Sunday, December 9, 2007

BDPA Reflections: Dr. Will Bundy

I have been a member of BDPA for almost 20 years. I've served on the National BDPA Board of Directors for most of that time. Recently, I asked some of the current and former leaders within BDPA to reflect on their experience.

Dr. Will Bundy is the first to accept my offer. I met Dr. Bundy in 2002 at the national conference held in Orlando, FL. He is a proven warrior having served our nation as a submariner in the US Navy. Dr. Bundy opened my vision of BDPA corporate relations when he negotiated on behalf of FleetBoston Financial the first Platinum-level corporate sponsorship in BDPA's history.

Here are BDPA reflections from Dr. Will Bundy, who concludes four years of service as a National BDPA Outside Director at the end of this month.
"Since becoming associated with BDPA as an executive at FleetBoston Financial and continuing as a member of the National Executive Committee, I believe BDPA has continued to evolve into the premier professional organization for African American Information Technology professionals in the United States.

As the FleetBoston Financial leader responsible for affiliating with BDPA, it seemed the prospects for embracing the organization would be limited. There was apathy toward affiliating with BDPA among members of the FleetBoston Financial Operations and Technology management team along with a general lack of appreciation for the advantages of a professional development organization that would promote advancement of African American associates. Over time, the number of FleetBoston BDPA members grew along with the establishment or revitalization of chapters in Albany, New York; New Jersey; Rhode Island and Boston. BDPA members in these FleetBoston Financial-based chapters embraced the idea of networking, mentorship and professional development offered by BDPA.

It was my hope that BDPA would evolve into a truly effective networking and professional development organization that would assist its members in overcoming either outright bias or undercurrents of race-based bias in their work environments through effective networking, mentoring and leadership development. Those ambitions for BDPA have been advanced over the last four years with concepts that I had a hand in promoting. These concepts included the BDPA IT Institute, BDPA Epsilon Corporate and Individual Awards, and a regional representation approach that would improve national BDPA governance.

The BDPA Institute was conceived as a substitute for technologist-to-executive bridge programs that are offered to majority corporate associates on a fairly routine basis. The number of African Americans selected for fast-track advancement programs in corporate America is dismal. It was hoped that the BDPA Institute would serve to provide executive development education to BDPA members who wanted to advance to the boardroom. The concept called for offering certification in progressive leadership and executive development levels that would be recognized by corporate managers and leaders. The institute has begun to produce graduates at the Associate, Professional and Master IT levels with aspirations of developing a pool of BDPA members who are ready for advancement to leadership positions.

Epsilon Award winners have been showcased at the last three BDPA national conferences. Working with past national president IBM, Lockheed Martin and Allstate Insurance with a number of companies benefiting from recognition as companies that actively support development of Black IT professionals.

Epsilon Awards for Individuals designed to recognize both professional and career development were established after I realized that BDPA did not promote its members in a public way. We knew we had members who had made significant positive impact, but there was no formal program to recognize our brightest and rising stars. The Epsilon Individual Awards program continues to grow and should become the crowning event during the annual national conference. While we applaud the nascent capabilities of the high school competition winners it is vitally important that BDPA should extol the accomplishments of its leading professionals.

It has been my hope to see the national organization gain a level of stability, continuity, and successor development in its leadership. A model that seemed best for BDPA is the regional representation model where leaders from national regions become part of a national governing board for BDPA. Committees with elected chairs would handle key events and oversee member business areas with a national executive director and small staff empowered to manage the day-to-day business of the association. It seemed better to form a more collaborative and representative governance organization that would be inclusive rather than rely on over-burdened member vice presidents akin to a part-time corporate model. That effort is under consideration and I hope that it moves forward.

Finally, it has always been my hope that BDPA would grow and become a professional association capable of assisting its members with career advancement and one that would capture the support of senior leaders in major IT-based organizations. Organizations like NNOA with the Sea Services of the Armed Forces, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Black MBA Association set the standard that I had hoped BDPA would ultimately emulate. I believe BDPA is on its way to advancing the cause and development of Black IT professionals in their march from the classroom-to-the-boardroom."

William F. Bundy, Ph.D
Bristol, RI, December 2007

Dr. Bundy earned his place in the BDPA Hall of Fame many years ago. Please POST A COMMENT to express your thoughts on Will's reflections ... and at a minimum, take a moment to thank the brother for his volunteer service to our organization at such a high level for such a long time.

BETF-Blog Readers, what say u?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

All - I miss Will's leadership in BDPA...