Monday, December 29, 2014

Message from BDPA Milwaukee Chapter President

BDPA Milwaukee Chapter would like to thank you for all your support, dedication and membership during the 2014 calendar year!

The Milwaukee Chapter had major accomplishments in 2014 that include:
  • 45 members and growing, 
  • Named 'Comeback Chapter of the Year' at the National BDPA Conference, 
  • first time Milwaukee students participated at the BDPA High School Computer Competition (place 14th), 
  • two college students awarded $5,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, 
  • featured on the Milwaukee local papers and news stations, 
  • awarded grants,
  • partnered with several large corporation such as GE, Rockwell, State of Wisconsin.
We would like to extend our holiday wishes to you and your family. May your holidays be filled with joy, happiness, and harmony. We hope that you have the opportunity to take some time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work this year.

We trust that 2015 will be an even better year for you and get you another step closer to achieving your goals. We look forward to working, networking, and continue and new memberships in the New Year.

May the New Year bring all of you happiness, peace, good health, and prosperity!

Carmen Giles, President
BDPA Milwaukee Chapter

Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 FedEx Internship Positions - Apply Now

FedEx is currently accepting applicants for their 2015 Summer Internship positions.

The positions are throughout the country with excellent pay and opportunities for potential interns.  You can apply for various positions; but start the process now!  [Click here to Read More]

Please share this with your college candidates.  They pay is great and one can still share housing with another candidate if they need to seek housing.

The application process normally ends between December and January. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

BDPA Brotha Shares 15 Ideas to Improve Your Networking Results

I have been in BDPA since 1988. Some of y'all refer to me as the BDPA Brotha!   I have shared tips on 'The Art of Networking' in the past. I thought that the time was right to be more specific. Here are 15 things you should *DO* if you want to make your networking work!
  1. Do ask for what you want. No one is there to take care of you. Anticipate that contacts may say 'No' and don't be offended if they do.
  2. Do be business-like ... always!
  3. Do circulate at meetings. Learn to introduce yourself to strangers.
  4. Do continue to develop your expertise and visibility to enhance your value to the network.
  5. Do deliver when you say you will.
  6. Do follow good rules of social etiquette.
  7. Do follow-up on leads.
  8. Do give sensitive and caring feedback to members of your network.
  9. Do maintain confidentiality. Protect your sources.
  10. Do not abandon former networks as you climb higher.
  11. Do not be discouraged.  If given the brush off by one contact in your network, move on!
  12. Do offer to pick up the tab!
  13. Do refine your 'want list' and only ask for one thing at a time.
  14. Do test out the reliability of any information you receive.
  15. Do try to give as much as you get from network contacts. Reciprocity is the name of the game. Do not wait to be asked!
These are some ideas on how you can maximize your positive results from networking. Have any of these ideas worked for you in the past? Do you have other ideas that we may have missed?

I will continue to share these 'BDPA Brotha' tips on a semi-regular basis!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tec-Link Sponsors BDPA College Student Memberships

We received great news from one of our longtime supporters, Derek Holmes! His business, Tec-Link agreed to sponsor twenty (20) BDPA college student memberships. That means that we are now offering 20 college student memberships on a first-come, first-served basis to college students anywhere in the country.

All the student needs to do is send the following six data points to BDPA corporate sales director Wayne Hicks (
  1. Name
  2. College
  3. Email Address
  4. Phone Number
  5. Mailing Address
  6. Resume
Do you know of any college students that would benefit from BDPA membership? Here are some reasons why a college student would want to join BDPA -   The next step is yours! The first 20 college student names that we receive with the six data points shown above will become BDPA members!

Please support Tec-Link if you have the ability to do so.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

ThoughtWorks Renews Support of BDPA Dallas Chapter

ThoughtWorks renewed its sponsorship of our local chapter in Dallas, Texas.   The company agreed to provide in-kind facilities donation for the chapter's monthly program meetings.   This is the second year that ThoughtWorks has made the commitment to house these monthly professional development workshops.

ThoughtWorks is a global IT consultancy providing Agile-based systems development and consulting services. They have pioneered many of the most advanced and successful Agile methods of software development and best practices used in the industry today.

In other words, they build amazing software. It’s amazing because it’s the stuff which makes or breaks companies; software which creates competitive advantage. ThoughtWorks see building software as a social activity, best done by teams of brilliant people, not a mechanistic process where individuals are interchangeable cogs in a master plan.  Their hiring model focuses on finding outstanding talent, over the mastery of tools.

BDPA Dallas, the 7th-largest chapter in the nation led by president Chad White, seeks to make a difference for African Americans as they advance in their information technology industry from the classroom to the boardroom.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

BDPA Supports First-Ever Launch of National Data Science Bowl

Booz Allen Hamilton, the management and technology consulting firm, and Kaggle, the leading online data science competition community, today announced the launch of the inaugural National Data Science Bowl. A 90-day competition, the National Data Science Bowl will provide the data science community with an opportunity to utilize its skills and training to create impact on a global scale. Specifically, in this inaugural competition, participants will develop complex algorithms to advance the study of ocean health, the result of which will generate an estimated one million dollar ‘in-kind’ donation of analytics research to the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University. Booz Allen Hamilton and Kaggle will also award a total of $175,000 to the top three algorithms’ creators and the leading university team; the largest purse, to date, for a Kaggle competition benefiting social good.
The National Data Science Bowl was born from the realization that, in order for the data science community to grow and thrive, it must be given opportunities to use its talents to benefit both business and society,” said Booz Allen Hamilton’s Josh Sullivan, a vice president in the firm’s Strategic Innovation Group. “We are extremely honored to partner with leaders such as Kaggle and the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State for this initiative and believe its findings will be a testament to the role data science can – and should – play in solving previously impossible challenges moving forward.”

The competition will task participants with examining nearly 100,000 underwater images to develop an algorithm that will enable researchers to identify and monitor planktonic organisms at a speed and scale never before possible. Extremely susceptible to changes in temperature and chemistry, a large and thriving plankton population is crucial for driving some of the planet’s most life-sustaining processes. These organisms produce much of the world’s oxygen and absorb a large percentage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, while serving as the foundation for all marine and many terrestrial food chains. Rapid assessment of their populations will therefore allow the scientific community to monitor ocean health at an unprecedented scale, an important step forward in understanding and protecting the environment.
This partnership allows us to leverage a project funded by the National Science Foundation into a much larger product that will extend the capabilities of the ocean science community to rapidly assess key biological metrics of ocean conditions,” said Hatfield Marine Science Center Director Bob Cowen. “The algorithms resulting from this competition will be applied to millions of images taken in a variety of marine environments, allowing cross-comparison and analysis at an unprecedented scale of detail and coverage.”
The National Data Science Bowl is part of Booz Allen Hamilton’s ongoing commitment to supporting data science education and awareness, evidenced by its recently launched Explore Data Science training program and Field Guide to Data Science. By partnering with Kaggle, the firm is further providing data science practitioners – from experts to novices – with the opportunity to refine and expand their analytics expertise; all while advancing critical environmental research.
Kaggle Founder and CEO Anthony Goldbloom said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Booz Allen Hamilton and the Hatfield Marine Science Center to bring this impressive challenge to our community. With over 100 categories of marine life appearing in any orientation, this problem is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with image classification. This is an opportunity for data scientists around the world to have a real impact on the health of our oceans.
For more information on the competition as well as Booz Allen Hamilton and Kaggle’s support of the data science community, please visit

Friday, December 19, 2014

Where Are They Now? Monochrome Displays

What they were: The black-and-white CRT that most businesses and many homes used with computers from the 1970s through the late 1980s -- and they worked just fine, since most DOS applications made little use of color, and early Macs didn’t support it at all.

What happened: Graphical user interfaces, multimedia and games made universal use of color inevitable, but it took a long time before it truly conquered computing. Well into the 1990s, lots of folks who wouldn’t dream of using a black-and-white display with a desktop PC still toted monochrome notebooks. But today, even a $200 netbook has a perfectly respectable color display.

Current whereabouts: You don’t want a monochrome display. But if you did, you wouldn’t have trouble finding one. They’re still out there in large quantities, being used for electronic cash registers and other unglamorous but important text-based applications. And hey, monochrome is making its own unexpected sort of comeback: My Kindle 2 e-book reader has an E-Ink screen that does 16 shades of gray, and nothing else.

SOURCE: 'Where Are They Now? 25 Computer Products That Refuse to Die' by Harry McCracken.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kraft Foods Seeks to Recruit Diverse IT Talent via BDPA Job Board

National BDPA is pleased to announce that Kraft Foods agreed to become a sponsor of BDPA again! The company seeks to recruit BDPA members and other diverse IT professionals via our powerful Job Board, web banner and web links. In addition, the company seeks to improve upon the relationship between Kraft Foods and BDPA by purchasing ten (10) corporate memberships.

Kraft makes brands that are known and loved the world over – and they’ve been doing it for generations. Today they’re one of the largest, most renowned food and beverage businesses in North America, with 2011 combined net revenues of $18.7 billion. The company completed a major reorganization a few years ago and the rejuvenated company is a powerhouse in the food & beverage industry.

For more information about BDPA or its sponsorship program, please contact us by email ( or phone (301.584-3135 x108).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Walgreens Renews Its Silver Sponsorship of BDPA

The long-term investment into BDPA by Walgreens has been ongoing for well over a decade. It continues as Walgreens renewed its Silver Level corporate sponsorship of National BDPA. Walgreens agreed to underwrite a variety of activities that include the renewal of corporate memberships, BDPA Job Board participation and an investment in the BDPA Chicago chapter annual awards banquet. Walgreens believes in the BDPA mission of advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry ‘from the classroom to the boardroom’.
Pam Mathews
National BDPA president Pamela Mathews said, "I'm very excited that Walgreens has renewed our partnership. They have been a supportive and committed partner to our vision and mission. I look forward to celebrating 40 years of BDPA with Walgreens in 2015."
Diversity and inclusion at Walgreens are more than business initiatives; they are a way of life, embedded deep in its culture. As a retailer in diverse communities across the country and Puerto Rico, they want to reflect that diversity in many ways - in the products and services they offer, in their choice of the vendors and other entities with which they do business and in their everyday interactions with customers, patients and each other. BDPA has watched careers being launched at Walgreens. Walgreens recruits, retains and develops strong talent. The company offers development classes, goal setting training and mentoring to help drive success in the workplace.
Millie Liggins
At Walgreens, we are dedicated to the well-being of our customers, employees, and communities we all call home. In addition, we are committed to sustaining a strong, technologically trained work force where innovation thrives and growth opportunities exist for varied skills, experience and backgrounds who reflect the people and communities we serve globally”, said Millie Liggins, Walgreens Strategic Implementations Team Lead. “That is why we continue to invest in organizations like BDPA … organizations that promote diversity and inclusion and help us meet our corporate objectives for talent acquisition, employee development, and philanthropic endeavors. We look forward to a successful partnership as we work together to help people get well, stay well and live well.
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members.
Reggie Rush
BDPA Chicago wants to thank Walgreens for their dedication, support and commitment to help BDPA impact our members and students through their contributions,” noted BDPA Chicago chapter president Reggie Rush. “It takes sponsors like Walgreens to provide the necessary resources that make it possible for BDPA to continue forward with its mission to ensure a diverse talent pipeline for the future and to encourage young people to explore careers in science and technology."
For more information about BDPA or its sponsorship program, please contact us by email ( or phone (301.584-3135 x108).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Grant Proposal: Southern California Gas Company (BDPA Los Angeles)

The Sempra Energy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation based in San Diego, California, USA. The foundation was founded by Sempra Energy, a Fortune 250 energy services company that serves the largest customer base of any energy utility in the United States. With 13,800 employees worldwide, the Sempra Energy companies develop energy infrastructure, operate utilities, and provide related products and services to more than 29 million consumers worldwide.

One of its subsidiaries is the Southern California Gas Company. We were invited to apply for a grant proposal with Southern California Gas Company in the amount of $2500. They focus their charitable giving in a number of areas, including K-12 Programs. This program seeks to improve grades and skills in Science/Technology/Engineering/Math and increased graduation rates in underserved communities.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation worked closely with BDPA Los Angeles chapter president David Malonson to create a grant proposal that was submitted earlier this week. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grant Declination: Regions Bank Community Foundation (BDPA Greater Birmingham)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter (president, LaDonna Crum) to submit a $5,000 grant proposal to the Regions Bank Community Foundation. BDPA Greater Birmingham was named 2014 Developing Chapter of the Year at our 36th Annual BDPA Technology Conference held earlier this year in Indianapolis, Indiana. We learned today that our grant proposal has been denied by Regions Bank.

The declination read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hicks:

Thank you for submitting a proposal for funding to Regions Bank. However worthy we found your request to be, we must decline based upon previous charitable commitments.

We wish you all the best.

Ann Forney
Corporate Contributions Director
1900 Fifth Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
(205) 326-5305 office
(205) 531-1491 cell

BETF will continue to work with the leadership team of our BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter to find the funding that they will need to implement their programs, scholarships and services. You can help! Please make a secure online donation in support of the BDPA Greater Birmingham Scholarship Program.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eli Lilly and Company Renews Its Gold Level Sponsorship

The long-term investment into BDPA by Eli Lilly and Company has been ongoing for well over a decade. It continues as Eli Lilly and Company renewed its Gold Level corporate sponsorship of the 37th Annual BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC on August 18-22, 2015. Eli Lilly and Company agreed to underwrite a variety of activities that include the BDPA IT Showcase, college scholarships, career fair, BDPA Job Board and an investment in the BDPA Indianapolis chapter. Eli Lilly believes in the BDPA mission of advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry ‘from the classroom to the boardroom’.

Eli Lilly and Company seeks to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. The company embraces diversity by understanding, respecting and valuing differences. BDPA has seen the commitment by Eli Lilly and Company to diversity in its workplace, marketplace and its relationships with suppliers. The company clearly understands that caring for people across the globe and working to make lives better starts with understanding and including everyone in its effort to discover solutions that make life better.
Tim Coleman
We are proud to again partner with and support BDPA. The organization’s work to ensure a diverse talent pipeline for the future and to encourage young people to explore careers in science and technology aligns with our beliefs at Lilly,” says Eli Lilly senior director Tim Coleman, “Education is so vital to creating the professionals who will contribute to the discovery of innovative medicines of the future.
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members.
“BDPA is excited to continue our partnership with Eli Lilly in 2015. As we approach the celebration of our 40th year in existence, we look forward to Eli Lilly helping us advance careers from the classroom to the boardroom,” said National BDPA president Pamela Mathews.
For more information about BDPA or its sponsorship program, please contact us by email ( or phone (301.584-3135 x108).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grant Proposal: Nissan Foundation (BDPA Los Angeles)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with BDPA Los Angeles chapter to request a $2,000 grant from the Nissan Foundation. In the United States, Nissan Neighbors is a community-focused initiative dedicated to improving communities through charitable contributions and in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations working in three focus areas: education, the environment and humanitarian aid.

BDPA Los Angeles SITES Students
BETF asked Nissan Foundation for partial funding of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Los Angeles. The objective of our SITES program in Los Angeles is to effectively use technology to stimulate and sustain the interest of young people in science and technology. This program is perfectly in synch with Nissan's focus on education. SITES works with children from disadvantaged backgrounds to provide them with science, technology, engineering and math skills development needed to be productive, engaged members of our future workforce.

We should have an answer for BDPA Los Angeles chapter president David Malonson from Nissan Foundation within the next month.   BETF continues to seek funding for any interested local BDPA chapter. In the meantime, I encourage you to support the BDPA Los Angeles chapter by making a secure online donation today!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

National BDPA Announces New VP-Membership Management - Mildred Allen

Mildred Allen
BDPA, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals, announced a new member of its executive team. Mildred Allen was named the Vice President of Membership Management (VPMM). Mildred has been working for over 16 years with SCANA Corporation, an energizing force throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia - bringing electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses, supporting economic growth and innovation and enriching our local communities. She currently serves as a project manager for SCANA. Mildred is a member of our BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. She graduated from Southern Wesleyan University.
It takes passion to give back continuously, it takes passion to see the vision, and it will take passion to move BDPA’s membership to the next level," says the new vice president, Mildred Allen.
In her new role, Mildred works with a team of volunteer to grow the size and the depth of BDPA at a local, regional and national level. This group is responsible for recruitment, retention and contact management activities for all BDPA members. There is a great deal of interaction between the VPMM with the national office, Executive Director and Chief Information Officer.
Pamela Mathews
"I am very pleased that Mildred Allen has accepted the appointment as our VPMM,” says National BDPA president Pamela Mathews. “She brings a plethora of knowledge regarding our membership system and BDPA overall. She is an asset to our leadership team and the organization as a whole."
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members. Membership in BDPA can be purchased for $100 (adult IT professionals) or $25 (students). The organization is coming off 11 months of growth, increasing by 29% from this time last year.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of membership you can call us on (301) 584-3135 or by email (Mildred Allen,

Saturday, December 6, 2014

BDPA Cincinnati Announces New VP-Strategy & Planning - Norman Phillips (P&G)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals, announced a new member of its executive team. Norman Phillips was named the Vice President of Strategy & Planning (VPSP). Norman is an IT architect and manager of business transformation for over 30 years at Procter & Gamble (P&G). P&G is the largest corporation in Cincinnati. Norman is a YMCA Black Achiever as well as a volunteer with the youth ministries at Lincoln Heights Missionary Baptist. Norman received his computer sciences degree from Southern University.
I am honored and humbled to be appointed to the Cincinnati BDPA Board of Directors. BDPA was a strong influence in my life during my college years back in the 80’s and I am impressed with the influence it continues to have on the IT industry today,” says Norman Phillips. “Technology Innovation is more critical now than ever in determining the success of our nation and it is up to us to develop the future technology leaders, especially with our people of color. I have more than 30 years’ experience in the technology industry and feel I can help mold and inspire our next generation of leaders to get involved in Science and Technology. BDPA is one of the vehicles I plan to use to bring others into the technology industry.
In his new role, Norman works with a team of volunteers to develop and maintain the BDPA Cincinnati strategy and future planning process. His responsibilities also include managing organizational alliances, conducting assessments of BDPA and improving image of BDPA Cincinnati.
"We are delighted to have Norman join BDPA Cincinnati chapter as its VPSP. Norman brings a wealth of technical acumen and professionalism through an extensive network of contacts and personal relationships," says BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Dalric Webb. “We look forward to Norman helping set the strategic vision for the chapter for the next 3 - 5 years as we work to strengthen our partnerships within and throughout the greater Cincinnati area."
BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the second-largest chapter in the nation. BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. For more than 25 years, BDPA Cincinnati has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members. BDPA represents more than 3,000 members in 46 active chapters located across the United States.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Rest In Peace: Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013)

On this day in 2013 we lost international hero Nelson Mandela. His life personifies 'the heart of a lion'. He led the fight against apartheid with extraordinary vigor and resilience after spending nearly three decades of his life behind bars. He sacrificed his private life and his youth for his people, and remains South Africa's best known and loved hero.

Mandela was born July 18, 1918. He was jailed in November 1962 for leaving the country illegally and for incitement to strike. While serving the sentence he was charged with sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In prison Mandela demonstrated his heart by never compromising his political principles. He was always a source of strength for the other prisoners. Nelson Mandela's reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant Black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

More people watched his release from prison on February 11, 1990 than any other prisoner in the history of the world. Some even analyzed the details of his speech he gave on his release! He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He served as president of South Africa from 1994-1999.

Mandela has honorary degrees from more than 50 international universities. Nelson Mandela retired from public life in June 1999 and he currently resides in his birth place - Qunu, Transkei.

Here is my Pinterest board dedicated to Nelson Mandela

BDPAers, do you remember your participating in protests against apartheid? Do you remember how you felt when Mandela was finally released from prison? Can you deny that this quite man of peace found a way into your heart?

Rest in peace, Madiba!

JPMorgan Chase Renews Its Silver Level Sponsorship

The opportunities for success with the underserved minority community around the nation just received a boost as JPMorgan Chase agreed to work with BDPA at the 37th Annual BDPA Technology Conference in Washington DC on August 18-22, 2015. JPMorgan Chase agreed to underwrite activities for a number of local BDPA chapters in an effort to train the next generation of IT professionals.

JPMorgan Chase is a leading global financial services firm with operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small-business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. JPMorgan Chase serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients.
I am honored to welcome JPMorgan Chase as a Silver Level Sponsor of BDPA. On behalf of the National Board of Directors and the National Executive Committee we thank JPMorgan Chase for their dedication, support and commitment with helping BDPA impact those members through their contributions to BDPA”, said immediate past president Dr. Craig Brown. “Sponsors like JPMorgan Chase provide the necessary resources that make it possible for BDPA to continue forward with its mission.”
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA has fulfilled its mission and worked to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth opportunities for its members.
BDPA New York chapter president Tyrone McKinney said, “JPMorgan Chase has been a great partner to BDPA New York chapter as a host and presenter for a number of technical development seminars. We applaud and commend JPMorgan Chase for their ongoing support and commitment to BDPA.”
JPMorgan Chase used part of its sponsorship dollars to fund community outreach programs in five local chapters: Columbus, Dallas, New Jersey, New York and Northern Delaware.
BDPA Dallas chapter president Chad White noted, “The Dallas chapter would like to thank JPMorgan Chase for it's continued support. With their outstanding contribution the students of the chapter will be attending the 2015 conference.”
For more information about BDPA or its sponsorship program, please contact us by email ( or phone (301.584-3135 x108).

Why Give? * Your Last Will & Testament

Make a Difference in the Lives that Follow

In life, most people require some kind of assistance, whether it’s physical, financial or spiritual. Perhaps a local church congregation or food bank supplied meals during a tough time. Maybe you were given a scholarship that made the dream of college possible. You or a loved one may have been shown especially compassionate care in the hospital during an illness or injury.

And during life’s struggles, we are often reminded that more must be done to continue positive, humane acts of kindness, and to sustain programs for personal enrichment. We wish more funding were available for medical research, for domestic abuse shelters, or a treasured arts or music program.

Charitable organizations, like the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation, need financial assistance from people like you to continue their work. More than 80 percent of Americans contribute to the nonprofit groups of their choice throughout their lifetimes. But according to research conducted in 2000, only around eight percent of people chose to continue this support through a charitable bequest.

By making bequests and other "planned gifts," you can continue to help organizations that are making an important difference in your community.

What better way to thank the people or organizations that have had an impact on your life, than to make a contribution from your estate through a bequest?

Gifts large and small are important. Charitable giving is not only for the wealthy!
  • Q1 - I have children and relatives. Shouldn’t I leave my entire estate to them?
  • A1 - This is perhaps the number one cause for reluctance when making a bequest. The truth is that, depending on the current tax laws, leaving a gift to charity in your will may reduce the estate tax burden on your heirs significantly. You should consult with a financial advisor or attorney to learn how giving may actually benefit your family after you’re gone.

Charitable Statistics: An Untapped Well of Good

  • There are more than 260 million Americans, of whom approximately two million die each year.
  • In 1996, 79,346 estate tax forms were filed with the federal government. (At the time, these forms were required for estates in excess of $600,000.) Eighteen percent of the forms listed a charitable gift.
  • In other words, 82 percent of the nation's wealthiest individuals left nothing to charity.
  • In addition, the IRS tells us that charity is getting a decreasing share of the money in these wealthy estates, from 21.8 percent in 1976 to 6.3 percent in 1992.
  • According to a 2004 Associated Press news story, only 42 percent of adults have wills, a five percent drop since 2000.
If only 20 percent of Americans left a charitable bequest, the current number of charitable bequests would more than double. Imagine what the impact to charitable organizations would be if the 80 percent of Americans who give during their lifetimes also made a charitable gift through their estate plans!
I suppose that the question for BDPA members ... especially those of you that have been officers or members for over ten years ... can you update your will to include BDPA in it?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

CODE2040 Summer Fellowship Program Applications Now Open

CODE2040 Summer Fellowship Program places high performing Black and Latino/a software engineering students in internships with top tech companies and provides mentorship, leadership training, and network development.

Submission deadline is January 5, 2015.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, November 2014)

The lifeblood of any nonprofit association is its membership.  BDPA membership continues to grow!  The membership total in November 2014 marks the 11th straight month of growth.  In fact, the total membership increased by 29% from this time last year!  The growth is a direct result of efforts by local, regional and national leaders to provide a value proposition to members (and potential members) with its programs, scholarships and services.  Kudos to the National BDPA president Pamela Mathews and her newly-appointed vice-president of membership management Mildred Allen for the continued positive trending in this core metric.   

BDPA Cincinnati chapter (president, Dalric Webb) is to be commended for a remarkable milestone as well.  This chapter doubled in size this calendar year!   They began the year as the 5th largest chapter in nation ... and now we find them sitting as the 2nd-largest chapter ... having grown by over 130% in the past 11 months!  The chapter effectively used its monthly program meetings and corporate sales to grow the chapter.  BDPA Cincinnati chapter grew faster than any other chapter in the past quarter!

We believe in the management maxim -- you get what you measure.  Let us assess the numbers in order to honor those local BDPA chapters who are demonstrating success in their efforts to recruit and retain members. Let's take a look at the ten largest chapters in BDPA-Nation:
  1. Chicago - president, Reggie Rush
  2. Cincinnati - president, Dalric Webb
  3. Washington DC - president, Perry Carter 
  4. Atlanta - president, Derrick Brown (up 1 spot)
  5. Philadelphia - president, Eileen Gadsden (down 1 spot)
  6. Southern Minnesota - president, Will Smith
  7. Dallas - president, Chad White (up 1 spot)
  8. New Jersey - president, Goldie Bonney (down 1 spot)
  9. Los Angeles - president, David Malonson 
  10. Detroit - president, Beverly Moore (up 1 spot)

The top five chapters on the list remain in the 'BDPA Century Club'! The benefit of having powerful leadership is obvious when we see that Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Washington DC each have over 100 members. One of the common denominators for each of these chapters is that they place a high premium on the delivery of quality programs and services to their members. These chapters work hard to ensure that there is a strong return on the $100 investment that each member makes thru annual dues.

What are your thoughts about the value of BDPA membership? What can your local chapter do to improve the value-proposition for you on a personal or professional level?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Message from BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President

Dalric Webb
I hope everyone enjoyed a joyful, relaxing and ful-FILLING Thanksgiving holiday filled with family, friends, and loved ones. Thanksgiving time reminds me of our BDPA family, working together for the common good, individually, collectively, and for our communities. It is with this 'holiday spirit” in mind that I share with you my final monthly message for 2014.

Without a pause, we will close out the year with our final program meeting, 'Productivity in the Workplace' on 12/18/14. Under the leadership of the VP-Member Services Karen Lipscomb and Professional Development director Babacar Guisse, we have completed twelve (12) highly informative and engaging  professional networking sessions each month this year. These sessions have not only been fantastic opportunities to broaden and sharpen the technical acumen of the attendees, but have also been synergistic opportunities between recruiters who have attended these sessions each and every month, and those individuals looking for other opportunities.  Each session highlights a point of the vast technical space we live in and each has provided a nugget or two of information we find useful. You should look for even more engagement with our members and the professional community in 2015!

Secondly, I have to again bring just a little more attention to the OUTSTANDING work done with our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program this yearKaren Lipscomb, Outreach director Deborah Prince and SITES coordinator Frank Hill joined with a host of volunteers to execute a superb SITES program the resulted in over $15,000 in college scholarships being awarded to students within our chapter.   There is an excellent write-up in the current edition of “About Greater Cincinnati” that sets the bar high for 2015 in our youth education programming.

Thirdly, let me talk about membership.  VP-Membership Management Wayne Hicks and his team of volunteers have knocked the ball out of the park in 2014 with over 150% membership growth! The team has developed a succinct process for quickly closing on membership opportunities and has worked hard all year to bring greater ROI-value proposition for your membership.   Additionally, this team has really TURNED UP the bar on marketing our chapter’s efforts and successes. BDPA has often, unfortunately been considered a well-kept secret. While there is some value in remaining under-exposed as an organization, there is much greater value in being able to effectively and efficiently tell our story (after all, if we don’t tell our story, who will?). Wayne, Karen and their teams worked together to share the operational successes of our chapter, our students and our members. This exposure goes a long way in gaining additional support which ultimately enables the volunteers to do more.

Next, let me share the continued growth in your volunteer board leadership - Carmen Byes (Communications), William Carter (Planning), Lesley Floyd (Alliances), Babacar Guisse (Professional Development), Steve Gutter (VP-Finance), Wayne Hicks, Frank Hill, Ellery Lewis (VP-Fundraising), Karen Lipscomb, Carl Matthews (Chapter Organization), Patrick Nelson (Member Benefits), Norman Phillips (VP-Strategy & Planning), Deborah Prince, Michael Pulliam (Contact Management), Debbie Sanders (Internal-External) and Audrey Sweeney (Membership) - as they delivered on a wide variety of efforts and programs in the past year.   This harmonious team continues to drive process improvements, improve the effectiveness of the chapter organization, and find new ways to bring value to our members, to each other, to our sponsors, and to our communities. There are only a few open positions left on the board. Now is your chance to join our team as we move into 2015.   The time is perfect for you to help us take BDPA to the next level.

Finally, a short word about our sponsors. This year we have had the honor and benefit of UNWAVERING support from Brown Mackie College, Cincinnati Bell, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati State Technical College, Delta Gateway Foundation, GE, Northern Kentucky University, Per Scholas, Procter & Gamble, The Circuit, University of Cincinnati. As a non-profit organization, no matter how much good we endeavor to accomplish for our youth, the technology professionals, and our communities, we couldn’t do it without the timely support and follow-through from our sponsors. These organizations are directly responsible for ensuring your local BDPA chapter receives timely support.   The funding and encouragement from these sponsors keeps our strong body of volunteers going. We sincerely appreciate all of the support received and look forward to adding new sponsors in 2015.

As we look to the end of 2015, the Christmas season, and brighter days ahead, may all of your loads be light, may your journey be short, and may your results exceed your own expectations in all that you endeavor. Wishing each and every one of you and your families, a safe and enjoyable holiday season and a return to engaging with your local chapter anew in 2015.

Dalric Webb, president
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

Monday, December 1, 2014

Message from the National BDPA President

Pamela Mathews
Greetings! I pray that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed your time with family and friends. As the season changes from fall to winter, so too does the evolution of BDPA in terms achieving our vision and national strategy.

Thus far, 2014 has been a year of transition, celebration and collaboration. As we march into December and close out the year, let’s all be mindful of a few of our accomplishments:
  • Established a strong, tangible framework to achieve our national strategy. Our strategy and expectations are clear and everyone is aligned on our collective and functional area objectives;
  • Initiated the review and update of our standard operating procedures. As you are all aware, we have entered year three of our transition to a regionally based structure. As a result, we needed to revise our documentation to reflect this change, specifically roles, responsibilities and processes, to drive greater accountability and execution;
  • Executed our 36th Annual Technology Conference and Career Fair. The Indianapolis chapter, Visit Indy, and national team did a phenomenal job of planning and executing a great conference. Similar to prior years, the conference was experienced by over 500 members, corporate sponsors and partners;
  • Completing due diligence with prospective partners to enhance our member value proposition. Discussions are underway with several strategic partners to confirm the existence of a mutually beneficial partnership.
Besides the accomplishments mentioned above, I am also excited about the collaboration and execution exhibited by our Regional leadership team. I have had the pleasure to work with each of them for a few years and trust them to work across the organization to bring our vision and strategy to life. As we move into 2015, I am asking each of you to prepare for and/or focus on the following:
  • BDPA’s 40th Anniversary, which will be celebrated August 18-22, 2015 as part of the National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair in Washington, DC.  Please register now (early bird registration expires January 1, 2015) and start making your plans to attend the Conference;
  • Membership renewal. Please renew yours during the annual membership drive. Updated information regarding member benefits will be published and communicated in the near future. Also, bring a friend to the membership drive. BDPA has something to offer everyone;
  • 2015 Annual Technology Conference - Call For Presenters. This is a great way to share your knowledge or expertise on a particular topic. If you are interested, please complete the online form by January 26, 2015, on the 2015 BDPA conference page at
In closing, I am honored to represent and lead our prestigious organization. Thank you for your past, current and future support. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or comments.

Pamela Mathews, president
National BDPA