greater positive community impact in 2016 and beyond!

Lastly, how are you feeling about your membership? Do you know who the Vice Presidents are for your Chapter? Do you know how to reach any of the board members? When was the last time you visited the National BDPA website?  We need your engagement! Everyone has something they can contribute to making our chapter even better!  You will find we are a fun group of professionals that are committed to making a difference in our local communities.

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!

Dr. Dalric Webb, President
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, November 2015)

The lifeblood of any nonprofit association is its membershipBDPA Cincinnati remains the #1 BDPA chapter in the nation for the eighth month in a row.   The chapter ... led by its president, Dalric Webb ... continues to amaze others by its consistent growth.   The chapter seeks to reach its goal of 300 members by the end of the year!

National BDPA VP-Membership Management (VPMM) Mildred Allen meets on a monthly basis with the local chapter VPMMs.    Her efforts have allowed BDPA to continue to grow.  Currently BDPA has higher level of membership then it did coming into the calendar year.   We need to work hard to keep membership growth and retention higher.

David Malonson
BDPA Los Angeles had a great month in November as they grew their chapter by over 25% in that single month.  As a result  the chapter moved up in the national rankings to become the 17th-largest in the nation.  The chapter president, David Malonson, has been a remarkable leader.  He shared some of his insights with us back in 2010.  BDPA Los Angeles chapter is very strong in terms of the programs and services provided for both adult members and student members. It is no accident that active efforts within a local BDPA chapter results in more members ... more members results in more membership dues ... which makes it easier to implement more consistent and effect programs and services. How are things going in your local chapter?

BDPA believes in the management maxim -- you get what you measure.  Let us assess the numbers in order to honor those local BDPA chapters who are demonstrating success in their efforts to recruit and retain members. Let's take a look at the ten largest chapters in BDPA-Nation:
  1. Cincinnati - president, Dalric Webb 
  2. Chicago - president, Reggie Rush 
  3. Atlanta - president, Derrick Brown
  4. Detroit - president, Beverly Moore
  5. Philadelphia - president, Cedric Edwards
  6.  New York - president, Tyrone McKinney
  7. Washington DC - president, Perry Carter 
  8. Indianapolis - president, Terry Morris 
  9. New Jersey - president, Goldie Bonney 
  10. Milwaukee - president, Carmen Giles 
The number of chapters now belonging to the 'BDPA Century Club' currently stands at six.  The benefit of having powerful leadership is obvious when we see that Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, New York and Philadelphia each have over 100 members. One of the common denominators for each of these chapters is that they place a high premium on the delivery of quality programs and services to their members. These chapters work hard to ensure that there is a strong return on the $100 investment that each member makes thru annual dues.

Our national president, Pamela Mathews, recently touted the value that organizational re-branding has made on BDPAWhat are your thoughts about the value of BDPA membership? What can your local chapter do to improve the value-proposition for you on a personal or professional level?