A member of the Federal workforce for 28 years, William Russell has spent the last 22 years working as a senior pipe welder performing repairs and maintenance on the Trident submarine at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Silverdale, Washington. Working in confined spaces and often on a very tight schedule, William performs difficult weld repairs throughout the submarine, including critical welds on piping systems whose proper functioning is vital to the safety of the sailors.
William’s skills are highly regarded by his peers and supervisor, and he routinely shares his technical knowledge, mentoring junior mechanics. In 2007, he was a nominee for employee of the year at the shipyard. He was a recipient of the Department of the Navy’s Individual with Disabilities Award and, in 2009, was named an Outstanding Department of Defense Employee with a Disability.
William and his wife are foster parents to challenged children, some of whom are younger than 4 years old. For the past 30 years, he has been active with Little People of America, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing support and information to people of short stature and their families.
William starred in a Learning Channel documentary highlighting the big jobs done by Little People. The network film crew went aboard the Trident submarine and followed William as he worked. Off the job, William’s hobbies include yard work, golf, hiking, and home improvement projects.