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Keystone Computer Solution: preparing youth of color for IT professions

Couple says creating future leaders is ‘the right thing to do’

 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

The Richburgs, Joe and Dorothy, have extensive experience with a large number of large local corporations. Between the two, they have worked for Pillsbury, Control Data, 3M, and the Federal Reserve Bank in various capacities. That lasted until the time, as Joe Richburg describes it, that “The light came on. Working for somebody else means you are always at their beck and call, and you will never be truly independent and free; you will never realize your potential working for someone else.”

That realization led to the couple founding Keystone Computer Solutions, Inc. Dorothy, originally from Washington, DC, and Joe, from Philadelphia, had met at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where they both had focused their studies on mathematics and computer science. After graduating, they both had job offers in the Twin Cities: Dorothy with 3M and Joe with Pillsbury. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities celebrate tech and science experts of tomorrow

By Raymond Jackson

Contributing Writer

 

On Friday, January 3, a group of young intellectuals brought in the 2014 new year with the Ninth Annual Twin Cities Chapter Awards Ceremony for youth from grade school, high school and college. This event was held to recognize their High School Technology Program achievements. BDPA participants meet on Saturdays throughout the year, and this annual event recognizes the youth for completing the program. This year’s theme, Diverse Opportunities in the Age of Convergence, was presented by Daniel C. Brown, director of productivity through technology initiative for Xcel Energy. Brown also delivered the keynote address. Continue Reading →

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Xcel Energy Foundation awards education grant to BDPA youth tech programs

 

On behalf of the Xcel Energy Foundation, Marsha Connor, communications consultant-web, Xcel Energy, recently presented a $5,000 educational grant check from the Xcel Energy Foundation to the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) Twin Cities Chapter to help BDPA’s youth technology programs.

Accepting the check was Dorothy Richburg, vice president of strategy and planning for the BDPA Twin Cities Chapter and president of Keystone Computers, Joseph Richburg, vice president of finance, BDPA, and Cushmeer Haines, president, BDPA Twin Cities. BDPA programs focus on education designed to spark student involvement in the Professional Development, High School Computer Competition, and Mentoring programs that aid in the personal and professional development of high school students. The high school students learned web programming, digital technology, and recently returned from participating in the national high school computer programming competition held in Washington, D.C.

The BDPA Twin Cities chapter typically partners with local businesses such as Xcel Energy. This partnership provides programs that increase the technical capabilities of BDPA’s membership and the local community. Xcel Energy volunteers include Connor, Lacy Lee Johnson and Jeandre Williams, Business Systems. Connor, along with Johnson and Williams, has represented Xcel Energy on the BDPA Marketing committee. Continue Reading →

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Black IT pros give back

 

 

News Analysis

By Jerry Freeman

MSR Senior Editor

 

 

Lots of people talk about “giving back,” “reaching back,” “paying it forward,” all expressions of how important it is that those who have been fortunate return the favor to others. That principle is alive and well at the local chapter of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), which is showing the rest of the Twin Cities what it really means to extend a helping hand to the next generation. BDPA has been quietly and steadily doing just that for the past eight years. An eighth annual award ceremony, held January 4 at the Downtown Radisson, was an opportunity for BDPA staff and volunteers to show off the fruits of their 2012 labors: a new cadre of students who, thanks to the program, have come closer to entering professional careers in the field of information technology. Most of us with a few years under our belts remember the so-called “nerds” of our high school days with plastic pocket protectors lined with multicolored pens who wore slide rules (now very obsolete) holstered on their belts and made the rest of us look bad on math and science tests. Continue Reading →

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CEO Richburg credits business success to encouragement from others

 

 
Encouraging youth is now her passion
 

By Lisa Bryant

Contributing Writer

 

Sitting down to talk to Dorothy Richburg is like being with a friend. She’s so warm and kind, it’s easy to forget she’s one of the most influential women in the Twin Cities. Richburg is founder and president of KCS, a Maplewood-based information technology solutions company that she and her husband Joe started 25 years ago. The company employs more than 165 people, does business in seven states, and has numerous clients, including several of Minnesota’s largest employers such as General Mills, 3M Company and Medtronic. Richburg’s KCS has been recognized as the 2011 Black Business of the Year by the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, the 2011 Supplier of the Year by the Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), and the 2011 IT Business of the Year by the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) — Twin Cities Chapter. Continue Reading →

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Black Data Processing Association Awards celebrates innovative young people

 

 

Twin Cities Black Data Processing Association (BDPA) will hold its Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday, January 6, at Metropolitan Ballroom, 5418 Wayzata Boulevard, Golden Valley. There will be a reception at 5:30 pm and dinner at 7 pm. The theme for this year’s event is “Ignite, Inspire & Empower: The GPS of Future Technologists.”

The keynote speaker will be Monica Anderson. In 2007, Anderson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering and is now an assistant professor in the computer science department at the University of Alabama. She is the creator of PREOP, a program which allows computer science novices to program robots graphically using an intuitive object-based interface. Continue Reading →

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