Exchange’s Outstanding Associate with a Disability Honored for Hard Work
Services Operations Assistant Joseph Puryear is considered a “go-to” associate at the Joint Base Charleston Exchange. His hard work and care for the military community have earned him an honor from the Department of Defense.
Puryear, an Air Force Veteran who has served with the Exchange for 14 years, is the Exchange’s recipient of the Outstanding Department of Defense Employee with a Disability Award. He received his award during a virtual ceremony Oct. 1.
“I am surprised and honored by this recognition, but my co-workers put me in a position to succeed,” Puryear said. “I have absorbed a lot in my military career and at the Exchange, and one thing I know is everyone has a piece of information that I can use, and I try to always share mine.”
The DoD recognition honors abilities and achievements in overcoming obstacles and pursuing strong work ethics.
Puryear has made a difference to the military community, bringing fresh dining options to Joint Base Charleston. In 2019, he helped bring six new food trucks to the installation. His efforts created $2.5 million in sales for the Charleston Exchange through concession sales and services, an 8.9% increase over the previous year.
“Joseph is considered the rock of the Charleston Exchange,” said General Manager Keola Chan, who nominated Puryear. “The relationships he has built have developed a strong team of concession partners willing to support the Exchange mission and community needs.”
About 14% of the Exchange workforce includes people with disabilities, which exceeds goals established in 2018 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
About 4% of the Exchange’s employees have targeted disabilities. The Department of Defense also has set a goal for its agencies that 2% of the workforce be made up of people with targeted disabilities, which are disabilities that are considered more serious health conditions.
“The Exchange regularly recruits associates with disabilities because they are a valuable part of the workforce and provide important service and experience,” said Karen Stack, executive vice president and chief logistics officer. “They are critical to the Exchange mission of serving those who serve.”
In addition to Puryear, outstanding associates were named in each region:
Central Region: Gloria Segovia, customer experience associate, San Antonio Consolidated Exchange
Europe Region: James May, visual merchandiser, Aviano Exchange
HQ: Jordan Prasifka, data analyst I, Customer Relationship Management
Pacific Region: Jason Turk, store assistant, Yokota Exchange
Western Region: Ashley Lowe, customer experience associate, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Exchange
Logistics: Russell Joyner, material handler, Dan Daniel Distribution Center
“The Exchange’s primary mission is supporting the military community, and that’s why I joined,” Puryear said. “I come from a military background, and it’s important to me to serve our Troops the way the Exchange served me when I was enlisted. It’s an obligation that I am honored to meet.”