ESGR in the News

05/16/17

2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations

  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations
  • 2017 Annual Minnesota ESGR Awards Banquet and presentations

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The annual Minnesota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Awards Banquet was held on the evening of May 8 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington. Military employers statewide were honored at the event for all they have done and continue to do.

The 2017 Minnesota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Banquet shared an opportunity to recognize outstanding employers who support their employees serving in the Guard and reserve components of the military. The ESGR awards program allows members of the Guard and Reserve the opportunity to nominate their employer to be recognized as those who go above and beyond in their support of the military.

Throughout Minnesota, and the country, various awards are presented throughout the year to employers of Guard and Reserve Service Members in gratitude for what they do to support their Guard/Reserve employee and their family throughout their military career. These Service Members may be absence from their civilian jobs when of duty for training or as they are called to perform an active duty deployment create a hardship of their employers. Their employers accept this as it’s a reality of our national defense posture around the world. They step up to the challenge and support their employee and, in many cases, their employee’s family in a myriad of ways. Regardless of what each employer might individually do it lifts a huge burden from the soldiers as they are serving their country allowing them to better focus on their mission and remain safe.

The annual awards banquet honors those employers who have gone above and beyond what they are required by USERRA Law to do. The process begins with the employee as they nominate their company for the award. The selection process is not an easy one as every employer nominated is truly deserving for what they do but the committee has a methodology that is used to choose the finalists; those finalists were honored at the banquet.

Our nation’s Colors were placed by the 34th ID Honor Guard in line with the individual flags of our nation’s military services. All in attendance joined in reciting our Pledge of Allegiance and singing our National Anthem. Paul Monteen, past Minnesota ESGR Chair, provided introductions and announcements and Dave Bambenek, Minnesota ESGR Region Chair, offered the invocation.

Emcee of the event was Tom Lyons, principal partner of Faelon Partners, Ltd. and also the host of the weekly “Minnesota Military Radio Hour” (http://minnesotamilitaryradiohour.com). Mr. Lyons is a Vietnam Veteran and is active in several organizations whose focus is supporting our Veterans. To read more of Mr. Lyons’ bio please go to https://www.faelon.com/thomas-w-lyons/.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Kevin Warren, Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Vikings. His speech included remembrances of his dad’s service in WWII and how it impacted him as a child growing up as well as talking about his own family and how his son learned honor and respect from a simple act of kindness. To read Warren’s bio please go to www.vikings.com/team/front-office.html, scroll down to “Executive Staff” and click on “Kevin Warren.”

The evening began with a social hour and music provided by the 34th Infantry Division Band. All military services were represented in uniform and as veteran attendees. Members and former members of each service stood as their service’s hymn was played, singing the words along with it. A robust display of camaraderie among the ranks and services lightened the evenings tone.

Dinner was served and awards were presented by Nick Ostapenko, Minnesota ESGR Chair, Tom Simonet, Minnesota ESGR vice Chair, the military service-appropriate representative and the award nominator.

Awards which were presented at the banquet included “The Above and Beyond Award” (28 awarded), “Pro Patria Award” (3 awarded), “The Seven Seals Award” (1 awarded), “The Extraordinary Employer Support Award” (1) and “Freedom Award” (2 finalists awarded). For more information about these, and other, awards please go to www.esgr.mil and click on “Employer Awards” in the upper menu. The awards available include the Patriot Award, Spouse Patriot Award, Seven Seals Award, Above and Beyond Award, Pro Patria Award, Extraordinary Employer Support Award and the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Many of these awards are progressive in nature, with each building upon the previous. For example, an employer must have had at least one supervisor or other representative honored with a Patriot Award and must have signed a Statement of Support to be eligible for consideration for the Above and Beyond Award.

“Above and Beyond Award”

Cargill, Inc.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Hiway Federal Credit Union

CHS

Amplifon Hearing Healthcare

Minnesota Department of Corrections - St Cloud

Mississippi Welders Supply Co., Inc.

Liberty Wealth Management of Raymond James

Saint Paul Emergency Management

Marcus Construction

Wells Fargo

Gold Cross Ambulance

Paynesville Police Department

ThreeRivers Park District - The Landing United Health Group

League of Minnesota Cities

Dr. Powers and Associates

Ecumen Pathstone Living

Byron Group, LLC

Ecolab, Inc.

PaR Systems, Inc.

ALLETE/Minnesota Power

Minneapolis Fire Department

SiebenCarey Personal Injury Law - Minneapolis

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

C&N Ethanol Marketing, LLC/Noble Americas Co.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

 

“Seven Seals Award” - US Bank

 

“Pro Patria Award” - Medtronic; Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC; Minnesota Department of Transportation

 

“Freedom Award Finalists” - Cargill, Inc.; Minnesota Department of Transportation

 

“Extraordinary Employer Support Award” - Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

 

Presentation of the Extraordinary Employer Support Award to Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Accepting the award was Allianz Chief Actuary Mr. Neil McKay. Left to right are: Tom Simonet, COL Michael Holland (USAR), 1SG Timothy Dennison (USMCR), 1LT Benjamin Harrison (Nominator), Mr. Neil McKay (Allianz Chief Actuary), Nick Ostapenko (ESGR Chair), COL Anthony Polashek (USAFR), CDR Biran Danielson (USNR), BG Jon Jensen (MN ARNG), COL Gabrielli (MN ANG), LT Matt MacKillop (USCGR)

 

Photos by: Tech. Sgt. Paul Santikko


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