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‘Apprentice’ winner to open leadership conference

An entrepreneur who gained national recognition on the popular reality TV show “The Apprentice” will kick off the 11th annual Leadership Conference Celebrating African-American History Month Friday at Troy University.

Randal Pinkett, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of BCT Partners, a management, technology and consulting firm, will deliver the opening address beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Trojan Center Theater.

Shelia Jackson, director of tourism for the city of Troy and Conference publicly chair, said Pinkett will be familiar to fans of “The Apprentice.”

“Dr. Pinkett was the winner of the fourth season of ‘The Apprentice’ with Donald Trump, a business icon, television personality and author,” Jackson said. “He re-appeared on ‘The Apprentice’ as a boardroom advisor.

Pinkett also appeared on nationally televised programs, “The Today Show,” “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “CNN.” He has been featured in the country’s top newspapers including “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” and also in “Parade” magazine.

“Dr. Pinkett describes himself as a ‘serial entrepreneur,” Jackson said. “He began his first business venture while he was in college. He is the author of “Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business.” Of course, the book is very popular among college students and also among those who want good, sound, ground-floor business advice.”

Pinkett holds five academic degrees and was the first African American to receive a Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University. He also has a master’s degree in computer science from Oxford University.

“The Conference committee joins the Conference sponsors, the City of Troy and Troy University, in saying that we are honored to have Dr. Pinkett as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Leadership Conference,” Jackson said.

“He is an outstanding speaker and motivator and will get the conference off to a great start.”

The Leadership Conference will continue on Saturday morning with work sessions that provide information to enhance the quality of leadership and civil participation of community leaders, area residents and university students.

The Conference will close with a luncheon on Saturday in the Trojan Center Ballrooms.

To register for the Conference contact Barbara Patterson at 334-670-3204 or visit www.troy.edu. The cost to attend is $30.