Saturday, March 17, 2012

Take Five: Joe McMahon (BDPA Hampton Roads)

Joe McMahon is one of only two people in the history of BDPA to be the founder of two different BDPA chapters. He agreed to participate in our 'Take Five' interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - While serving as faculty at Southern University as a Navy Officer in the ROTC program, I received a request from two BDPA members in the Baton Rouge area to help launch a new BDPA chapter. Based on my activities in the community, I believed the mission of BDPA would provide the catalyst for increasing the technology based workforce opportunities. Within a year after launching the Baton Rouge Chapter, I retired from the military and transferred to Virginia Beach where I founded a second chapter, BDPA Hampton Roads.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - The National BDPA Technology Conference featuring the professional workshops, high school computer competition, and IT Showcase is a tremendous outlet for sharing ideas, showcasing talent and networking across the country. It is a great honor to have the Chief of Naval Operations and former Assistant Secretary of the Navy accept our invitation to serve as keynote speakers.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - My most defining moment was discovering the value of being prepared vice getting prepared. When opportunity knocks it's looking for someone. Many years ago, I lost out on an a career defining opportunity I truly desired, but rightfully didn't deserve. Despite having an equal opportunity to prepare, I did not fully invest the time and energy required to be the best candidate. Someone else was better prepared and received the opportunity. Since, I've worked to target specific areas of interest and consistently improve my skills. Since, I've enjoyed retiring from one successful career and happily moved on to a second career.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - My mother raised two kids as a single parent. Each and everyday, I'm amazed at how much I appreciate her lessons on life and the safe haven she provided. Our lives were much simpler than I enjoy today. However, the foundation she provided was strong.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BETF? - BDPA serves communities to provide technology based programs where students can build on the skills and immediately apply them to the needs of the workforce. BETF provides opportunities to lift students to next level through educational scholarships and funds for programs. BETF provides resources to help students throughout the US. Take the time to explore what BETF offers.

By the way ... are you wondering who was the other person in BDPA history to be the founder of two chapters? Norman Mays! Norman is the founder of BDPA chapters in Washington DC and Cleveland.

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