Digging In the Crates – Interview with Tamara Rasberry (2011)

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Since I’m spending this weekend doing some administrative stuff like updating my resume, cleaning up my online profiles, etc. I decided to go searching for an old interview by an old friend from the Washington, D.C. days. Sadly, the original url is lost to the ether, but I did find the original content on Scribd. It’s a shame a lot of the content from the days a lot of us young, black professionals were heavily active in the #DCTech community seems to be missing from the internet (Chris Cooks, Najeema Washington, Tamara Rasberry, we should have archived more of our stuff), so as I run across it, I want to recreate it for posterity. Plus it’s pretty interesting looking back at myself 6 years ago to see if I’ve changed much.

Without further ado, here’s the original in its entirety.

 

Interview: Anthony Braddy by Tamara Rasberry

Originally published on msrasberryinc.com (May 2011)

Nearly a year ago, during DC Week 2010, I had a brief encounter with Anthony Braddy at a seminar called Black Tech Blazers. We were both in attendance and he said something that, though to this day I can’t recall what it was, struck a chord in me. I felt as though I needed to learn more about him and Capital Management Consulting, LLC (CMC, LLC), the management and IT consulting firm of which he is CEO. Fast forward to May 2011 – I’ve seen Braddy at a couple of events and spouting his special brand of wisdom on Twitter, but I had yet to have the opportunity to have a real “let’s sit down and let me pick your brain” conversation with him. Well, after several cancellations, I finally had the opportunity to find out a little bit more about what makes this tech entrepreneur tick. Believe me when I tell you, his thought process is one of a kind; and I haven’t even scratched the surface.

“It was all a dream…” – Notorious B.I.G.

Braddy hails from a small, rural town in North Carolina. At not quite 40 years of age, he recalls growing up without running water. Yeah; it was THAT rural. At a young age, Braddy was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug as he watched his father run his own business. He appreciated the flexibility that being a business owner allowed his father and recalls that he was “always there.” This, along with the later realization that he isn’t cut out to work for other people, set Braddy on the path to being the successful business owner that he is today

“You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people” – Cornel West (more…)

#BlackSTEMLikeMe – Interviews With The Next Generation

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When discussing my inclusion in the #BlackSTEMLikeMe with the campaign’s Social Media Strategist, I casually asked if there was any interest in letting me contribute in other ways as well. Intrigued by the ask, we brainstormed briefly and concluded that it would be a great idea to speak with some of our future potential STEM leaders. I gladly accepted the offer and got started on pulling together the blog idea.

Having worked with several parents/teens in the MVP stage of my prior startup I reached back out to that group of parents, as well as solicited participation from the other parents in my social networks. First a disclaimer – I am not a professional videographer nor am I a media professional so you will be seeing the brief conversations in full. I am just a guy who fell in love with technology at a young age lucky enough to have parents and others recognize that interest and support it. What I wanted to achieve with these interviews is to provide a peek behind the curtain into the thoughts of a teen with that same type of nascent fascination with technology and the types of decisions and mentorship needs they might have to truly connect them to the field as a career.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) #BlackSTEMLikeMe Profile

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Humbled to have been selected to participate in the National Society of Black Engineers’ #BlackSTEMLikeMe campaign for Black History Month. Some excerpts…

Why did you choose STEM as a career?

Growing up in rural North Carolina, I spent a majority of my youth watching my family work in farming and even worked in the fields myself at as young as six years old. While my mom eventually became a registered nurse, forever taking us away from that background, I never forgot the cost of not valuing education – the fields were always there waiting for you with backbreaking labor. Introduced to technology by my uncle, I begged my mom for a personal computer and got my first TSR-80 Christmas for my 8th birthday. Rural public schools did little to foster my technology learning, but luckily I was blessed with principals and parents who took an active interest in making sure I was able to fulfill my potential. This eventually led to me attending two summer programs, Summer Ventures in Science & Math and Governor’s School (Math concentration), which exposed me to computers not merely as a boredom cure, but also as a future profession. In 1994 I entered college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but still did not realize what the path to a career in STEM would look like, however I always took the lead role in any service projects requiring computer-related resources (such as fliers, etc.) within my fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. At the end of my senior year, because there was a lack of potential employees with computer skills in the Raleigh-Durham area, I was able to interview for an entry-level position with a company creating software for the Environmental Protection Agency in 1998. As an early parent, and because of my upbringing I treated this opportunity with the seriousness of being my last chance to avoid the fields, excelling in my role. After only a few months into the role, I was discovered by one of the Technology Directors of the company during a site visit and was recruited to relocate to the DC Metro area, being an active professional in the industry ever since.

What has your experience been as a Black in STEM?  (more…)