Saturday, April 23, 2011

Take Five: Wanda Gray (Cincinnati)

I've known BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Wanda Gray for a number of years. She was gracious enough to serve as the chapter's VP-Membership Management back when I was its chapter president. Our chapter had the 2nd-largest number of members in the nation during her tenure. Later I worked with Wanda when she was opening up a soul food restaurant and a IT consultancy.

I anticipate great things happening under her leadership as BDPA Cincinnati chapter president. I'm grateful that she agreed to participate in our ongoing Take Five interview series.

Wanda Gray
  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - I initially received an invitation to attend a program meeting from a co-worker. I attended the program meeting and was impressed by the topic and the BDPA organization. Prior to attending the meeting, I did not know there was an organization in Cincinnati that supported African Americans in Information Technology. When I attended the next meeting, I received information about a position that was available at the company of the speaker (Cecil Jones). I networked with the speaker afterwards. Turns out he was the hiring manager. I was able to get a job interview and subsequently got the job!! From that point on, I was determined to support the BDPA and help support the organization any way I could. I spoke with the BDPA president at the time (Wayne Hicks) about the BDPA and the work they were doing. After some time, I volunteered to be the VP of Membership Management. From that point forward, I volunteered to help the BDPA Cincinnati chapter in any way I could.
  2. What is your favorite part of working with BDPA? - Working with people who genuinely want to help support minorities that work in Information Technology in the Cincinnati community. There are good people in our community who reach out to us to provide their support. Being able to provide services to our members and our Corporate Advisory Council is very satisfying.
  3. What future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA? - I would like to see the BDPA Cincinnati become the first organization people in Cincinnati think of when it comes to advancing the careers of students and adults in the field of Information Technology.
  4. Why should someone pay $100 membership dues to join BDPA? - Although the BDPA Cincinnati offers such things as the free monthly program meeting, there are also member only events and workshops that are available.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BETF? - Don't hesitate! BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) reaches out to ALL BDPA organizations across the US. They are critical to the support of the BDPA education programs.

Our hope is that these Take Five interviews will generate some dialogue with our blog readers. Share your personal reflections on Wanda's comments with us if you have time or inclination. Also, please consider making a donation in support of efforts to give out scholarships for BDPA Cincinnati student members in memory of the late Brandon Berry.

No comments: