BDPA Co-Founder, IT Hall of Famer, and Tech Industry Legend Earl A. Pace, Jr. passes away at 79

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

By Norman Mays, Kenneth Wilson, and Sharrarne Morton, BDPA

Earl A. Pace, Jr.

National BDPA photo by Charlie Perkins

LARGO, MD (BDPA) – Earl A. Pace, Jr.,  a computer programmer trainee at the Pennsylvania Railroad who went on to become an entrepreneur, an iconic figure of civil rights in the tech industry, and a staunch proponent of technology inclusion initiatives, died February 19, 2022, after enduring a long illness his family said in a statement.  He was 79.

“All of us will miss his caring, his love and his sound wisdom as co-founder of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). The date and details of a memorial service will be announced in the near future. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers.”

A distinguished alum of The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Mr. Pace has been in the Information Technology (IT) industry since 1965. He left the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1967. Over the next decade he rose through the ranks of programmer, programmer analyst, programming manager, and on to Vice President of a financial telecommunications company in Philadelphia, PA. He became a business owner in 1976 when he incorporated Pace Data Systems, a full service information technology firm providing services and support through its Philadelphia, PA and Washington, D.C. offices primarily to banks and savings banks.

In 1975, Mr. Pace co-founded BDPA  in Philadelphia and operated as its president for two years.  In 1978 he coordinated the formation of BDPA into a national organization and functioned as its first National President until 1980. National BDPA has grown into one of the largest professional organizations representing minorities across the IT industry.  In 1992, the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF or BDPA Foundation) chaired by Mr. Pace, was founded to support the education and technical programs of BDPA. In 2011, Mr. Pace was the first IT Innovator honored during CompTIA’s IT Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Within BDPA and on a broader industrial scale, Mr. Pace was a vocal advocate for business ownership. His primary message since starting BDPA has always been minorities should strive to rise above just ‘getting a job’ while pursuing  ownership, operating their own businesses, and landing a position on a Corporate Board of Directors.

About BDPA

BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science, data science, and related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1975, BDPA Members and BDPA Student Members remain actively engaged in serving their respective communities through technology inclusion programs and STEM outreach events while charting the futures of IT and digital inclusivity with Industry. 

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Contact

Norman Mays
216.310.2173
info@bdpatoday.org
Kenneth Wilson
216.773.0700
info@bdpatoday.org
Sharrarne Morton
240.463.6915
media@bdpadc.org

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This book was written to enrich lives. It is a story about helping people grow, build, and achieve greatness. The story of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) – a non-profit organization of African-American computer professionals growing, building, and achieving success together – is one of developing diverse talent and improving their career options in the Information Technology industry. BDPA was born in 1975 because its founders believed African Americans in particular were marginalized in the burgeoning field of data processing, known today as information technology (IT), STEM, and cyber.

Vivian C. Wilson, National BDPA Matriarch and Past President, Passes Away at 77

From the Office of Earl A. Pace, Jr.National BDPA Co-Founder

It was with great sorrow that I received notice of the death of Vivian. Vivian was an incredibly special lady! I met Vivian through our membership in Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), an organization created, in 1975, to prepare African American and other minority youth for careers in Information Technology and to affect the upward mobility of African Americans and other minorities already in the IT industry.

Vivian C. Wilson, National BDPA
Vivian C. Wilson

Vivian made an impact almost immediately upon joining BDPA and rose quickly to delivering that impact to the national level of the organization. In 1986, she received the first “Board of Directors National Outstanding Member of the Year”. Vivian was elected National Vice-President in 1987 and elevated to National President, by election, in 1989.

There have been 18 National Presidents of BDPA, eight have been women of color. Vivian was the 4th BDPA National President and the first female National President. Of all the past Presidents, I believe Vivian had the greatest impact on the organization! She had a way of making every member she met, her friend and part of the BDPA family. She introduced the “BDPA hug” that continues to be demonstrated to this day by the membership! The greatest increase in admitted BDPA Chapters occurred under Vivian’s presidency! She was organized and a true professional. After her 2 terms as president, Vivian and her developed team continued to contribute to BDPA by successfully organizing and conducting the organization’s Annual National Conferences until 1996.

Although not active in BDPA the past several years, there is no doubt that Vivian loved the organization and its objectives. It is also true that BDPA loved Vivian. ― bt

Cover photo courtesy National BDPA (L-R):
Denise Holland, Gina Billings, Milt Haines, George Williams, Diane Davis, Vivian Wilson, Norman Mays, and Earl A. Pace, Jr.

Vivian C. Wilson in Memoriam

Johnson & Johnson executive to chair National BDPA’s Education and Technology Foundation

larry-jones-JJATLANTA, GA—National BDPA’s Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) today named Larry Jones its new Chairman. Jones succeeds Earl A. Pace, Jr., Co-Founder of National BDPA.

Jones, a Johnson & Johnson executive,  is a purpose-driven leader that delivers transformational change with key principles of business process integration, agile approaches, and next generation technology solutions. As a seasoned tech executive, he has led significant programs within Johnson & Johnson across its Pharmaceuticals and Hospital Medical Device sectors.

Driven by his passion and experience in healthcare, he is CIO for one of the largest medical device companies in the world. As member of the $27B Medical Device senior leadership team, Larry’s recent success includes completion of a 3 year, $200M global digital transformation initiative to drive lean business processes, cloud-based solutions, and integrated insights. He spent over 6+ years as the multi-region, global CIO for Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Currently, he is focused on driving digital surgery connectivity solutions for the company’s surgical robotics and machine learning platforms in Oncology, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, and general surgery.

With a strong commitment to diversity and core values, his leadership teams have driven consistently high employee engagement results and technology execution. He is an executive member of the Johnson & Johnson African American Leadership Council and J&J’s regional Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council.

Fascinated with the opportunity of transforming lives in healthcare through next generation technology, Larry serves as a Healthcare industry advisory council member for Microsoft and Verizon. Along with his efforts on non-profit boards, he is also member of the prestigious Executive Leadership Council.

In 2019, Larry was honored by ITSMF and The Harlem Fine Arts Society for African American Lifetime Achievement in Technology. He has also been nominated for InspireCIO’s NY/NJ CIO of the year for 2019.

Larry Jones has a MS / MBA in computer engineering from the University of Pennsylvania & Wharton School. He also earned a BS in Computer Science from St. Peter’s University.

BETF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, founded in 1992 to support the education and technical programs of National BDPA (founded in 1975 and formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates).

BDPA2019.com | BETF.org

Source and photos: Larry Jones/LinkedIn and J&J

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National BDPA mourns the loss of Wayne Hicks

CINCINNATI, OH — OBITUARY | Richard Wayne Hicks, Jr.

It is with enormous sadness that we announce that Richard Wayne Hicks, Jr. passed peacefully at home on June 7, 2018.

For more than thirty years, Wayne was a tireless champion of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) and promoting diversity in technology and expanding STEM experiences for youth in under-served communities and growing BDPA chapter membership and participation in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Los Angeles.wayne-hicks-mem18

For the last twelve years, Wayne was the Executive Director of the  Black Data Processing Associates Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). He also held various leadership positions within the IT professional organization, Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), including President of the National BDPA, 2004-2005 and Director of Corporate Sales.

Wayne started his career with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), starting as a summer intern and progressing to a member of the Senior Executive Service. Later, Wayne led the Cincinnati Business Incubator as president (2003-2008).

Wayne is survived by his daughters Laura Hicks and Nailah McCloud, son Khalis Hicks, granddaughter Amara McCloud, his mother Elizabeth Hicks, sister Kyra, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, other family, friends and colleagues.

The memorial service, with viewing, will be held Saturday, June 23, 2018, 1pm, at Thompson, Hall & Jordan Funeral Home, 11400 Winton Road, Forest Park, OH 45240, (513) 742-3600.

— Source and photos: BDPA and The Hicks Family

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