Saturday, December 12, 2009

BDPA Legacy: Norman Mays

Originally Posted: December 11, 2007

BETF-Blog Readers, one of our goals is to provide a repository of information about our BDPA legacy. We hope that reading about our heroes and sheroes of BDPA's past you will be encouraged to help raise money to fund scholarships and youth education programs for our future legends. Please consider clicking here to make an online donation today.

Today we share information about a prolific BDPA leader who founded BDPA chapters in both Washington DC and Cleveland OH. Norman Mays served as the 2nd national BDPA president in 1981-1984. He led the annual conferences held in Philadelphia (1981, 'Growth Through Professional Association'), Detroit (1982, 'Entrepreneurship: A Successful Attitude'), Newark (1983, 'Rise to the Challenge') and Cleveland (1984, 'Information Processing: A Vote for the Future').

Norman is a native Clevelander who graduated from the "old" Glenville High School in January 1959. In August 1959, he entered the US Army where he served for 20 years, specializing in administration, military intelligence and computers. During various assignments, he attended several colleges and began the national expansion of a professional computer organization. Upon retiring from the service in 1979, he spent ten years in the corporate world. Tiring of corporate downsizings, and recognizing the need to have a "safety net", he became an entrepreneur. Norman is currently doing his thing within the financial services industry in Cleveland.

BETF-Blog Readers, Norman is a brother with immense passion for BDPA. He is writing a book on BDPA history. He envisions a televised documentary with BDPA leaders, past and present, talking about the magic of our programs and services.

Norman had a "eureka" moment at a presentation by the Ethiopian Minister of Finance at the 2007 national BDPA conference held in Washington DC when BDPA was challenged to develop an 'IT Peace Corps' ... ambassadors from an advanced nation providing services, developmental support and clarity in IT to the underdeveloped world. Norman wrote,
"We live in an increasingly connected global village, and as an IT organization, we observe many enterprises adapting to the challenges and opportunities of globalization. Without changing BDPA’s core mission, but to expand it, one such intersection of opportunity to impact BDPA in remarkable and unprecedented ways has been presented to us."
Norman accepted the challenge by teaming with Dr. Ademola Solaru to create a proposal that would aggressively move BDPA into the African continent. The proposal is currently under review by the National Executive Committee. I encourage any of you with interest in the book, documentary or IT Peace Corps to reach out to Bro. Mays in the COMMENTS section below.


BlackLiterature said...

Opportunity in Africa:

Unknown said...


Interesting article. we building a free Entrepreneurs Investors community. Our idea is to bring to entrepreneurs advice that will help them in the growth process. The website is free of charge while still in beta. Let's develop markets together!

I leave you the decision to publish the address of the website (

Thanks and good work!

Unknown said...

Gaic - I will take a looksee at your website a little later this week. Good luck on the effort!

Anonymous said...

Norman is a past BDPA National President who has never stopped promoting the objectives of BDPA through continuous active involvement and consistently great ideas and efforts that he doesn't just suggest but works hard to implement.

It has been a true pleasure to work with Norman over the years. I look forward to his continued participation.

Earl A. Pace, Jr.
BDPA Founder

Unknown said...

BDPA Founder - Do you have any photos of the first national conference that can be scanned and posted for posterity? Do you have a photo of the co-founder? Finally, do you have any photos of the b-ball games that you & Norman used to play back in the day (smile)!

Jesse Bemley said...

This is a great story about a great guy. After an organization is started, there has to be a powerful force to maintain the momentum. In the early days of BDPA, Norm Mays was that force.

In true form, he moved from that path to form another branch of the organizational tree. After this branch has blossomed, it will be on to form the next one.

Kudos to Norman Mays!

Wayne Hicks said...

Jesse - Our blog is honored to know that you're reading us every once in awhile! I also appreciate your kind words about Norman. Often we take our BDPA legacy and its heroes for granted. We need to honor our heroes while they are still here to hear it!