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PDC Richard Pearson Award

The Richard Pearson Award was established in memory of Richard Pearson, long-time PDC member and board member and stalwart in the legal professional development community. This award is given annually to a PDC member who has demonstrated the qualities Richard brought to the PDC: an innovative spirit, a demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring, and a passionate, life-long love of learning. The Richard Pearson Award presentation takes place at the PDC Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

2020 PDC Richard Pearson Award

The PDC would like to congratulate Shannon Cloney, Senior Manager of Professional Development Events & Operations at Cooley, LLP for being named the 2020 PDC Richard Pearson award honoree. Read more.

2019 PDC Richard Pearson Award

On December 4, 2019, at the 2019 PDC Winter Meeting, the 2019 PDC Richard Pearson Award was presented to Larry Brown, Senior Learning & Development Manager, Atrium. Read more.

2018 PDC Richard Pearson Award

On November 28, 2018, at the 2018 PDC Winter Meeting, the 2018 PDC Richard Pearson Award was presented to Mara Nickerson, Chief Knowledge Officer, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.  Read more.

2017 PDC Richard Pearson Award

On November 29, 2017, at the 2017 PDC Winter Meeting, the 2017 PDC Richard Pearson Award was presented to Lori Berman, Director of Professional Development, Hogan Lovells US LLP.  Read more.

2016 PDC Richard Pearson Award

On November 30, 2016, at the 2016 PDC Winter Meeting, the 2016 PDC Richard Pearson Award was presented to Michele Bendekovic, Director of Attorney Development & Diversity, Bass Berry & Sims and Jeanne Picht Director, Attorney Talent Strategy, Fenwick & West LLP.  Read more. 

2015 PDC Richard Pearson Award

On December 2, 2015, at the 2015 PDC Winter Meeting, the 2015 PDC Richard Pearson Award was presented to Burt Lipshie, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and posthumously to Anita Zigman, former Chief Legal Personnel Officer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. 

2014 PDC Richard Pearson Award

On December 3, 2014, at the 2014 PDC Winter Meeting, the 2014 PDC Richard Pearson Award  was presented to Stephanie Willson, BA, LL.B, CHRP, Chief Professional Resources Officer, McCarthy Tétrault. 


About Richard Pearson:

In March of 2014, we lost our colleague and friend, Richard Pearson.  He passed away   unexpectedly while rowing, one of the great joys and passions in his life.  He was a longtime PDC member and immense contributor to our profession.  He had a warm and engaging personality that inspired those around him. 

A native of British Columbia, Richard had 20 years of international experience, having lived and worked in London and Hong Kong, where he ran his own leadership development practice consulting to Fortune 500 companies and professional firms.  He was passionate about coaching and learning and took a special interest in designing engaging and effective meetings.  At Davis Wright & Tremaine in Seattle, he served as the firm’s Chief Learning & Development Officer.  While in that role, he helped create the competency-based performance management system that forms the basis of the firm’s professional development activities, including learning, coaching, on-the-job learning and mentoring.

Richard served on the PDC’s Board from 2011 – 2013 and also helped create the Pacific Northwest local PD group.  In 2012, he chaired the PDC’s SummerConference in Seattle, which featured the PDC’s first ever Innovation Tournament, in which all attendees – over the course of the conference – were asked to create and “pitch” proposals for enhancing lawyers’ professional development.

Richard was the proud father of two children, Tory and Charlie. He also was an avid fitness enthusiast as he enjoyed basketball, yoga, golf, tennis, cycling and rowing, in which he competed at the local, regional and national level.  His academic credentials included a law degree from Dalhousie University, coaching certification from the Hudson Institute of Coaching, and a master’s degree in law firm leadership and management from The George Washington University.