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Perla Lederman Receives Con Edison’s Highest Honor

Perla Lederman, a longtime resident of the Mill Basin/Georgetown area, has received Con Edison’s “Living Our Values” award, the company’s highest honor. The recognition is presented annually to company employees who exemplify the values of service, teamwork and excellence, and who demonstrate an overall concern for the quality of life in their communities.

Perla joined Con Edison as a customer operations manager eight years ago, working out of Con Edison’s downtown Brooklyn office. She had taken some time off after retiring from a near-25-year career at Verizon, and was enjoying and reveling in the happiness surrounding her new great grandnephew, before opting to get involved in a new work challenge. Her colleagues at Con Edison are all glad she did.

“Perla manages call center representatives, and those reps have a high stress job,” said Christine Osuji, the general manager who oversees the area. “Perla gathers enthusiasm and energy on the floor, and keeps the spirit and energy level high. You can often hear her voice when you’re getting off the elevator.

“She started a welcome wagon for new employees, and as they’re first coming off the elevator, and getting on the floor, she has everyone welcoming them and putting them at ease.”

Perla was instrumental in launching the company’s Customer Operations R.I.S.E Academy, emphasizing responsibility, initiative, success and excellence, collaborating with other management team members to nurture the careers of more than 130 qualified employees, cultivating skills-based talents that are designed to improve the customer experience for those contacting the company. An outgrowth of the work they’ve done includes a self-service online portal for customers to initiate new service, and a real-time, live-chat feature that reduces customer waiting time and improves outcomes.

Perla also revamped the department’s Emergency Skills Group so that employees with expertise in various subjects would be cross trained, maximizing productivity and increasing the knowledge base for customer interactions.

The efforts have won industry recognition with prestigious awards for the R.I.S.E. program, including CS Week, STEVIE and E-Source industry awards.

“I’ve been able to implement programs in a supportive environment,” Perla noted. “And that’s created strong bonds.” One of the benefits has been the community and volunteer service outside the company, with each R.I.S.E. Academy class identifying an organization, initiative, or program to support within the communities where they work or live. Past beneficiaries have included Habitat for Humanity, the YMCA Cross Island Turkey Trot, the Wildlife Conservation Society for a beach cleanup, and the Groundswell Mural Painting Day.

“Perla walks her talk, leading by example,” said Antonio Diaz, who benefited from her counsel and mentoring. “Whether dealing with associates, peers, colleagues, or senior leadership, she is open, welcoming, and encouraging, treating everyone with dignity and respect.”