ESGR in the News


Frank VanderSloot and Paul Conley Honored by Department of Defense for Patriotic Support

  • Frank VanderSloot and Paul Conley Honored by Department of Defense for Patriotic Support

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Idaho Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, honored Frank VanderSloot and Paul Conley May 2 with a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.

“The ESGR Patriot Award is a unique award, because the only way to receive this award, is to be nominated by an employee who serves in the National Guard or Reserves,” said Mr. George Hames, Idaho ESGR Public Affairs Director. VanderSloot and Conley were nominated for exemplary support by their Army National Guard Employee, Spc. Nathan Hill Johnson, during his 23 months of initial active duty training’.

The Idaho ESGR State Chair Bruce Wright, also commended VanderSloot and Conley, As well as all of the employees at Melaleuca for picking up the slack when their service member/co-worker takes time off for military duty. “Your support and willingness to accommodate Nathan’s military service means, that you too play a role in our national defense”, said Bruce Wright.

According to Specialist Hill Johnson, “VanderSloot and Conley made the process of speaking with them, and various members of Human Resources team painless on the subject of military service. They were almost always ready with the answers I needed, and were quick to find out anything that needed to be research. I left with confidence in the summer of 2012, knowing I would not return for almost two full years (23 months). During my time away my wife and I had periodic contact with Paul Conley, Human Resource, and Payroll Departments, ensuring that my standing with the company was secure”. Specialist Hill Johnson also indicated that he continued to accrue vacation hours and a monthly product check that his family was able to use in his absence (very appreciated).

“The support I received from Melaleuca throughout my absence, removed a potentially large source of stress, and allowed me to remain focused”, said Hill Johnson. “When I returned, I was welcomed back warmly and everyone made sure my benefits, pay and position continued on as though I had never left. Melaleuca, does not simply talk about honoring servicemen and women, they do it. The values and culture of Melaleuca has made serving my country much easier. I am very grateful for Frank’s loyal and consistent efforts to give back to the men and women of our military”.

“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units” said Bruce Wright. “I am asking all Idaho employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees,” Many of Idaho’s employers provide support above and beyond what is required by law by offering pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees are mobilized.”

ESGR, a DoD office, 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 facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 1-800-336-4590 or visit