Monday, April 21, 2014

Where Are They Now? BDPA Cleveland Chapter Presidents

BDPA Cleveland chapter was founded in November 1980.  The idea of BDPA was brought to Cleveland by Norman Mays.   Norman served as president of the BDPA Washington DC chapter when he moved to Cleveland in 1980.   He found like-minded people in Cleveland who wanted an organization that would help advance the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry.

Gerry McClamy, Norman Mays, Vivian Wilson
I would love to hear from someone that could tell me the names of the other folks who joined Norman Mays as the initial charter members of the BDPA Cleveland chapter.   Do you know any of those names?

Their decision to create a chapter was a good one as evidenced by the fact that BDPA Cleveland was named 'Chapter of the Year' in 1986 and 1987.  BDPA Cleveland always believed in the concept of 'One BDPA'.   One of my earliest memories of the cooperation and support by BDPA Cleveland was at a regional conference that they hosted in 1989.  I remember traveling there with others from BDPA Detroit chapter.  We learned a great deal about how to successfully build a local chapter ... lessons that we put into practice immediately on our return to Detroit.

One of my two favorite people in BDPA is from Cleveland -- Vivian Wilson.  I served as National Vice President during Vivian's term as national president.  Did you know that Vivian is the only person in the 35+ years of BDPA history to be elected National President without ever serving as a local chapter president?   She was the BDPA Cleveland chapter vice president when she was elected to serve as our national president in the early 1990s.   Vivian earned a number of national awards over the years: Member of the Year (1986), President's Award (1988) and the BDPA Excellence in Leadership Award (1992),

Other award winners from BDPA Cleveland chapter include: Gerry McClamy (Member of the Year, 1995), Willard Brown (Outstanding Chapter President, 2006) and Monica Bowe (Member of the Year, 2010).

It would be great to hear from our past, current and future BDPA Cleveland chapter presidents. Here is the list as best we can tell:
Ken Wilson
It is worth noting that Norman Mays and George Williams are past BDPA Cleveland chapter presidents who served for a number of years as the national BDPA president.   Monica Bowe is the only other BDPA Cleveland chapter member (to my knowledge) to serve on the national BDPA executive committee.   Monica served as both our acting VP-Finance (2010) and our Outside Director (2010-2011).

The chapter hosted the national BDPA Technology Conference in 1994 ('Unleashing the Power of a Creative People').

The chapter competes regularly in the national high school computer competition (HSCC). BDPA Cleveland chapter has never won the national HSCC championship.  However, they did finish as high as 3rd place in 1990.  That 1990 HSCC team consisted of four remarkable high school students: Ronald Banks, Phillip Chow, James Gombas and Justin Polburn.

We've mentioned alot of names in this blog post.   The question remains:

Where are they now?
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Bruce Keene wrote:

"I'm currently working as the Information Technology Program Director at Vatterott College in Broadview Heights, OH. Watch my electrical students control Christmas lights with a Programmable Logic Controller. ("