Minneapolis, Minn.: Medtronic, a multinational corporation based in Minneapolis, was presented a 2021 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in a ceremony attended by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz at Medtronic's offices. Also in attendance to accept the award on behalf of Medtronic was CEO Geoff Martha.
The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve, and Medtronic was nominated for this prestigious honor by three Reserve Component service members who work for the company, and a military spouse employee.
Medtronic demonstrated its longstanding commitment to supporting its service members and their spouses, going above and beyond to check in with families during deployments, offering flexible scheduling, and taking care of family needs.
In addition to Governor Walz and Martha, Minnesota's Adjutant General Major General Shawn Manke, Brigadier General Maria Juarez, and other federal and state dignitaries attended the ceremony.
The three service members and military spouse reside in different states across the country. Leading the team was Ruben Hidaligo, representing the U.S. Army Reserve in Minnesota; Joseph Lontai, representing the Oregon Air National Guard; Rahsean Ellis, serving with the US Army Reserve in Florida, and Missy Olson, the spouse of a service member serving out of Michigan. The dedicated four member team worked together to make Medtronic one of fifteen DoD Freedom Award winners in 2021. Only 313 awards have been given since the inception of the award 25 years ago.
Photo Left to Right:
Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz, Minnesota ESGR Chair Thomas Simonet, Nominators Missy Olson, Rahsean Ellis, Ruben Hidaligo, Joseph Lontai, Medtronic Veterans Employee Resource Group Executive Patrick Joyce, Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha