Pine Bluff native receives woman of year award

Laverne Graham, a strategic planning and business development specialist in the Directorate of Business Operations and Planning at Pine Bluff Arsenal, was named the Federal Women’s Program Woman of the Year for 2014 during a ceremony this month.

“I was really surprised and I’m honored,” Graham said about winning the award. “I volunteer but I don’t do it for any recognition. It is just something I have always done even when I was younger. I have always enjoyed volunteering – both for church and the community — for as long as I can remember.”

A Pine Bluff native, Graham graduated from Watson Chapel High School in 1983 and the University of Central Arkansas at Conway in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration. She has been employed at the arsenal since 1988. Graham is married and has two sons.

Graham was appointed in 2007 as the arsenal’s acting inspector general and has been recognized by the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command IG Office with a Special Act Award and Certificate of Appreciation for serving in this role. She was also appointed in 2010 by Arsenal senior management to serve as the Site Command Center Manager during the Logistics Modernization Program development.

She is a 1994 graduate of Leadership Pine Bluff and has coordinated the program’s visit to the arsenal every year since 1995. She is an active member of the Junior League of Pine Bluff, current president of the Pine Bluff High School Baseball Booster Club and former president of the Jack Robey Junior High Football Booster Club. She is a 25-year volunteer at the Salvation Army and the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.

“She has a spirit of understanding and offers support that few, if any, can equal and certainly none can exceed,” read the nomination information. “It has been said by some of our leaders, ‘you can truly appreciate employees like Laverne – her excellence, attitude and love for people and the Arsenal is unsurpassed.’ She is a hard worker, always has others’ best interest at heart and a can-do attitude that will always be remembered. A very meticulous employee.”