SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Markey Pierre, DBA says preparation is the key to success. As Vice Chancellor of External Affairs and Chief of Staff at LSU Health Shreveport, she oversees the construction of the new $84M Center for Medical Education on campus.

It’s just one of the many projects for which she’s responsible.

When she decided to get her doctoral degree several years ago, she had no idea it was to prepare her for this next role in life.

“I really did it to begin with because it was on my bucket list,” Dr. Pierre said. “But you never know what God has in store for you.”

She uses her success and the success of those around her to inspire the next generation to consider a career in allied health.

“We try to start earlier these days and spark interest in our students and putting our African-American doctors or our people of color who are in these professions in front of those students because I often believe, and it’s just been a mantra of mine, ‘if you can see me, you can be me,'” Dr. Pierre shared.

Pierre is a published author and blogger with a long list of awards and accolades; she has also broken barriers. She was the first African-American woman to chair the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce and the first to chair the Independence Bowl.

However, the road hasn’t been easy. She’s been through many hardships, including losing her husband when she was just 24 years old. She shares those experiences to encourage other women.

“You’re not by yourself. This didn’t happen to you only. I’ve gone through this. This is what I’ve done,” Dr. Pierre explained. “Maybe if I share my story with you I can help you get to the next level.”

She gives back to the community through various organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The sense of service Pierre said she learned from her grandparents, growing up in Princeton, Louisiana.

“They always worked toward giving back,” Dr. Pierre recalled, “If there was a need in the community they were there. If someone was hungry, they were there. So, I grew up knowing what I was supposed to do.”

She also knows what it takes to accomplish big goals and live purposefully.

“If you want to take a chance and you want to get to that next level, you’re going to have to do things differently. Prepare yourself to get to that next level.”