EVP & COO, Edwina Kimball Nominated for 2023 Eastern Shore Women to Watch Award
BDK’s own Edwina Kimball (EVP, COO) has been selected as a finalist for the 2023 Eastern Shore Women to Watch Award.
Hosted by AGP Media of Chesapeake, the Women to Watch initiative spotlights the work, dedication, talents, and community service who continue to lead in their respective fields, and embody strength, vitality, leadership, and integrity for the Eastern Shore community. This year’s nomination cycle ran from January 13th through February 8th and received more than 174 submissions of women who work or reside in Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Dorchester, and Caroline counties. Those selected met a pre-set criteria around community service, professional accomplishments, entrepreneurship, and mentoring and inspiring others.
Edwina answered the following Women to Watch spotlight questions to offer more insight into her trailblazing career, advice for women in tech, and what the Eastern Shore offers to those who live and work here.
- Describe the work you do and why you started down the path that led you to where you are today.
In addition to being the EVP and COO of BDK, Inc., I am also a co-founder with my husband, Bruce. He started BDK in 1999 when he saw a gap in the technology businesses needed to flourish. I came onboard full time in 2004 after working as the Controller for a seafood distribution company in Cambridge for nearly 20 years. While I knew how IT can help a business succeed, learning how IT can drive information and how to sell that required a lot of determination and self-discipline, especially since I was also in the thick of raising eight kids at the time.
As a business owner, I still hold a lot of roles, but my favorite is working directly with our customers to offer them the best IT solutions for their business. Each customer has unique needs, and BDK strives to provide tailored solutions to help meet those needs. We take the time to listen to customer concerns and develop creative, comprehensive solutions—enabling us to become an extension of their IT team.
- How would you define service and what does service mean to you?
To me, service is giving back and participating in community initiatives that help ensure the betterment of society. Growing up, I watched my dad volunteer every weekend at various organizations, so service was something I learned early on. I inherently believe that we are here to help each other, and it is our responsibility to better the lives of others around us.
I also instill this mindset in BDK’s business practices. Whether that’s sponsoring the local t-ball team, attending local-based Chamber events, or donating a Christmas tree to the annual Festival of the Trees fundraiser at the Tidewater Inn, being an involved member of the communities that enrich our lives and our children’s lives is critical.
- What advice do you have for women hoping to take a similar path as you?
Women are severely under-represented in the IT field and are often underpaid compared to men in similar roles. My advice for women looking for a career in IT or STEM is to find a mentor they can learn from and count on to help them navigate the ever-changing landscape. It’s also important to have faith in yourself and know your worth.
- Who inspires you?
I am inspired by the people I get to work with every day, namely our customers and my team. BDK helps small to mid-sized businesses from a variety of industries, and since IT is such an integral part of most organizations’ infrastructure and what drives innovation, I get a real peek behind the curtain of how their business operate. It’s incredibly fulfilling to play a role in their continued success and the trust they instill in me and my team, who always go above and beyond to know what they’re selling and provide tailored, industry-leading solutions.
- What does the Eastern Shore community mean to you?
Simply put, the Eastern Shore community is home. I was born and grew up in Salisbury, MD; went to college at Salisbury University; and have dedicated the last 40 years of my professional career to working and creating employment opportunities to help keep great talent here on the Shore. I feel proud to have both my business and family based here, and look forward to what the next generation will contribute to this great place we call home.
A dinner and award show honoring all nominees will be held on April 12 at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD. Congratulations to Edwina and to all the fellow nominees!