Photo by Craig Kohlruss

Paul E. Pierce (1970), Henry Madden Library

By ESRA HASHEM

Paul Pierce moved to Fresno when he was just 3 months old, after his parents adopted him. And while he tried to escape a couple of times, he was always drawn back: one of the original boomerangs.

At Fresno State, Paul is a board member of the Friends of the Madden Library, assisting with planning library programs.

“I have an incredible appreciation for libraries,” Paul says. “I remember my first visit to the library. The librarian gave me a book called The Wind in the Willows, and I thought, ‘How boring!’ But when I opened the book I was transported to a whole new world.”

“For people in some communities, libraries are the only safe space around. Walking into the Madden Library now — this really feels like a cathedral of knowledge, a temple of truth, at a time when the very existence of facts is under attack.”

Paul was the first person in his family to go to college, earning a bachelor’s degree in English from Fresno State in 1970. After completing his undergraduate degree, Paul pursued studies in industrial arts and graphic design, and earned a master’s degree in human resources and organizational development from University of San Francisco.

From 1979 to 2001, Paul worked for the City of Fresno, where he played many very different roles: city planner; city’s training officer; division manager; safety officer; union president; and internal organization development consultant. In 2001, he left the City to establish his own business, Paul E. Pierce: Organizational Design and Development, which specializes in strategic planning, process improvement, organization development and graphic meeting facilitation. He has also served as an adjunct professor at California School of Professional Psychology for over 20 years.

Paul has been a Fresno County planning commissioner, and has served on the boards of Centro La Familia, Cultural Arts Rotary of Fresno and Temple Beth Israel. For 15 years, he was a board member and past president of Stone Soup Fresno, a community-benefit organization which creates positive change for local Southeast Asian refugee families.

Apart from his years of volunteer board service, Paul has also contributed thousands of hours to community benefit organizations, helping them thrive.

“I plan to stay here and continue working with others to make Fresno a community I’m proud of,” he says.