L.A. WATERFRONT, CA (February 11, 2016) – Pacific Battleship Center (PBC) has selected Noel Massieto be this year’s recipient of the Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Leadership & Service Award. The award celebration will take place on board Battleship IOWA during a brief ceremony on Thursday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m.

Massie is President for United Parcel Service’s (UPS) Southern California District, where he is responsible for a $190 million budget and oversees every aspect of the district’s operation, including sales and customer relationships. The Southern California District services the Southland, Hawaii, as well as the southern tip of Nevada and currently has over 20,000 employees and services more than 144,000 customers. Noel lives in Yorba Linda with his wife, Amanda and have two sons, Brayden and Pierce.

“Noel Massie’s life and career bear all the hallmarks of Vice Admiral Gravely’s legacy. His path has been one of commitments kept, opportunities seized, potential realized, and humbly accepting the rewards of his education and work ethic,” said Jonathan Williams, President and CEO of PBC.  “His dedication and leadership is an example of the ideals and values that Vice Admiral Gravely displayed during his nearly four decades of pioneering naval service.”

The Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Leadership & Service Award, which is conferred annually, recognizes African American leaders in Southern California who exemplify the trailblazing, courageous service of the late U.S. Navy Vice Admiral.

This event is part of a month long celebration of Black History aboard Battleship IOWA. A display entitled “Celebrating the American Spirit – Battleship IOWA Salutes Black History Month,” is currently part of the historic ship’s tour through February 29 and features artifacts, news clippings, and photography focusing on pioneering black servicemen including Samuel L. Gravely (1922-2004).

The Battleship IOWA Museum is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Consider taking the new Silver Line Express from Downtown LA to Battleship IOWA. For information on these events and more, please visit www.pacificbattleship.com.

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About Battleship IOWA

Owned and operated by the nonprofit PBC, Battleship IOWA has become a popular destination at the L.A. Waterfront.  PBC’s goal is to share the devotion and sacrifices of American patriots and to engage visitors in unique and exciting ways that bring the ship to life by connecting the past with the future.  Battleship IOWA is regularly open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For more information about this series and Battleship IOWA, please visit www.pacificbattleship.com and for live streaming videowww.lawaterfront.org/multimedia.php.

About Admiral Samuel L. Gravely

Gravely’s naval career lasted 38 years and included many unique milestones for him and the U.S. Navy.  In 1952, he reported aboard USS Iowa for duty as a radio communications officer.  His later accomplishments served as watershed events for today’s Navy. Gravely was the first African American to command a warship (USS Theodore E. Chandler (DD 717)); command a major warship (USS Jouett (DLG 29)); to achieve flag rank and eventually vice admiral; and to command a numbered fleet (U.S. 3rd).  Throughout his career, Gravely received the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal.  The destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107), commissioned in 2010, was named in his honor. He passed away in 2004 at the age of 82 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

About Noel Massie

Massie began his career at UPS in 1977 as a part-time truck loader in Oakland, California. At the same time, he was studying electrical engineering at San Jose State. His bosses noticed his work ethic and within three months had promoted him to supervisor. Three years later, and a semester before graduation, he was offered a full-time position as manager. Massie continued to thrive within UPS and his talents for motivation and leadership were noticed and rewarded. From starting in operations, he has spent time within engineering, learning and development, and was relocated to Atlanta to work in UPS’s corporate headquarters. Noel’s various assignments have afforded him the opportunity to work in the eastern, western, northern, and southern parts of the U.S. Prior to his current assignment, Noel served as President for UPS’s Chicago, Virginia, Southeast California and Central California districts.