Our BDPA Charlotte chapter, founded in September 1988, is entering its 20th year of existance.   Use this topic area to share information and questions about programs and services offered by BDPA in Charlotte NC.

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BDPA Charlotte chapter, founded in September 1988, enters its 20th year of existence as the 12th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter recently announced their new board of directors for 2008-2009. Join us in welcoming to new leaders for our BDPA Charlotte chapter:
  • President - Charles Moore (Wachovia)
  • President-Elect - Julius Clark (Wachovia)
  • VP-Finance - Lawrence Belton (Wachovia)
  • VP-Strategy & Planning - Sandra Howell (Wachovia)
  • VP-Member Services - Cassandra Seibles (Wachovia)
  • VP-Membership Management - Sherri Sonnier-Johnson (Quill Ink
  • VP-SITES - John Hoffler (Wachovia)
  • Immediate Past-President - Kimberly Green (Self-Employed)
  • Corporate Advisory Council Chairman - Wade Younger (Fruition Consulting)
These brothers and sisters plan to lead BDPA to new heights in Charlotte. If you live in the Charlotte area, then you are encouraged to meet with them on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 as they discuss the 'State of the Chapter' at the upcoming program meeting. Chapter president Charles Moore and his team will share their strategy and plans for 2008-2009.

Take a moment to share some BDPA-Love with these shining stars from BDPA Charlotte chapter!

I invite you to read the Message from the Charlotte Chapter President. Charles Moore (Wachovia) is the new chapter president. He lays out his vision for the chapter in his message...

The 2009 Soul of the Community Survey explores the link between residents' emotional ties to where they live and the community's economic growth.

Three main factors emotionally attach residents to Charlotte: openness (how welcoming a place is), aesthetics (an area's physical beauty and green spaces) and education (public K-12 school and colleges and universities).

See survey details for Charlotte at .

BDPA Charlotte chapter was created in September 1998. The chapter has a rich history of leadership in the BDPA community. The legacy of the chapter will continue into 2010-2011 based on recent election results. Julius Clark wrote,
"I am happy to announce that Markus Beamer, current VP of Strategy & Planning, was elected as the 2010-2011 President-Elect for BDPA Charlotte. Markus has been a dedicated member of the BDPA Charlotte family, most notably as trainer for the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program. Markus has demonstrated a strong passion of educating the next generation of students and walks the talk of our creed; “Advancing Careers From the Classroom to the Boardroom”. Markus is a rising leader in the IT industry who also has a tremendous passion for developing online video/strategy games in his spare time. Markus is a very talented individual and will serve the Charlotte community well."
Markus Beamer wrote,
"My name is Markus Beamer. I was born in Tacoma Washington but was raised in Columbia South Carolina. I come from a family of 4 boys and 2 girls and thus am used to a very hectic environment. “Never a dull moment” is certainly the motto for our home growing up. That’s probably why 11 years ago I turned to technology for a career, “Never a dull moment” sums up its progress quite nicely.

During my college years, at the College of Charleston, my first exploration into technology was as a web developer for a software licensing firm. I started out typing HTML and Javascript into a simple notepad window. Through the years I touched upon CSS, Java, Visual Basic, PHP, mySQL, Photoshop, Access, Oracle and MS SQL Server in that exact order. However, I find it quite amusing that to this day when I want to write a bit of code I reach for my notepad application first ... no matter the language. Needless to say, I found a love in technology. No matter how much I knew, I never was bored, as something new was but a day away. Change was always going to come.

Of course change can come when you grow the family. Currently my family is in Charlotte North Carolina. I am the lucky husband to one fine lady and the proud father of two rambunctious boys. I am happy to say that my household carries on the tradition of “Never a dull moment”. My oldest son is crazy for electronics and all things technical. My youngest son is definitely the outdoor, rough and tumble kinda fella. They both attract their fair share of friends and our house has become the “neighborhood” house. (much to my wife’s dismay!)

I currently work at Bank of America as a Business Process Consultant. When asked, I tell friends and family that my role is to help “leadership” make the best use of technology and in truth this is what I do. However the role affords me much more than that, I am at a crucial nexus where the needs, desires and ambitions of the business meet the calculations, formulas and algorithms of technology. It’s a great place to be and I don’t think I’ll change it for some time to come.


At times one gets bored with the day to day. It is in those times that I turn to my hobby of game building. Like most hobbies it is silly yet fulfilling. I build small games that can be played in a browser; my specialty is to build them with JavaScript so they do not require any plug-ins or downloads to play. Sometimes the games are role based, sometimes they are card based, other times they are …different. I have been doing this since 1999. I laugh when I think of the number of games I have written and thrown by the wayside (at last count 24). But that is what a hobby is…a wasted time that allows the mind, body and soul to reset.

I hope that having learned a little more about me, you will reach out and shake my hand. I am always happy to meet new folks.
I hope that you will take a moment and share some BDPA-Love with Markus and Julius as they embark on this remarkable journey!
Can you tell me what Linnie Bailey, James Banks, John Hoffler, Norman Mays, Michael McCrimmon and Jimm Middleton have in common?

I'll share the answer at the end of this Take Five interview with John Hoffler.

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - It's hard to remember now, but I believe I was introduced to BDPA through an article in Black Enterprise. The article included the national site URL, so I searched the site for a St. Louis chapter. Once I joined BDPA I quickly became involved in the St. Louis HSCC program. Mark Grady was the chapter president and we had frequent conversations about what the chapter could do to make an impact on the St. Louis community. Mark encouraged me to run for president.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - I have often commented that when we are young we imagine that we can change the world. As we grow more mature we begin to realize that changing the world requires a broad range of skills. BDPA St. Louis was an organization that collected people with different skills and different life experiences, but the same overarching goals. We sought to make volunteering as easy and stress-free as possible, building a chapter of teachers, database administrators, project managers, programmers, and even graphic artists. We felt like we could take on any program that was sufficiently valuable. That feeling was the most rewarding aspect of working BDPA -- the feeling that we could change the world.
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - During my freshman year at MIT I answered a volunteer request to help the supply officer at my Navy ROTC unit. My first semester had not gone very well, both from an academic and military point of view. Only in hindsight do I see that I wasn't successful because I wasn't engaged. I believe that many people obey the rule, "the less you do, the less you want to do." Working in the supply office made ROTC a bigger part of my college life, which led me to invest more in all other facets of the ROTC program. I also got more engaged outside of ROTC. I joined the MIT Jazz Band and volunteered as a physics and math tutor with the Black Student Union. The turn-around was profound. I was a poorly ranked freshman, nearly kicked out of ROTC by an academic review board. Junior year I earned the first straight-A's in my life during what is supposed to be an MIT Physics major's most difficult semester. That feat helped me become Midshipman of the Year for Academic Excellence. The following year I was appointed Battalion Executive Officer, the second highest rank in the ROTC unit. My college experience has taught me that engagement counts - I fully engage in all endeavors and I only undertake activities that justify the time commitment associated with full engagement.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - I don't have the sort of personality that contemplates hero status for people.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - BDPA is a volunteer organization focused on the relationship of Information Technology and African Americans with regard to education, business, and the general community. Monetary funding is only one third of the support BDPA needs for its mission. We need experience and ideas about how BDPA can make a positive impact on the world. That's what gives your donation meaning. Finally, we need "boots on the ground" - your volunteer time gives these world-impacting ideas concrete substance. If you've given of your purse, also consider giving your mind and your hands.

John is a remarkable man. It is worth noting that his daughter was a member of the BDPA Charlotte HSCC team that competed for the 2009 national championship in Raleigh NC.

Oh yeah ... the answer to the question in the opening paragraph? Methinks that these are the only six people in BDPA's history to serve as chapter president for more than one chapter: Bailey (Washington DC and Inland Empire), Banks (Bay Area and Kansas City), Hoffler (St. Louis and Greenville), Mays (Washington DC and Cleveland), McCrimmon (Indianapolis and Atlanta) and Middleton (Washington DC and Orlando).

Edited Thu, Dec 10, 2009 7:59 AM

I must admit that I'm excited to see the the future evolution of the BDPA chapter in Charlotte, NC. The chapter is about to be energized by the youthful intensity and integrity of the incoming president -- Julius Clark . Julius is part of the new generation of African American leadership that is beginning to take control of our BDPA chapters around the nation.

Julius participated in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I am a native of Boston and first heard of BDPA while living there, but I never had the opportunity to attend a meeting. I built a good IT employment network in Boston and after moving to Charlotte in 1999 it was very important for me to establish my employment network in this city. In 2000 I discovered that BDPA had a Charlotte chapter. I attended my first BDPA Charlotte meeting and was delighted to be in the company of African American brothers and sisters who all shared a passion for Information Technology like I did. Being new to Charlotte I made sure I attended every monthly meeting. At that time Archie Lucy was president. He followed up with me each month after I had attended to a few meetings, which made me feel very connected with the local BDPA organization. The board asked if I would like to talk to Johnson C. Smith College students about the Information Technology profession, and soon after that they asked me to become Coordinator for our High School Computer Competition program.
  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? - Being able to help introduce high school students to the Information Technology and mentor adults in the field is the most rewarding. Since I graduated from high school, I always wanted to give back to the African American community in a huge way. The BDPA allows me to give back to my community with something I love; technology!
  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - One defining life moment was when I received my BS in Electronic Engineering, with both of my parents both in the audience; I was the first person in my family to earn a college degree.
  4. Who is your hero and why? - Besides my parents, Malcolm X became my hero. After reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley at the age of 21, my perspective on my life and community changed; It’s like a light switch got turned on in my thinking and I instantly knew how to be a strong Black leader for my community.
  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - My advice is to give what you can afford, and just don’t allow it to only be monetary-- get involved with your local BDPA Chapter or the BETF and donate Thought Leadership to make it more personal and share your experience and excitement about our cause with others.

Julius is taking over a chapter that is the 15th largest in the nation. I suspect his leadership team will have BDPA Charlotte chapter in the Top 10 before long! What say u?
BDPA Charlotte became a chapter in September 1988. I recall visiting the chapter to serve as a guest speaker for one of their membership drives back in 1990 or so.  The meeting was held at a downtown library and I was treated with ol' school Southern hospitality of chapter president James Mitchell, chapter VP-membership management Kathy Procope and the other chapter officers.  It is worth noting that James later became a multi-term member of the Charlotte city council .

The chapter legacy is strong -- Developing Chapter of the Year (1992), Chapter of the Year (2002), Chapter Management Award (2003), Outstanding Member (Tiffany Bonds, 2003) and Comeback Chapter of the Year (2006).

The chapter trains high school students to participate in the annual national BDPA HSCC championships.  The team's highest placement in the national championship occurred in 2007 when they finished in 6th place. The members of the 2007 national championship are: Khalia Braswell, Monique Jones, Mykel Pendergrass, Dennis Rankin and Trevor Williams.

I hope that these HSCC alumni are still connected to BDPA. We want HSCC testimonials from each of these young people if they can be located.

Two of the past BDPA Charlotte chapter presidents ( Cassandra Seibles and Charles Moore ) served as members of the National BDPA Executive Committee. It would be great if we could hear from each of the past BDPA Charlotte chapter presidents :

Where are they now?
Markus Beamer
Hello BDPA Members and Friends,

As the Holiday times rapidly approach, I wanted to take the time and thank all of you. The Charlotte BDPA Chapter has had a great year and it could not have been a success without you!

As we move into 2011, BDPA will continue and improve on delivering you time sensitive, up to date technological topics and training. Please join us during our January meeting, Jan 20th, where we will discuss and announce the meetings, trainings and events coming up in Charlotte in 2011.

Finally as the Holidays arrive, take time out to be with your family, enjoy them and create great memories. As a child, I loved the holidays ... all the family, friends, gifts and great food. As an adult, it is one of the few times during the year that I feel like a kid again. You too live life young and enjoy yourself!

I’m looking forward to 2011! Let’s end 2010 on a party and start the New Year!

Have a great time!
Markus Beamer, President-Elect
BDPA Charlotte Chapter
The Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program hosted by our BDPA Charlotte chapter introduces middle school and high school students to concepts of information technology and business acumen. Students participate in 3-hour training sessions each Saturday, from February through July, to learn web application development from basic HTML to MySQL and ASP.NET programming with the Visual Studio development environment.

Front Row: Reo Austin, Carlton Austin, Candace Clark, Tyra Harrison, Julius Clark, Jr.
Row 2: Christopher Hoffler, Darrah Stubblefield, Evan Howard, Briona Goni, Breonna Harrison
Back Row: Melvin Rogers (trainer), Katy Hoffler (coordinator)

The class is led by experienced IT trainers.  All course material is contained on a secure Internet-accessible on-line learning web site. Students are given graded tests, interviews and homework assignments throughout the course. Students with the highest scores are chosen to compete at the National High School Computer Competition championship held during the annual BDPA Technology Conference.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is working with BDPA Charlotte chapter to provide college scholarships to some of these young people who perform well in the SITES program.   We need your help to reach our fundraising goals for this scholarship fund.  Please visit our secure online fundraising platform and do what you think is right for these hard-working students and volunteers !

BDPA Charlotte chapter, founded in September 1988, has trained hundreds of young people in its Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Their training efforts this year were supported by generous payroll pledges made by Blacks @ Microsoft employees in the Charlotte area.

L-R: Reo Austin, CJ Austin, Oliver Mollay, Evan Howard, Candace Clark

The SITES curriculum in Charlotte provides an introduction to creating dynamic web sites using ASP.Net. The curriculum also covers the use of common HTML tags for text formatting, tables, and lists with an emphasis on the .Net C# programming language for implementing application logic and connecting to external resources, such as databases.

Please help us raise college scholarship funding for these Charlotte-based students!

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