BDPA Conference Review by Dallas Chapter President Stacy Stewart

If I had to recap this year’s National BDPA conference in one word it would be 'Exhilarating'.

Roland Martin-National BDPA Technology Conference / August 2013 from Stacy Stewart on Vimeo.
Opening Ceremony keynote speaker Roland Martin focused his energetic delivery on how we need to communicate the information technology message to our youth by transforming the way we show and tell our story.  He was simply amazing.

Our BDPA Dallas students participated in the 2013 High School Computer Competition championship, and even though this was a rebuilding year for us.  The students were excited, motivated and eager to learn as much as possible about the whole competition process. I want to give big kudos to Amber Jackson for stepping in as our instructor just days before the start of the conference and Manasseh Lee for training the students.

This is the second year in a row that the Dallas Chapter won recognition as the Social Media Champion of the BDPA Conference!

The professional workshops were phenomenal with over twenty outstanding presenters covering a variety of topics, and the networking opportunities are always a highlight for me.

From my perspective, National BDPA conferences are so successful because of the family atmosphere; you can see it in the smiles, the laughter, and the engagement of others helping others. I experienced this love every day of the conference. From the co-founder Earl Pace during an impromptu interview with me;  national president Monique Berry who is always giving me encouraging words; Wayne Hicks, my go-to person for any and everything; Teresa Williams for keeping us on track, and my brothers who are always there to lend a helping hand Curtis Jenkins, Jesse Mathews, Dr. Craig Brown, Frederick Smith, Matthew Harvey and William Flowers.

Epsilon Award winner Stacy Stewart and his BCBS friends

If we did not have the support of our corporate sponsors and my company BlueCross BlueShield of IL, MT, NM, OK & TX (BCBS), it would be very difficult to accomplish many of our tasks, My company submitted the nomination for the Epsilon Award for Community Service that I won this year.

It is no accident that BCBS was named the 'Top Company for Blacks in Technology' by BDPA in 2013. After all, BDPA is able to leverage dedication and leadership from some of the best minds in the industry, such as Denise Holmes (BCBS/BDPA corporate president), Sheila Marionneaux (BCBS/BDPA corporate champion), Tanshaneika Swire (BCBS/BDPA corporate champion), Chad White (BDPA Dallas vice president of Member Services), Chris Privoznik (BCBS/BDPA executive champion) and Brian Hedberg (BCBS chief information officer).

The 36th annual National BDPA Technology Conference will be held in Indianapolis, IN on August 6-9, 2014. I encourage all BDPA Dallas chapter members to 'save the date' and plan to attend. These annual BDPA Conferences tend to be the highlight of the year for students and professionals in the information technology industry!

Stacy L. Stewart, president
BDPA Dallas Chapter

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