News | Nov. 9, 2015

Oklahoma City’s Pearson awarded Outstanding DoD Employee with a Disability

By Brianne M. Bender DLA Distribution Public Affairs

Pearl Pearson, Jr., a packer assigned to the Preservation, Packaging, Packing and Marking Branch at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Oklahoma City, Okla., was presented with the 2015 Outstanding DoD Employee with a Disability Award at the 35th annual Department of Defense Disability Awards ceremony held in the Pentagon Auditorium on Oct. 29.

Presenting Pearson with the award was Brad R. Carson, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and Terry Phillips, Preservation, Packaging, Packing and Marking Branch Chief, DLA Distribution Oklahoma City, Okla.

The annual event was organized by the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity as part of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month observance, which takes place each October. 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the national disabilities employment awareness month, and also marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and department’s 20th anniversary of the Workforce Recruitment Program. The event provided an overview of DoD disability initiatives and policies as well as a forum to recognize award recipients.

DoD commemorates this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, “My Disability is One Part of Who I am.”

Carson addressed the importance of diversity to the DoD mission and the critical role that service members and civilian employees with disabilities play in the defense of the nation.

“The Secretary of Defense awards bestowed today are one of our most valued honors,” said Carson. “ The award ceremony is also an opportunity for us to celebrate the progress we have made in eliminating technological, architectural and programmatic barriers to the employment of service members and civilians with disabilities.”

Nineteen service members and civilian employees with disabilities were recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to advancing DoD’s mission. Additionally, four DoD organizations were recognized for adopting and implementing exemplary practices in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.

Pearson was responsible for packing over 10 percent of the work orders and over 16 percent of the items packed over the past year, ranking him in the top one percent of his co-workers. This contributed to a recovery of over $63,000 of the distribution center’s reimbursable packing costs. His actions have led to DLA Distribution Oklahoma City maintaining its monthly metrics for delivery of material to both internal and external customers. His efforts directly contributed to reducing the average KC-135 aircraft maintenance time from 224 days to 112 days for over 60 aircraft per year.

Continuously having been one of DLA Distribution Oklahoma City’s PPP&M’s top performers, Pearson packed more than 4,600 work orders consisting of over 5,400 items, all while maintaining a zero discrepancy rating.

Not one to shy away from challenges, Pearson has consistently ensured fellow employees know the correct packing procedures, taking it upon himself to volunteer to train over ten new employees per the standard operating procedures and job breakdown sheets. Despite the communication barriers he has faced, he made certain the employees he trained understand the procedures. Additionally, the employees he has trained have stated they feel they received the best training available.

“Mr. Pearson has proved over the past year that he is an exceptional employee who does not perform at the hightest level to seek out attention or praise, but does so due to his hard work, dedication and work ethic,” said DLA Distribution Oklahoma City director, Ned J. LaViolette.

Having graduated from the Oklahoma School of the Deaf in 1969, Pearson maintained honor roll and earned awards for participation in basketball and football. He spent nearly 20 years in the private sector before entering the federal workforce. He now has 25 years of federal service under his belt, 23 of those with DLA.

In his spare time, Pearson volunteers for the Central Oklahoma Association for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired assisting in making hearing aids available to low-income individuals and by providing information and referral services, including assistance for hearing impaired such as sign language training, TDD/TTY equipment, written information and some financial assistance.

Considered a great role model and mentor, Pearson has served as a guest speaker for the Rochester Institue of Technology, the National Institute of the Deaf. He would speak to the students about his life experiences, both personal and work related.

Additionally, Pearson’s performance, professionalism, enthusiasm and attention to detail have made him an integral part of the PPP&M team, as well as a highly productive member of the DLA Distribution Oklahoma City team.

“Mr. Pearson is not only a highly valuable member of the PPP&M team, but also an employee any supervisor would love to have work for them,” explained LaViolette. “Pearl is most deserving of the recognition of this prestigious award.”

In addition, Pearson’s accomplishment will be acknowledged during the DLA 48th Annual Employee Recognition Program scheduled for early December 2015.