Friday, February 28, 2014

BDPA Founder Earl Pace Asks, 'Is BDPA a Promise Unfulfilled?'

National BDPA founder Earl Pace was the guest speaker for BDPA Philadelphia chapter last month. His presentation revolved around the provocative question, 'Is BDPA a promised unfulfilled?'

Mr. Pace shared his personal story on how career limitations for African Americans in the 1970s led to the formation of BDPA. Mr. Pace provided advice on how to continue to build on the 40-year legacy of BDPA in America.

This is a 'must-see' video for all past, current and future BDPA members!

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

BDPA Corporate Supporter: CRS Group

Please join us in welcoming back CRS Group as a BDPA corporate supporter! They recently agreed to purchase corporate memberships, conference registrations and a small business table at recent BDPA Chicago chapter banquet. Very cool!

Our corporate champion for CRS Group is its chief executive officer - Michael Gaines. Our account manager for this corporate sale is Nashunda Bolden (Chicago).

Today was a good BDPA Day!
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Message from National BDPA President

Dr. Craig Brown
BDPA Family,

I am honored to be addressing you as National BDPA President. BDPA weathered the recession with the grit of its members, strong continuity of leadership, commitment to community and its dedicated sponsors that believe in the BDPA mission and vision. Because of that our brand is strong.

Today we are the largest African American Information Technology association in the U.S., and the largest national non-profit organization continually involved in training students underrepresented in STEM education across the country. As President I plan on growing the BDPA brand by putting an emphasis on gaining new membership and retention. The economic landscape is still very challenging, but as our organization changes with the times we can face new challenges and continue on a path to greater opportunity for all National BDPA stakeholders.

I propose the following main areas of focus:
  1. First, increase national visibility to who we are and what we do. Showcase our success stories to help gain greater notoriety as a Brand offering solutions to the nations critical problem of skilled IT professionals and students who want to study STEM related subjects as collegiate students;
  2. Second, increase our viability so that we can withstand economical shifts by staying relevant with solid programs and member value proposition. BDPA service offerings and member programs are the foundation to continuous success and are the basis for the organization Mission Statement;
  3. Finally, increase the marketability of the BDPA brand. This should increase the demand for BDPA service offerings by driving more awareness about our organizations unique capabilities demonstrated for over the last 40 years.
Admittedly, this will not be easy. But nothing worthwhile ever is.

2014 National BDPA Board of Directors
I recognized up front that I needed to build a strong team. Without this, the vision that I have placed before you would not succeed. As a volunteer organization, the National Leadership Team needed to be strong enough to carry the workload of such a huge undertaking. I believe that I have accomplished this requirement. In addition to the elected officers that your delegates have selected to join the leadership team, I have added strong appointed officers that possess what it takes to accomplish the goals set by the vision that we are committed to.

Within the first 45 days of 2014 the BDPA Leadership Team has already laid out the road map for what is needed. The 1st Quarter Meeting produced outstanding plans that I believe will yield the production necessary to produce BDPA 2.0 (which is what we have 'nicknamed' what is coming soon). My goals are simple. Increase awareness to the BDPA Brand. The benefits are widespread. Vastly improve the BDPA membership 'value proposition' through improved services, stronger programs and collaborative initiatives.

Please visit the website and meet the National Leadership Team. Thanks for your support and I look forward to serving as your National President for 2014 & 2015.

Dr. Craig Brown, president
National BDPA

Monday, February 24, 2014

BDPA Brotha' Tips: Growing Your Chapter with Speaking Engagements

I have been in BDPA since 1988. Some of y'all refer to me as the BDPA Brotha! One of the constant concerns that I hear expressed by most local chapters is that they are the 'best-kept secret' in their community and industry.

The more people that know about BDPA ... the more business you can get ... the more that you can grow your chapter. One way to boost your personal and professional image is through public speaking engagements. Be strategic about your process in accepting speaking engagements.

Don't use speaking engagements to make 'hard' commercials about your programs and services. Instead, you should focus on providing your audience with value that they can immediately understand and respect. Customize your presentation to fit the specific audience that you are talking to. Be passionate and knowledgeable about your speaking topic. Your audience will see your value and respond accordingly.

Here are some ways that you can prepare and locate speaking engagements to build your local chapter or business:

  • Alumni - Your involvement in college and university events may open the door to opportunities to speak to small groups. Also consider pointers from other alumni and business professionals who are active public speakers.
  • Books - Take a moment to read 'Public Speaking for Dummies' by Malcolm Kushner.
  • Friends and Family - Ask them to listen to you practice, but make sure they are brutally honest about your flow, technique and presentation. Have them list three things you did well and three things you can improve upon.
  • National Speakers Association - Check out this website to see tips and resources for aspiring speakers. NSA is one of the leading professional associations for speakers with local chapters all over the nation.
  • Speakers Bureau or Agent - If you are unable to manage the process yourself, a professional organization or agent can do it for you by booking engagements, negotiating fees and handling travel arrangements for a 'per project' or monthly fee. This may also open up speaking opportunities that you never knew about because you'll be in a database.
  • Toastmasters - This nonprofit organization for beginning speakers (with local chapters worldwide) can help familiarize you with public speaking. Many of the speeches are given in front of members, and the organization also provides mentors for those looking to overcome presentation anxieties.

I hope that these chapter marketing tips are helpful to you. Feel free to contact me by email or phone (513.284-4968) if you would like to discuss additional ways to market your nonprofit business.

In the meantime, I will continue to share these 'BDPA Brotha' tips on a semi-regular basis!
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

This Week in BDPA (February 23 - March 1, 2014)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar:
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

BDPA Corporate Supporter: MATRIX Resources

BDPA Atlanta chapter president Ds Brown brought in a new corporate sponsor this month! Please join us in welcoming Matrix Resources - - as our newest corporate supporter!

It is worth noting that they also have operations in a number of cities that are co-located with BDPA chapters including: Bay Area, Birmingham, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, and Triangle.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Seeking STEM Student Participants for 12th Annual BDPA IT Showcase

BDPA is actively recruiting high school and college undergraduate students to participate in the 12th annual National BDPA Information Technology (IT) Showcase (co-sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company and Johnson & Johnson).

2012 IT Showcase Winner
The BDPA IT Showcase allows student presenters from educational institutions all over the United States to showcase their research papers and posters by presenting and demonstrating their research. The presentations will represent science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) topics presented by highly motivated high school and college students to an audience of students and IT professionals. College and high school students have the opportunity to participate in this 3-day event held in conjunction with the National BDPA Technology Conference held in Indianapolis, IN, August 6-9, 2014.

2013 IT Showcase Winner & Friends
The Presentations and Research Projects will be judged in two divisions … high school and college … by a panel of judges. Three awards will be made in each category for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Each participant will be recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation at the end of the IT Showcase session. The awards will be presented at the annual Gala on Saturday, August 9, 2014.  See list of past winners!

BDPA seeks scholarly papers/projects on leading edge technologies in STEM disciplines with a focus on, hardware and software methodologies, research proofs of concept encompassing, but not limited to, artificial intelligence, intelligent technologies, smart toys, machine learning, genetic algorithms, wearable computing, web technologies, green IT technologies, virtual IT technologies, high performance computing, computing curricula, computational science (across the physical and life sciences), green energy technologies, robotics, climate change or global warming.

The National IT Showcase Coordinators will work with chapter volunteers and students to help them develop their research project. The final recommendation on the student's participation will be made after the research paper is completed.

Participants are expected to follow this timeline:
  1. Research paper (8 page maximum) – due April 15, 2014
  2. PowerPoint presentation from the paper (10 min. for IT Showcase) – due June 6, 2014
  3. Poster display (3ft by 4ft) graphically depicting research topic - due June 6, 2014
  4. Photo (B&W) and Bio – due April 15, 2014
  5. Trip Report - Due August 16, 2014.
The presentation and poster are driven by the research paper. The PowerPoint presentation is given at the podium and poster presentations are given in the poster display area.

Contact Dr. Jesse Bemley (IT Showcase coordinator) on (301) 584-3135 if you have questions or wish to discuss further.
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Juniper Networks Foundation

The mission of the Juniper Foundation is to promote and support education in the communities we serve from early childhood through end of high school, with a focus on programs that foster technical understanding and increase job preparedness. A group of Juniper employees from regions around the world comprise the Foundation's decision-making committee.

Corporate Philanthropy - Juniper makes monetary and in-kind donations to charitable organizations around the world. For example, they have worked with the Red Cross and other foundations to provide relief to victims of natural disasters. They have also donated networking equipment to create a world-class research laboratory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Employee Involvement - Juniper encourages employees to participate in volunteer activities that make a positive impact in their communities. They partner with a variety of organizations to organize corporate volunteer projects and also support employee volunteerism at local schools, community events and nonprofit organizations.

Matching Gift Program - Juniper's matching gift program allows employees to increase the impact of their personal charitable contributions to local, national, and international organizations that hold tax-exempt status and are designated a public charity.

For more information about Juniper's community involvement, please contact us via e-mail at
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

BDPA Cincinnati Appoints Michael Pulliam to its Board of Directors

BDPA Cincinnati chapter, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology (IT) professionals who advance the careers of African Americans from the classroom to the boardroom, today announced the newest member of its board of directors.

Michael Pulliam
Michael Pulliam, a software quality assurance engineer at Quest Diagnostics Healthcare Technology Solutions, in Mason OH, has been appointed to serve as the Contact Management Department director for BDPA Cincinnati chapter. BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the 5th largest (out of 46) chapters in the nation. Michael is responsible for providing the necessary services to maintain and facilitate communication to chapter members and its supporter base. It is worth noting that Michael joined BDPA as a result of his son’s participation in the chapter’s STEM-based training programs … that included two years competing in the national High School Computer Competition championship.

Michael has a wide and diverse background in Information Technology and electronics spanning more than 2 decades covering multiple IT related areas including test automation, test planning, test tool administration, user training, and teaching electronics and programming as an Instructor at Owens Technical College where he also served as the Faculty Advisor of Tau Alpha Pi, National Engineering Honor Society. Michael is also active in Toastmasters, recently earning the Distinguished Toastmasters award, and received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Boston University.
I am delighted to join the BDPA board and I look forward to bringing my experience and energy to the BDPA team to help communicate our message to the Cincinnati IT community in networking, best practice sharing, employment opportunities, giving back to the community, and building the future,” said newly-appointed board member Michael Pulliam.

Pulliam Family
The new board will set the direction for BDPA Cincinnati as it provides programs and services necessary to advance the careers of African Americans and others in the information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom. The chapter meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled for February 19, 2014 at the Brown Mackie College in Norwood.

Michael takes on this new leadership position at a time when unemployment is growing to painfully high levels for African American IT professionals and dwindling numbers of African American students in college computer science programs. BDPA Cincinnati uses its programs, scholarships and other services to impact on these dismal industry statistics.
BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Dalric Webb said, “We are excited to have Michael join the board of directors. Michael has been part of our chapter in supporting role for his son (Brian) over the past few years. We are delighted that the father now brings his technical and leadership talents to our outstanding leadership team as we continue to demonstrate the value of BDPA membership and engagement. We welcome Michael’s expertise and experience to the board and look forward to a long working relationship.”
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Astronaut Mae Jemison on 'Women in STEM'

At the MAKERS Conference on women leadership last week, Google vice president Megan Smith, astronauts Cady Coleman and Mae Jemison and Harvey Mudd president Maria Klawe took the stage to discuss the importance of increasing the number of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Jemison, who is the first African American woman to go to space, emphasized that, as women become a greater part of STEM education and industries, it’s important for women to be in the roomhelping to make the choices.” She talked about her involvement with the 100 Year Starship project, which aims to send humans on an interstellar journey in the next 100 years, and how an endeavor of that magnitude must be a team effort.

Read the rest of the article on The Next Web.
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

This Week in BDPA (Feb 16-22, 2014)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar:
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Message from the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President

Dalric Webb
BDPA Cincinnati chapter members,

As we begin our celebration of Black Family Technology Awareness Week, I would like to encourage each member of our chapter to get engaged with community efforts in and around your communities. Together we can accomplish miraculous works!

Your BDPA Cincinnati chapter is strong and growing, but we still need more hands on the oars of this mighty ship as we sail towards the great destinations of giving back, networking, professional development, leadership, and mentoring. Please consider taking either a role on the board or volunteering your time to assist with the many areas where we are working 'from the classroom to the boardroom'. You can view a list of the open board positions here.

We have a lot going on in the weeks ahead

  • Feb 22, 2014 - Our youth technology computer camp kicked off on January 11th with almost 20 high school students focused on a STEM based curriculum.  We are inviting the entire Cincinnati community to visit our computer camp to see our young people in action!  We will be joined on this day by a leader from Procter & Gamble who is recruiting for this year's Resident Scholar Program.
I’d also like to ask for your feedback.
  • How is your BDPA membership working out for you? 
  • How can we improve the value of your membership? 
Send me a note or pull me to the side at the monthly program meeting. This is YOUR chapter! Are you feeling engaged?

Finally, I encourage you to take a few minutes to look around on In particular, take a look at the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter pages. Are they informative, relevant, accurate, and professional? What are your thoughts on improving the look and feel of our web presence?

Dalric Webb, President
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter
(513) 549-6991
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Minorities, Women Still Underrepresented in STEM Fields

America’s science and engineering sectors have made strides toward building a more diverse labor force, but progress remains to be made, the National Science Board’s annual “Science and Engineering Indicators” report found. “There has been some general movement toward more diversity of participation in S&E [science and engineering] occupations,” the report, said. Asians, for example, made up 19% of scientists and engineers in the United States in 2010 ... far higher than their proportion in the general population, which was 5%. By contrast,

African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives, “historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups,” the report described, accounted for 10% of the country’s workers in science and engineering in 2010 ... up slightly from 7% in 1993, but still a far smaller proportion than their share of the general population, which was 26%.

Read the rest of this US News & World Report article.
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