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ESGR in the News


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Minnesota Air National Guard Capt. Jake Lorence is presenting the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award to his employment supervisor, Jason Thomas with Fourteen Foods, LLC.

The award was given Feb. 13 at Fourteen Foods, LLC in recognition of Jason Thomas’s support of his employee's service in the Minnesota Air National Guard. Lorence was very appreciative of Fourteen Foods, LLC support and assistance with his service and Guard deployments, and he wanted to honor Jason Thomas.

Lorence stated, “Jason Thomas is an excellent supervisor who strongly supports his military service. Jason is the General Council for a very large and busy fast-food business. I am his only employment attorney. He never asks a second question when I tell him that I need to miss work for an emergency on base, for annual training, or for my various mandatory TDY duties. He also works extras hours while I am away to ensure that my projects keep moving along and that I can focus on my military mission while I am away. Jason ensures that my benefits continue and that I continue to accrue seniority as required under the USERRA law. Finally, he recognizes my service in front of other leaders in the company, including the CEO and is as advocate for Veteran’s Resource Group programs that I am trying to implement at the company. For example, he was a staunch supporter of developing a Veteran’s Resources Group to recruit and be a resource for recently separated veterans. Jason presented my proposal to the CEO, which was ultimately approved and was adopted.”

Also present was Tom Haugo, an ESGR Minnesota Committee member. In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Fourteen Foods, LLC signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support, confirming that the company joins other employers in pledging:

  • We fully recognize, honor, and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
  • We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
  • We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families, in peace, in crises and in war.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program which seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR also helps in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers. This year, ESGR celebrates 51 years of excellence in support of the Reserve Components and their civilian employers. For more information about ESGR outreach programs of volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Photo 1: Patriot Award
Right to left – Capt. Jake Lorence – Minnesota Air National Guard, Jason Thomas – Fourteen Foods LLC, and Tom Haugo - Minnesota ESGR Military Outreach Director
Photo 2: Statement of Support
Right to left – Jason Thomas – Fourteen Foods LLC

Photo’s courtesy of Fourteen Foods LLC

Posted in: Minnesota
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