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Willie A. Deese

Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy a fascinating conversation with corporate executive Willie A. Deese. Deese is an executive vice president at Merck and president of the pharmaceutical giant’s worldwide manufacturing and head of worldwide procurement.

He is also a graduate of N.C. A&T State University.

This month we are delighted to share with you the fascinating story of Willie Deese and how he reached the pinnacle of success in corporate America. During our illuminating conversation a few weeks ago in Chapel Hill, Deese shared with me his philosophies on life, credited those who assisted him on the course of his corporate journey, and displayed a sense of humility – an attribute I have observed in most senior-level executives, chief executives and successful entrepreneurs.

Perhaps the one thing Deese told me during our meeting that underscored his corporate ascent was he has never been afraid to take risks. Fear, he said, is paralyzing and inhibits the ability to make sound decisions that would benefit an organization or individual.

I couldn’t agree more. We congratulate Deese on his success during a brilliant forty-year career, which is about to come to a satisfying end. In June, Deese will retire from corporate America.

How fitting it is to have him grace the cover of the thirteenth anniversary issue of Black Business Ink. Our charge has always been to advocate for minority-owned businesses and businesspersons by featuring their products and services each month in the magazine. Untitled-9

It would have been unimaginable in May 2003 to think that Black Business Ink would have sustained such an amazing run. For that, we are extremely thankful to all of our readers and advertisers. Only through your patronage – along with the virtues of hard work, determination and integrity – will we likely reach thirteen more years.

Your support has allowed us to present some of the brightest businesspersons and share their thoughts, their stories and their endeavors. Your backing has allowed us to introduce to thousands of readers each month businesspeople many of you may otherwise have been unaware. People like Willie Deese. We hope that you will enjoy reading about him.