Name: John W. Piercy, III.
Profession: Program Specialist III, Corrections
One Word That Describes You: Extraordinary
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
Wow! To even be considered as one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction is humbling. All praises to the most high for placing someone in my path who felt that I would be worthy of such recognition. I have always been satisfied with working “behind the scenes” to ensure things come out successfully, and I’m ecstatic to have been nominated.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
In 1997, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, which can be a debilitating gastrointestinal disorder. I have also suffered two minor strokes, one major stroke, and had major gastrointestinal surgery. Despite these obstacles, I was able to begin and maintain a career in the profession of corrections. I have been an officer, work release coordinator, training officer, social worker, assistant social work supervisor, and now program specialist III. For an individual with a qualifying disability, I’ve vowed to never allow the health issues that I am continually fighting to overcome to get the best of me. As the song says, “When I look around and I think things are over, all of my good days outweigh my bad days. So, I won’t complain.”
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
An important quality that I look for in my relationships with others is integrity. Having the ability to be honest with strong moral principles along with being sincere and true to your word defines who you are; not what anyone says you should be. One must first show themselves as friendly in order to be a friend.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I am working on Omega hot spots: Da Ultimate Cyber Road Trip, which is a site that lists events that my brothers of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. have internationally. I am also a member of the Jamla Army, which is the “Internet special-ops team” promoting all music from 9th Wonder’s It’s A Wonderful World Music Group (IWWMG) and Jamla Records.
Fraternally (Omega Psi Phi), I assist the NJ state representative as a deputy representative, ensuring things are operating according to established rules and regulations.
Additionally, I serve as the Freedom Fund chairman of the Southern Burlington County (NJ) NAACP. Presently, we are preparing for our annual event to be held in October.
I also have the honor of being a charter member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and a 2002 Southern Poverty Law Center Wall of Tolerance honoree.
What is the best advice you ever received?
“If a task is once begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” One must be able to adjust, adapt, listen, think, and then respond. A lot of times people may rush to complete something, missing minor details in the process. When you think things through and plan your work, you are able to successfully reach your goal.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Some advice that I have for other men who want to make a difference is to find out where you can help the most, and then jump in. We have a number of issues that need our assistance, and we must be able to bring up our young brothers in the way of our elders—which is the way of the gentleman. If not us, then who? Know that you have talents that should be shared before we return to from whence we came.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
To prep for an important business meeting or event, I make sure that I have conducted the proper research and that all information to be disseminated is current and relevant. Also, I try to plan out all of the details (both major and minor) so that the meeting or event flows smoothly and becomes something the attendees are able to take away something valuable from and enjoy at the same time.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I unwind on vacation by turning off the telephone, staying away from the computer, and exploring the area in which we are in. You can find many interesting things, whether you take a tour or venture out in your own, after finding out the best places to visit. You are able to escape from everyday life and enjoy something fun and new.
The best vacation that I had so far is the cruise that my wife and I took to Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. We were able to explore parts of the world we had previously never been to, while enjoying a cruise at the same time (high-five to Royal Caribbean!).
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would like to travel and stay in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I always wanted to travel to a Middle Eastern nation, view both the ancient and modern attractions, and experience the culture firsthand.
Anything else you’d like to say?
For anyone unsure of what you want to do in life, I share a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson; “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Thank you to Black Enterprise for this opportunity. I am a proud black man, and will never forget this honor that has been bestowed upon me. Peace and blessings.
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