President Darlene Gleason forges a new path for soldiers with PTSD: A new answer leads to a new life of hope, faith and inspiration! Discover the person behind EW!
When you in trust a donation to a worthy Veteran cause, you have to be absolutely SURE the Corporate Principal in charge of forging ahead the project, has the executive capabilities of handling the execution and implementation of all aspects of the priorities needed to complete the job so the veterans can reap the healing rewards of this project . It is a rarity to find such an exemplary and outstanding personal corporate history in non-profit owner that even comes close to Darlene Gleason’s experience; that even includes telecommunication project manager for NASA! Darlene coordinated some of the most sophisticated telecommunications projects in the state of Texas: NASA COMMUNICATION PROJECT MANAGER, DOW CHEMICAL, SHEL OIL, E-911, HOUSTON POLICE COMMAND CENTER, IBM, THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, CONOCO, ATT&T, THE TEXAN PROJECT, AND MANY MORE.
Darlene started her highly acclaimed career as she served as a credit clerk at THE BELL SYSTEM IN DES MOINES, IOWA. She was an investigator with duties that spanned investigative credit worthiness, bankruptcies and fraud cases and determination of proper ratings with Duns and Bradstreet and credit collections of outstanding bills. She moved on to the plant department with NWB to run a cable installation department with the responsibility of creating cable- cuts and throws for cable-repair men to relieve large cable deficiencies and restore and/or install service. Darlene was responsible to refer cases to the engineers as she drew up pertinent documents for new facilities to be installed. Darlene secured a position at Southwestern Bell where she was responsible for the installation of message circuits which was the backbone of the telecommunications industry at the time.
In her own words:
“When the Texan project was established, it was created as a private government switching network for the state of Texas. It consisted of a series of switchers to handle the telecommunications for all the state offices in the entire state of Texas. There were three regions, consisting of Dallas, San Antonio and Houston districts. I was assigned to coordinate the installations of all the facilities and switchers for the Houston area. The Houston area consisted of the area from Beaumont-Pt Author to Nacogdoches, to Freeport-Lake Jackson, Huntsville and all areas in between. The larger cities would have large PBX’s or centrexes that would handle the switching; or in the cases of Houston and Beaumont, separate switchers were built to handle only Texan circuits- except in the case of Beaumont and Houston. All circuits were connected to the local switchers and then the switchers were connected via trunks to the network. Access onto and off network was made available via access trunks and specific dial access codes. All old switching machines were upgraded to handle the needs of the business and the traffic placed upon them and the project was completed on time and within budget. I coordinated this project as a clerk for the general plant manager of the Houston area, and then was promoted to a first level manager and was assigned to inventory transmission and signaling equipment, of which the inventory was used to separate these assets between AAT and SWB for Divestiture. I had various positions with project coordination equipment that eventually evolved to coordinating installations of data and special design circuits with projects like: NASA, Dow Chemical, Fluor, Shell Oil, IBM, University of Houston, e911, Houston Police Command Center, Conoco, AT&T and many more.”
“The NASA Project included a complete recabaling of the NASA, Johnson Spacecraft Center, Mission Control, and the fiber optics facilities into and out of the center. The Hudson central office that formerly served the center was an old crossbar office, and we rerouted all telecommunications; with the exception of mission control circuits via the new ESS clear lake central office. Mission control was handled with separate, discrete, duplicate facilities unto its own. All new circuits were established on the entire campus.”
“The Challenger accident occurred during the middle of the project. President Reagan visited the grieving Spacecraft Center and it is a memory I hold dear to my heart which I will never forget. After all, this was MY project…my people…..my heart still hurts today over this tragedy. But life and projects had to continue and the government treated them all as Bell System; even though divestiture had taken place. Installation took place within the confines of the constant construction on the gulf freeway. If it wasn’t removing an exit; it was removing bridges that would cut the cables I was installing to the new central office! The state obviously did not want to keep my schedule! It was a constant up-hill grind.”
“The project was finally completed in a series of phases lasting over four years and it did come in on budge. I was working on Dow Chemical and the University of Houston simultaneously with NASA as I traveled to Freeport, Lake Jackson and several surrounding communities to convert the Dow Chemical plant. That involved recabaling the Freeport plant and terminating 1500 circuits onto new facilities. It got to a point that customers would only speak to me; and not the marketing reps. The job was completed on time and under budget.”
“University of Houston consisted of recabaling the entire main campus; changing out the switching machine (which was an AT&T machine,) changing all the campus rooms telephone sets, all their telecommunications circuits and connecting all campuses together with trunks and switching equipment. This project was completed on time- and under budget. Looking back at my career with these huge entities, it all makes sense to me now…how all my experience can be translated into executing all the programs my husband and I dreamed of implementing for Empowering Warriors. God works in mysterious ways and I am so grateful to carry on his memory and serve the veterans of America. Just think: from NASA to Empowering Warriors…yes, God does work in mysterious ways! I feel He has given me a job to do for our American veterans and I am going to do it! I truly believe, if I don’t do this, then, who will!? We as Americans have to step up and honor the veterans that risk their lives for us daily. I love my country and I love our veterans and this program will help save many lives that surely might have been lost forever. It is an honor to serve my country.”
Learn more about what Empowering Warriors stands for by visiting www.empoweringwarriors.org