Since Randal Pinkett’s early days as the first African American from Rutgers University to become a Rhodes Scholar, he has always sought to go above and beyond the norm. Nationally known for his Season 4 win on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Pinkett recently celebrated another momentous victory: billion-dollar contracts with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services for BCT Partners, where he is chairman and CEO.
BCT Partners will use its expertise as a multimillion-dollar management, technology, and policy consulting firm to provide innovative solutions to the government agencies, which will address their challenges in health and IT. The two contracts that BCT Â Partners were awarded are with The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Blackenterprise.com caught up with Pinkett and BCT Partners’ president and chief technology officer, Lawrence Hibbert, to talk more details on the contracts and how companies can help advance STEM training and research.
BlackEnterprise.com: What specific services are being provided within these contracts to the governmental agencies?
Pinkett: For SAMHSA contract, we will be providing research, evaluation, technical, and training services. Our service will also help healthcare professionals deliver their services more effectively. For the NIH contract, we will improve healthcare technologies through Â IT and mobile applications.
What issues will you be addressing because of these contracts?
Hibbert: On the SAMHSA side, we will be focusing on substance abuse treatment, prevention, and mental health services.
Pinkett: The contract with the NIH allows any government agency to purchase IT solutions, which is particularly geared toward improving health information technologies. This will enable the healthcare system to deliver better services to residents, consumers, and citizens. [As a result,] it helps the government innovate.
You’re changing healthcare as we know it in a positive way by making its practices more efficient, through the technical services and training you’re providing. What does this mean for our community as a whole?
Hibbert: It’s been a great opportunity to use our expertises to complete work and bring value to both the federal government and to the recipients of these services. The services will improve the way health professionals detect illnesses and treat their patients.
Pinkett: [This is] a window of opportunity, and we have to be good stewards of this opportunity. …We want to seize this opportunity to parlay it into building a real organizational infrastructure so that we can fulfill other opportunities like this. It’s like laying a foundation for a house.”
Are you receiving assistance from other organizations or companies to execute this plan?
Pinkett: We have a strategic partner, Delta Solutions, which scouted this opportunity for us. We then developed multiple teams from various backgrounds to collaborate with us.
Our audience — entrepreneurs, professionals, small business owners— want to know: How can others land contracts as enormous and impactful as these?
Pinkett: It’s where preparation meets opportunity, as Lawrence says. You must be prepared to learn and seek out advice from mentors and those with more experience than you. You must also be prepared to learn from your mistakes, have good people around you, and a really strong team. If you’re willing to work at it long enough and be in the right place, opportunity will come and you’ll be prepared to seize it.