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

Message from National BDPA President

Photo courtesy: National BDPA

Message from National BDPA President

mike-a-williams2Good morning BDPA members. As my first official post as your National President, I just wanted to tell you how excited I am about BDPA and what’s to come in 2016 and beyond.

Over the weekend the National Board of Directors engaged in some very productive discussions about our strategy, our finances, brand rejuvenation, and our upcoming conference in Atlanta. We also welcomed our new regional leaders and board members (Ashton Clark, Hayward West, Curtis Jenkins and William Smith) and Andreana Dunbar as our new secretary.

As we discussed our conference, we all agreed that our conference theme should be about connecting. During our conferences we connect generations of professionals, professionals with employers, vendors with companies, and people with each other. Lastly, in this digital world we live in, everything is connected in one way or the other. So, we thought it was fitting that the theme of our conference for 2016 be ‘BDPA CONNECT‘.

We also talked about leading from the top. What that means is that at the national level we want to support and enable chapters at the local level by providing tools they can use for member orientation, sponsorship pitches, and general information about BDPA that can then be re-purposed and used at your discretion. Soon we will be forwarding a presentation and brochures that every chapter can use to enable you to achieve your chapter objectives.

We have a lot ahead in 2016. Our collective goal at every level should be “to do better and be better” than we were last year. That is not to say that last year was not a successful one; in fact, it was very successful by all accounts, however, we must continue to raise the bar and our own expectations of ourselves. My challenge for myself and to all of you is that we raise the bar and our expectations. Let’s hold ourselves and each other accountable in 2016.

Fear is something you can overcome, doubt is just giving up before you even tried. Change can cause fear but fear never prevents you from stepping forward. Let’s step forward.

We are already the champions, we just need to go pick up our trophy. Let’s go!

#OneBDPA
Mike Williams, President
National BDPA

%d bloggers like this: