SEATTLE – Teia Tuifua, supervisor with King County’s Facilities Management Division of the Department of Executive Services, and Diane Richardson, a sergeant with King County’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, each received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support they provide their employee who serve in the Reserve Components.
Tuifua was nominated by Coast Guard Reserve Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Nelson, a 17-year employee with King County and a 16-year Coast Guard Reservist. “My supervisor always has my back whenever I need time off for military duty,” said Nelson.
Richardson was nominated by Air Force Reserve Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Helpenstell, a correctional officer at the King County Adult Detention Center and a 21-year employee with King County. “Sgt. Richardson is our scheduling sergeant. She is the first point of contact when requesting time off for military leave and activities,” said Helpenstell. “She goes above and beyond to assist all military members. She takes the time to explain what we need to do when requesting leave and assists us in every step of the process.”
“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve,” Washington ESGR State Chair Phil Sanders. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”
“During longer periods of military leave for training or deployments I have always been supported without question,” said Nelson. I feel like I am valued at work and I know my supervisor is proud of what I do for the military in serving my County.”
“Without her [Richardson] support we would not be able to complete our mission,” said Helpenstell.
“National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units,” said Sanders. “By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.”
ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.
For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil/WA.
Pictured (L-R): Teia Tuifua, supervisor with King County’s Facilities Management Division of the Department of Executive Services, and Diane Richardson, a sergeant with King County’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, each received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support they provide their employee who serve in the Reserve Components.