Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grant Award: Prudential Insurance

The BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA New Jersey chapter are proud to announce the donation of 100 laptops and laptop bags from Prudential Insurance. These laptops are destined for families participating in the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in New Jersey.

The SITES program evolved in the past few years to include an annual Family Information Technology Day. This is a unique program within BDPA that we hope to see used as a 'best practice' by the other 49 chapters.

At the same time, we hope that other corporations will consider donating unused or recycled laptops for use by our students around the nation. Corporations that wish to follow the lead set by Prudential Insurance can contact BETF by email ( or phone (513.284-4968).

I encourage BETF-Blog readers to use the COMMENTS section below to share their thoughts on this large in-kind donation by Prudential Insurance. What say u?

Chevrolet Excellence in Education

Chevrolet is now accepting applications for the 2009 Chevrolet Excellence in Education. The application deadline is on April 15, 2009.

Chevrolet is offering some outstanding students $1,000 scholarships towards their first year of college expenses. The award is for African American students in their senior in high school, graduating in Spring 2009. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, as well as outstanding community service through activities, volunteering, and work experiences. The must have at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Must be a US citizen. Plan on enrolling in a 2- or 4-year institution by Fall of 2009.

Molisa was a 2005 recipent of the award. Take a moment to read Molisa's Personal Statement.

[Read More]

Also visit Planning and Preparing for College for additional scholarships, internships, fellowships, and summer programs.

Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)

January 2, 2009 was the start date for applying for the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2009-2010 college school year.

PIN Registration for FAFSA: In order to register for FAFSA online, you must get a PIN number. It is pretty straightforward, however there are written instructions on the PIN Application page. The FAFSA folks provide you with answers to frequently asked questions.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator: The EFC Calculator is used to calculate financial need and to estimate your student financial aid. This is a free service. They do not retain any record of the information you submit using this form, and have taken steps to ensure your privacy. Please use it as a sample of what you might be expected to pay for your child(ren) to attend college.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Election Results * BDPA Orlando (2009)

BDPA Orlando hosted the 1998 and 2002 National BDPA Technology Conferences. Today, the chapter is focused on delivering world-class programs and services for anyone in the greater Orlando area interested in advancing the careers of African Americans in the IT industry.

BDPA Orlando is the 20th largest chapter in the nation. The incoming chapter president, Pablo More, pulled together a dynamic leadership team. Please join me in welcoming the BDPA Orlando chapter board of directors for 2009:
  • President - Pablo More (SunTrust Bank)
  • VP-Finance - Bessie Peoples (Walt Disney World)
  • VP-Membership Management - JC Walker (Valencia Community College)
  • VP-Member Services - Glenn Brown (Lockheed Martin)
  • VP-Strategy & Planning - Tonya Farquharson (Lockheed Martin)
  • Immediate Past President - Haki Nkrumah (Valencia Community College)

These brothers and sisters have high hopes and aggressive plans for BDPA Orlando chapter in 2009 and beyond. Please reach out thru the COMMENTS option below to encourage their success!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Il) Talks Technology

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Il) shared the following message with one of his constituents ... a BDPA member:

Dear [BDPA Member]:

Thank you for your comments about technology in education.

I share your views about the need to increase access to technology in our schools. Federal support for education is an investment in our children's future and in our nation's competitiveness. Although funding for education is primarily a state and local responsibility, federal programs provide critical assistance to help local school districts strengthen educational programs. Federal assistance for technology in education helps prepare our children for the increasing demands of an information age.

Today, technology is a critical component of a strong educational system. Students need a working knowledge of computer hardware and software, and they need to use technology as part of the broader learning process. The problem-solving skills and other strengths developed through coursework that utilizes up-to-date technology are a valuable preparation for most jobs. Moreover, the U. S. Department of Labor projects that new jobs requiring science, engineering and technical training will increase four times faster than the average national job growth rate. Therefore, adequate education technology is an enormous and pressing need.

As co-chair of the Senate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Caucus, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work to ensure that support for education - including science, technology, and math education - is a high priority, and I will keep your comments in mind as federal funding for technology in education is considered in the Senate.

Thank you again for your interest. I hope you will continue to stay in touch.

Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

What do you think about Durbin's comments in this letter?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BDPA Congratulates President Obama

DESTINY: a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency. -- Merriam Webster

Congratulations, Mr. President, you have fulfilled a great destiny at the hand of an irresistible power at this time in history! BDPA and the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation are proud to extend congratulations and support to Mr. Barack Obama, our 44th President of the United States of America!

Great men walk tall. Great African American men must walk as giants among men; with the will to succeed and surpass circumstances, coupled with the dignity, grace and humility to answer a higher calling or purpose for the benefit of the masses.

BDPA was founded in such a manner in 1975, when Founders Earl A. Pace Jr. and the late David Wimberly walked as giants to establish a professional organization to fill a major void in the information technology industry. Through ceaseless drive and personal networking, the founders built an organization of 35 members, hosted presentations to improve data processing skills and launched a job opportunities announcement service. This nucleus has grown to over 50 chapters throughout the United States and thousands of members.

Today BDPA thrives as a global member focused organization that serves the professional well-being of its stakeholders. BDPA 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.

We welcome new members to BDPA! As technology professionals competing in a global market, we must never stop learning or growing. With membership you always have access to best-in-class benefits and resources that will support your career from the classroom to the boardroom. Membership in BDPA means that you have a partner in achieving your career goals and aspirations.

It is with great pride that we congratulate our nation's first African American president, and in the spirit of historic feats we salute our BDPA founders who made this global network possible.

FedEx Social Responsibility

We like to share funding sources for our blog readers whenever possible. FedEx is a large employer with an active community outreach program. The mission of the FedEx Social Responsibility department is to actively support the communities they serve and to strengthen their global reputation through strategic investment of people, resources and network.

Corporate resources include financial contributions, in-kind shipping services and coordination of volunteer services by FedEx employees. Education is vital to the future of communities served by FedEx. FedEx supports organizations that enhance education in the following areas: technology, global economics and trade, cultural diversity and innovative programs that enhance learning.

Requests are accepted year-round and generally are reviewed within three weeks of receipt. FedEx prefers to contribute to specific program needs rather than special events or capital campaigns. They do not accept requests made via telephone or email.

FedEx is especially interested in supporting nonprofit organizations that request: 5% or less of a total project budget; contingency grants; or seed monies with the thought that other sources will contribute matching amounts.

Organizations must show evidence of competent management, low administrative/fundraising expense ratios, and a nondiscriminatory program benefiting broad segments of the community. FedEx heavily weighs employee involvement in groups that seek financial support.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute

Soulclap to Pat Drumming for sharing information about the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute with us. It turns out that this group is looking for young people to apply for their 2009 Summer program. Please call Joyvin Benton on (973) 720-2623 for more details.

Prospects may also download an application or complete an on-line application for a scholarship to attend this summer program. The deadline for scholarship applications is February 6, 2009.

2005 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Rankings

I have been to many BDPA Technology Conferences in my life. My favorite annual conference was the one held August 2005 in Detroit. It was my last conference as national president. My mom and eldest daughter were in attendance (see photo!). One of my favorite people ... Bob Blackwell ... was the keynote speaker.

Also, the annual HSCC championships were wide-open as 4-time defending champion HSCC team trained by BDPA Memphis chapter did not show up in 2005. All of the teams knew it was a wide-open event. BDPA Southern Minnesota took advantage of the opportunity by taking the gold medal!
  1. Southern Minnesota (Nicholas Akogyeram II, Matthew Mayweathers, Lauren Pemberton, Angela Porter, Kathryn Wiseman)
  2. Hartford
  3. New Jersey
  4. Greater Columbia
  5. Chicago
  6. Greater Tampa Bay
  7. Baltimore
  8. Detroit
  9. Austin
  10. Cincinnati
  11. Los Angeles
  12. Rhode Island
  13. Dayton
  14. Chattanooga
  15. Richmond

  16. Twin Cities
  17. Cleveland
  18. Charlotte
  19. Washington DC
The BDPA Foundation wants to provide 2-year scholarship funding to the top five teams this year. However, we need to increase our funding of the Bemley Scholarship Fund in order to do so. Would you care to help us make it so? Use the COMMENTS link below to make a pledge ... or go online to do so.

Did you attend the 2005 BDPA Technology Conference in Detroit? If so, what do you remember about it?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Birth of Trinity: Web 3.0

In the wildly popular 1960’s television series Star Trek, Captain James T. Kirk would often turn towards his engineer, Officer ‘Scotty’ Montgomery and direct him to take the spaceship into a fascinating new realm called ‘warp speed’. Time and again, with all commanding confidence he would turn to Scotty and say, “Warp speed ahead”. “Aye Aye Captain” the Scottish officer would reply, at which point millions of ‘Trekie’ fans from all around the globe would simply gasp with unparalleled glee.

Read the rest of this article by TS Aschenge here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

This Week in BDPA (Jan 25-31)

Is your chapter interested in creating BDPAToday eZine to brand your BDPA image with timely information for your stakeholders? If so, let me know via the COMMENTS section below. Isn't it time for chapter success metrics to move in a positive direction?

In the meantime, our foundation provides funding for programs that advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. Are you taking advantage of these programs? 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.

Please make tax-deductible online donation to the BDPA Foundation to start your new year. Do it now!

Grant Declination: Cabot Supermetals

BDPA Philadelphia chapter and the BDPA Foundation partnered on a grant proposal to Cabot Supermetals located in Boyertown, PA. We asked for funding to provide instruction books and materials for the chapter's 2009 SITES program.

We aligned our grant proposal with Cabot's commitment to science and technology education, and community and civic improvement efforts in the communities where they operate.

Cabot's David Lewis gave us the bad news about our grant proposal:

"Wayne, my sincere apology for not responding to your request sooner. Unfortunately, I must report that our Community Outreach Committee has rejected this request. While it is clear that this is a worthwhile endeavor, and given very limited available funds, the Committee has elected to support only organizations that are very local to the Boyertown, PA area. I regret that I do not have better news, but wish you all the best in your efforts."
We are very appreciative of the consideration given to Cabot Supermetals to our proposal. BETF will continue to seek funding for BDPA Philadelphia program and services.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Letter of Inquiry * Best Buy Store (Philadelphia PA)

BDPA Philadelphia chapter partnered with the BDPA Foundation to submit a letter of inquiry to Best Buy (9940 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia PA) requesting products and services.

Each Best Buy store has a donation budget to support local nonprofit organizations. Product Donations come directly from the local Best Buy store.
  • Donations are given to schools, libraries and after-school clubs
  • Donations are made in the form of product or Best Buy Gift Cards
  • Local store employees decide how to support their community

We will keep you informed on the response to our letter of inquiry.

In the meantime, we are open to any other chapter interested in approaching their local Best Buy store for a product or gift card donation. If your chapter is interested then we need three things specific technology product(s) that you seek and the mailing address for Best Buy store that is local to your chapter.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New BDPA Chief Information Officer * Donald Brown

BDPA Foundation is very pleased to learn that Donald Brown will be serving as the National BDPA Chief Information Officer! National BDPA president Denise Holland wrote:

I have asked Don Brown, Immediate Past President of the New Jersey Chapter to fill this highly visible and important role. Don has enthusiastically accepted and has already secured a staff to assist him in fulfilling the Technology goals and objectives.

He has jumped in with such a high level of passion, you will soon reap the benefits. Please join me in congratulating Don on accepting this appointment and his success in his new BDPA role.

Denise P. Holland, president
National BDPA

You are invited to use the COMMENTS section below to congratulate Don on this new leadership role.

Half a Million Nonprofits Could Lose Their Tax Exemptions

Did you know that in May 2010, half a million nonprofits could find themselves stripped of their exempt status? The IRS estimates that that's the number of smaller organizations that have failed to file a Form 990-N.

Read the rest of the story at the GuideStar website.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bemley Scholar Heads to Ithaca College

Okwudili Udeh was a member of the high school computer competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Hartford chapter. His team finished in second place at the 2005 national championships held in Detroit. The second place finish earned a $1,500 Bemley Scholarship for Okwudili.

Okwudili graduated last year from University High School. He is using his Bemley Scholarship to help defray expenses for attending Ithaca College. He plans to graduate in 2012 with a computer science degree.

We have hundreds of Bemley Scholars out in the world. Our ability to continue providing these scholarships in these economically stressful times is tied to the generosity of BDPA members and supporters. Can you make a tax-deductible donation to support our Bemley Scholarship Fund?

In any case, I encourage you to use the COMMENTS option below to congratulate young Udeh on his early college career!

Tell the Story As if Your Life Depends On It

We are the fiscal agent for 50 BDPA chapters around the country. Occassionally, we run across articles that we think would be useful for those chapters ... or other nonprofits. Here is one that I think any person serving in a leadership position for a nonprofit should take to heart. This article was written by Susan Carey Dempsey and published earlier this month by onPhilanthropy.

When I meet with the leaders of a nonprofit organization for the first time, I often ask them what they would say if I grabbed them by the collar and demanded to know, “If your organization ceased to exist tomorrow, what would happen to the world?” The question always startles them, because they’d assumed that their mission was perfectly obvious, their cause deserving, and that if consultants like me could provide a little guidance, they could attract funds from donors large and small.

Having shocked them back to the moment of primal scream, I can begin to walk them -- whether they’re for Saving the Gecko or Banning the Split Infinitive -- through the indispensable process of telling their story. It’s also described as “Making the Case,” but the fundraising case we’re all familiar with is often a merely formulaic recitation that’s too easily ignored. Let’s look for a minute at what you can accomplish, if you really think about telling your story, as well as you possibly can.

Read the rest of Ms. Dempsey's article here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Unveils New Website

President Obama wasted no time showing how things will change in his administration. He launched the new website at noon today.

In addition, the White House also has an official twitter feed. I hope that all BDPA members are getting with the future. Are you on Twitter yet?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Profile: BDPA Rhode Island Chapter (Felix Fontes)

Name: Felix Fontes, president
BDPA Rhode Island Chapter

Address: PO Box 28592
Providence, RI 02908

Phone: (401) 461-2372


Newsletter: None

I was keynote speaker at the 2nd annual Education & Scholarship Banquet hosted by BDPA Richmond chapter in October 2006. Felix Fontes provided transportation for me to and from the airport. I remember that he took me on a tour of the city after the banquet. Even back then I knew that BDPA Rhode Island chapter would be in good hands when he took over as president.

Please take a moment to learn more about Felix in his own words:

I have been a member of BDPA Rhode Island chapter since it was chartered in 2002. I had the opportunity to serve as a President-Elect and VP-Business Management and I am currently serving as president of the Organization.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, from Rhode Island College, and an AS, Business Administration/ Computer Science, from Community College of Rhode Island, and I have over 10 years of professional experience in Information Technology; I'm a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE) Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Certified Engineer (MSCE) Windows 2000, Microsoft Certified Profession and Internet.

Currently I’m working for Community College Of Rhode Island as a Computer Instructor for Computer Studies and Information Processing. My former employers were Bank of America, Fleet Bank Boston and Dorcas Place Adult And Family Learning Center where I had the opportunity to work as Infrastructure Specialist II, Computer Programmer Analyst, Desktop Support and Computer Instructor.

My favorite quote: "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only dream but also believe." - Anatole France

Favorite BDPA Memory: "It was at 2004 BDPA National conference held in Dallas Texas where I had the opportunity to meet with so many wonderful people and I recall how impressed that I was with keynote speaker Monte Ford, American Airlines CIO and Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman to venture into space."

My vision for the chapter: " provide leadership to Rhode Island chapter and to help out our minority communities through the utilization of information technology by providing them with professional development, education and training."

BDPA Rhode Island is currently the 39th largest chapter in the nation. However, I anticipate that its membership will grow strongly under the leadership of Felix Fontes. I invite you to share some 'BDPA-Love' with Felix using the COMMENT option below. What say u?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Facebook Milestone: 800 Friends

I noticed today that I now have 800 'friends' on Facebook. Friend #800 is Shae Shae, a powerful blogger in the afrosphere.

I joined Facebook a few months ago with the intention of identifying alumni from High School Computer Competition (HSCC) held annually by BDPA. I figured that these young people would be on Facebook. I was surprised by the number of adults on this social network. I have found family, college classmates, business colleagues and a handful of celebrities via Facebook. Even my 70-year old mom opened up an account last month!

Facebook is a fun place. I don't use it to conduct business, although I am using it to promote the Electronic Village!

What is your experience with Facebook?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This Week in BDPA (Jan 18-24)

President Barack Obama is now in the White House doing his thing. It is time for BDPA members to take care of our business as well. Our foundation provides funding for programs that advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. Are you taking advantage of these programs?

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.

Please make tax-deductible online donation to the BDPA Foundation to start the beginning of the Obama era. Do it now!

Grant Award: Centocor

BDPA Foundation partnered with BDPA Philadelphia to request funding support from Centocor. We are happy to report that Centocor agreed to our charitable contribution request. Gwendolyn Miley is responsible for Centocor charitable contributions. She wrote,

"On behalf of Centocor, I am pleased to advise that your charitable contribution request in support of the Third Annual Awards Recognition & Fundraiser Banquet, December 6, 2008, Radisson Valley Forge Hotel has been approved in the amount of $1,000.

Thank you for your interest in Centocor. We wish you much success in your future endeavors."

I would like to thank John Dawson. He is a BDPA member employed by Centocor. He was the key player in moving our grant proposal forward to Centocor. I hope that other BDPA members will follow the example set by Bro. Dawson. What funding opportunities exist within the corporate foundation of your employer?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Will Teach You To Be Rich Scholarship

The I Will Teach You To Be Rich Scholarship for Social Innovation is an annual $2,500 award for anyone in their twenties who has demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence and is planning a socially innovative project. The award can be used for a special project, service initiative, founding a company, creating a community organization, or any other entrepreneurial venture that scales to help others.

I heard about this scholarship on twitter and thought that our blog readers might be interested. Do you know anyone that might benefit from this scholarship opportunity?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Barack Obama is Living Martin Luther King's Dream

Blacks @ Microsoft Seeks Essays for Minority Student Day

Blacks @ Microsoft (BAM), a diversity advisory council within the Microsoft Corporation, hosts an annual Minority Student Day every February. The goal of the event, which was first held in 1992, is to provide area high school students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds with information about the exciting tools, resources, and career opportunities available to them in information technology.

Throughout the day, Microsoft employees guide students through hands-on technology labs and information sessions. Employees also serve as mentors, talking with students about the wide variety of career opportunities available to them in technology.

BDPA student members are encouraged to provide an essay for this year's program!

Seeking Support from Dennis Haysbert and Allstate Employees

The BDPA Education & Technology Foundation is aware of the tough economic times that face our current and future donors. We want to maximize the support that we receive from BDPA members. That is why we are specifically seeking out all BDPA members and supporters employed by Allstate Insurance. Heck, I hope that Dennis Haysbert reads this message and puts BETF in his 'good hands'!

The Allstate Giving Campaign will begin in March 2009. Allstate employees will have opportunity to donate to the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation via one-time contributions or monthly payroll deductions. Contributors participating in The Allstate Giving Campaign also have the option of anonymous giving.

All pledges through The Giving Campaign are matched 15% by Allstate Insurance!

Allstate employees are encouraged to work through their manager or their Human Resources department to get the paperwork necessary to contribute to the BDPA Foundation. Please share this information with any BDPA members that work for Allstate!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Racism in the IT Industry

ComputerWorld's Don Tennant continues to discuss the issue of racism in the IT industry on his blog. I encourage BDPA members to read his latest blog entry. He shares two e-mails that he received in response to his editorial about the race issue in IT, titled "Destructive Labels." These two e-mails highlight the disconnect that exists between people who have dramatically different outlooks with respect to racism.

The first e-mail came from a reader who holds the view that Tennant's columns on the subject, which have advocated a healthy discussion of the race issue in light of the experiences of many African Americans in IT, "play into the hands of those too lazy to work for what they want."

The second one came from Dr. Victor Onafuye, president of Pixel Information Technology Corp. in Homewood, Ill.

Please take a moment to read both emails.

I am interested in your thoughts on racism in the IT industry? Does racism still exist in your view? Will racism impact on the ability of African Americans to advance their careers in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom? What, if anything, should BDPA do about it?

Best Buy Product Donations

Is your chapter or nonprofit organization interested in technology product donations?

Each U.S. Best Buy store has a donation budget to support local nonprofit organizations. Product Donations come directly from your local Best Buy store, so your programs are supported by the people who live and work in your community.
  • Donations are given to schools, libraries and after-school clubs
  • Donations are made in the form of product or Best Buy Gift Cards
  • Local store employees decide how to support their community

If your chapter is interested then we need three things:
  1. Specific technology product(s) that you seek
  2. Current year SITES budget, which includes the technology product(s)
  3. Address for Best Buy store that is local to you/your chapter

Are you interested in pursuing this grant opportunity?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Letter of Inquiry * Ford Foundation

BDPA Foundation partnered with the national BDPA member services area to submit a letter of inquiry to Ford Foundation. We asked them to fund $15,000 for the BDPA IT Corps project.

The Ford Foundation is a resource for innovative people and institutions around the world. Edsel Ford chartered this foundation in 1936. They only fund 2,000 grants per year (out of 40,000 grant proposals sent to them annually).

We have been told that a response to our letter of inquiry should come to us in mid-February. We will keep you informed on our progres.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

President Profile: BDPA Atlanta Chapter (Teresa Williams)

BDPA invited industry leaders, members, sponsors and other stakeholders to Atlanta for the 30th annual National BDPA Technology Conference. It was a very successful conference. One reason for that success was the remarkable hospitality of BDPA Atlanta chapter president Teresa Williams. We thought you would like to learn more about this powerful young sister!

Name: Teresa Williams (Compuware)
President, BDPA Atlanta Chapter

Address: P.O. Box 50462
Atlanta, GA 30302-0998

Phone: (404) 306-0102


Newsletter: Outlook (June 2008)

Teresa is responsible for leading the chapter and ensuring that the vision and mission of BDPA are effectively realized. As chapter president, Teresa serves on the National BDPA Board of Directors. Teresa has a passion for serving and building relationships. Under her leadership the Atlanta Chapter has had significant growth. In 2008 the chapter held a series of Educational & Professional Development workshops.

The HSCC team trained by BDPA Atlanta chapter in 2008 won 2nd place in the Midwest Regional Competition and 5th place at the National Competition. In support of the HSCC program, the Atlanta Chapter Women’s Council was formed with the mission of providing mentoring opportunities for female high school students.

Teresa has over 20 years of Information Technology and professional experience including the implementation and management of business software solutions. She has worked in various industries as a Programmer, LAN Administrator, Application Manager and Project Manager. Teresa joined Compuware in 2008 as a Project Manager. In addition, Teresa is an Adjunct Instructor with Georgia Perimeter College where she teaches a Computer Fundamental course.

Teresa held many leadership positions at the local and national level with the American Business Women’s Association. Teresa held the office of 2004 National Secretary-Treasurer and 2003 District Vice President. She is a charter member of Hidden Hills Chapter in Stone Mountain and served as chapter president of the Hidden Hills Chapter for two years. She also served as the ABWA Atlanta Area Council Chairman and formation chair for the Southlake Chapter of ABWA.

Teresa holds an MBA in Technology Management from Mercer University and a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science from National Louis University.

Her favorite Bible quote is based on faith -- I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. Matthew 17:20

Her vision for the Atlanta Chapter " to promote the BDPA brand by creating opportunities that will allow our chapter to partner with other non-profit volunteer based networking groups and by taking the first steps to launch the Atlanta Corporate Advisory Council."

Favorite BDPA Memory: "My favorite BDPA memory is when Danna announced that our students "Team Atlanta" had won 5th place in the High School Computer Competition at the 30th National BDPA Technology Conference last year in Atlanta."

BDPA Atlanta enters the new year in a strong position as the 5th largest chapter in the nation. The sky is the limit for this chapter under the leadership of a powerful nubian sister such as Teresa Williams. I hope that you will take a moment to share some 'BDPA-Love' with Teresa in the COMMENTS section!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Black Family Technology Awareness Week (February 15-21, 2009)

One of my favorite personalities in the IT industry is Tyrone Taborn. He was a member of the National BDPA Board of Directors back in the day. He runs the Career Communications Group (CCG) in Baltimore. CCG founded Black Family Technology Awareness Week (BFTAW) over a decade ago.

Many BDPA chapters host BFTAW activies in their local area. While the agenda for National Black Family Technology Awareness Week lists the activities on a specific day, you are free to hold any activity at anytime within the month of February.
  • Black Family Technology Sunday
  • Business Empowerment Day
  • Family Technology Day
  • Tech Health Day
  • Tech Education Day
  • Discover Technology Day
  • Technology Leaders Day
  • Black Engineer of the Year Awards celebration

Grants (in-kind and cash) are still available. You can request information from CCG (410.244-7101) or National BDPA (800.727-2372).

Are you aware of any BFTAW activity in your city?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Week in BDPA (Jan 11-17)

The economy is going to hell in a handbasket ... and it is impacting the IT industry. Our foundation provides funding for programs that advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. Are you taking advantage of these programs?

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.

Please make tax-deductible online donation to the BDPA Foundation to start your new year. Do it now!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can Obama Eradicate the Digital Divide?

Building a truly connected America is possible. Already, President-elect Barack Obama has some good ideas. He’s made widespread broadband deployment a major component of his technology agenda; his platform pledges to achieve this goal through reforms such as better use of the nation’s wireless spectrum.

At the same time, a growing alliance of public interest organizations and industry groups are banding together through a national initiative called to push the new administration to act on Obama’s promises.

Yet, we still have too many in our community without access to the Internet. Megan Tady is working on a project called America Offline. Their goal is to humanize the need for widespread broadband deployment in the US. As we work to build a national movement for Internet access and push the next administration to act, it's important that we bring people's stories and the impacts of the digital divide to light -- to put a human face on these issues.

Take a moment to read Megan's first in a series of profiles showing 'America Offline' in her article entitled, 'Offline Youth Struggle in Online World'

Message from Philadelphia Chapter President

BDPA Philadelphia is the back-to-back chapter of the year award winner. They won those awards for good works completed in CY-2006 and CY-2007. The message below, from BDPA Philadelphia chapter president Monique Berry, lays out a persuasive argument for her chapter to win the prestigious award for a third year in a row!

As BDPA enters its 34th year, it is significant that this past year has been one of the most notable and successful years in our chapter's long and storied history. What do we anticipate in 2009? More success!

Consider some of the accomplishments of 2008 as a testament to success:
The BDPA Philadelphia Chapter begins 2009 in phenomenal shape and well positioned to emphasize our key goals of service to members, service to the profession and excellence in chapter administration.

Record membership, strong financial performance and broad offerings of program meeting topics top the list.

At over 155 members we are one of the 3 largest chapters in the U.S. and we're growing. That's an impressive amount of experience, technical knowledge and networking for you to draw upon. I'm consistently impressed with how willing our members are to talk about and share their work and ideas. And the work we do continues to increase in importance to our companies and organizations.

Financially the chapter begins the year with a cash surplus and has just finished its strategic plan and budget for 2009. We are planning to increase community outreach and investment on college campuses to promote our profession, as well as some expansion of our member networking and social events.

Finally, our core program meetings and events are already well under way with a number of them posted on our web site "Events" section.

I will again urge you to get involved, be a knowledge expert sharing your expertise, or a volunteer making our events and organization happen. See you on January 21st!

Happy 2009!!!
Monique F. Berry, President
BDPA Philadelphia Chapter

I truly enjoy watching the openness and sense of unity (umoja) displayed by this chapter president. I hope that other chapter presidents are watching how Monique operates. Her communication process and style is a 'best practice' that we can use on the national level and with many of the other 49 chapters.

Anyhow, use the COMMENTS option below to share some 'BDPA-Love' with Monique!

Friday, January 9, 2009

BDPA Enters the Social Network Community

There are a number of social networks where BDPA members can identify themselves. There are over 1,500 subscribers to the BDPA CollectiveX Groupsite. There are over 600 subscribers to the BDPA Group on the LinkedIn Network.

Chris Bomar (Cincinnati) worked with us last year to create a place the BDPA Foundation on Facebook. Former national BDPA president Milt Haynes (Chicago) was the first to create a presences for BDPA on Facebook.

How many of you are active on Twitter? I find myself updating it 3-4 times per day. I get updates from New York Times and Barack Obama via Twitter.

Ura Puranda (Chicago) and her team created a YouTube Channel for the BDPA Foundation. I hope that we can find more videos from BDPA chapters, students and members to include on our newly created channel.

I guess that BDPA is searching for it's place in the Web 2.0 world. What do you think of it all?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009 Awards Banquet (Chicago)

Tickets on Sale Now via the Link Below!

2004 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Rankings

The 2004 National BDPA Technology Conference was held in Dallas TX. It was memorable for me as it was the first time I convened the annual conference as 'national president'. One of my favorite BDPA memories is having Dr. Mae Jemison as our keynote speaker for the opening ceremony. I also enjoyed the creativity of our conference director, Jackie Ockleberry, who suggested that we eliminate the dais from the Awards Gala ... it resulted in a wonderful Gala experience.

However, the other major news from the 2004 conference came from the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC). It turns out that the HSCC team trained by BDPA Memphis chapter accomplished something never done before or since ... they earned a fourth consecutive national championship.

Here are the final rankings from the 2004 HSCC championships:
  1. Memphis (Auriel Echols, Cornell Gaulmon, DeOnna Johnson, Brittany Middleton and Mitchell Word)
  2. Southern Minnesota
  3. Albany
  4. New Jersey
  5. Detroit
  6. Hartford
  7. Richmond
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Central Illinois
  10. Washington DC
  11. Baltimore
  12. Chicago
  13. Greater Tampa Bay
  14. Atlanta
  15. Boston Metrowest
  16. Cleveland
  17. Rhode Island
  18. Philadelphia
  19. Los Angeles
  20. Dayton
  21. Orlando
  22. St. Louis
  23. Dallas

The BDPA Memphis HSCC team demolished their opposition in the final scoring at the 2004 competition. Oddly enough, BDPA Memphis never came back to defend their title. Three other chapters (Albany, Boston and Orlando) have never been back since 2004.

Perhaps we will see them in Raleigh NC later this year...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Message from Greater Tampa Bay Chapter President

One of our favorite chapter presidents is Frank Shines. This young brother is using his project management and leadership skills to take the BDPA Greater Tampa Bay chapter to new heights. Here is message he shared with his chapter members and supporters this month:

BDPA Members and Friends,

On behalf of the BDPA Greater Tampa Bay
leadership team I want to thank you all for a very successful 2008 and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!

We've got an extraordinary line-up in 2009, so don't miss out. Here are some highlights:

  • Jan 20th: Lean Six Sigma 2.0.* Frank Shines will present a 40 minute presentation followed by Q&A as a guest speaker to about 80-100 biz leaders and customers of Pilgrim Software, a Tampa Bay hi-tech company specializing in Enterprise Compliance and Quality software. Details will be posted next week on

  • Jan 22nd: Next monthly meeting and call-in*. Chapter president will present a 'State of the Chapter' update and an exciting and upbeat motivational session on 'Recession-Proofing Your Career and the Power of Persuasion'. Details at

  • Feb 15-21: Family Technology Awareness Week*: In an effort to help close the digital divide, the BDPA Greater Tampa Bay chapter in conjuction with IBM and the Computer Mentors Group will participate in a series of weeklong events designed to provide bring technology awareness to at-risk youth and their families. Details will be posted on next week.

  • March 19th: Inaugural Golf Charity Event at MacDill AFB Golf Course.* We need golf players, volunteers and sponsors. Proceeds will benefit 15 at-risk youth that will be trained by BDPA members at the Computer Mentors Group facility in preparation for the 2009 National BDPA High School Computer Competition in Raleigh, NC. Winners will receive national exposure, college scholarships, tech gadgets and computers as well as cash rewards from such companies at IBM, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase and others.

  • Ongoing Monthly Meetings (each 4th Thursday at 6pm ET):* Some topics for 2009: Improving Your Public Speaking, How to Manage a Virtual Project Team, Developing Executive Presence for Career Advancement, Managing Your Online Reputation, Why On Demand and Cloud Computing Will Thrive During the Recession, Polishing Your Skills for the Next Big Thing in Biz & Tech, Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship and much more.

  • Monthly Management and Leadership Development Webinars* on topics such as Creating Biz Cases & Value Propositions, Project Management, Business Strategy 101, How to Lead Change, SAP, Web Apps & Zoho, Digital Signage...
We wish you all the best in 2009 and look forward to seeing you in person or online. The "in-person" events listed above occur at:

PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 3109 W. MLK Jr. Blvd,
Building Lake Pointe I, 6th Floor, Room 6097
(near the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium)

The online events listed above can be reach via your computer or telephone:

Conference Call: (312) 780-0467, access code 139-000-329 Meeting ID: 139-000-329

Happy New Year!
Frank Shines, President
BDPA Greater Tampa Bay Chapter
Mobile: 813-345-5325
Skype: FShines

BDPA Greater Tampa Bay chapter is currently the 36th largest chapter in the nation. However, I am confident that they will grow their membership significantly in the coming weeks and months. What are your thoughts about Frank's message?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

John Eckenrode Joins BDPA Foundation Board of Directors

BDPA Foundation exists to provide funds for the programs and services of BDPA at national and local level. We have a 9-person board of directors who set the policy and direction necessary to raise the funds neccessary for this mission.

We are very proud to welcome our newest board member ... John Eckenrode. Please take a moment to review his bio:

Mr. Eckenrode is the president and founder of CPSI. He has vast experience as an employee and contractor, having progressed through the ranks from programmer to project manager. Mr. Eckenrode started CPSI’s parent company, Innovative Data Processing, Inc., in 1985. In 1990 Mr. Eckenrode changed roles from professional consultant to full time executive, marketing and recruiting roles for the firm. CPSI was a BDPA corporate sponsor in 2005-2008.

Mr. Eckenrode holds both a BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and a Masters in Business from the Johns Hopkins University. He has been CDP (Certified Data Processor) and CSP (Certified Systems Professional) certified by the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals. Mr. Eckenrode has 15 years of information technology experience and 18 years of experience in executive, marketing and recruiting roles with CPSI.

Mr. Eckenrode served as the National Association of Computer Consulting Businesses (NACCB) chapter in Washington DC from 2006-2008. He was very active with recent lobbying efforts to repeal the Maryland State computer services sales tax. He co-founded the Maryland Computer Services Association, and is co-chair of the NACCB Maryland Tax Coalition.

Outside of work, Mr. Eckenrode has been active in leadership roles with his son’s Boy Scout troop in Ellicott City, and with his church in Columbia. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife of 23 years and two teenage children
I met Mr. Eckenrode in November 2006 when his company hosted a quarterly national BDPA board meeting in Baltimore MD. His passion for BDPA was obvious to everyone who heard him speak that weekend. As such, I am very pleased to have him on the BDPA Foundation board of directors in 2009!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Message from Richmond Chapter Past President

I have served on the National BDPA Board of Directors for the past two years with Jackie Pryor. She served as president of BDPA Richmond chapter from 2007-2008. Her legacy as a BDPA leader is remarkably positive.

Here is what Jackie had to say to her chapter members and supporters earlier this week:

Happy New Year BDPA members and supporters.

Thank you to everyone that supported BDPA Richmond this past year. The year had its ups and downs and I know that we are all looking forward to new beginnings. Speaking of new beginnings, I would like to congratulate
Jamar Arvin, the new president of BDPA Richmond, and Christopher
, the new president-elect of BDPA Richmond. These gentlemen have some really good plans in store for BDPA Richmond this year.

I would also like to thank Julia Harris for stepping up once again as the VP of Finance.

Please come out to our meeting on January 27th at Anthem on Staples Mill Rd for their induction and to hear their plans. You will see more information concerning the meeting within the next week.

As for me, I have enjoyed being the president of BDPA Richmond. I am not stepping away; only stepping down to behind the scenes. You will still hear from me in the future. I will be working with the
Middle School Computer Terminology Quiz Bowl and will be soliciting your help.

Once again, thank you for your support during my term as the president and thank you for your continued support to BDPA Richmond.

Have a blessed year!!!
Jackie Pryor, Immediate Past President
BDPA Richmond Chapter

Her chapter is the defending winner of the Chapter Membership Award ... and it currently stands as the 2nd largest chapter in the nation. I encourage you to use the COMMENTS option below to share some 'BDPA Love' with Jackie!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

This Week in BDPA (Jan 4-10)

Our foundation hopes that you find value in the work that we are doing. If not, please feel free to share your thoughts on ways we can improve. In the meantime, we hope that you will seek out the BDPA chapter in your area. 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.

Please make tax-deductible online donation to the BDPA Foundation to start your new year. Do it now!