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B. K. Fulton

Corporate executive B. Keith “B.K.” Fulton was born on January 10, 1966 in Hampton, Virginia to Flora Lee and Bennie Fulton. He earned his B.S. degree in urban affairs and planning from Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1989, in addition to his professional certification in public policy analysis and management from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1991, Fulton received his M.S. degree in urban policy and management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy in New York City. Fulton went on to earn his J.D. degree in 1998 from New York Law School, where he concentrated in electronic commerce, intellectual property and telecommunications law.

Between 1991 and 2000, Fulton directed the National Urban League’s Technology Programs and Policy Office, where his initiatives included the development of technology and access centers and an urban technology summit. Fulton was appointed executive director of corporate outreach at America Online (AOL) in 2000, before becoming vice president of corporate relations at the newly merged AOL Time Warner, Inc. in 2001. Between 2003 and 2004, Fulton served as a senior policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Policy Analysis and Development. He became the vice president of strategic alliances for Verizon Communications, Inc. in 2004, and the president of Verizon West Virginia in 2014. In 2016, Fulton and his wife, Jacquelyn E. Stone, established the B. Keith Fulton and Jacquelyn E. Stone S.T.E.A.M. Endowed Scholarship at Virginia Tech to provide support to underrepresented undergraduate students majoring in science, technology, engineering, architecture or mathematics. In collaboration with his former AOL Time Warner, Inc. colleague Jerry Craft, Fulton also authored a children’s book entitled Shauna, inspired by his relationship with his younger sister who has Rett Syndrome, published in 2015.

Fulton served on the board of Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Virginia Tech Alumni Association, Per Scholas, Gifts in Kind International and Howard University’s School of Communications. In 2016, Fulton became the chairman of dityApps.com, an app and web developer, and chairman of Ario L.L.C., a company specializing in augmented reality software. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Soulidifly Productions, a full feature film, TV, and stage production and investment company.

Fulton and his wife, Jacquelyn E. Stone, have twin sons, Joshua and Terrell.

B. K. Fulton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 5, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.097

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/5/2016

Last Name

Fulton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

K.

Occupation
Schools

Denbigh High School

Virginia Technical University

Harvard Kennedy School

Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy

New York Law School

Harvard Business School

Francis Mallory Elementary School

Newsome Park Elementary School

J.M. Dozier Middle School

First Name

B.

Birth City, State, Country

Hampton

HM ID

FUL03

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere with my wife

Favorite Quote

God Blesses Us All To Turn Our Dreams And Ideas Into Their Tangible Equivalents. We Must Have The Faith, Be Willing To Do The Work, And Expect The Outcome.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/10/1966

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Corporate executive B K. Fulton (1966 - ) was the associate director of technology programs and policy at the National Urban League. He also served as a vice president at AOL Time Warner, Inc. and Verizon Communications, Inc.

Employment

National Urban League

America Online

AOL Time Warner Foundation

Time Warner, Inc.

U.S. Department of Commerce

Verizon Communications, Inc.

Verizon West Virginia

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of B. K. Fulton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton talks about his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton describes his early educational experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton describes his early educational experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - B. K. Fulton talks about the diversity of Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - B. K. Fulton remembers his early interest in sports

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton describes his sister's Rett's syndrome diagnosis

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton talks about caring for his sister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - B.K. Fulton describes his early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - B.K. Fulton recalls his introduction to computers

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - B.K. Fulton remembers Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - B.K. Fulton talks about his early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - B.K. Fulton remembers Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - B.K. Fulton describes the engineering program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - B.K. Fulton remembers improving his academic standing

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - B.K. Fulton recalls his mentors at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton remembers his architectural studies

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton recalls receiving the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton describes his thesis at The New School for Social Research in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton recalls graduating from the Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton talks about the President's Distinguished Internship

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton remembers his early networking

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton describes his early career at the National Urban League, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton describes his early career at the National Urban League, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton describes the technological leadership of the National Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton recalls his experiences in executive training

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton remembers creating technology centers with the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton reflects upon his accomplishments at the National Urban League

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton remembers his congressional testimony on the digital divide

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton recalls his decision to attend the New York Law School in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton talks about his marriages

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton describes his focus at New York Law School in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton talks about his development as a writer

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton recalls joining America Online, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton remembers the preparations for Y2K

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton recalls his role as executive director of corporate outreach at America Online, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - B. K. Fulton recalls his role as executive director of corporate outreach at America Online, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - B. K. Fulton remembers the merger of America Online, Inc. and Time Warner, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - B. K. Fulton talks about the development of the Internet

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - B. K. Fulton recalls his role as vice president of corporate relations at Time Warner, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - B. K. Fulton remembers being hired at Verizon Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - B. K. Fulton describes his work at Verizon West Virginia, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - B. K. Fulton reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - B. K. Fulton remembers his promotion at Verizon Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - B. K. Fulton talks about his civic engagement in Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - B. K. Fulton talks about his wife, Jacquelyn E. Stone

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - B. K. Fulton talks about his retirement, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - B.K. Fulton describes his children's book, 'Shauna'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - B.K. Fulton talks about his retirement, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - B.K. Fulton talks about his current business partnerships

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - B.K. Fulton reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - B.K. Fulton describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - B.K. Fulton describes his business philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - B.K. Fulton talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - B.K. Fulton reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - B.K. Fulton narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

7$10

DATitle
B.K. Fulton remembers Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia
B. K. Fulton recalls his role as executive director of corporate outreach at America Online, Inc., pt. 1
Transcript
It was the computer that lured you to Virginia Tech, right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) It was; it was.$$Okay. Virginia Tech is in the mountains, Blacksburg, right? Virginia (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Blacksburg, Virginia, that's right; that's right.$$Right, yeah, okay. So what, what was--oh, before we get out the high school [Denbigh High School, Newport News, Virginia], was there any significant thing about high school we haven't talked about? Were you involved in clubs or anything in high school, or, or, or run for student--$$I didn't run for office, played basketball, ran track for a minute, and then had this computer class. No, I think you got it.$$Okay, okay. So were you hoping for any kind of basketball scholarship or anything?$$I was hoping (laughter). I mean, I had a few offers. I had hurt my ankle my senior year, and that pretty much shot things. Probably the most significant opportunity was the Air Force Academy [United States Air Force Academy, Colorado] wanted me to consider. But outside of that, it was nothing substantial, small schools.$$Okay.$$And, and so, you know, weighing that versus the opportunity to get this computer and be at Virginia Tech, it was a no brainer.$$Okay, all right. So, so, well, tell us about Virginia Tech now, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.$$Yes, yes, Virginia Tech as it's called for short, wonderful kind of lead engineering school in our state, probably one of the best in the, in the world. They were the, literally, the first school in the country to require incoming engineers to buy a computer as part of their standard school supply. So I was excited about that, having just had this experience with computers and now to get to own one. And they had a 50 percent discount. So from six thousand dollars to three thousand dollars you could buy what they called a portable [personal computer]. And the portable was a forty-seven pound thing that looked like a suitcase. It had 64K of, of RAM [random access memory], two floppy drives, a six inch monochrome monitor. So by today's standards, it's not even as powerful as the worst cell phone out. But that was six thousand dollars. That was state of the art, 'cause the companies had big mainframes with what they called thin dumb terminals. And people were logging into the mainframe to do their computing and then printing locally. The computer was starting to shift that and putting more processing power on the user side. And then if you needed to access the supercomputer you could, but you could get more productivity out of someone having the computer power right there at their own availability, without having to worry about is there uptime or available time on the mainframe computer. And so Virginia Tech gave me and the other students in engineering an opportunity to play with those. Games had started coming out by then, so the King's Quest was really popular. And so we had fathers that worked in math, that worked in the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation], worked in different places. So one of the most fun things to do was to take the games and reverse engineer them so we could get the codes to figure out how to win the game. And so myself and my first roommate, a guy named Steve Cason--you know, we're still friends to this day--we would take these computers, and we reverse engineers those bad--those games, and we would have a ball. And then, by the way, we wouldn't have to go to computer lab at night 'cause we had the computer in our room. We got us a printer, and so all of a sudden all these conveniences. And our papers looked better. And we had spell check. And I was like, whoa, this is cool. This is gonna be the future. And that really changed the trajectory of my career. I mean, it pushed things up several notches. I mean, at that period in time in the '80s [1980s], there were more computers in Blacksburg, Virginia, per capital than anywhere in the world--$$So--$$--than anywhere in the world, you know, because of this program, and I was a part of it and really reaped the benefits of it. I mean, at some point I, I think it's partly why I was able to go to some of the companies I went to and end up on the board of Virginia Tech. I just stepped off the board in June of this year.$Tell us about AOL [America Online, Inc.; AOL, Inc.]. And n- you were executive director of corporate outreach, right?$$Yeah, basically corporate responsibility, corporate outreach, essentially the, one of the heads of the foundation [AOL Foundation; AOL Time Warner Foundation], and so, and also worked closely with AOL Investments and would talk to them about new ideas, would create things like something about the, the benefits checkup that gets the federal benefits to seniors done over 5.4 million dol- helped over 5.4 million people and done over seventeen and a half billion dollars in federal monies to folk who didn't know they qualified for these benefits, creating the Digital Divide Network, creating the Peace Packs [AOL Peace Packs; AOL Time Warner Peace Packs], which created little technology bundles for Peace Corps volunteers in over seventy countries, really just did a really a tremendous amount of work, helping dot.org, which got hundreds of millions of dollars to nonprofits, DonorsChoose [DonorsChoose.org], really created a lot of the, the infrastructure and, and, and, and, and strategic philanthropy for how you leverage corporate dollars to advance a cause and how you use technology. We had this project, the, the, the, the teachers learning institute. It was called ed- the Education Teachers' Learning Institute [sic. Education Technology Leadership Institute]. EDLI [sic. ETLI] was the short name. And we worked with Trinity College [Trinity Washington University, Washington, D.C.] to train teachers on bringing technology into the classroom. Then they'd go through our training. Then we'd give them a bundle of technology. But it really helped them to be stewards and good stewards for young people. So you think about when I was at the Urban League [National Urban League], I had to go out and write grants to get money for our technology centers and various technology programs. When I shifted to corporate within the foundation side, I was able to use a, a bigger pocketbook, the resources of a big corporation, major corporation in the space, to bring more resources to more communities. So the biggest project ever to do technology centers was $100 million project called PowerUp. So I was brought in to kind of help to head that up. It was with Gateway computers [Gateway, Inc.], the White House. I mean, President Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton], Steve Case, and the head of Gateway did the announcement, and I was part of it. And so, came in and helped to do that and built--I don't know--maybe four hundred or so technology centers all around the, the nation and a really good body of work. But a company like AOL and then when the, the AOL Time Warner merger happened, AOL Time Warner [AOL Time Warner Inc.] was embracing a lot of this. And, and then even after, you know, Time Warner [Time Warner, Inc.] took back over the, the, the, the, the assets, they still kept their social responsibility angle that included technology. So I was really proud of the, the work that was done and the commitment from the leadership. Dick Parsons [HistoryMaker Richard Parsons] became a bit of a mentor. And he--you know, his example, one of, one of the most important things I think I learned from Dick was under promise and over deliver, you know, the idea that, you know, we can come up with a whole lot of things we want to get done. But we're gonna have to be particular and focused about what we actually can do. And there, you want to be smart about what you promise that you can do and then work hard to do a little more, under promise and over deliver.$$Which is the opposite of what a lot of people do (laughter).$$Yeah, yeah.$$Yeah, so many people promise more on the front end and deliver less (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Laughter) And way--right, right. And--$$And that's to get their foot in the door, I guess--$$Yeah.$$--or to get to attract--$$Yeah, yeah.$$--people--$$And then you let folk down if you don't accomplish what you say (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear).