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The Chicago Chapter of the National Black Data Processing Associates was chartered on March 15, 1986 as the 14th Chapter nationwide with eight founding members:

Marvin Walker            President

Hazel Beason            Vice President
Anthony Pittman        Treasurer
Michelle Walker          Recording Secretary
Wallace Neal              Education Chairperson
Roy Peeples              Public Relations Chairperson
Greg Walker               Finance Chairperson
Fidelis Umeh              Member

The first monthly program meeting was held April 18, 1986 at the Palmer House Hotel. Since that time the Chicago Chapter has consecutively sponsored a monthly program meeting designed to assist our membership in meeting their professional and personal goals. Since its inception, the Chicago Chapter has continued to deliver fit for use programs to its membership.

Chicago has the largest membership in the nation.  We provide a national network of the most talented professionals servicing all aspects of information technology.  Over one hundred companies and government agencies are represented by our chapter membership. Our activities include technical workshops and seminars, monthly presentations, membership drives, and social events.

In 1988, only two short years after the formation of the chapter we hosted our first national convention. Financially, it was the most successful convention the national organization ever sponsored. The local chapter also gained great notoriety and experienced significant growth following the achievements made during the conference.

For three consecutive years (1991, 1992, 1993) the Chicago chapter was named Chapter of the Year by the national association. Our success as a chapter is due to a large degree to the programs we support. We sponsor a city-wide high school computer competition team open to all metropolitan area students. These students are enrolled in a 33-week program where they are instructed in computer programming and professional presentation. Five of these students are selected to represent Chicago at the national BDPA High School Computer Competition at our national conference. Chicago has sponsored a team each year since 1988. We award each team member a college scholarship in an effort to encourage students to continue their education.

The chapter has also formed a High School Computer Club where youngsters interested in learning more about computer systems learn from BDPA volunteers. Our chapter also sponsors a College Internship Program developed to introduce our college student membership to representatives from supporting and sponsoring corporations as interns. This program’s success can be measured by the many students that have passed through it and are information technology professionals today.

In 2001, the Chicago chapter once again rose to the challenge of hosting our national convention. Once again we raised the bar for other chapters to meet. The chapter sponsored numerous events such as a job fair, golf outing, and a midnight boat cruise. The Entrepreneurs forum was a groundbreaking idea that received much support and attention from local business and the media.

The dream of Earl Pace and David Wimberly lives on. The Chicago chapter continues to face many challenges; however, we have never been better equipped to meet them.  We will continue to inculcate the spirit of creativity, dedication, fortitude, and unity in the next generation of information technology professionals!

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