Pearson named one of ‘Tomorrow’s Leaders’
Source: Frost Illustrated
Quiet diligence and excellence has its rewards. Just ask Alisa Janelle Pearson, an associate attorney with Barrett & Mc- Nagny LLP in Fort Wayne. Pearson was recently selected as one of just 12 persons to receive a 2008 Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders recipients.
The Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders, developed by the Indiana Humanities Council and the Office of the Governor of Indiana, and sponsored by Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) celebrates the excellence and achievement of a broad, diverse group of young leaders in Indiana. The award is designed to encourage young leaders around the state are encouraged to continue to invest their talents and knowledge in Indiana.
Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, along with representatives of the IHC and NIPSCO, presented the 29-year-old Pearson and the other recipients with their awards on Dec. 16 at Indiana Statehouse. In addition to the award, each honoree also received a $1,000 cash award, made possible by a donation from NIPSCO, to be accepted as a personal scholarship for continuing education or as a donation to the recipient’s charity of choice. Recipients also had the option to split their award between two charities. Pearson is dividing her award equally between the Black College Club of Fort Wayne and Glory to God, a ministry currently focusing on the influx of Burmese in Fort Wayne and helping them to get adjusted to life in the U.S.
Pearson, who has been with Barrett & McNagny for three years, received her juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee and currently focuses on corporate and business law. In addition to representing firms of all different sizes and tailoring services to their specific needs, Pearson assists clients with the formation and organization of companies as well as with the buying and selling of stock and assets. She also has worked on the nationwide licensing of title insurance producers and agents.
Law, she said, is the only career she’s ever considered.
“Well, my mom will tell you it’s the only career I’ve ever talked about,” said Pearson, explaining that even before she got out of high school, she had shadowed and talk to attorneys.
She said finally practicing law has been as fulfilling as she imagined. In addition to enjoying the work, she said it’s opened doors for her.
“It presents many, many opportunities,” she said. “I’m approached all the time to serve on differ boards and help with different organizations.”
Through those opportunities, Pearson has been able to demonstrate her strong commitment to the community, counseling non-profits on corporate structure and tax issues, serving on Board of Mangers for the Old Fort YMCA and volunteering with a number of organizations, including Links Inc., through which she helps provide opportunities for arts-based programs in Fort Wayne. She also serves on the board of the Black College Club, which helps expose local high school students to the benefits of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
She’s been involved in community projects and volunteer efforts since she was in high school, thanks to the example of her mother, nationally recognized entrepreneur Rae Pearson.
“It’s been something I’ve always done from my mother’s example,” said Alisa Pearson.
Pearson and a number of friends, with whom she grew up or went to college, have formed a special book club—Diamond Inc.—consisting of young black women from Chicago, Indianapolis, Baton Rouge, La.,, Fort Wayne and Columbus, Ohio. The club provides the women not only with an opportunity to talk about books but also about life, community and their careers. The group meets once a month in a different city and performs a community service project in the host city.
“When I had a meeting here, we had a career day over at Whittington House for the young girls over there,” said Pearson.
The young attorney also spends time volunteering with the Alpha Rae Entrepreneurship Program—a program of Alpha Rae Personnel, the firm founded by her mother. Alpha Rae Personnel is one of Black Enterprises’ top 100 black business in the U.S. Getting involved there was an easy choice, said Alisa Pearson, given who was in charge—and the standard that Mother Pearson set.
“I have the business background and I do that on a daily basis so why not assist people looking to go out on their own,” said Alisa Pearson, crediting her mother with teaching her the importance of helping others. “Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am today. She’s always been the type to lead by example.”