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ESGR in the News


DRAYTON, N.D. – American Crystal Sugar Company Factory Manager Al Zola, Maintenance Superintendent Paul Eslinger, and Production Superintendent Andy McKay received Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Awards Aug. 18 for the extraordinary support they provide employee Spc. Daniel Monson, North Dakota Army National Guard.

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.

“Specialist Monson felt very empowered and impacted by your support and it is an honor to present three patriot awards to you.  These awards resonate with your character and support of individuals that serve in the military,” said ESGR volunteer John Oncken.

“Thank you to American Crystal Sugar Company; we definitely could not do our job without the support of you guys.  Being mobilized is difficult for small and large companies, especially when it is such a long mobilization like this one and it puts a strain on the business so we really appreciate your support while we are out here doing our job,” said Battery Commander, Capt. Joshua Baneck.

Zola, Eslinger and McKay all commented on how fortunate they are to have a great employee like Daniel Monson.  They all appreciate that Dan and others go out and take care of us to have the freedoms and rights we have.  American Crystal Sugar Company is grateful to help where we can. 

“I know in the past the National Guard has had guardsman that were employees with American Crystal Sugar Company, we have always had the best relationship and they have always been so supportive of our Guard and Reserve members along with our community.  I want to say thank you and appreciate being part of a community with folks like yourself and companies like yourself,” said Jody Bohn-Baldock, an ESGR volunteer and a retiree from the North Dakota National Guard.

American Crystal Sugar Company joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of American’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces, added ESGR volunteer Oncken.  “By signing the Statement of Support, American Crystal Sugar Company is sending a clear message to its employees that while they are serving their country, they do not have to worry about their civilian jobs.” 

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 (701) 333-2057 or visit

Pictured from left to right: American Crystal Sugar Company Patriot Award recipients Paul Eslinger, Al Zola and Andy McKay.

Posted in: North Dakota
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