Sunday, November 30, 2008

This Week in BDPA (Nov 30 - Dec 6)

Our foundation seeks to support BDPA programs and services. As such, it is important that our blog readers know about the plethora of BDPA activity all around the country. Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the BDPA CollectiveX Calendar and elsewhere:
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

If you like what you are seeing on this blog ... please consider making an online donation to the BDPA Foundation so that we can continue to fund these events in the future.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

President Profile: BDPA South Florida Chapter (Jeff Cunningham)

Jeff Cunningham, President
BDPA South Florida Chapter

Address: PO Box 680086
Miami, FL 33168
Phone: (212) 696-6892
Website: None
Newsletter: None

BDPA South Florida Chapter was at a crossroads earlier this year. The chapter activity slowed down considerably over the past year or so. The chapter either needed a new leader to emerge or face possible end of BDPA in that city. Jeff Cunningham rose to the challenge when he agreed to become acting president pending elections.

Jeffrey Cunningham is a seasoned technology professional in South Florida and a principal with J. Cunningham & Associates. His firms delivers information technology services including Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, Corporate Governance, Assessments of ERP applications, HIPAA Compliance, Document Retention & Management, Project Management, and Enterprise Security.

Jeffrey is active in the his community with organizations such as: BDPA South Florida, Black MBA Association, Project Management Institute, Information Systems Audit and Control Association, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Professionals Association, and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

Jeffrey received a Bachelor of Arts degree from LeMoyne Owen College and Masters Degree from Central Michigan University. He is currently pursuing a second Masters degree in SAP.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Jeffrey was awarded in 2002 by the Memphis Business Journal as one of the Top 40 Executive under 40 for the state of Tennessee. In 2007, Jeffrey was nominated Who's Who in Black South Florida.

Jeff's wants to move BDPA South Florida chapter in three specific areas over the coming weeks and months:
  1. Increase membership by reconnecting with past members
  2. Build strategic alliances with other professional, technical, business and member organizations
  3. Build a BDPA presence on the campus of Florida Memorial University
Jeff's favorite quote: "Watch your mouth kid, or you'll find yourself floating home" - His Mom!

His favorite BDPA memory: "Attending my first BDPA National Conference many years ago and seeing so many people of color in Technology."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Allstate Giving Campaign

BETF proudly received pledged payments through the Allstate Giving Campaign made by Malvirse Dervin, Yvette Graham, Lewis Hamer, Felicia Mansfield, Chandra Morton, Ura Puranda and two anonymous employees. Our foundation is proud to be part of the annual giving program for Allstate Insurance. The donations made by these six BDPA members will be used to support BDPA Chicago programs and services. Allstate Insurance leveraged the generosity of these BDPA employees with an additional 15% matching fund donation.

Our hope is that other BDPA members will consider making payroll deductions during annual giving campaigns put on by United Way, Combined Federal Campaign or the company itself. Others may simply want to make a one-time donation directly to BETF in support of the youth education programs taking place all over the country.

Please share some 'BDPA-Love' with Malvirse, Yvette, Lewis, Felicia, Chandra and Ura by using the COMMENTS section below!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

McKelvey Foundation: Entrepreneurial Scholarships

The McKelvey Foundation is honored to award $40,000 scholarships to young entrepreneurs nationwide who have started their own businesses. Each scholar will be awarded up to $10,000 per year to attend any four-year college within the United States.

Applicants will be required to meet scholarship criteria. Winners of the Entrepreneurial Scholarships will enjoy being part of a larger entrepreneurial networking community and will be given the opportunity to meet with other scholars during our summer e-Venture program.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Okwudili Udeh (Hartford)

Very few BDPA students participate in the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) in multiple years. So it is a remarkable feat when one of our HSCC alumni compete in four (4) separate national conferences. I give you that background so that you will be sufficiently aware of the unique nature of Okwudili Udeh. Okwudili was a member of HSCC teams trained by BDPA Hartford chapter to compete nationally in 2005 (Detroit), 2006 (Los Angeles), 2007 (Washington DC) and 2008 (Atlanta).

Another reason that we are proud of Okwudili is that he is one of our Bemley Scholar! He earned $1,500 Bemley Scholarship from the BDPA Foundation. He is using those funds to earn a college degree from Ithaca College. Enough from me ... take a moment to check out his personal testimonial:

I am Okwudili Udeh, a member of the BDPA Hartford Chapter. Right now, I am a freshman at Ithaca College, majoring in Computer Science and Creative Writing. I plan on building applications to improve the comic book industry, like page layout design programs, new technology ideas and such, but currently, I’ve got my hands full with other work (college is no joke).

The HSCC program was my “summer camp”. For four years (five if you count the YTC), I’ve gone to different BDPA conferences around the United States, and learned new things about the IT industry, my teammates, and myself at each of them. In my opinion, those conferences provided knowledge and me the training I needed to be successful in college and high school. It taught me how to write a resume, network, how to utilize different software development strategies, teamwork, team management, new technology, and more. None of my high school classes covered those important topics!

My fondest memory throughout the five years was winning second place in Detroit. We did not win first place, but at that point, it sure felt like we did. I am usually not one to cry after something good happens, but I was close at that point. My high school caught word of it quickly, and for the first few weeks of school, a bunch of people were congratulating me, including my school’s principal, since I was the only one in my school that was on the Hartford Chapter’s HSCC team at the time. Even the Hartford Courant newspaper featured our team.

Although that is my fondest memory, the programming classes have influenced me the most. They were vigorous at times, but I always tried to attend each class because I felt so comfortable there. It was a place that I could hang out and talk about Information Technology with people that understood me. In addition, through these classes learned about things that actually fit my future career path, which is more towards computer programming.

I do not know what type of person I would have been without the HSCC program and BDPA in general, but I am sure he would not be as intelligent, or as happy, as I am. Through the BDPA, I gained a tighter bond with my family, new friends, a lot more knowledge about the Information Technology and business worlds, and a whole lot of self-confidence. In college, some of my friends wonder why I act so professional and methodical, and I give them all the same answer: it is because of what I learned through the BDPA.

It feels good knowing that BDPA is having such a positive impact on young folks like Okwudili. How do you feel about it?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Google Digitizes Books

In this space I continue to make the case that we need to get down with computers and technology. There are no more excuses. The Internet, SmartPhones, and Computers are no longer a luxury. This technology is now a requirement to participate in the world. Many still beleive that this is an economic issue. It is not. African Americans have plenty of disposable income. And for those of us who are unable to afford access to technology there are many free avenues that provide the kind of access I am advocating. If we need to discuss these resources please comment here and I will be happy to provide.

There are so many areas in your life that you can simplify and save money simply by owning a computer and having a high-speed connection to the Internet. Here is another example. Google has a project that entails digitizing books. What this is means is that you will be able to access books online electronically. I think this is an excellent project. In education we are always hearing about the poor quality of the textbooks in the urban public schools. Technology once again can play the role of the great equalizer. If you are prepared to take advantage of it.

Read more about the google project here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guest Blogger: 'Art of Thanksgiving' (Callie Herd)

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to take the time to promote my blog, Planning and Preparing for College (Scholarships, Internships, Etc) with you. It is my hope that you would take the time to share with others and bless as many students/parents that you can.

I have found out during the years that "it is you that determines how far you can or can't go." We must stop allowing others to limit us on what we want to do in life. One of my favorite motto is: "Your vision is not my vision and just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it won't manifest."

I had the pleasure of advising a young man from the "Class of 2008" who had barely graduated with almost a 2.0, but still had the desire to attend college. The young man had also never taken the ACT or applied for college. I went into my speech that "if he believes in himself and have faith that anything is possible." The young man told me his goal was to attend college, but he felt that his current grades and not taking the ACT would make that an impossible dream. I advised him on what he needed to do in order to prepare for the ACT exam. Last month, I received a call from him and he told me he scored a "21". He was very enlightened and couldn't believe that he scored so high. The young man plans on attending college this January '09.

My challenge to you, the "Class of 2009" and current college students is that you create a plan when applying for scholarships that would allow you the best opportunities to obtain one. For instead the Sam Walton Community Service college would be a great programming project and could be the base for future scholarship formats. You see this particular scholarship is nation-wide and for every Walmart, Sam's and Walmart Neighborhood Store their will be a recipient of the scholarships. The value of the scholarship is $3,000.

Just think if you could devise a way to have a layout of the impacted stores, store numbers, average income for the area, how many schools are within the range of the store(s) and then assign a student per store for that area. This would provide statistical data that would allow the odds of them receiving a scholarship to be higher. The previous sentence is just a few requirements needed, but you will have to plot in the rest. In the end, planning how to apply and select a scholarships is the biggest thing to conquer.

In 2004 both my daughter and friend's daughter were recipient of the scholarship because they had a plan along with the requirements needed in order to receive the scholarships. So in the end, "life's challenges goes to the man who thinks he can."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Does Racism Still Exist in IT Industry?

Don Tennant is editor for Computerworld who shared disturbing news from the results in Computerworld's 2008 IT Salary Survey. Mr. Tennant wrote about the survey last year. He noted that African Americans were underrepresented in the IT profession, with only a 3% showing, and that their compensation was significantly lower than that of their white counterparts.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tennant points out in his editorial entitled, 'Hoping for equality in the IT profession' that the 3% figure is unchanged, and if anything, the compensation gap is even wider. Last year, African-American IT workers made just 86.4 cents for every dollar white IT workers made (average total compensation of $78,582, compared with $90,901). This year, it was 85.9 cents ($80,733 vs. $93,977).

Maybe the issue is deeper still. There are so many in our industry who feel that racism no longer exists ... after all, didn't we just elect a Black man to be our president?

What is your take on the standing of African Americans in the IT industry as we move into the new year?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grant Proposal: LimitedBrands Foundation

LimitedBrands Office of Inclusion agreed to fund $750 in support of LimitedBrands associates working with the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in the Columbus, OH area. We were asked to formalize the funding using the LimitedBrands Foundation grant process.

Since 1994, LimitedBrands Foundation has invested nearly $48 million in the community to support causes that align with their agenda to advance women, children and education.

We will keep you informed on the progress of this grant proposal.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign

BETF proudly accepted pledges through the WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign made by Yiddy Chaves, Corlon Ford, Wanda McGee, Eric Wingate and Annette Yates during the 3rd quarter of this year. WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. The donations made by these five BDPA members will be used to support programs and services put on by our BDPA Richmond chapter. WellPoint leveraged the generosity of these BDPA employees with an additional 50% matching fund donation.

Our hope is that other BDPA members will consider making payroll deductions during annual giving campaigns put on by United Way, Combined Federal Campaign or the company itself. Others may simply want to make a one-time donation directly to BETF in support of the youth education programs taking place all over the country.

Please share some 'BDPA-Love' with Yiddy, Corlon, Wanda, Eric and Annette!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

BDPA Atlanta Uses Web 2.0 Tools to Promote SITES Program

BDPA Atlanta chapter is using Web 2.0 technology on YouTube to promote the kick-off of their 2009 SITES program. This is something that the other 49 chapters might want to consider!

Share some love with Teresa Williams, Wes Williams and the other leaders of BDPA Atlanta chapter for taking BDPA marketing efforts to the next level. Is your chapter doing anything like this?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BDPA Legacy: Edwin Sapp

UPDATE: Edwin Sapp announced his resignation as national vice-president (Strategy & Planning). Edwin Sapp is a long-time BDPA warrior. His vision, passion and leadership on the national BDPA board of directors will be missed!

We shared the names of the incoming National BDPA leadership with BETF-Blog Readers earlier. We plan to share the bios for the individual members of that leadership team over the coming days and weeks. Edwin Sapp is the first one to be featured. Edwin was confimred as the Vice President, Strategy & Planning for 2008-2009. His business area is responsible for BDPA Competencies & Skills 2012, Annual Strategic Planning, Strategy Realization Office SRO, and Future State Organization.

Edwin is a Marketing Executive for Global Consultants, which specializes in working with small-to-medium sized businesses to execute business development processes, launch technology marketing programs and manage projects. He has over twenty-five years in high-tech. In several capacities he has had responsibility for million dollar projects; managed business process reengineering programs; led multi-cultural multi-ethnic project teams; delivered international technical sales seminars; and mentored technical and business professionals.

His concentration on small to medium sized enterprises is in the deep belief that they will need early on processes and best practices which take them to the next level--effectively and profitably. He enhanced a technical desktop seminar in Japan and Australia for a renowned computer analyst firm by providing greater insight into the competitive positioning of IBM, SUN and Digital using current account management practices and tactics for sales, marketing and strategic partners.

Edwin redesigned a software tools enterprise’s business process resulting in a 20% revenue improvement and a 5-10% increase in profitability while helping distribution channels. He Chaired a Support Council - TQM (Total Quality Management) Initiative. Using 4GL tools and high-performance team concepts, the Council accelerated the communications, information sharing and decision-making of a multi-cultural cross-functional enterprise-wide global organization.

A native of Miami, Florida, Mr. Sapp was graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC with a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. From Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, he received a BS in Management Information Systems and participated in executive level residential programs including one with Babson College.

I have known Edwin since he joined the BDPA family in Aug 1995. His leadership positions in BDPA include BDPA Boston Metrowest chapter president, vice president and secretary. On a national level he has worked within both our Corporate Relations Department and Strategic Planning Department. Edwin is a very progressive brother with a structured approach to leadership and strategic planning.

Please take a moment to welcome Edwin to his new gig as our National VPSP! Edwin, if you are reading this post ... click here to join the BDPA Group on LinkedIn Network.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama-Biden: 'Science, Technology and Innovation for a New Generation'

BDPA members should be aware of the Science, Technology and Innovation Plan promised by Barack Obama and Joe Biden during the recent campaign. We need to follow-up to ensure that these plans are put into action. More importantly, we need to ensure that our organization supports this plan on a local and national level.

Here are some of the highlights from the Barack-Biden plans:

  • Bring Government into the 21st Century: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks. Obama and Biden believe in the American people and in their intelligence, expertise, and ability and willingness to give and to give back to make government work better. Obama will appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.

  • Deploy Next-Generation Broadband: Barack Obama believes that America should lead the world in broadband penetration and Internet access. As a country, we have ensured that every American has access to telephone service and electricity, regardless of economic status, and Obama will do likewise for broadband Internet access. Obama and Biden believe we can get true broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund, better use of the nationʼs wireless spectrum, promotion of next-generation facilities, technologies and applications, and new tax and loan incentives.

  • Make the R&D Tax Credit Permanent: Barack Obama wants investments in a skilled research and development workforce and technology infrastructure to be supported here in America so that American workers and communities will benefit.

  • Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama and Biden will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. He will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.

  • Improve and Prioritize Science Assessments: Science assessments need to do more than test facts. They need to measure a student's higher order thinking skills including inference, logic, data analysis, interpretation, forming questions and communication. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work with governors and educators to ensure that state assessments measure these skills.

  • Address the Dropout Crisis: Obama and Biden will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school - strategies such as personal academic plans, teaching teams, parent involvement, mentoring, intensive reading and math instruction, and extended learning time.

  • Pinpoint College Aid for Math and Science Students: In 2007, Barack Obama introduced the National STEM Scholarship Database Act, which would launch an innovative online database to coordinate information on financial aid opportunities available in science and technology fields through the federal government and public or private resources. Access to this information is especially crucial for first generation college students who might otherwise receive limited guidance in how to successfully pursue, and finance, a degree in science or technology.

  • Increase Science and Math Graduates: Obama and Biden will improve science and math education in K through 12, to prepare more students for these studies in college. They will work to increase our number of science and engineering graduates and encourage undergraduates studying math and science to pursue graduate studies. They will also work to increase the representation of minorities and women in the science and technology pipeline, tapping the diversity of America to meet the increasing demand for a skilled workforce. The challenges of the 21st century can only be met by combining many skills from people with many backgrounds. America's diversity is a clear competitive advantage if we use it.

    It will be nice to have a president who wants to protect the openness of the Internet, deploy a modern communications infrastructure and improve America's competitiveness through science and technology.

    What are your thoughts on these high-level plans?
  • Sunday, November 16, 2008

    First Book

    First Book provides children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. The children can be up to 18 years old. Your program may be eligible to receive books through:
    1. First Book Advisory Boards - volunteers fundraise in their communities to provide grants of new books to local programs that serve children from low-income families.

    2. First Book Marketplace - is an online store offering programs serving children from low-income families the ability to purchase award-winning books at greatly reduced prices.

    3. First Book National Book Bank - distributes brand-new books, donated by publishers, free of charge to programs serving children from low-income families, or for a minimal shipping fee.

    Click here to gain access to First Book resources. You may also find interesting information on the First Book blog.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    BDPA Member Authors Web 2.0+ Book

    Frank Shines is the Director of Industriaplex, President of the Tampa Bay chapter of BDPA and author of The New Science of Success: How to Outsource-Proof Your Job & Prosper in a Web 2.0 Economy. Information Technology was the source of economic growth and job creation in the 1980s (PCs) and 1990s (Internet). In the 2000s the nation largely lost its way as it turned to a housing balloon and home equity, credit card financing and highly-leveraged "creative" financial securities, which ultimately led to the Wall Street bailout and our current economic recession.

    The New Science portends a coming economic shift that will rely upon a new Web 2.0+ -enabled economy that will power an emerging alternative energy "green" industry, molecular level manufacturing via the desktop, space travel and exploration. The book provides real life stories, case studies, examples and concludes with a new formula for individual success: Success = PAR + KASH (Purpose, Actions [Knowledge, Attitudes, Skills, Habits] Results).

    BDPA members can get a FREE copy of the first 25 pages of this 140 page book plus a special two-page message to BDPA members. Get your copy today by clicking here.

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Message from Northern Delaware Chapter President

    BDPA Northern Delaware chapter was created one year ago. BDPA Northern Delaware is now the 24th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter's founder and first president is Karen Smith. She is very excited about the upcoming Awards Banquet and IT Showcase. Here is a message she shared recently with her chapter members, sponsors and stakeholders:

    You will not want to miss the BDPA Northern Delaware 1st Annual Scholarship Awards Banquet & IT Showcase!

    This event will celebrate the success of the 1st year as a chartered chapter as well as generate funds to expand our program in 2009. It is hard to believe that we are almost one week away from the date in which BDPA Northern Delaware (BDPA NDE) was chartered on November 3, 2007. During 2008 we have been dedicated to the promotion of diversity within IT in the State of Delaware. The accomplishments in the last year would not have been possible without our members and supporters. BDPA NDE remains committed to excellence and providing a wide spectrum of resources to members, corporate sponsors, businesses, educational institutions and the community. The organization is a catalyst for professional growth and technical development for those in the IT industry and those who aspire to be in the IT Industry.

    During the 2008 National Conference one of our students won 1st place in the High School Students IT Showcase. We hope to expand upon that success in 2009! The National BDPA Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) programs, includes the High School Computer Camp, Family Technology Day, Scholarship Programs, and the IT Showcase. These programs are making a tremendous difference in bringing diversity into the industry and helping to close the digital divide. Today is the day, the momentum is here and BDPA is the conduit to help build the future of technology here in Delaware.

    The BDPA NDE Scholarship Awards Banquet and Educational Showcase is a major semi-formal networking event for members, students, educators, community leaders, corporate supporters, corporate sponsors, dignitaries and celebrities to meet and fellowship. The purpose of the banquet is to award a scholarship to deserving individuals, acknowledge the outstanding contributions of BDPA NDC members, supporting and sponsoring corporations. In addition, selected students will present their 2008 National Information Technology Showcase submissions.

    Our keynote speaker is Michael L. Vaughan, Senior Assistant Dean of the University of Delaware, College of Engineering. In this role, he is responsible for the College of Engineering educational administration and external affairs enterprise. Dean Vaughan manages the College of Engineering educational support processes by developing and implementing policies, programs and interconnections to enhance the College ability to foster successful outcomes in our diverse engineering environment.

    Your presence at this great event will help students explore technology development as a career option and highlight the career opportunities that are available to them as future professionals. This event will take place on November 15, 2008 at the Sheraton Suites. Please visit our website to purchase tickets, access the scholarship applications, and find our more about this event or BDPA Northern Delaware. A five dollar ($5) Board member discount will be offered to anyone purchasing a ticket directly from a BDPA Northern Delaware Board member.

    Please share the values of this organization within your professional network as well as your corporation. A corporate package is available on the website for any organization that can provide corporate level sponsorship.

    Karen L. Smith
    BDPA Northern Delaware
    (302) 282-3661 (BDPA Northern Delaware Office)

    I'm hopping on a plane in a few hours to attend the banquet. I hope to have photos and updates for BETF-Blog readers over the coming weekend!

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Black Executives Receive Top Honors for their Contribution to the Advancement of Technology and Diversity in the IT Profession

    The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) has recognized five African Americans from leading organizations for their extraordinary contributions to the advancement of Information Technology while continuously demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing diversity. Their achievements will be celebrated and recognized at the ITSMF Annual Awards Gala on February 13, 2009 at the Four Seasons in Dallas, Texas.

    UBS will be honored as the ITSMF Corporate Sponsor of the Year.

    The five individual award winners are:
    1. Monte Ford, SVP and CIO for American Airlines
    2. Dr. Randal Pinkett, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners
    3. Dr. Elva Jones, Chairman of the Computer Science Department at Winston Salem State University
    4. Dr. Cheick Modibo Diarra, Africa Chairman Middle East & Africa for Microsoft Corporation
    5. James D. Cook, VP Data Center Transformation at HP
    Click here to learn more about the ITSMF Annual Awards Gala.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Blogging While Brown Conference * Chicago, IL (June 19-20, 2009)

    I am pleased to report that the second annual Blogging While Brown (BWB) Conference will take place on June 19-20, 2009 at the University Center in Chicago. I attended the inaugural BWB Conference earlier this year in Atlanta GA. It appears that next year's event brings more opportunities to network and learn about the issues and concerns that face new media content creators.

    The BWB Conference provides an outstanding venue for bloggers of color to meet each other, discuss current issues, and learn about the latest technology. It arose in response to widespread dissatisfaction regarding the lack of diversity in some of the other technology conferences.

    Visit the official BWB Conference website to see videos from the first conference (including interviews done by Black Web 2.0), pictures of the conference attendees, reservation information, sponsorship information, and hotel logistics.

    A new twist for the BWB Conference is a pre-conference blogging bootcamp aimed at targeting those who still have questions about how to start a blog, how to promote your blog, and how to keep it going. Starting a few hours before the conference, this bootcamp can help any villager who thought that the agenda would only benefit experienced bloggers.

    Personally, I hope that BDPA figures out a way to partner with the BWB Conference. Especially in light of the fact that the largest BDPA chapter in the country is located in Chicago.

    Anyhow, I plan to attend ... how about you?

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    President Profile: BDPA Boston Chapter (Rod Flakes)

    Rod Flakes, President
    BDPA Boston Chapter

    Address: 37 Bylund Avenue
    Auburn, MA 01501
    Phone: (617) 686-5332

    Rod Flakes became president of BDPA Boston chapter in October 2008. He is an Information Technology professional that currently works for the Executive office of Health and Human Services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Rod is a member of the Greater Framingham Community Church. He is the founder, past chair, and currently a member of MAWD (Metro West Alliance for Workforce Diversity), affiliated with the Metro West Chamber of Commerce. His past employer of 19 years was the Digital Equipment Corporation. Rod is a senior executive with dynamic leadership ability. BDPA is counting on him to use his skills to grow BDPA Boston from its current position as the 26th largest chapter in the nation.
    Rod has a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from Northeastern University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University.

    Favorite BDPA Memory: "I recall attending a BDPA event at FleetBoston bank about three years ago where the local chapter arranged a reception. I was not a member then, but remember how impressed I was. My vision for the chapter is to renew and rebuild on the current foundation."

    Motto: “Upon this rock I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18

    Saturday, November 8, 2008

    BDPA Photo Album by Thomas Polk

    If a picture is worth a thousand words ... here are 3,585 photos worth over three million words for you!

    These photos were taken by Thomas Polk, owner of Polk Photography. You can reach him by phone at (216) 921-5113.

    Do you know of other photos from the conference that we are missing? I encourage you to upload any of your conference photos to our BDPA Photo Album!

    Friday, November 7, 2008

    Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

    BDPA Philadelphia is the 5th largest BDPA chapter in the nation. They won back-to-back 'Chapter of the Year' awards. One reason for their success is the regular communication shared by BDPA Philadelphia chapter president Monique Berry. Here is the message she shared in November 2008 with her chapter stakeholders:

    Our Chapter year end is fast approaching and we continue to grow and prosper as an organization with significant increases in our membership. This has been a busy year with good attendance and feedback on our programming and events.

    Membership and participation remain the ingredients to success in serving our members and attracting talented and informative speakers, programs, and events to keep our mission on track. We have had over 100 new members join this year. We welcome your comments and suggestions and will continue to work to make 2008 a great year!

    It has been exciting working with such a great Executive Board. These leaders are to be congratulated on their accomplishments and contributions they have shared with our chapter. There are still many opportunities for new dynamic leaders to serve the Chapter in 2009. The under the leadership of the Board BDPA will continue to guide the growth and prosperity of our Chapter in the coming years.

    We have some exciting things planned for the Chapter in the coming months. We are asking all members to attend the
    Recruiter's Round Table on November 19th. This is your chance to learn about the career trends in the Philadelphia area from representatives of local corporations. We are asking all members to bring a toy to the annual banquet next month to donate to Toys for Tots. Put this on your calendar as an event not to miss!! A big thank you goes to Curtis Jenkins and his committee for all of the hard work they have put into this event.

    In case I have not said it enough this year, thank you to all of the volunteers and members for your energy, professionalism, and the opportunity that I have had to learn from you. Because of you, my job as President has been very enjoyable! Each and every one of you is such an inspiration to me. Words cannot begin to describe my love for the IT profession and also towards you the volunteers and members, I have learned so much from my association with BDPA Philadelphia!
    Monique F. Berry, PresidentBDPA Philadelphia
    Vision: Partnering for Continued Growth!

    Thursday, November 6, 2008

    Barack Obama on Technology

    How can BDPA hold our governmental leaders accountable for using technology to improve our nation?

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Letter of Inquiry: Ben and Jerry's Foundation

    Ben & Jerry's Foundation was established in 1985 through a donation of stock in Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. These funds are used as an endowment. In addition, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. makes yearly donations at its board's discretion of over $1.1 million dollars, adjusted upward annually for sales growth and inflation. The Foundation receives a portion of these funds.

    Three times a year the Ben & Jerry's Foundation may fund a small number of material grants for $1,000 or less for innovative programs that fit into their general guidelines and that are infused with a spirit of hopefulness.

    BDPA New York chapter and the BDPA Foundation agreed to submit a letter of interest to Ben & Jerry's Foundation. We seek funding of $850 to cover 25 roundtrip Metrocards and awards/plaques for the students, instructors and volunteers in the NY-based Student IT Education & Scholarship program.

    We will keep you informed on status of this funding effort.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Text Book: BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC)

    The official textbook used in training of our BDPA students for the 2009 High School Computer Competition (HSCC) is Schaums Outline of Principles of Computer Science.

    This book provides a concise overview of the theoretical foundation of computer science. It also includes focused review of object-oriented programming using Java. Here is the complete Table of Contents:
    • Chapter 1. Introduction to Computer Science
    • Chapter 2. Algorithms
    • Chapter 3. Computer Organization
    • Chapter 4. Software
    • Chapter 5. Programming in Java
    • Chapter 6. Operating Systems
    • Chapter 7. Networking
    • Chapter 8. Database
    • Chapter 9. Social Issues
    • Appendix: Answers to Review Questions

    We need to purchase up to 150 copies of this book for our HSCC students and instructors. Would you be interested in donating one or more books for the HSCC team in your area? If so, please let us know by e-mail or via the COMMENTS section below.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    National BDPA Board of Directors Meeting (4Q-2008, Orlando)

    UPDATE: There were actually three separate meetings in Orlando. Chapter presidents had powerful meeting on Friday night. Chapter high school computer competition (HSCC) completed their annual meeting and made some decisions about the curriculum and rules for the 2009 event. Finally, the National BDPA Board of Directors had a very productive meeting on Saturday.

    The BDPA Foundation Executive Director is a member of the National BDPA Board of Directors (NBOD). The NBOD meets quarterly. The 4th quarter meeting is being held in Orlando, Florida on October 31 - November 2, 2008.

    NBOD meetings are open to any BDPA member. I hope that we see many of the Orlando chapter members in attendance.

    I am aware that BDPA Orlando chapter seeks to renew enthusiasm and support from the IT community. This is a wonderful opportunity that the chapter should leverage as much as possible over the weeks leading up to the NBOD meeting.

    I encourage all BDPA leaders to reach out to the new Orlando chapter president and offer your support, encouragement and ideas!

    Logistical fact sheet for the NBOD meeting can be found here.

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Grant Proposal: IBM Community Grant Program

    Paulette Johnson-Davis is 2-time president of BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. She is also an IBM retiree. IBM retirees that volunteer with BDPA for an average of eight hours per month for five consecutive months are eligible for either a cash or equipment grant as part of the IBM Community Grant program.

    Paulette submitted a request through the IBM Community Grant program asking for $1,000 to support the 2009 Student IT Education & Scholarship program in the Columbia SC area.

    I hope that other IBM employees and retirees will look into the IBM Community Grant program. We would love to leverage the full strength of IBM innovation and technology. The volunteer efforts of IBM employees, combined with IBM Community Grants, has the potential to make a lasting impact on organizations, like BDPA, that provide some of society's most important services.

    Asante sana for Paulette Johnson-Davis for her continued leadership and support of BDPA!

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    SunTrust Bank Donates $100 to BDPA Foundation for New Accounts

    SunTrust Bank has made community involvement an important part of the relationships they have in the communities they serve. Now, as part of their commitment, they’re offering a special opportunity that can help you help the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation.

    Act Now. Offer extended to December 31, 2008.

    SunTrust will donate $100 to the charity of your choice, or you can choose to receive a $50 Gift Card to keep for your own cause when you take 3 simple steps:
    1. Open a new Personal or Business checking account from now through December 31, 2008

    2. Accept a new SunTrust Visa® Check Card and make any purchase using your new card by February 15, 2009

    3. Complete and submit a redemption form by February 15, 2009

    SunTrust extended this promotion through December 31, 2008. This promotion is open to anyone in the nation willing to open up a checking or business account with SunTrust Bank.