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Daughter follows father's footsteps at New Haven, Conn., commerce awards

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Oct. 21--NEW HAVEN -- In introducing his daughter, Barbara L. Pearce, at the Annual Awards Luncheon of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Herb Pearce described her as "a whirlwind of activity."

"She's the original, authentic Energizer bunny," said Pearce, the 89-year-old chairman of H. Pearce Co. Real Estate. "She likes doing several things at once. When you go into her office, she's on the phone, she's playing with the computer, and she's planning a trip -- it's very difficult to hold a conversation with her!"

It's that level of energy that led to Barbara Pearce being honored Thursday with the chamber's 2005 Community Leadership Award. It marked the first time a father-daughter team won the award, since the elder Pearce won it in 1970.

"She outstripped me, and her level of community service has been remarkable," Herb Pearce told a record crowd of 600 at the event at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.

Barbara Pearce is president and CEO of H. Pearce, and has been involved in dozens of community efforts since joining her father's company in 1981.

"I've been lucky in so many ways," said Barbara Pearce in accepting the award. "In the family I was born into, in the business associates I've had, in the industry I belonged to, in my friends and the people who served on various boards with me, and in the place in which I was born."

Pearce said New Haven is "a wonderful laboratory for the power of one person's idea or a group of people to make things happen."

Among her community activities, Pearce is current chairwoman of the United Way of Greater New Haven and is on the boards of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Regional Growth Partnership, Long Wharf Theatre and the Regional Leadership Council. She is vice chair of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and served for many years on the board of The Hospital of St. Raphael.

Several other awards were presented Thursday, including:

--Volunteers of the Year: Bruce Clinton, Laura Malis.

--Leadership Alumni Award: Patricia Sweet.

--Leadership in Health Care: Yale-New Haven Hospital.

--Arts, Entertainment & Tourism: NewAlliance Foundation.

--Manufacturing: Robinson Tape & Label Inc., Branford.

--Workforce Development: Fire-Lite Alarms Inc., North Branford.

--Small Business Leadership: Connecticut Computer Assistants, New Haven.

--Legislative Leadership: New Haven alderwomen Andrea Jackson-Brooks and Babz Rawls-Ivy.


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Copyright (c) 2005, New Haven Register, Conn.

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