Nashville chapter of Blacks in Technology Foundation names founding board – Nashville Business Journal

One of Nashville’s newest tech organizations has appointed its first board of directors, and it’s full of executives from some of the city’s largest companies.
The nine-member founding board of the Blacks in Technology Foundation’s Nashville chapter includes Sylvester Carstarphen, Asurion’s vice president of technology – engineering; Lennie Patterson, Dell Technologies’ federal account manager; and Derek Jones, Amazon’s global EHS director GSK and retail operations, according to a news release. 
BIT is a global nonprofit with more than 40 chapter and 13,000 members in seven countries, according to the release. 
The Nashville chapter of BIT was organized by Rachel + Winfree Consulting co-founders Holly Rachel and Lena Winfree, in conjunction with the Greater Nashville Technology Council. The chapter is free to join and has many training programs that often are free or discounted.
The group’s new board members began their one-year terms on Oct. 27.
“We are so excited to begin working with these founding board members that will each bring unique perspective and insight to the work we are doing in the Nashville community,” Rachel, who is president of BIT’s Nashville chapter, said in the release. “We’ve worked hard to make sure that we have chosen a board that represents a variety of experts from educational organizations, non-profits, tech companies, and advocacy groups. It takes all of our input to produce well-rounded change, and that is exactly what we are planning to accomplish.”
Nashville’s tech community, like most across the country, is largely white and male. Men make up nearly 65% of Nashville’s tech work force, according to Middle Tennessee State University’s 2019 State of Middle Tennessee Tech report, while more than 79% of tech positions in the area are filled by white workers.
BIT’s new board is tasked with supporting the chapter’s work to increase diversity in the Nashville tech community, according to the release.
“We are so excited to have such influential people from Nashville’s tech leadership on our board willing and ready to affect positive change in our community,” Winfree, who is also the chapter’s vice president, said in the release. 
Other BIT board members include:
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