[VIDEO] TechREGISTRY Bay Area: Tech pioneer Ken Coleman talks diversity
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Ken Coleman, Special Advisor to venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz talks on diversity in the technology field. Source: USA Today
PALO ALTO, Calif. – As a pioneering African-American in the land of tech, Ken Coleman has earned the respect of venture capitalists and the friendship of presidents.
And yet as a black man in America, Coleman shudders when police lights flash.
“When I’m stopped I want to say, ‘I’m not what you think, I’ve got an MBA, I live in Los Altos Hills, I own a home in Maui.’ I want to say that,” says Coleman, 69. “Because I know through experience that person might have an image of what I might be and view me as dangerous. And to not feel that way would be foolish.”
The duality of such an existence would enrage many. But Coleman has guided his personal and professional life with a simple philosophy: “You will experience lots of racism and prejudice. But you can’t look under the bed for it, because then it becomes an obstacle to your success.” [...]
Marco della Cava, USA TODAY
About Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman is Chairman of Saama Technologies. He also currently serves as a Special Advisor to Andreessen and Horowitz, and is a member of the Board of Directors of AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange (Insurance Exchange), which provides insurance services to AAA members in a dozen states. A member of AAA since 1979, he was appointed to the Insurance Board in 2008.
Ken is the founder and former chairman/CEO of ITM Software, an enterprise software company focused on information technology. Previously, he was executive vice president of global sales, service and marketing for Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI), a computer systems company. Prior to that, he was SGI’s senior vice president of administration and business development. Ken was vice president of product development at Activision, Inc. He also spent 10 years at Hewlett-Packard, where he held several management positions.
Ken is a Director of City National Bank, United Online, Entertainment Partners, and is a member of the advisory board of the Ohio State University Business School. Among his many distinctions, he is the recipient of the Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award and School of Business Distinguished Graduate Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Living Legend Award, the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley Exemplary Leader Award, the One Hundred Black Men of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award, the Silicon Valley Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and the Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice Exemplary Community Leadership Award.
Ken earned a B.S. and M.B.A. from Ohio State University. He also served as a Captain in the United States Air Force.
Source: Saama Technologies