Michael K. Pearson
Michael “Mike” Pearson is president and CEO of Union Packaging (UP), an earth-friendly food service and quick service restaurant (QSR) single-use paperboard packaging maker. Clients have included QSRs, supermarkets, convenience stores, and food service companies. UP’s nonprofit partnerships have resulted in career opportunities for public school graduates with learning differences, ex-offenders, and documented new arrivals from more than 15 countries. UP was selected as the 2014 Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County Workforce Partnership Employer of the Year.
Mr. Pearson currently serves on the executive board of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and is chair of the Philadelphia Public Health Management Corporation Board. He is a Philadelphia Regional Port Authority commissioner. He has previously held leadership positions with the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County, and many other organizations.
In 2015, Mr. Pearson received the Business Leadership in Diversity Award from Fisher Phillips for his longstanding commitment to fostering diversity in business within the Philadelphia business community. The same year, he was named an outstanding director by the Philadelphia Business Journal. He has received many additional awards and honors.
Mr. Pearson has been a speaker at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government Philadelphia Social Innovations Lab cohorts from 2010 to the present. In 2015, he was a panelist for Knowledge@Wharton Sirius XM radio (channel 111), Saint Joseph’s University Erivan K. Haub School of Business Executive MBA Program, and several other organizations. In 2014, his panel and speaking engagements included the First Annual Rutgers Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony of Rutgers Business School Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Widener University School of Business Administration, and several others. In 2013, he was the keynote speaker for the Growing our Local Living Economies Summit in Jersey City, New Jersey; the Second Edition of Philadelphia CityAge: The New American City conference on “The New Manufacturing: America’s Urban Industrial Renaissance”; and other events. In 2012, he was a panelist on “Keeping America Competitive: Addressing the Skills Gap in Manufacturing” at the Society for Human Resource Management’s Worldwide Conference and Exposition; a keynote speaker for the Philadelphia Chapter of The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship; and a roundtable panelist for “The Future of Employment for People with the Most Significant Disabilities” before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. In November 2011, he was the keynote speaker at the New Mexico Business Leadership Network’s Fifth Annual Employer Training, titled “Disability at Work.” Mr. Pearson was an entrepreneurial presenter at The Wharton School’s graduate business course on entrepreneurship in 2000; the Michigan State University School of Packaging’s undergraduate course in packaging economics (2002, 2003, and 2004); and Philadelphia University’s MBA program in fall of 2010. He has also addressed free enterprise at the Micro-enterprise Center in Chester, Pennsylvania (2003), and small business technology integration at the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority Business Center (2004).
Mr. Pearson served as a US Army officer in the Persian Gulf War, where he received the Bronze Star. Prior to UP, he worked at Pfizer, Wyeth Laboratories (now known as Pfizer), and Westvaco (now known as WestRock). He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He is originally from West Philadelphia; was raised in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania; and currently resides in Philadelphia.