Thursday, May 30, 2013

Walgreens Continues Long-Running Partnership with BDPA

Walgreens, the largest drug retailer in the United States, recently renewed their partnership with the BDPA Chicago chapter. The company also plans to recruit diverse information technology talent at the 35th Annual BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair, August 14-17, 2013, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.

Walgreens' commitment to innovation, creativity, diversity, expansion, and trust are demonstrated by the more than 6.3 million people who choose to visit Walgreens’ 8,086 stores nationwide including locations in the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Founded in 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, Walgreens and “Its Take Care Health Systems” subsidiary is the most extensive and largest health and wellness worksite provider with over 700 locations nationwide.
"I'm very pleased that Walgreens has renewed their partnership with BDPA Chicago Chapter. They have been a long-time partner that has contributed to a number of efforts with BDPA Chicago Chapter. We look forward to 2013 and beyond. Thank you Walgreens for your continued partnership," said Pamela Sexton, BDPA Chicago chapter president.
BDPA is recognized nationally as a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States. BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, college scholarships, mentoring, support and services for youth and adult Information Technology (IT) professionals. BDPA is honored to partner with a world class corporation like Walgreens.

For more information on BDPA’s 35th Annual National Conference, contact Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Department,, (301) 584-3135.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Compuware Renews Its Bronze Level Corporate Sponsorship with BDPA

BDPA is pleased to announce that Compuware renewed its Bronze Level corporate sponsorship earlier this month. The funding goes to support the SITES program hosted by our BDPA Detroit chapter. Kudos to BDPA Detroit chapter president Beverly Moore and her leadership team for continuing to demonstrate the ROI-value proposition to Compuware again in 2013.

As an aside, the funding will also ensure that Compuware employees Ron Bell and Daisha Herring will be full conference registrants later this year at the 35th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Expo.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Goodrich Foundation

The Goodrich Foundation was formed in 1988. The Foundation's principal was established through a contribution by Goodrich Corporation. The Foundation also will give consideration to proposals that help junior high and high school students and teachers understand the relevance of math and science to society. The Foundation is supportive of efforts to link math and science taught in classrooms to application of these disciplines in the workplace.

Goodrich Foundation requires the following supporting documentation when submitting a grant proposal: current IRS determination letter proving 501(c)(3) status, current year program budget, annual report or current year financial statements and a contact list of key staff and board members.

The Foundation provides support to charitable organizations serving the needs of the public in Goodrich Corporation's United States headquarters and plant communities, to selected educational institutions and selected national groups. BETF review of Goodrich locations shows that we have co-located BDPA chapters in the following cities: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Dayton, Gr. Columbia, Gr. Tampa Bay, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, New Jersey, No. Virginia, So. Florida and Twin Cities.

The Goodrich Foundation staff reviews grant requests quarterly. Deadlines for proposals are March 1 and August 1. Decisions are made by the members of the Goodrich Foundation Board of Trustees, who meet several times per year. Proposals funded in one year are not always assured of future funding.

Because the Foundation receives far more proposals than it can possibly support, many requests are declined and every effort is made to provide notification of the Foundation's decision within 90 days.

To request Goodrich Foundation funding, BETF will work with interested local BDPA chapter or national BDPA vice president to submit a Goodrich Foundation application.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

BDPA New Jersey Hosts 10th Annual Families in Technology Day

The New Jersey chapter of the largest organization of African Americans in STEM industries, BDPA, is hosting its 10th Annual Families in Technology Day on June 8, 2013. This all-day event will encourage students and their parents to explore the tech arena, and learn the ins and outs from many of the industries’ finest teachers. Held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the event will include workshops, instruction and an inspiring message from keynote speaker, Dr. Randal Pinkett.
Goldie Bonney
BDPA New Jersey president Goldie Bonney is excited about the 10-year mark of this event. “We’re proud to reach another milestone in technology for our organization. With the way STEM is constantly changing, it’s important for us to make sure the community, especially the students, are equipped and empowered with the tools to stay in demand,” explains Bonney. “Through the support of our sponsors JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, and Prudential, we’re anticipating hundreds to attend this year.”
Students have been notoriously intimidated by curriculum associated with going into the technology industry, yet the career opportunities are rapidly growing, with demand at an all-time high for STEM educators and industry professionals.

Laptops will be raffled to students between grades four and twelve who register and submit the required one-paragraph personal statement of their potential personal benefits from receiving computers via the chapter’s Eventbrite site.

The keynote speaker, Pinkett, says he embraces the opportunity to inspire young people, and help them become less intimidated by coursework and opportunities in technology. As the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of BCT Partners, Pinkett knows about entrepreneurship and opportunity for growth in technology, and insists on giving back.

The venue is the New Jersey Institute of Technology, located at 323 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Newark, N.J., 07103, and the event’s low-cost admission is five dollars.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Best Twitter Accounts for BDPA Members

BDPA members who are not using Twitter to market their chapter or business are missing out on a great opportunity. Twitter can also be a huge resource for BDPA members in the day-to-day operation of their chapter or business. However, BDPA members must know the right accounts to follow in order to benefit from all that Twitter can offer.

Here are 10 Twitter accounts that every BDPA member should be sure to follow:

  1. TED Talks (1,630,325 followers)- @tedtalks - TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED Talks began as a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world. These online presentations give everyone on-demand access to the world's most inspiring voices. TED Talks have been viewed more than one billion times.
  2. Craig Brown
  3. Craig Brown (1,036,086 followers) - @craigbrownphd - Craig is the National BDPA vice president at the moment.  He is also the only nominee to become the National BDPA president for 2014-2015.  Craig has more Twitter followers than any other member in the history of BDPA.  Hopefully he will be able to translate his ability to attract support in Twitter with a similar ability to attract new members to BDPA in the coming weeks and months.  Craig is a remarkable IT thought leader and I encourage you to get to know him.
  4. Roland Martin (218,100 followers) - @rolandsmartin - Martin is managing editor for TV One; senior analyst for the Tom Joyner Morning Show; syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate ... and most importantly to BDPA members is that he will be our keynote speaker at the 35th annual BDPA Technology Conference later this year in Washington DC. Martin is an unabashed champion for his fraternity and his favorite NFL team. Perhaps we can get him to be as much of a champion for BDPA programs, scholarships and services as well!
  5. Change The Equation (8,637 followers) - @changeequation - A non-partisan, CEO-led initiative to connect and align efforts to improve STEM learning in the United States. These folks seek to mobilize the business community to change the way that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning takes place in America. Don't you agree that BDPA members should be engaged in this initiative?
  6. BDPA Foundation (2,415 followers) - @bdpa - You didn't think that I was going to give a Top 10 list and not include my own Twitter account, did you? BDPA Foundation is one of the most active Twitter accounts focused on BDPA programs, scholarships and services. The tweets give updates on funding sources, grant proposals, BDPA accomplishments, college scholarships, corporate sponsors, career opportunities and much more. These tweets also prove to be very useful to others nonprofit professionals outside of the BDPA family as well.
  7. Blacks In Technology (1,974 followers) - @blkintechnology - The premier online community for Black techies. Membership is free and the camaraderie is priceless. Their motto is 'Bringing Unity to the Black IT Community'. One of the most outstanding ideas to come forth from these folks is the BIT Tech Digest - an online resource of technology information written entirely by Black technology professionals.
  8. Blerdology (761 followers)- @blerdology - 'Blerds' are Black Nerds. This twitter account is the Black tech social enterprise that fuels their ambitions, facilitates collaboration & makes blerd life more awesome. It is an outgrowth of the Blerdology website and I hope that we see more Blerds in BDPA over the coming weeks and months!
  9. BDPA Conference (235 followers) - @bdpa_conference - The annual BDPA Technology Conference has taken place since 1979. It is the largest gathering of African American information technology professionals in the world. All BDPA members should make the trip to this BDPA mecca at least once during their collegiate or professional career. These tweets keep you updated on scheduled workshops, plenary sessions, keynote speakers, corporate sponsors and so much more.
  10. BDPA Atlanta - @atlantabdpa (144 followers) - This chapter is fast-becoming a BDPA powerhouse.  They are the home of the defending national High School Computer Competition champions.  They put on some very powerful programs that serve as 'best practices' for the other 45 local chapters around the nation.  This chapter is focused and successful in a number of ways that should be admired by all BDPA members.  I strongly encourage all BDPA members to do themselves a favor ... follow this Twitter account right now!
  11. BDPA New York (87) - @bdpanewyork - BDPA New York is the 2-time defending 'Chapter of the Year'.  They don't have many Twitter followers ... but, they are very active in terms of programs and services to the IT community.  The chapter president, Renetta English, is one of the hardest working leaders in BDPA-Nation.  Show them some Twitter love ... they've earned it!
Well, those are my Top 10 Twitter accounts that I think should be followed by all BDPA members. What do you think? Which Twitter accounts do you think are missing from this list? Which of these Twitter accounts do you co-sign as being truly worthy of our attention? I look forward to your comments!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Who Am I? Lilla Hunter-Taylor (BDPA Washington DC)

BDPA and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation strive to make a difference in both the Black community. We have some serious people who volunteer to implement programs that will advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. We don't always get a chance to know our BDPA leaders in a personal way. This blog decided to try and provide you with a different perspective ... a different look ... at our BDPA leaders.

Lilla Hunter-Taylor

National BDPA elections are being held during the 2013 National BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC. One of the offices being contested is the BDPA Northeast region director vacancy. Lilla Hunter-Taylor is a member of our BDPA Washington DC chapter who accepted the nomination for the regional director post. Lilla currently works as the Director of Business Development with Compass Solutions. Before joining the Compass team she was the chief executive officer of The Staff Hunter located in Bethesda, MD.

Prior to establishing The Staff Hunter, Lilla ran a successful insurance brokerage firm for over eight years. Her knowledge of working with small to mid-size companies and individuals prepared her for working with companies and candidates in the staffing industry, she currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the MD/DC Minority Supplier Diversity Council.

Hunter-Taylor is very active with Dress for Success of Washington, DC and conducts seminars to help women become successful in their future careers. Mrs. Taylor participates every year in the Susan G. Komen race for the cure in Washington, DC. Hunter-Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Bowie State University.

Our blog wanted to know more about Lilla ... so we asked her to provide insights into her soul as she answered our basic question:

Who Am I?

  • ANIMAL, I would be... a Puppy, dependable, loves you unconditionally
  • CAR, I would be... a Camry, great-looking (not to sound vain ... LOL), performs well, affordable and non-pretentious
  • CITY/TOWN, I would be... New York (my birth place), everyone visits, loves it and the one place you feel like a star no matter what profession you're in
  • COLOR, I would be... Yellow, it exudes happiness
  • FLOWER, I would be... African Violet, beautiful color, beautiful history, beautiful continent
  • FOOD, I would be... Pizza, do I need to explain?  Everyone loves it!
  • ITEM OF CLOTHING, I would be... Winter coat, very warm and dependable
  • MONTH, I would be... September, the leaf changes are beautiful, the weather is not too hot or too cold, it's Fashion Season, heading towards the holidays
  • MOVIE, I would be... Science Fiction or Fantasy, great escape that makes you think
  • SONG, I would be... Mid-tempo, not too fast or too slow, just right with a little groove
  • SPORT, I would be... Football, it starts beautiful in the fall, everyone seems to have a great time together watching it, and great snacks during the game
  • SUPER-POWER, I would be... War Stopping Power.  Because war is good for absolutely nothing (couldn't resist)
  • TIME OF DAY, I would be... between 5 and 6 AM, the best thoughts are in the morning and they haven't been taken yet
Lilla Hunter-Taylor may be on the verge of creating her own powerful legacy within BDPA ... and it has been our sincere pleasure to introduce her to BDPA-Nation.  You can follow Lilla on twitter: @TheStaffHunter.

Our hope is that Lilla will join us here on the blog to share deeper insights into these things via the COMMENTS feature! What did you learn about our candidate for regional director via this blog post that you may never have known otherwise?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Overview: BDPA IT Showcase

The BDPA IT Showcase is an advanced technology forum where High School and College students from across the nation demonstrate their research and theories in the fields of information technology. Papers will be published in the IT Showcase Proceedings. The purpose of this program is to encourage more students of color to advance their education to the Ph.D. level in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) curriculum.  Click here to see more detailed overview.

BDPA IT Showcase founder Dr. Jesse Bemley notes, "Attendees will be amazed at the thoroughness of the research and the advanced topics presented at the IT Showcase. The IT Showcase treats the audience to challenging 'outside-the-box' thought."
The projects focus on various “advanced thought” topics including: artificial intelligence, database technology, web design technology, wired and wireless communication technology, IT security, data mining, global position systems, graphical processing units, soft computing, production planning tools, high performance computing, cloud computing, green technology, virtual technologies, nanotechnology, robotics, operating systems, IT certification, social media and much more.

The Showcase presentations consist of demonstrations where applicable. Three awards (First, Second and Third Prize) are made in each of two categories: High School and College (undergraduate). In recent years the top performers in the IT Showcase have won college scholarships funded by Johnson & Johnson.

Over the past few years there were 46 undergraduate papers and 74 high school papers presented from students in 14 states, 33 high schools, 12 universities and three community colleges. Our hope is that all 46 local BDPA chapters will find a way to send a student ... ideally one of their HSCC alumni ... to participate in the next BDPA IT Showcase.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grant Proposal: Entertainment Software Association Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) submitted a $50,000 grant proposal to the Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF) earlier this month. ESAF only reviews grant applications once per year ... and BETF is grateful to learn that our proposal is in consideration.

ESAF wrote:
Dear Wayne,

Thank you for your recent submission to Entertainment Software Association Foundation’s (ESAF) grant! This is to confirm that we have received your application in full. Please anticipate notice regarding your application status in August 2013. Should you have any questions before then, you can contact us at this address.

In the mean time, we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on our programs and events.

Good luck!

Our proposal focused on the national Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. We are hopeful that our proposal will be viewed favorably by the ESAF board of directors.

In the meantime, we encourage those of you that support BDPA programs, scholarships and services to make a secure online donation today!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bemley Scholar Ahmed Mahamad Graduates with Health Sciences Degree from University of Minnesota

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to recognize Bemley Scholar Ahmed Mahamad for his successful graduation from the University of Minnesota (Rochester) with a bachelor of sciences degree in Health Sciences.

Ahmed has a powerful BDPA legacy. He is one of the rare students in history to win three (3) national BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships. He won those three championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as a member of the HSCC teams trained by BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter. As a result of his excellence Ahmed earned multiple college scholarships including the Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship awarded by BETF to support his educational efforts at the University of Minnesota.

Ahmed joined with two other HSCC alums (James Arama and Adwait Walimbe) in 2010 to create the StartLounge. StartLounge was a visual, social interface that engaged users with Facebook integration to let them preview Facebook news feeds and photos.

As a college student Ahmed continued to support his BDPA family. He was a student instructor for BDPA Southern Minnesota for a number of years and he was a participant in the 2010 BDPA IT Showcase held in Philadelphia PA. His research topic during that year's IT Showcase was entitled, 'Robotics Bioinformatics and Medicine' [paper / poster].

Ahmed is the 'future face of technology'. His graduation this weekend from the University of Minnesota is simply another step in his personal quest to rise from 'the classroom to the boardroom'. Whenever BETF donors or volunteers begin to waiver in our commitment to support of BDPA programs, scholarships and services we merely need to remember the example of Ahmed Mahamad. Today, I ask all of you to join BETF in tipping our caps to this talented young man ... and if your heart tells you ... please help us provide more college scholarships in the future for other young 'uns like Ahmed!

Congratulations Ahmed ... University of Minnesota graduate, Class of 2013!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

BDPA HSCC Champion DeOnna Johnson Graduates with Medical Degree from Meharry Medical College

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is extremely proud to announce that 2004 BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) champion DeOnna Johnson received her medical degree today from Meharry Medical College! DeOnna walked across the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville, TN to accept her diploma denoting her graduate degree in medicine. DeOnna received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology in 2009 from the University of Tennessee before going to Meharry to study for her medical degree. Our understanding is that DeOnna will do her first post-graduate residency at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Sometimes BDPA volunteers and leaders wonder if the work that we do makes a difference. We wonder if our efforts to provide meaningful science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) experiences to the young people in our community will truly get them started on the road from 'classroom to the boardroom'. It is days like today ... when we are able to smile and celebrate in the excellence of young people such as Dr. DeOnna Johnson ... that we know it is all worthwhile.

DeOnna was part of a team of high school students (Auriel Echols, Cornell Gaulmon, Brittany Middleton and Mitchell Word) who vaulted into BDPA history by winning the 2004 National BDPA HSCC championship held in Dallas. Their victory marked the fourth consecutive year that BDPA Memphis chapter took home the gold medal at national HSCC championships ... the first time such a feat had ever been accomplished!

Please join BETF and the rest of BDPA-Nation in sharing some love for DeOnna and her family as they truly enjoy the fruits of her educational labors. I look forward to hearing DeOnna talk with a new generation of BDPA youngsters as time permits. DeOnna is the 'future face of technology' in the medical field. Her story and her success are cause for rejoicing!

Friday, May 17, 2013

BDPA Strikes Gold with WellPoint Sponsorship

With an unyielding commitment to meeting the health care needs of their diverse customers, WellPoint joined the growing list of Gold Level Corporate Sponsors at the 35th annual National BDPA Technology Conference on August 14-17, 2013 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington DC.

As one of the largest health benefits companies in the United States, WellPoint delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services. In addition to a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, dental, vision, and behavioral health benefit services, WellPoint also provides long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts.
Andrew Lang
At WellPoint, we pride ourselves in recruiting highly talented associates with varied skills, experience and backgrounds who reflect the people and communities we serve,” said Andrew Lang, WellPoint chief information officer. “That is why we continue to invest in organizations like BDPA that promote diversity and inclusion and help us find the talented associates who make up our technology team.”
As a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States, BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, college scholarships, mentoring, support, and services for youth and adult Information Technology (IT) professionals. BDPA is honored to partner with a world class health care organization such as WellPoint.
National BDPA president Monique Berry said, "Thanks to the continued support from WellPoint, the BDPA Tech Career Fair and will continue to make a positive impact on advancing the careers of college students and professionals in STEM related fields."
For more information on BDPA sponsorship program, contact Wayne Hicks, BDPA Corporate Sales director,, (301) 584-3135.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change

The Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change offers US residents ages 18-25 the chance to share how you want to spark positive change in your community or the world.  The deadline is May 24.

Everybody wins! Just for entering, you will receive a $25 Give for Youth gift card to help you support a project that inspires you. 20 finalists will receive a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT and Office Home and Student 2013 RT1 to help create their winning video entry.

5 grand prize winners will receive: an all-expenses paid volunteer trip to Kenya, $2,500 cash prize, and a Microsoft technology bundle.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Message from BDPA Greater Columbia Past Chapter President

Paulette and Raven
BDPA Members and Friends,

BDPA Greater Columbia chapter president Mildred Allen and I were honored to be present at the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Commissioning ceremony on Friday, May 10th at the Duke University Chapel, Duke University, in Durham, NC. Raven Stevenson, a graduate of our local High School Computer Competition (HSCC) training program, was commissioned in the United States Navy on Friday, and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Duke University on Sunday. What an outstanding set of achievements!

You may remember Raven as the HSCC student who won the $180,000 scholarship in 2009 while competing at the HSCC competition in Washington, DC. Her fellow team members were Dominique Geiger and Sami Patel.

L-R: Rick Leggett, Paulette Johnson-Davis, Perry Carter, Mildred Allen, Ensign Raven Stevenson, Monique Berry and Carl Hill
After the Commissioning Ceremony, the BDPA Triangle Chapter hosted a reception for Raven and her family at the First Flight Venture Center in Durham, NC. The reception was attended by members of Raven’s family, National BDPA president Monique Berry, as well as by members of the BDPA Triangle, BDPA Washington DC and BDPA Greater Columbia Area chapters.

Ensign Stevenson will report in August 2013 to CG 66 USS HUE CITY in Mayport, Florida. We congratulate Raven on her outstanding accomplishments and wish her every success in the future.

Paulette Johnson-Davis
Vice President of Business Management
BDPA Greater Columbia Area Chapter

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BDPA iRadio Show: May 14, 2013 (Khalia Braswell, Craig Brown and Derrick Brown)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guests on the May 14th show:

Khalia Braswell - 2007 HSCC Alumni, BDPA Charlotte Chapter - Khalia competed in the 2007 national BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship as a member of the team trained by BDPA Charlotte chapter. Her team finished in 6th place. Khalia earned a Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students in 2008. She used that scholarship to help offset the costs for college studies at North Carolina State University (NCSU). She plans to graduate with a Computer Science degree in 2013. She can share some excellent insights in the impact that BDPA had on her college and career choices. It is worth noting that BDPA and Eli Lilly are accepting applications for the 2013 Eli Lilly Scholarship right now. Also, Khalia was recently featured for her work at NCSU. Her twitter handle is @KhaliaBraswell.

Dr. Craig Brown - Vice President, National BDPA - Dr. Craig Brown was elected to be National BDPA Vice President (2012-2013). He works with national president Monique Berry and the regional officers to ensure that BDPA is moving towards its vision. Dr. Brown has a 25 year career serving as an expert systems and database architect within leading technologies like Oracle, Oracle-PeopleSoft, SAP, IBM and Microsoft. His experiences are more particular to the Enterprise Resource Planning, Decision Support and Relational Database Management Systems technologies. He earned over 20 certifications within these technological areas and currently provides implementation and integration expertise along with a variety of other technological disciplines. He holds a BS in Computer Science as well as a Master's in Business and a Doctorate in Management Information Systems. He has over 1 million followers on Twitter and thousands of followers on his Facebook page. Dr. Brown should be able to share with our iRadio Show audience his vision for the future of BDPA. His twitter handle is @craigbrownphd.

Derrick Brown - President-Elect, BDPA Atlanta Chapter - Derrick Brown is the president-elect of the BDPA Atlanta chapter. As such, he has been part of the leadership team in Atlanta that has rocked the BDPA-nation over the past two years with its new programs, new energy and remarkable new results. Derrick is poised to take on the chapter presidency in 2014-2015. Our listeners will be intrigued to get the inside scoop on the magical journey of BDPA Atlanta chapter from one of its architects.. His twitter handle is @DSBrown3000.

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Where Are They Now? BDPA Philadelphia Chapter Presidents

We commonly refer to BDPA Philadelphia as 'THE Chapter' ... paying homage to its status as the original BDPA chapter back in 1976. The first few organizational meetings held at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia with about 15 people talking about whether or not a Black technology-based organization made sense.

Another meeting held later in 1976 at the Urban Careers Education Center with about 35 people from various areas of the data processing community confirmed the name, Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). A task force (Roger Berry, Craig Bethea, Ralph E. Gordon Jr., Earl A. Pace, and David Wimberly) appointed to create the initial BDPA bylaws.

The following people were elected as BDPA Philadelphia chapter officers in June 1976: President: Earl A. Pace Jr., Vice President: Ralph E. Gordon Jr., Secretary: Charles C. Jones Jr., Treasurer: Mary Ann Lowery, Program Committee: Craig Bethea, Roy Barnes, and F. Douglas Funderburg, Membership Committee: James Moten.

Our Philadelphia chapter hosted national BDPA technology conferences in 1981 ('Growth Through Professional Association'), 1985 ('A Decade of Professional Growth'), 1995 ('Linking Business, Education and Technology') and 2003 ('Information Technology: From the Classroom to the Boardroom').

It surprised me to learn that BDPA Philadelphia never won 'Chapter of the Year' honors until 2007-2008. Chapter president Monique Berry want Philaldephia to become only the second chapter in history to win this coveted award three years in a row. Do you know the only chapter to three-peat in BDPA history?

BDPA Philadelphia has been unable to train a national championship team for the high school computer competition (HSCC). However, the chapter did have a student (Christian West) earn the Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students in 2008. The chapter has never won the national HSCC, however, they have had very positive impact on HSCC alumni such as Marcellus Sims (2006-2007)

I would love to make a connection with other HSCC alumni from our Philadelphia chapter. Where are they now?

Past BDPA Philadelphia chapter presidents Earl Pace and Donald Campbell (shown in the photo) served at one point or another on the National BDPA Executive Committee. It would be great if we could hear from each of the past BDPA Philadelphia chapter presidents:

Where Are They Now?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Message from National BDPA Vice President of Membership Management

Curtis Jenkins
Thank you for your membership!

Because of you, we are a great organization doing great things. In 2013, we have added over 100 new members nationwide. We have also chartered a new chapter in Huntsville, AL.

We continue to grow and you can help by encouraging your friends, family, colleagues & associates to join BDPA just as you did. Tell them of the value proposition that you receive as a member.

Remember, you can make a difference! By also being an active member, you can help yourself and your chapters reach your goals to service the community and other stakeholders who invest their precious resources with our organization.

See you at the National Conference!

Curtis Jenkins
Vice President Membership Management
National BDPA

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rest In Peace: Mark Grady (BDPA St. Louis)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation received the following message from the BDPA St. Louis chapter board of directors:
Mark Grady
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of BDPA St. Louis chapter president Mark Grady. Mark passed away at his home over the weekend. If you have had the pleasure of knowing Mark, you know that he was passionate about BDPA and the opportunity to enhance careers and create relationships and networks for minority professionals. Mark will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by all that knew him.

The service/gathering for Mark Grady will be at the following address this Saturday, May 11 at 2:00pm. It is my understanding that there will be no viewing ... only a video montage and condolences to the family ... at this St. Louis event.

Kappa Community Center
500 North Vandeventer Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108

For those interested, there will be an additional service in Detroit will be held on Saturday May 18. More information to come regarding gifts or donations for those that are interested. The local Kappa Chapter is working to create an education fund for Mark’s two daughters.

BDPA and Eli Lilly Offer $2,500 College Scholarships for Minority STEM Students

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to open up the application period for any graduating high school student or current college student interested in the 7th Annual Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students!

The purpose of the Lilly/BDPA Scholarship is to recognize outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

Lilly/BDPA Scholars will be awarded a one-time $2,500 scholarship that may be used to pursue an information technology focused degree at an accredited four-year college or university of their choice. The Lilly/BDPA Scholarship may be used to supplement benefits from the college or university a student plans to attend and fellowships from other foundations or organizations. Students may use the scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other college-related expenses.

Scholarship winners will be selected based on the application, essay, and letters of recommendation.

To be eligible for Lilly/BDPA Scholarship, each applicant must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a member of BDPA
  • Be a graduating high school senior or current college student in good standing at the time of their application.
  • Demonstrate academic achievement (minimum GPA of 3.0)
  • Exhibit leadership ability through academic or civic involvement and participate in community service activities
Complete application packet must include the following:
  1. Application Form
  2. Current transcript
  3. 500-word essay on “Why Information Technology is Important”
  4. Two letters of recommendation
Click here to download application!

Scholarships will be awarded only to students who fully meet the scholarship requirements. All application materials must be RECEIVED on or before July 1, 2013 in order to be eligible. Incomplete, e-mailed or faxed applications will not be considered!

We will announce the Lilly/BDPA scholarship winners during the 2013 National BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia, PA.   We are very proud of our past Lilly/BDPA scholarship winners:
  1. 2007, Daniel Puente (University of Texas)
  2. 2007, Christian West (Northwestern University)
  3. 2008, Khalia Braswell (North Carolina State University)
  4. 2008, Lee Reed (University of Michigan)
  5. 2009, Hung Vo (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  6. 2009, Carrine Johnson (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School)
  7. 2010, Leslie Vasquez (Pike High School)
  8. 2010, Gerardo Dominguez (Chicago State University)
  9. 2011, Jala Cruz (North Central High School)
  10. 2011, Adwait Walimbe (John Marshall High School)
  11. 2012, Allen Warner (Valdosta State University)
Do you know any high school or college kids looking to study in a technology-based field during college? Can they use a $2,500 scholarship? If so, you need to share this information with them right away!

Any questions?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ConnXus CEO Rod Robinson Renews Commitment to BDPA for Another Year

BDPA is proud to learn that ConnXus founder and chief executive officer, Rod Robinson, agreed to renew its corporate support of BDPA in 2013! The focus of the sponsorship will be on corporate memberships -- the company is underwriting the memberships for two (2) company employees and two (2) college students in the greater Cincinnati area.

ConnXus provides a subscription based online service that connects minority- and woman-owned businesses with major corporations seeking to expand their supplier base and meet supplier diversity objectives. This venture-backed company revolutionizes the concept of Supplier Diversity by focusing on aggregating corporate purchasing demand and making it easy and affordable for major corporations to locate, evaluate and engage performance-rated small, minority- or woman-owned businesses across more than 100 categories.

BDPA looks to find ways to introduce ConnXus to both Fortune 100 companies and MWBE-certified small businesses that we count as corporate sponsors. That is the win-win that we look to create for all of our sponsors. If you know of any MWBE-certified business owner in your sphere of influence ... point them to the ConnXus website so that they can get connected to the supplier diversity directory leading to increased revenue opportunities!

For more information on the benefits of BDPA corporate sponsorship, please contact Wayne Hicks by email ( or phone (301.584-3135).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Minority Executive Search President Eral Burks Joins BDPA

BDPA works very hard to promote the effort of its entrepreneurs and business owners.

For example, Eral Burks is the owner of Minority Executive Search. His company has been placing women and minority executives in Corporate America for over 30 years. He agreed to underwrite corporate memberships for a number of college students in the Cleveland (OH) area ... co-located with his firm's headquarters. He wants to see these college students get started properly in their IT industry careers with internships and other mentoring support.

Minority Executive Search is now part of a growing list of BDPA corporate sponsors!

Monday, May 6, 2013

BDPA Welcomes PNC Bank as a Proud Bronze Level Corporate Sponsor

PNC Bank joined the growing list of Bronze Level corporate sponsors at the 35th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair titled, “Diverse Opportunities in the Age of Convergence,” August 14-17, 2013, in Washington, D. C.

Committed to responsible consumer, small business, corporate and institutional lending that helps to not only sustain economic growth, but also augment it, PNC Bank originated more than $150 billion in loans and commitments last year, including nearly $4 billion to small businesses. Additionally, more than $43 million in grants have been awarded through the PNC Foundation to nonprofit organizations such as BDPA that focus on improving children’s school readiness in math and science.
Monique Berry
"BDPA is delighted to partner with PNC Bank to bring this technology job fair to Washington DC. Workforce development initiatives are a priority for BDPA, and this collaborative effort with PNC is a wonderful opportunity to help our tech community prosper by connecting great companies with much-needed information technology (IT) talent," said Monique Berry, National BDPA president.

In addition to its commitment for the conference, PNC Bank is investing in its current diverse IT employees with the purchase of BDPA corporate memberships in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The ability to provide meaningful volunteer and career-development opportunities for PNC employees in these three cities is an important part of the sponsorship value offered by BDPA.

As a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States, BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, college scholarships, mentoring, support, and services for youth and adult IT professionals. BDPA is honored to partner with a financial giant such as PNC Bank.

For more information on the upcoming BDPA Technology Conference, contact Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Department,, (301) 584-3135.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Message from BDPA Greater Birmingham Chapter President


LaDonna Crum
I wanted to take that time to say, "Hello"!  I am not sure if everyone is aware that I have taken the opportunity to lead our local chapter as its president.  I have been a member of BDPA Greater Birmingham for some time now, I served as the chapter's High School Computer Competition (HSCC) from 2004-2006.

I am still transitioning to the new leadership position, but, I wanted to contact our group and open up lines of communication with the members and supporters of the BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter.

I attended the April 2013 conference call of BDPA South Regional Chapter Presidents. The conference call focused on the need to encourage all BDPA members to register for the 35th annual National BDPA Technology Conference on August 14- 17, 2013 in Washington DC. Please let me know if you plan to attend. Feel free to email me with this information.

Finally, I would like to schedule a face-to-face meeting with chapter members on Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Thank you,
LaDonna Crum, president
BDPA Greater Birmingham Chapter

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Baxter Healthcare Joins Growing List of BDPA Corporate Sponsors

Baxter Healthcare develops, manufactures and markets products that save and sustain lives. As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide. The company wants to improve its diversity recruitment and retention efforts in the United States. As such, we are proud to announce that Baxter Healthcare is the latest in a growing list of pharmaceutical industry companies to become a BDPA corporate sponsor.

Baxter purchased 12-month access to the BDPA Job Board, ten (10) corporate memberships and major support of the annual Education Banquet hosted by the BDPA Chicago chapter. Baxter Healthcare recognizes the return-on-investment that BDPA provides to them ... makes you wonder what the rest of Corporate America is waiting on?

Friday, May 3, 2013

BDPA HSCC Alum Raven Stevenson Becomes a Naval Officer

This BDPA Education and Technology Foundation blog first introduced Raven Stevenson back in 2009. She was a member of the High School Computer Competition team trained by BDPA Greater Columbia chapter to compete in the 2009 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship. During that week Raven met with representatives from the US Navy ... and on the final night of the 2009 National BDPA Technology Conference, Raven accepted a full ride scholarship to Duke University using a Navy ROTC scholarship. Raven shared her story with us on the BDPA iRadio Show back in December 2011.

Fast forward to 2013. Midshipman Stevenson is a Neuroscience major and plans to attend medical school after completing the Navy's Basic Division Officer's Course and the Advanced Ship Handling and Tactics course required for Surface Warfare Officer qualifications. Midshipman First Class Stevenson will join her Navy and Marine Corps shipmates later this month during a formal Naval Officer Commissioning Ceremony for at the Duke University Chapel.

BDPA Triangle chapter will host a reception to honor Raven and her family on Friday, May 10, 2013.  Contact BDPA South Region director Teresa Williams ( or BDPA Triangle chapter president Carl Hill ( if you are interested in attending the BDPA reception.

If you are unable to attend in person, then perhaps you can help us provide college scholarships to the next generation of young people coming from Raven's home chapter in South Carolina. Visit the BDPA Greater Columbia HSCC Scholarship Fund and do what you think is best!