Monday, January 31, 2011

Grant Proposal: Lawrence Foundation (BDPA Cleveland)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Cleveland chapter partnered on a grant proposal to the Lawrence Foundation. We asked the Lawrence Foundation to provide us with $2,500 in support of the chapter's Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

We understand that we will receive in answer sometime by June 2011.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The BDPA Insider - January 30, 2011

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BDPA Corporate Opportunities Portfolio (2011)

This document provides menu of opportunities for any corporation that wishes to invest in BDPA at local, national or conference levels.

This is ideal information for corporations of ANY size ... from a sole proprietorship to a Fortune 100 company!

For more info on creating a corporate relationship with BDPA you can contact its Corporate Sales Department director Robert Gavin by email or phone (301.584-3135).

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where Are They Now: BDPA Northern Virgina Chapter Charter Members

In December 2005, BDPA launched an official Northern Virginia chapter. The chapter is based at the McLean, VA headquarters office of founding sponsor Freddie Mac.

"Northern Virginia is Tech Central, and we are delighted that BDPA has a home in this technology corridor," BDPA past national president Wayne Hicks was quoted as saying at the time. "A diverse range of IT pros will be able to tap into new resources and networking opportunities to help advance their careers."

The photo shows the following folks attended the first BDPA NOVA chapter meeting in December 2005: Back row, from left, Ron Evans, Al Bess, Craig Robles, Mike Bruce, Earl Pace (BETF Chairman of the Board), Dwight Handon, James White, Ron McKenzie, Melanie Wyche, Scott Price and Ron Stowe. Front row, from left, Debra Langenkamp, Rory Miott, Carol Hogard, Gary Simms and Lolita Hill.

Where are they now?

Friday, January 28, 2011

iSchool Inclusion Institute (I3) -- Deadline: March 4, 2011

The iSchool Inclusion Institute (i3) is a bold new project headquartered at the University of Pittsburgh with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. i3 is a series of summer institutes and projects designed to introduce all undergraduates, regardless of class the challenges and opportunities available within the Information Sciences. i3 aims to create the next generation of leaders to ensure that the Information Sciences discipline and professions reflect the face of the population. Our field needs the full spectrum of perspectives and creativity to address society’s needs.

The Application Deadline is March 4, 2011. Applications are reviewed and accepted/declined as they are received; therefore, prospective students should consider submitting their applications as soon as possible.

Read More

Accepted students in the program will be provided travel expenses, housing, meals and  will receive a stipend of $50 per day while in Pittsburgh.

Note:  Community College students can also apply for this opportunity.

You can also follow us on Facebook for program updates and news:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

State Farm Insurance Community Grants

State Farm® is committed to meeting the needs of its communities by focusing their giving in three areas: Safe Neighbors (safety), Strong Neighborhoods (community development), and Education Excellence (education).

State Farm makes charitable contributions
to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, Canadian charitable organizations, educational institutions, and governmental entities.

How to request a grant -- Grant requests for local initiatives are considered by State Farm Operation Centers. Each office determines the types of grants it will fund, based on available funding. One proposal per organization per year will be considered if it meets the guidelines outlined. (This should include all of an organization's needs for a 12-month period.) All grant requests must be submitted online.

State Farm’s grant cycle is from January 2 through October 31. BDPA would need to apply under their "discretionary grant" program -- . The following types of programs are important for the community, but do not fit into the Service-Learning, Teacher Development, or Systemic Improvement categories:
  1. Adult literacy
  2. After school program
  3. Books
  4. Career Development
  5. Character education
  6. Mentoring
  7. Scholarships
  8. Tutoring
Do you have State Farm employees in your chapter? Do you have a State Farm Operation Center in your chapter's city? If you answer yes to either question ... then your chapter may want to partner with BETF on a grant proposal to support your SITES program.

BETF operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Who wants to go first?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Increasing Payroll Pledges for BDPA Programs

BETF looks to significantly increase the donations received from United Way offices and other payroll pledges around the country. We need volunteers in each of the 45 BDPA chapters to work our United Way Project. To date, the following chapters are actively working the Payroll Pledge Project (NOTE: all donations are totals sent over last 365 days):
  1. BDPA Baltimore: Michael Tyson (President)
  2. BDPA Charlotte: Melendee Jones (Vice-President) - Microsoft Giving Campaign ($1,156), Wells Fargo United Way Campaign ($2,805)
  3. BDPA Chicago: Audra Anderson (Vice-President) - Abbott Laboratories Employee Giving Campaign ($540); Allstate Giving Campaign ($1,289); AT&T United Way Employee Giving Campaign ($1,026);  United Way of Metro Chicago ($460)
  4. BDPA Cleveland: Sylvia Calhoun (SITES Coordinator) -
  5. BDPA Dallas: Chris Johnson (President) - United Way of Tarrant County ($2,000)
  6. BDPA Detroit: Anquanette Clegg (Past-President) - United Way of Washtenaw County ($374)
  7. BDPA Los Angeles: John Malonson (President) - AT&T United Way Employee Giving Campaign ($75); Raytheon Charitable Giving ($950)
  8. BDPA Middle Tennessee: Jonica Cowan (Member) - Truist United Way ($646)
  9. BDPA Philadelphia: Hayward West (President) - Truist United Way ($264)
  10. BDPA Rhode Island: Felix Fontes (President) - Bank of America United Way Campaign ($108)
  11. BDPA Richmond: Jamar Arvin (Past-President) - United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg ($1,078); Bank of America United Way Campaign ($62); WellPoint Associate Giving Campaign ($728)
  12. BETF Endowment Fund: Wayne Hicks (Executive Director) - Allstate Giving Campaign ($97); Employee Giving Fund of Boeing ($356); JPMorgan Chase Employee Giving Campaign ($66); Microsoft Giving Campaign ($938);  National Black United Fund ($2,169); Truist United Way ($440); United Way of Central Indiana ($746); Wells Fargo United Way Campaign ($650)
  13. BETF General Fund: Wayne Hicks (Executive Director) - Allstate Giving Campaign ($6); Employee Giving Fund of the Boeing Company ($175); JPMorgan Chase Employee Giving Campaign ($1); Microsoft Giving Campaign ($352); National Black United Fund ($165); United Way of Central Indiana ($69)
  14. BETF, Jessie Bemley Scholarship: Wayne Hicks (Executive Director) - Allstate Giving Campaign ($27); Employee Giving Fund of Boeing ($97), JPMorgan Chase Employee Giving Campaign ($24); Microsoft Giving Campaign ($250); National Black United Fund ($587); United Way of Central Indiana ($378); United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley ($131)
Please POST A COMMENT if you have questions about our efforts to work with the United Way and other employee giving campaigns.

Intel in the Community

The Intel Corporation is committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in the U.S. communities where the company has a major presence, through grants, donations, sponsorship, and other forms of philanthropy and giving.

Education Grants: Intel has a strong interest in supporting K-12 and higher education, and community programs that deliver the kind of educational opportunities that all students will need to prepare themselves to succeed in the 21st century.

Community Site Grants: Intel will provide grants, donations, and philanthropic support to additional programs that improve the quality of life in its site communities. Each request will be evaluated on the basis of the services offered and the program's impact on the community, its focus on diversity and multiculturalism, its impact on the youth of our community, the cost-effectiveness of the program and its ability to be effectively measured and replicated, and the potential for Intel employee involvement.

It appears that U.S. Community Grants are available for local BDPA chapters in: Austin, Bay Area, Boston and Seattle. Are any of these chapters interested in applying for funding with Intel Corporation?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marvin Lewis Community Fund

The Marvin Lewis Community Fund seeks to empower, educate and inspire individuals in the Greater Cincinnati region through its ongoing outreach programs. They host several fundraising events, manage their membership clubs and accept general donations to raise money in order to support these programs.

In addition to the programs they established, Coach Lewis wanted to make an immediate impact in the community so for first five years some of the funds raised were distributed to seven recipient organizations that Marvin truly believed in. Organizations supported included: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati; Boys Hope Girls Hope; Minorities in Mathematics, Science and Engineering (M2SE); National Multiple Sclerosis Society; ProScan Pink Ribbon Center; Success by 6; and Youth, Incorporated.

While they still support these organizations in various ways, financially they've shifted their focus towards their own programs.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oracle Scholarship Winner in New York

BDPA New York High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team member Alan Rosales was awarded $2,778 in scholarship funding from Oracle Corporation to pursue his degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester. The scholarship was presented to him in 2010.

BDPA New York chapter past president Judaea Lane wrote, "Alan is truly a humble and wonderful person."

In addition to being humble and wonderful it is obvious that the young squire has some skills! He was named 2010 Salutatorian upon his graduation from Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in New York.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) recently acknowledged Alan as a recipient of the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship that he earned for his performance at the 2009 National BDPA High School Computer Competition championship held in Raleigh, North Carolina.

You can learn more about BDPA New York chapter here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The BDPA Insider - January 23, 2011

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HSCC Testimonial: Khalif Oliver (Richmond, 1995-1998)

We celebrate the 15th anniversary of the 1996 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Championship this year. BDPA Detroit chapter took home the gold medal that year. However, there was a scrappy team from Richmond, Virginia in the national HSCC championships that year. The members of that team were Sunday Jones, Anton Luddington, Khalif Oliver, Deneen Webster and Joi Younger. The BDPA Richmond HSCC team finished in 5th place ... the highest finish in the history of the chapter.

We asked Khalif to share his reflections on BDPA and his HSCC training. Here is what he had to say:

BDPA was great for me; it was one of the best things I have been involved in. I started back when we used B.A.S.I.C and Q BASIC, and was able to translate this experience to Visual BASIC and using MS Access (circa 1998). Though I got my degree in Engineering in 2004 [from Virginia Tech], the IT skills I learned in BDPA have gotten me very far. At my previous job, I recall one day my manager called me into his office and the first words out of his mouth were, "You know Access, right?" At one of my internships in college, I built a database and used VB to make a new application to house the ENTIRE computer inventory of one of the top 2 aluminum producing companies in the world, thus saving them $100,000/month. This would not have been possible without my 4 years in the HSCC.

Finishing in the top five in the High School Computer Competition was great, and also winning the national t-shirt design competition was amazing. But the biggest thing I took away from the program was the networking. Among others, I was fortunate enough to meet and get to know Earl Pace when he came to speak to BDPA Richmond and I was honored to be able to introduce him. I have always kept in contact with the people I met through BDPA, though I went into engineering and most of them kept with IT.

From 2004-2008, I was an Engineer (by title) for the U.S. Postal Service in the DC Metro Area. But a lot of my role was developing and supporting data analysis programs and IT tools for the whole company to use. An engineer with an IT background and good interpersonal skills is a dangerous commodity in working world. I have already mentioned the computer skills I have gained, and the only thing that rivals the BDPA Conference in terms of networking is my fraternity and attending the Omega Psi Phi National Conclaves.

Following my 4 years at U.S.P.S., I earned my M.B.A. [from UNC Kenan-Flagler] and I am now a consultant for The North Highland Company in Charlotte, NC. The majority of my time is spent analyzing and managing business processes, and integrating with IT technologies and capabilities. Once again my training from BDPA plays a major role in me understanding how business requirements translate into the technical aspects of banking, retail, etc. Without that foundation, the learning curve would be much steeper for me in my roles.

Specifically in BDPA I recall the 1996 HSCC championship held in Atlanta. It was my first time ever in Atlanta, and I remember the whole way down we all were excited about going to the Underground and doing some shopping! We soon realized that the conference and competition had so much more to offer than a shopping experience. I learned a ton and it was great to meet a lot of other sharp and successful Black IT experts. In summary, networking and competing with BDPA has given me a great foundation on which to stand and build myself professionally and personal. Thanks BDPA!

Wouldn't it be cool if some corporate sponsor were to host a luncheon at the 2011 National BDPA Conference for any of the HSCC alumni from 1986 (25 years ago), 1991 (20 years ago), 1996 (15 years ago), 2001 (10 years ago) or 2006 (5 years ago) who were able to make it to Chicago in August? 

Khalif was in the HSCC Alumni Class of 1996 -- It would also be nice if we could locate the other members of the 1996 HSCC team from Richmond. Does anyone know where we can find Sunday Jones, Anton Luddington, Deneen Webster or Joi Younger?

In any case, it is a true pleasure to hear from Khalif Oliver. His story is one of the reasons that the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) directors work so hard to raise money for BDPA's youth education programs.

What were your thoughts upon reading Khalif's reflections about BDPA?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

HSCC Alumni Brandee Lyles Wins NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing

This blog told you about the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing a few months ago. This is an award that honors young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers both a national and local "affiliate" competitions (including statewide in Ohio) to generate support and visibility for women participation in communities nationwide.

I ended that blog post with a simple question, "Will we have any BDPA student members applying for this award this year?"

The answer came from a young lady named Brandee Lyles. She was a member of the BDPA Columbus national team at the 2010 High School Computer Competition (HSCC). Brandee is one of just 10 young women selected for the NCWIT Award from the state of Ohio. All of BDPA-nation will be cheering her on April 2 in Columbus, Ohio when she will be honored for her remarkable technology talents.

Congratulations Brandee!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bemley Scholar Alan Rosales Heads to University of Rochester

Alan Rosales
Alan Rosales is a young man that I have enjoyed watching over the past few years in the national BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships. He has been a true warrior for his chapter ... and he earned a Jesse Bemley Scholarship as a result of the performance by him (and his teammates) during the 2009 national HSCC championships.

Alan used his scholarship to help defray some of the costs to attend the University of Rochester.

He took some time to share his thoughts on his experience with BDPA over the past few years.

Ever since I began my high education at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, I knew I was interested in computers and technology. While in 9th grade, I took an introductory course in computer science. Towards the end of the first semester my teacher, Mr. Destine, told me about BDPA and a specific competition, HSCC, for high schools students who showed an interest in programming. I was definitely interested, and once I was given a full understanding of the program, I began training. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be a part of the 2007 HSCC team and complete at nationals.
But that didn't stop me from continuing to practice my programming skills. The following year, I made the 2008 HSCC team and completed at nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. I also made the team for 2009 and 2010. I remember my first HSCC experience at Atlanta, Georgia like it was yesterday. Being that it was my first competition ever, I was a little bit terrified. As lead programmer for the team, I felt that it was my responsibility to stay focus and lead the team to victory, increasing the amount of pressure on me.
During the first portion of the competition, we had to answer five multiple choice questions as a team. I remember that by working together, we were able to get all five questions correct. Since that seemed like a breeze, I began to lose some fright. The next portion of the competition was to answer as many multiple choice questions that we could individually in 15 minutes. That was a little more intense, but after practicing quiz factory, I was able to score a legitimate amount of points in order to decrease the team's ranking.
The last portion of the competition was the most challenging and most anticipated. During the last portion, each team was given roughly 7 hours to create a dynamic database-driven application. This was very intense because all we had to work with was each other's coding techniques. After 7 hours of non-stop coding it was time for us to leave the coding room. It was very intense sitting in that room due to the tension from each team's ambition to place first and from the complexity of the problem.

2008 HSCC Team from New York
Once we left the room, we felt as if a weight was lifted off our shoulders; as if now, we could start breathing properly again. But the competition wasn't just yet; we still had to prepare our presentation in order to "sell" our application to the judges. Luckily, that year we were almost last, therefore we had enough time to practice our presentation. When we went back to the coding room, we did everything we could to convince the judges that our application was the best. Of course they asked questions that left us unsure of what to say, and they were able to find errors in our coding, but that is all part of the learning process. That year, the New York Chapter HSCC team came in 6th place. That was considered a major achievement for us because being that 2008 was the first time most of competed, we were still able to come in 6th place.

For the following years we practiced even more and tried to stay on top of our game. In 2009 at Raleigh, NC we came in 5th place and in 2010 at Philadelphia, PA we came in 6th place.

2010 HSCC Team from New York
Unfortunately last year was the last time I would be able to participate in HSCC. It was definitely a great experience and I am thankful that BDPA was able to come to my high school out of all the high schools in NYC. HSCC has taught me to think quickly on my feet, and has exposed me to new programming languages such as PHP, HTML, JavaScript, and MySQL. Just the opportunity of attending a national conference has taught me that even people of color can become successful by being able to listen to people's success stories.
Because of BDPA I have been able to get many opportunities that would eventually follow me through college. For instance BDPA has given me a sense of accomplishment because how many students can actually say that they have been able to code like real programmers, that they have been able to listen to success stories, that they have been able to intern with several corporations, not many that is for sure.
I am now currently a freshman at the University of Rochester with plans to major in Biomedical Engineering while on the Pre-Med track and to possibly minor in Physics. While I was applying to the University of Rochester I mentioned on my application all of my experiences with BDPA and the opportunity that I was given to compete at the national level in a programming competition. The university was very impressed with what I had done in just a couple of years in high school. I will never forget what my acceptance letter said from the University of Rochester. My acceptance letter had mentioned that after reviewing my application and learning about my experiences with BDPA, they knew I was a perfect candidate for the class of 2014. Because of this I am truly grateful for BDPA, not only for all the opportunities it has given me, but because it serves as a form of achievement for me.

BDPA New York chapter is raising funds so that the members of their 2011 national HSCC team can each win scholarships as well. I hope that you will read the impact that BDPA had on Alan and make a decision to support the BDPA New York HSCC Scholarship Fund project.

I also hope that you will reply to this post with some 'BDPA-love' for Alan. This young man is truly demonstrating what it means when BDPA says that we advance the careers of people in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom!

Take Five: John Hoffler (Charlotte)

Can you tell me what Linnie Bailey, James Banks, John Hoffler, Norman Mays, Michael McCrimmon and Jimm Middleton have in common?

I'll share the answer at the end of this Take Five interview with John Hoffler.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - It's hard to remember now, but I believe I was introduced to BDPA through an article in Black Enterprise. The article included the national site URL, so I searched the site for a St. Louis chapter. Once I joined BDPA I quickly became involved in the St. Louis HSCC program. Mark Grady was the chapter president and we had frequent conversations about what the chapter could do to make an impact on the St. Louis community. Mark encouraged me to run for president.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - I have often commented that when we are young we imagine that we can change the world. As we grow more mature we begin to realize that changing the world requires a broad range of skills. BDPA St. Louis was an organization that collected people with different skills and different life experiences, but the same overarching goals. We sought to make volunteering as easy and stress-free as possible, building a chapter of teachers, database administrators, project managers, programmers, and even graphic artists. We felt like we could take on any program that was sufficiently valuable. That feeling was the most rewarding aspect of working BDPA -- the feeling that we could change the world.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - During my freshman year at MIT I answered a volunteer request to help the supply officer at my Navy ROTC unit. My first semester had not gone very well, both from an academic and military point of view. Only in hindsight do I see that I wasn't successful because I wasn't engaged. I believe that many people obey the rule, "the less you do, the less you want to do." Working in the supply office made ROTC a bigger part of my college life, which led me to invest more in all other facets of the ROTC program. I also got more engaged outside of ROTC. I joined the MIT Jazz Band and volunteered as a physics and math tutor with the Black Student Union. The turn-around was profound. I was a poorly ranked freshman, nearly kicked out of ROTC by an academic review board. Junior year I earned the first straight-A's in my life during what is supposed to be an MIT Physics major's most difficult semester. That feat helped me become Midshipman of the Year for Academic Excellence. The following year I was appointed Battalion Executive Officer, the second highest rank in the ROTC unit. My college experience has taught me that engagement counts - I fully engage in all endeavors and I only undertake activities that justify the time commitment associated with full engagement.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - I don't have the sort of personality that contemplates hero status for people.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - BDPA is a volunteer organization focused on the relationship of Information Technology and African Americans with regard to education, business, and the general community. Monetary funding is only one third of the support BDPA needs for its mission. We need experience and ideas about how BDPA can make a positive impact on the world. That's what gives your donation meaning. Finally, we need "boots on the ground" - your volunteer time gives these world-impacting ideas concrete substance. If you've given of your purse, also consider giving your mind and your hands.

John is a remarkable man. It is worth noting that his daughter was a member of the BDPA Charlotte HSCC team that competed for the 2009 national championship in Raleigh NC.

Oh yeah ... the answer to the question in the opening paragraph? Methinks that these are the only five people in BDPA's history to serve as chapter president for more than one chapter: Bailey (Washington DC and Inland Empire), Banks (Bay Area and Kansas City), Hoffler (St. Louis and Greenville), Mays (Washington DC and Cleveland) and McCrimmon (Indianapolis and Atlanta).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Grant Declination: AEP Ohio (BDPA Columbus)

BDPA Columbus worked with BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) on a $12,500 grant proposal to the American Electric Power Foundation. We sought the funding to support the youth education programs that are scheduled to take place this year in Columbus, OH.

We learned last month that our request was declined because it was outside of the focused area of giving for AEP Ohio. The declination letter read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hicks,

Thank you for your recent inquiry requesting AEP Ohio to consider sponsoring the Columbus-based Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Much like your inquiry, AEP Ohio receives numerous donation requests from many deserving organizations throughout the 63 counties that comprise our service territory in Ohio.

We continue our strong corporate and employee support of the many United Way organizations in our communities. However, as with many businesses and industries, the slowed economy has caused us to refocus our philanthropic activities towards areas of basic human need that include assisting our low income customers with access to affordable housing, health care and in helping our community partners feed the hungry.

With the above in mind, your request falls outside of our focused area of giving. Given that, and with our limited resources, we must regrettably decline your request.

It is our sincerest hope that your efforts prove successful and that you achieve the desired outcomes you've defined in your request.

Lynette Cregge, Chairperson
AEP Ohio Contributions Committee

BETF will continue to work with BDPA Columbus chapter on future grant proposals. As always, we encourage all 45 chapters to call with any questions on how best to seek funding through the BDPA Foundation.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Message from Chicago Chapter President

Pamela Sexton

I am looking forward to seeing all of you at our January events. We are making a conscious effort again to continue our mission of "Back To Basics" in 2011. Our goal is to ensure that the needs of our membership are being met.

What's new for the Chicago Chapter!

The Windy City Eclipse

As we continue our mission "Back to Basics with Focus", we would like to introduce to you our chapter newsletter, the Windy City Eclipse! The Chicago Chapter Board of Directors would like to use this newsletter to exchange news and information with our members. So, just as you will be hearing from us, we would also like to hear from you. Please don't hesitate to submit any feedback regarding the newsletter, or feel free to send news/updates for inclusion in the newsletter to:

Online Updates

Our chapter updates are now available online via the NEW National BDPA website! You can access the National BDPA website as usual at, then click on Chicago from the Chapters menu. Here you will find information regarding BDPA, not just for the Chicago Chapter, but nationwide. If you can't access the Chicago Chapter Home Page, and you are a paid member, please email:

22nd Annual Awards Banquet

Have you made plans to attend this exciting event? If not, why not! You Don't Want To Miss This One!!! This year we will shine the "Spotlight" on our CEO & CIO Champions who not only actively support our "From the Classroom to the Boardroom" mission, but who also visibly promote Information Technology as a driver of business success!

We'll also recognize those individuals who consistently show up as outstanding volunteers. Who will receive the Members' Choice Award, Department of the Year, or Corporate Champion of the Year? There's still time to reserve your seat and find out who the honorees will be.

It could be YOU, so please join us on:

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Reception 6:00pm
Dinner 7:00 pm
Black Tie

RSVP to attend: If you have questions regarding our upcoming Awards Banquet, please contact Millie Liggins on (847) 315-8926 or Sheila Marionneaux on (312) 653-3844.

Student Services

The kick-off for the High School Computer Competition Team was held in the 4th quarter of 2010 and training is now underway! Students are ramping up to compete in the Midwest Regional competition which will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio in June of this year. The National Competition, as you know, will be held here at the Chicago Hilton later this year in August.

Please support our students as they prepare for two challenging competitions in 2011. GO TEAM!

If you have suggestions, questions or concerns, please contact me at

Pamela Sexton, president
BDPA Chicago Chapter
200 S. Wacker Drive, Ste. 1500 Chicago, IL 60606
"Back to Basics with Focus"

Grant Declination: Nationwide Insurance Foundation (BDPA Columbus)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Columbus teamed up on a grant proposal to the Nationwide Insurance Foundation. We were seeking a little over $20,000 in support of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program that gets underway this year in Columbus area.

We learned last month that our request for funding had been turned down. The declination letter was addressed to the BDPA Columbus chapter past president, and read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hillery,

Thank you for giving Nationwide Insurance Foundation the opportunity to review your application for 2011 funding. We recognize and appreciate the time and effort involved in submitting your proposal to us. I would like to commend you on the work that your organization does for the community.

Each year an increasing number of charitable organizations request our financial support, making our funding decisions difficult. Unfortunately, after much consideration, we have decided not to fund your proposal for 2011.

On behalf of the Nationwide Insurance Foundation, I wish your organization continued success. If you have any questions, please contact Jill Hile, National Insurance Foundation Manager.

Chad A. Jester, President
Nationwide Insurance Foundation

We were very disappointed by this outcome. However, our BDPA Columbus chapter has a number of members who work for Nationwide Insurance. We are going to work together and try to find another way to secure funding to support the chapter. BETF has enjoyed working with Reggie Hillery over the past few years and we look forward to building a powerful partnership with the incoming chapter president Deborah Smedley.

In the meantime, we are always open to suggestions or ideas. Feel free to let us know if you have any fundraising ideas that might benefit our BDPA Columbus chapter in 2011 and beyond.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Message from Orlando Chapter President

Greetings, 2011 is a very exciting year! There is much to do and we look forward to seeing you! We are going to kick off the year with our first program meeting taking place on Saturday January 22nd at Valencia Community College West Campus Library. We are moving our program meetings to Saturdays. The first meeting will focus on:

"I.T. Workforce 2011 & Beyond: Skills in Demand"

This program meeting will focus not only on the skills that are in demand in today's IT workforce but what also trends within the industry. Also how to keep your skills current as well as position yourself to move ahead. Recently, at a recent CIO conference held here in Orlando, Florida, two common phrases that were often repeated were "Convergence" and "Collaboration". We are seeing convergence take place with consumer devices, in automobiles, household appliances and in health care. We are working smarter and being more productive via the use of new technologies that are allowing us to collaborate with partners in India, Brazil, China, and Ireland and Mexico.

We will over the course of the year, focus on "Convergence" and "Collaboration".  Share best practices; explore solutions and software packages that empower you to get more work done, be more efficient, cut back on time and reduce costs.

Please join me at our next meeting on Saturday January 22th at 10:00 a.m. and let us continue this conversation.

Thank you,
Pablo More, president
BDPA Orlando
Phone: (407) 286-9681

Grant Declination: Delta Air Lines (BDPA Middle Tennessee)

We learned earlier this month that BDPA Middle Tennessee would not be receiving in-kind donation of airline tickets from Delta Air Lines in support getting their high school computer competition (HSCC) team to Chicago for the 2011 national HSCC championships.

Delta Air Lines wrote:

Dear Wayne Hicks:

Thank you for submitting a sponsorship proposal on December 26, 2010, giving Delta the opportunity to become a corporate partner of Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) Program [Nashville TN].

After careful consideration of the information provided, we are sorry to inform you that we will be declining your offer to partner with you at this time. The opportunity does not meet our current marketing or philanthropic objectives given our limited cash and barter resources.

We appreciate the opportunity, and would like to thank you for your interest in partnering with Delta. We wish you great success.

The Delta Marketing Team

BETF will continue to work to find funds necessary to grow the youth education programs being offered by BDPA Middle Tennessee.

Feel free to reply to this post if you have ideas!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Message from New York Chapter President

Renetta English
Hello Members,

Today, Monday, as I reflect on the impact of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King on our country and throughout world, I remembered he was a leader in organizations like the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Montgomery Improvement Association.

Why is this important?

Martin Luther King was a fearless leader and he realized that collective participation of members in these organizations was the only way to fight for our social and economic civil rights.

The BDPA New York Executive Board needs your collective assistance to make 2011 a successful year. We need volunteers to lead and serve on committees in the following areas: Education, Membership, Community Service and Fundraising.

Don't forget you are cordially invited to join the BDPA New York Executive at our upcoming Meet-N-Greet at Empire Hotel on January 19, 2011 between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Renetta English, President
BDPA New York Chapter
Phone: (212) 802-5341

Grant Proposal: Gannett Foundation (BDPA Cleveland)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked with BDPA Cleveland chapter president Henry Wiggins and chapter SITES coordinator Sylvia Calhoun on a joint grant proposal to Gannett Foundation. Our proposal was submitted to Mr. Brooke Spectorsky, WKYC-TV president, as part of the Gannett Foundation community grant program. We've asked for $3,000 in grant funding to support the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Cleveland.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Message from National BDPA President

NOTE: This message was recently shared by our national president to corporate champions around the nation.

BDPA represents people that span “From the Classroom to the Boardroom”. The National BDPA Board of Directors consists of a team of people who represent our industry and are committed to “Taking this Organization to the Next Level”.

We are living in a time where the unemployment rate is extremely high. For that reason, this leadership team is focused on enhancing our value proposition to attract, retain, reclaim, excite and inform members by providing them with relevant programs and services to help strengthen their personal brand and enhance both their technology and leadership skills. This will position our members to be part of a strong pipeline with a wealth of knowledge to be a great asset for your company.

Our strategic direction for 2010-2011 is to transform while we are performing. We have three major pillars that we have aligned to that will allow us to take BDPA to the next level:
  1. Operational Transformation
  2. Regional Transformation and
  3. Technological Transformation.
I invite you to read our portfolio and become a supporter of a great organization that believes in its members and provides support to our industry.

To learn about our National Executive Committee (NEC), please visit our website.

Yvette Graham, president
National BDPA

The BDPA Insider - January 16, 2011

Click here for "The BDPA Insider" Archives:

This Week in BDPA (Jan 16-22)

BDPA has 45 chapters around the nation. You can always find programs, services or networking activity here or here. BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you will continue to support Our Cause!

Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA 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.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Take Five: Jongy Howard-Calvert (So. Minnesota)

Originally Posted: 1/14/2010
Jongy Howard-Calvert is a powerful leader within BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter. She married the past chapter president, Nat Calvert, in 2002. You can find the couple working together on their business in addition to their work with BDPA.

Jongy agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I started helping out in the Youth Computer Training classroom by bringing snacks.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - Seeing the light bulbs go on for students. And seeing what they can do when they become serious about the work.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - Learning to swim in the deep end of the pool a few years ago was liberating.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - My late mother is my hero. She made the most of her station in life and showed her children the world with few resources.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Give what you can. It's a great investment in the future of our youth.

Share some BDPA-love with Jongy!

Grant Declination: Costco Warehouse (BDPA Chicago)

BDPA Chicago chapter officer Audra Anderson hand-delivered a letter of inquiry to the manager at the Lincoln Park (IL) Costco Warehouse in June 2010. Costco Wholesale's giving guidelines allow their warehouses and regional offices to support programs focusing on children, education and health and human services. Costco Wholesale is committed to supporting charitable and community activities in the markets where we do business. The chapter sought to receive $2,049 in-kind donation from Costco in support of student programs.

We recently learned that our request was denied by the Costco management team.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) will continue to seek out funding for our BDPA Chicago chapter. For example, we hope that you will consider helping BDPA Chicago raise scholarship funds if you believe in what we're doing to uplift our young people.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Message from New York Chapter President

Dear BDPA Members and Supporters,

BDPA New York is officially inviting high school and college students to participate in our 2011 Information Technology (IT Showcase) program.

The Information Technology (IT) Showcase allows student presenters to showcase their talents by presenting technology based research projects. The presentations represent advanced STEM based topics delivered by highly motivated high school and undergraduate college students. Each student researches a technology based topic and drafts a college level research paper. The students also prepare a poster or information board presenting the results of their research. The papers are submitted for presentation to corporate, educational and industry leaders. Student papers are sometimes published and the students may be invited to present at professional Technology workshops such as the TeraGrid and the National BDPA Annual Technology Conference.

BDPA Members we need you to volunteer to be mentors for our students to assist them in a variety of areas from January 2011 - August 2011.

Please view the solicitation letter from Carol Anthony, BDPA New York Director IT Showcase. All students interested in participating in the program and members that would like to be mentors should contact Carol Anthony at or via phone on (212) 802-5341.

Renetta English, President
BDPA New York Chapter
Phone: (212) 802-5341

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Grant Proposal: Dell Foundation (BDPA Middle Tennessee)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter submitted an online grant application to the Dell Foundation. We used their 'open grant' process to ask for $5,000 in order to continue the chapter's Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Davidson County. Our understanding is that we should have some type of answer from Dell Foundation by March 15, 2011.

Dell Foundation has a great program of matching gifts and volunteer grants. Does your organization have any Dell employees in it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Take Five: Tim Wilson (Boston Metrowest)

Originally Posted: 1/10/2010
Tim Wilson is a past president of BDPA Boston Metrowest chapter. I've worked with Tim for a number of years. He is a long-time business owner who serves as a role model for many BDPA members that are business owners and entrepreneurs.

Tim agreed to participate in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - It was an accident. My close friend and I attended a meeting. We had never heard of BDPA and we just wanted to check it out because we felt it was time for us to become involved in something, as we had made good progress in our IT careers.

    As we were driving to the meeting be both agreed that we would make a donation and that would be it, no involvement, just a small donation.

    There was a very dynamic person there talking about BDPA ... her name was Diane Davis. She was very energetic and passionate about BDPA. As we left the meeting and I was driving back to my house, I turned to my friend and asked, “How did I become program chair? He said I don’t know I’m still figuring out how I got be entrepreneur chair.”

    We both realized that this is an organization with potential and it was what we were looking for to meet our need to give back using technology.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - I would have to say it was when the chapter sent its first team to compete in the High School Computer Competition. We were not sure we could pull it together. We had questions about funding - where we would find the students and how we would get them trained.

    It would not have happened if it were not for the chapter members coming together. They supported the goal and volunteered their time and we had our first team. We didn’t win but the students we had gained some valuable experience and learned some great lessons about team work and got to see great group of African American professionals engaged in a field where there are so few of us in.

    It was just great to see those young people come together the way they did.
  3. Tim Wilson
  4. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - I have to say when wrote my first program and it worked. I was a computer operator learning how to program. I had managed to get some testing time to run my program.

    When I put the card deck into the card reader and type in the commands to execute the program and saw the deck read in, I held my breath because I was hoping that once the program loaded it would not abort as it had done so many times before. Each time it would be for a simple keypunching mistake on my part.

    Then, the console started typing and it was a command to mount a scratch tape, a command that I had coded in my program. My program was running. When I saw that tape spinning, I knew that my program was working. In addition, when the punch card reader started up and creating a set of cards (which was output) I was very excited to know that this was happening because I had written the code to make it happen. At that point, I knew I was a programmer. I knew what direction I wanted my career to take, and I began to pursue my career to become and application programmer.
  5. Who is your hero and why? - My answer to this question is very, very personal to me. It is my late son Derek. We lost him in a car accident just two years ago. He was in the prime of his life. He had just gotten married and blessed my wife and me with our first grandchild and his sister with her only niece.

    My reason for saying he is my hero is because he never gave up when he hit a roadblock. I remember in his first year of college his second semester grades were shall we say reflective of a student that was not paying attention to their academic requirements. After having a rather strong father son talk, he came to me with a plan of how he was going to get himself back on track. He did and even though he had graduated a year later than he was suppose to, he graduated from college with his degree in Economics with a minor in Sociology.

    When he graduate he and a friend tried their hand in the music industry, and all I will say about that is it did not work out but he did not let that get him down. He found a job in sales and things started taking off for him. Derek always had a way of finding the answer when he was stuck. He would ask me for help but in the end, he always figured out what he needed to do. He told me his favorite quote was often misquoted Fredrick Douglas “Without struggle there can be no progress.” He would say, "Without struggle there is no success." There were certainly times he struggled but in the end, he was successful. I just pray I have the opportunity to let his daughter know what a great dad he was and would have been.
  6. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - Just do it. You will not regret it.

Please share your COMMENTS on this interview from Tim. We all need to support brothers like Tim that give their time, talent and energy to BDPA. What say u?

Liz Claiborne Foundation

Established in 1981, the Liz Claiborne Foundation supports nonprofit organizations working with women to achieve economic independence by supporting multi-dimensional programs that offer essential job readiness training and increase access to tools that help women, including those affected by domestic violence, transition from poverty into successful independent living.

Liz Claiborne Inc.'s founders set up and endowed the Liz Claiborne Foundation to serve as the company's center for charitable activities for many years to come. The Liz Claiborne Foundation, a separate nonprofit legal entity, is the source of support for nonprofit organizations in the U.S. communities where Liz Claiborne Inc.'s primary offices are located. These include the five boroughs of New York City; Hudson County, New Jersey; and Los Angeles County, California.

In addition, a small portion of their grants may be directed to national organizations addressing a critical issue for women -- economic independence.