2001 Distinguished Service Award: Kim Pearson

// Mechanical Engineering

Tags: alumni, Engineers' Day, Kim Pearson, ME E-Day

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Kim A. Pearson
President & CEO
Pearson Technical Software, Inc./LANovation
MSME ’81

One of the most important skills Kim A. Pearson learned at UW-Madison was independent thinking — the seed that blossomed into entrepreneurial aspirations years later. Now the owner of his own software company, Pearson helps other companies reap technological advances.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Syracuse University in 1979, Pearson earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison two years later. He knew that he wanted to own his own business, and the budding information-technology field provided new opportunities in engineering.

He worked as a mechanical engineer in nuclear fuel safety design at General Electric in San Jose, California, for the next four years, gaining the on-the-job experience he needed to lead a company.

Then in 1985, he realized his goal and founded Pearson Technical Software, Inc. The Minneapolis, Minnesota, based company develops real-time data acquisition and control applications for biomedical research.

In 1992, Pearson launched the LANovation division of Pearson Technical Software to develop products to easily manage Windows software distribution on large enterprise networks. Within a year, LANovation shipped its first product, LAN Escort, and expanded its distribution internationally. Then in 1997, the company introduced its PictureTaker family of software distribution products.

Over the past 12 years, Pearson’s companies have grown to 28 employees and now includes a network of manufacturers’ reps and international distributors. He is also a senior programmer/analyst at the University of Minnesota Microcomputer Group.

“The most rewarding thing about owning my own company is watching young people’s careers develop,” said Pearson. “We’re constantly giving our people opportunities to explore new areas. When they find the perfect match and that helps direct their future, it’s amazing.”

When he’s not helping engineers sow their own career seeds, Pearson’s usually engaged in new magic tricks, windsurfing or canoeing. He and his wife Vicki, have a daughter and son, a 13-year-old aspiring, yet already accomplished, flutist, and an 11-year-old aspiring soccer athlete.