WASHINGTON – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program, announced the 2019 ESGR Volunteer of the Year Award recipients May 27.
ESGR has the unique characteristic for a government organization of relying on nearly 3,500 volunteers across 54 state committees to carry out local engagement with Service members, employers, and to conduct informal mediation between civilian employers and their Reserve component employees when issues arise related to military service.
In 2019, ESGR volunteers logged more than 205,000 hours of service, delivering a $5.2 million return on investment to the Department of Defense. Collectively, ESGR volunteers executed 3,819 events, engaged more than 11,600 employers and briefed more than 305,000 Service members last year.
The six recipients were selected by a committee of ESGR leaders from the 24 regional volunteers of the year for their outstanding support of National Guard and Reserve members and our nation’s defense. These dedicated patriots logged a combined 2,048 hours of service to ESGR and the Department of Defense in 2019 alone, the equivalent of a year’s worth of 40-hour work weeks!
ESGR is honored to recognize the 2019 Volunteers of the Year:
Greg Peck, Employer Outreach
Greg Peck, with the California ESGR Committee, has made a dramatic impact on employer outreach in two important roles: as regional chair and assistant director of employer outreach. He facilitated a Navy Employer Recognition Event which engaged 120 employers, including 31 Fortune 500 companies, and conducted City Council and Chamber of Commerce briefings, which engaged 436 employers. In addition to all the great things Greg does for the California ESGR, he is very active in other nonprofit activities supporting Guard and Reserve members.
Bernard Gaydos, Military Outreach
Bernard Gaydos is the military outreach director for the Georgia ESGR Committee. Over the last year, Gaydos has worked tirelessly to engage Service members in all Branches and briefed over 5,500 soldiers at Yellow Ribbon and family day events. He has also engaged Soldiers and employers by delivering patriot awards, conducting Statement of Support signing ceremonies with employers, and represented ESGR at numerous Chamber of Commerce events. In addition, Gaydos conducted informal mediation on Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment RIghts Act (USERRA) cases on behalf of ESGR and supported other Committee special events.
Speedy Castillo, Public Affairs
Speedy Castillo serves the Texas ESGR Committee as a regional chair for a large portion of the Texas Gulf Coast, and is very active in public affairs for the Texas ESGR. His personal efforts not only inform both Service members and employers of events in his corner of Texas, but his impact is also felt statewide. Castillo has provided ESGR and USERRA tips for local Unit Facebook pages, and is a regular contributor to the Texas ESGR social media accounts.
Daniel Arp, Ombudsman Services
Daniel Arp has made significant contributions as an ombudsman with the Tennessee ESGR Committee. He mediated 15 USERRA cases between Service members and their civilian employers, which comprised 38 percent of the Tennessee Committee’s 2019 caseload. More importantly, as state ombudsman director, Arp reinvigorated the Committee’s ombudsman function with his open, collegial leadership style and is steadily working to better integrate ombudsmen volunteers with the rest of the Committee.
Norman Naylor, Training
Norman Naylor, who volunteers with the Tennessee ESGR Committee, has worked diligently to enhance ESGR and USERRA training across the state. Over the last year, he’s made significant strides to update and organize the volunteer training records, working with Committee leaders and ESGR headquarters staff to ensure accuracy. In addition, Naylor maximized the Committee’s budget resources by conducting group training for new volunteers on ESGR polices and USERRA. He serves as a key member and facilitator to keep the Committee focused on mission.
George Nami, Operations
George Nami, who is a regional chair with the Texas ESGR Committee, has made a significant impact on Committee operations, with special efforts to reach Service members in more rural parts of the state. He personally conducted four unit briefings last year, engaging 526 Service members serving with the Coast Guard Reserve, the Army Reserve, and the Army National Guard. In addition, he presented 48 Patriot Awards; engaged or impacted 1,984 employers, and was responsible for 30 Statement of Support signing events with employers of Guard and Reserve members.
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, 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. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit https://esgr.mil.