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ODEI Event: Do You Have a Crew? The Importance of Friendship in Creating a Fulfilling Life

February 25, 2021 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Don’t isolate. Congregate! Join Penn Engineering’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to meet six dynamic men and learn about how their bonds of friendship and NSBE affiliation benefited them personally and professionally. Hear their story and engage in Q&A for the first hour (7PM-8PM). Then, meet someone new in breakout groups (8PM-8:30PM). An additional 30 minutes (8:30 PM-9PM) will be available for extended conversations. Do you have a crew? Join us to expand your circle!

Zoom Link: https://upenn.zoom.us/j/98242572639

Zoom ID: 982 4257 2639


Cranston C. Chester

  • IT Manager in the Education Technology industry
  • Church Mentor for teenage boys at The Cathedral International
  • Boys Scout Unit Commissioner and Assistant Scout Master
  • Proud father of two sons
  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University

Erike J. Mayo 

Erike J. Mayo has a life mission to empower entrepreneurs around the globe. As an entrepreneurship and small business development consultant and professor, Erike has over 18 years of experience in building businesses from the ground up. Erike is a NYC Certified Small Business Development Consultant and former Instructor with NYC Department of Small Business Services. He is now professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Stevens Institute of Technology. He works with entrepreneurs all over the country on traditional, creative arts and technology-based businesses. He coaches and mentors entrepreneurial teams at academic institutions like New York University, Rutgers Business School and Kingsborough College. Erike is that motivating one stop resource entrepreneurs use when their passions and interests intersect entrepreneurial pursuits. Erike innovated his own entertainment entrepreneurship company Third Eye Edge where he services entrepreneurial startups in the entertainment industry. Erike is quick to share his knowledge and experience with anyone interested. He’s spoken at corporate and academic events and had the pleasure of getting in front of the camera with local TV. His contributions have been celebrated in Forbes Magazine, AM New York, and the Amsterdam News. Erike received his BE in Electrical Engineering and double MS in both General and Technology Management from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Dr. Randal D. Pinkett Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, BCT Partners  

Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and scholar, and as a leading voice for his generation in business, technology, diversity and inclusion. He is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar research, training, consulting, technology, and data analytics firm headquartered in Newark, NJ. BCT’s mission is to provide insights about diverse people that lead to equity. The company has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms and has been named to Black Enterprise’s BE 100 list of the nation’s largest African American-owned businesses.

Dr. Pinkett has received numerous awards for entrepreneurial excellence including the Congressional Minority Business Award, National Society of Black Engineers’ Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and National Urban League’s Business Excellence Award. He is an expert in several areas relating to emerging technologies, “big data” analytics, social innovation, culture, diversity, equity and inclusion, and is a regular contributor on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox Business News.

Dr. Pinkett is the author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash and co-author of Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness, which was named one of “The Best Books of 2010.” He holds five degrees including: a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University; a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Oxford in England; and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, MBA, and Ph.D. from MIT. Most notably, he was the first and only African-American to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University; he was inducted to the Academic All-America Hall of Fame, as a former high jumper, long jumper, sprinter and captain of the men’s track and field team; and he was the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, “The Apprentice.”

Born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Pinkett is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides with his family, including a daughter and two sons. Dr. Pinkett firmly believes that “for those to whom much is given, much is expected,” so throughout his endeavors, he places great emphasis on his desire to give back to the community.

Aldwyn Porter 

After obtaining an electrical engineering degree from Rutgers University, Aldwyn Porter has worked for more than 25 years on system automation and process optimization. Aldwyn started his career working with Corning Inc, designing process automation systems to enable development of key ceramic substrates used in the manufacturing of automobiles. He continued with system integrators for the pharmaceutical industry, designing and implementing automation controls for running syringe filling line as well as inspection machines used to ensure quality of vials holding critical medication prior to shipping to distributors. Aldwyn joined Merck in November 2000, continuing his work to improve the efficiency of key processes in manufacturing and filling capabilities. He also became involved in analyzing and optimizing ITIL based Service Delivery Processes such as incident, problem and change management. Aldwyn obtained his Six Sigma black belt to aid in his continued focus on process optimization, as well as his MBA to enhance his understanding and focus of the business these processes support. He now manages a global engineering team, with resources in Singapore, Prague and the US, responsible for the management of an enterprise service delivery system.

Derrick Richardson

  • Project Engineer in the Power Distribution Industry
  • Technical Sales/Project Management in Test/Measurement and Aerospace Power Industry
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering Rutgers University
  • Father of two young men pursuing higher education
  • Hobbies include playing bass guitar and fixing things around the house


Dr. Jeffrey A. Robinson

  • Academic Director, The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Rutgers University
  • Associate Professor, Management & Entrepreneurship, Rutgers Business School
  • Director, New Jersey Social Entrepreneurship Institute

Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D. is an award-winning business school professor, international speaker and entrepreneur. Since 2008, he has been a leading faculty member at Rutgers Business School where he is an associate professor of management and entrepreneurship and the Academic Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. Dr. Robinson is a passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship, inclusive innovation and economic development. He is the author of books and articles on such topics as social entrepreneurship, African American women in entrepreneurship, and inclusive innovation. Emerging from his pioneering research, the New Jersey Social Entrepreneurship Institute and the CUEED Pipeline to Inclusive Innovation are national and international models for economic development and social problem solving using entrepreneurial approaches. He is the Principal Investigator of two National Science Foundation funded research projects related to inclusive innovation. He is an editorial board member for Academy of Management Perspectives. He has been the keynote speaker at international events and conferences and has taught or presented his work on six continents. Dr. Robinson educational studies span the areas of engineering, urban studies and entrepreneurship. His Ph.D. is in the area of Management & Entrepreneurship from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

Follow Dr. Robinson on Twitter: @JRobinsonPhD


February 25, 2021
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Event Tags:


Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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