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ESGR in the News


PLYMOUTH, Minn. –  Alex Cooper received the Patriotic Employer award at Medtronic in Plymouth from ESGR Volunteer Christie Nixon recently.

Cooper was nominated by Staff Sgt. Bill Yekeku, a U.S. Army Reserve Soldier and Combat Engineer instructor with the 1/340th Training Support Battalion at Ft. Snelling.

Yekeku, who has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, is currently mobilized at Fort McCoy in support of Operation Allies Welcome.  Yekeku, an extrusion operator and 15-year employee of Medtronic, was particularly appreciative of Cooper’s outreach to his family during his current mobilization.  Also, of his going above requirements to complete an annual evaluation on him even though he was on Army orders for part of the year.  Yekeku stated that, “Alex understands that I’m not on vacation.”

A small group of Yekeku’s co-worker’s, to whom he expressed appreciation for their support of his military service, also attended the award ceremony.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program which 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

Photo 1: At Medtronic's Plymouth, facility: Christie Nixon, ESGR Volunteer; Alex Cooper, Production Supervisor with the Patriotic Employer Award.

Photo 2: At Medtronic's Plymouth, facility: Christie Nixon, ESGR Volunteer and Medtronic Manager with the signed Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve. 

Photos courtesy of Joelette Smith, Medtronic.

Posted in: Minnesota
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