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Freeman Named Among The Influential 50

City Hall exhibit highlights high-tech contributions of 50 African Americans

Since the 1950s, African Americans have made their mark in every sector of information technology, including semiconductors, magnetics, VM, 3-D workstations, software and networking, according to John William Templeton, a business commentator, journalist and historian and author of books and writings on the role of African Americans in California history and technology.

In 1998, Templeton, a former editor of the San Jose Business Journal who has studied African-Americans in technology since 1992, was asked by two Silicon Valley pioneers, Roy Clay Sr. and Frank Greene Jr., to mount an exhibition of the top 20 black technologists for the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

Now in its ninth year, the exhibition and list, which is has expanded to 50 of the most important African Americans in technology, will be displayed at Palo Alto City Hall, starting with an opening reception on Monday at 5 p.m.

Three Palo Alto figures — two members of the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame and a late inventor — will also be recognized by the Palo Alto City Council.

The exhibition, “Soul of Technology,” was created by Templeton’s company, eAccess Corp. of San Francisco.

Mayor Peter Drekmeier and the Palo Alto City Council will honor Clay and Greene, along with the late Ronald L. Jones, a Palo Alto resident and business owner, who developed the raster image processor for producing large-format prints from personal computers.

A representative of Stanford’s Electrical Engineering Department will also speak about the importance of Greene’s semiconductor work.

In addition to the exhibit, the Ron Jones Innovation Award is awarded annually to an emerging researcher or entrepreneur.

Here is Templeton’s 2009 list of the 50 most important African American technologists, including Greene and Clay:

Public policy makers

  • Jerry L. Davis, Deputy CIO, NASA
  • John Hines, director, Biomolecular Systems Research Program (BSRP) NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, Calif.
  • Jack B. Johnson, Prince Georges County, MD executive
  • Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator
  • Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass.
  • Timothy A. Simon, commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
  • Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mo., chairman, House Homeland Security Committee


  • Pauline Brooks President/CEO Management Technology Inc. Clinton, MD
  • Gale Burkett, CEO, GB Tech Houston
  • Al Edmonds, CEO, Edmonds Enterprise Services
  • Preston Edwards, CEO, imDiversity, New Orleans, La.
  • Darrell Freeman, CEO, Zycron Inc., Nashville, Tenn.
  • Rodney Hunt, CEO, RS Information Systems Inc., McLean, Va.
  • Alfred Liggins, chairman/CEO, RadioOne, Lanham, Md.
  • Willie Johnson, chairman, PRWT Services Inc. Philadelphia, Pa.
  • James Makawa, CEO, The Africa Channel, Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • William Moss, CEO, Moss Interactive, Columbus, Ohio
  • Lori Perine, senior vice president, TrueCarbon
  • Earl Stafford Sr., chairman, Universal Technology and Engineering
  • David Steward, chairman/CEO, World Wide Technology Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
  • James C. Smith, CEO, Systems Engineering and Management Associates, McLean, Va.
  • Maurice Tose, CEO, Telecommunications Systems Inc., Annapolis, Md.
  • Vercell Vance, CEO, Alpha Data Corp. Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.


  • Adriane Brown, president, Honeywell Transporation Systems, Torrence, Calif.
  • Ursula Burns, president, Xerox, Rochester, N.Y.
  • David Drummond, senior vice president corporate development, Google, Mountain View, Calif.
  • J.D.Harris, vice president, contracts and supply chain, Raytheon, Waltham, Mass.
  • Monte Ford, CIO, American Airlines
  • Charles Philips, president, Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif.
  • John W. Thompson, chairman/CEO, Symantec Corp. Cupertino, Calif.
  • Ray Wilkins, president, ATT Sales and Marketing, San Antonio, Texas
  • Ronald E. Blaylock, Arthur H. Harper, James Shepard, Lloyd G. Trotter, general partners, GenNXT360 Capital Partners, New York, N.Y.


  • Deborah Auguste, assistant professor of bioengineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
  • George Campbell, president, Cooper Union, New York, N.Y.
  • Michael Drake, chancellor, UC-Irvine, Irvine, Calif.
  • Juan Gilbert, associate professor and director, Human Centered Computing Lab, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
  • Sossina Haile, professor of materials science and chemical engineering, Caltech, Pasadena, Calif.
  • Charles Isbell, associate professor, associate dean, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Shirley A. Jackson, president, RPI, Troy, N.Y.
  • James Johnson, dean, College of Engineering, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
  • V. Trent Montgomery, dean, School of Engineering and Technology, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Ala.
  • Mark Hardy, dean, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, Jackson, Miss.
  • Kunle Olukotun, professor of electrical engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
  • Reginald Perry, assistant dean, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Mark Smith, head of engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Eugene Washington, provost, UCSF, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Carole Espy Wilson, professor, electrical engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
  • Dhyana Ziegler, professor of journalism, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla.

Source: eAccess Corp of San Francisco, John William Templeton, president/executive editor. Find this article at:

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