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In Memoriam: Delbert W. Atwood, Jr., 1978 DPMA President

Wednesday, June 29, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mark Gilfand, CCP, Information Executive Editor

It is with sorrow that we report that Delbert W. Atwood, Jr., CDP, CSP, of Salt Lake City, UT, passed away at age 84 on June 26, 2011. He was the 1978 DPMA International President.

Delbert was deeply involved with data management and computer operations for various companies in the Salt Lake City area. He was the first person in Utah to be recognized as a Certified Data Processor (CDP). He was a lifetime member of the Data Processing Management Association, DPMA (which is the former name of the AITP). He served as DPMA International Treasurer and then Vice President. In 1978 he served as International President. At the time of his retirement in 1988, he was the manager of computer system operations for the Utah State Office of Education in Salt Lake City.

Delbert was a great advocate for professionalism, belonging to a professional organization, and certification. He authored this article (click on the PDF link) in 1978 on all three of these topics. It is still as relevant and thought provoking today as it was over 30 years ago.

A few quotes from the article:

"When you are knowledgeable about a subject, your specialty, and you discuss and share this knowledge with your management, your peers and others, you become a professional. This recognition comes from others and can be helped by your membership in a professional group and your participation in all of the activities the professional group can provide."

"Professionalism is sometimes associated with an honor society, or a certification of one type or another....Data processing, through DPMA, has constructed the certificate in Data Processing (CDP) as a test of knowledge in management, systems quantitative and qualitative analysis, programming, and other areas. Many professional groups joined together to form the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals (ICCP). These groups recognized the need for a professional certificate to assist the individual in his personal development, recognition by his peers, his company or employer, and his development as a professional."

"Where do you stand in your own professional development and standing in your company, and within the organization to which you belong? Are you going to classes to get your degree? Are you getting an advanced degree? Are you attending seminars to further your knowledge in your specialty subject matter? In our ever expanding field where specialized knowledge is mandatory, those individuals who demonstrate superior competence in the application of that specialized knowledge reap the rewards of progression."

"Do you do your part? Are you becoming the professional your management would like you to become? Do you belong to a professional group, but never go to the meetings? You read they have excellent seminars and workshops, but when was the last time you attended one of them?"

"I believe that professionalism makes a difference, because an individual who is looked up to, respected by his associates and others, who exhibits the traits that place him a bit above, has a better chance for success and overall happiness in his life."

"...certification is...a step toward achieving the recognition and respect of our employers, our employees, and our peers."

Delbert was a true leader of our profession.

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