Randal (CQ) D. Pinkett
Ph.D. , Co-founder, Chairman & CEO • BCT Partners • Newark, N.J. • Age: 35
Randal Pinkett’s appearance on Donald Trump’s syndicated television show, The Apprentice, and his emergence as the show’s season-four winner catapulted him into a limelight for which he seemed destined. Pinkett is the chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multi-million dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm in Newark, N.J., that he co-founded with three friends. He holds five degrees, including a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Rutgers University; a master’s in computer science from Oxford University, England; a master’s in electrical engineering and a M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Wayne Abbot, a childhood friend and collegiate entrepreneur, motivated Pinkett to take control of his career pursuits. Oprah Winfrey, known for her financial savvy and philanthropy, and the late Reginald Lewis, the country’s first Black billionaire, were his role models. Lewis’ autobiography, Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? left a lasting impression. “I read this book as a young man and it encouraged me when I was faced with adversity or self-doubt,” Pinkett says. As for his Apprentice experience, “I’ve had the opportunity to shadow and study Trump as an entrepreneur and that has been a tremendous experience in advancing my career as a business-owner,” he says.
Author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion Dollar Business and of the forthcoming Black Faces in White Places, Pinkett describes himself as a “man of faith and a child of God” who believes that “for those to whom much is given, much is expected.” He is deeply rooted in his church, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, N.J., family and community. While he is a spokesman for various charitable groups, he is most proud of that role with Autism Speaks. “It is one opportunity that stemmed directly from participating on The Apprentice, because my final task was a charitable fundraiser for Autism Speaks. I’ve maintained a relationship with them,” he says.