Photo Credit: Phillip / From Left to Right: (Principal Software Engineer) Kelvin Spencer, (Senior Vice President of Information Technology) Leigh PalmerCredit: Phillip / From Left to Right: (Principal Software Engineer) Kelvin Spencer, (Senior Vice President of Information Technology) Leigh Palmer

This year I had the honor to attend the 2019 BEYA conference and receive a BEYA Modern Day Technology award. This truly was a blessing and honor, that showed me that my hard work was not being overlook. At times, I tend to feel as if I need to work harder and smarter just to appear to be average amongst my counterparts. Other times I think to myself, am I doing enough? No, I need to do more. Hearing the appreciation from fellow colleagues and other individuals in the same industry, opened my eyes to other areas where the work that I do has an impact.

Anyone who knows me can contest to my belief of not just doing something for someone but teaching them how to do it for themselves. I personally feel that to become an exceptional leader, one must be able to produce leaders. I don’t wish to teach or help people find the leader within themselves for self gratification, but in hope to help them learn how to achieve dreams, goals and aspirations. Which in turn they will have the knowledge to teach and pass on to friends, family, loved ones and their community.

Before attending the BEYA conference I honestly had no idea the major impact many african american men and women played in such important roles within the STEM industry. It was truly inspiring and motivational. It has fuels me to become more active at teaching and providing opportunities to those in my community who wish to venture in to STEM as well.

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I am beyond honored to have been presented this award. I want to truly thank everyone who believes in me, since day one, till this day, and those who have invested in me as an individual. There is a long list of people I'd to thank so forgive me if I leave anyone out.  Jeff, he was my voice at a very early age, he stood up for me when no one understood what I was doing as a web developer. He was there more than a colleague, but also there to give me guidance on a broad range of life lessons. Ned taught me the value of thinking forward automation and how to be a leader and truly care for those you lead. David C., nothing was ever impossible, he believed I could do anything which pushed me to figure it out and get it done. Jerry gave me my first professional information technology position, he taught me the foundation of what I needed to know in the industry, things I'm still building on top of and growing daily. Corey, no matter what, when ever he needed something relating to computers or technology he knew that I was someone that could do it, he led me in my effort to explore music as well as computer simultaneously. When ever I was felt down and out, I'm not sure how he knew but he would call to see if I could help him on a project, right on time. My family, as a kid I was always the odd one, the "nerd" lol, but they always believe in me no matter what, its because of them I pushing myself to be better than yesterday. My late grandmother would call me weekly, to check up on me and say "I didn't want nothing, just calling to see how you doing, Mr. busy man...". She was quiet but always gave me reassurance and believed in me. I wish I spent more time with her before she passed but with these thoughts I will strive to do more to honor her, those before and those to come.  I don't know how I can ever repay anybody I mentioned or didn't mention, that believes in me but I will show my gratitude through my actions by being a light for those who need guidance as you all were and still are to me. I truly understand the meaning of everyone you meet serves a purpose in your life, its up to to determine the impact of those interactions. I hope one day I am able to document my story to share with those who love me and inevitably the world. 

I have two mottos.

"One, the number one resource that can never be taken away from me or generations to come, is the knowledge I acquire and pass on. And two, if life is what you make it, why not make it out of all the things you love. Spend time with those you love and mean the most to you. Life is a commodity and is well spent when you spend it on those you love."

Thank you sincerely,
Kelvin Spencer