NAME: Pierce Robinson


AFFILIATION: CEO, Safe Source Energy

STATE: Nebraska

Q: Who/what inspired you to get involved in an NSIN defense innovation program?

It was actually Mr. Wade Watts (NSIN University Program Director, University of Nebraska at Omaha) that played a pivotal role in me getting involved in the program. He reached out, gave me an overview of the program, and said he thought it would be a good match based on my skillset. So, I went and did some research and applied.

Q: What advice would you offer to others about pathways to national service and working with the Department of Defense?

It is not as easy or as cut and dry as you might think it is. Be prepared to take losses during the process. Also realize that just because you put the time in, does not mean you will get the results you desire. So, make sure this is something you really want to do so you don't end up wasting your time or the NSIN's.

Q: In your experience, how has diversity, or the lack of diversity, affected a team's ability to generate creative ideas and solve problems?

I've discovered that when everyone is open-minded, diversity can be a beautiful thing for a team, especially when it comes to solving problems. It allows a team to look at things from different perspectives and explore alternative solutions when encountering problems.

Q: If you could go to dinner with any Black historical figure, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would try to be innovative and figure out how to take two people -- LOL. Since I can only take one, I would go with Reginald F. Lewis because of everything he accomplished with TLC Beatrice International Holdings, and I have always been interested in the details that are left out of the books and documentaries on his life.

Q: Why is it important to learn about Black history and what does it mean to you?

It's important to learn about Black history because it will inspire you to do and be better. Not only does Black history put into perspective everything prior generations had to endure, but it also highlights their strength and accomplishments. Those accomplishments and everything prior generations overcame, inspire me daily. Because it's a constant reminder that no matter what I may lack currently, there's historical proof that somebody with less was able to do more and be successful.