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ESGR in the News


HOPKINS, Minn. – Two managers on the Digital Foundry team at Cargill, a Minnesota based global food corporation that is, in terms of revenue, the largest privately held corporation in the United States, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriotic Employer Award recently.

The event, attended by almost 50 Cargill employees, was hosted by Chief Information and Digital Officer Jen Hartsock.

Stephen Erickson, engineering lead and Geno Bassett, senior product manager were nominated by Staff Sgt. Liz Lindskoog, a digital product manager at Cargill. Lindskoog serves in the Army Reserve as an Emergency Preparedness Liaison Non-Commissioned Officer for Minnesota.

ESGR Minnesota volunteer Christie Nixon presented the award. Representing Cargill executive leadership, Hartsock also signed a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve.

After 13 years in the Minnesota National Guard as a fueler (petroleum supply specialist) and recruiter, including two Middle East deployments, Lindskoog transferred into the Army Reserve and her current  position in 2015. She has been very engaged the last two years in Minnesota, coordinating to provide state and local agencies with federal military resources for civil unrest in 2020 and COVID vaccination support in 2021. In late 2021, she was mobilized to Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin as Operations NCO for Operation Allies Welcome – resettlement of Afghan evacuees.

Lindskoog had only worked at Cargill for a few months before the Allies Welcome mobilization, and she characterized the support that Stephen, Geno, and Cargill gave her as the best she’d experienced in her 20-year career as a Reserve Component Soldier. Showing that Cargill values their people and their aspirations outside of the company, they worked with Liz to figure out how she could work the mission at Ft. McCoy and continue her duties with Cargill – her proposal. They met weekly to make sure that expectations were being met and that the work agreement was not overwhelming. Mr. Erickson’s initial reaction to Liz’s military mission was immediate and positive – he stated that it was good for the world, so of course he would support her part in it.

Hartsock spoke of the value of each Cargill employee and the knowledge, skills, and experience they bring to the table. Supervisors at all levels are encouraged to become more expert in their own arena by approaching people in all sectors of the enterprise with a genuine curiosity; enabling employees to, literally, demonstrate their pride in a job well done. Awardee Geno Bassett summed up the collective empowerment imbuing the company, stating that he readily supported Lindskoog’s work arrangement as he took responsibility for her team, and that he thought anyone in the room would do exactly the same thing.

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 courtesy of : Eddie Baeb, Director, Global Communications, Cargill

Left to right: Jen Hartsock (Chief Information and Digital Officer), Geno Bassett (Senior Product Manager), Staff Sgt. Liz Lindskoog (Product Manager), Stephen Erickson (Engineering Lead), Christie Nixon (ESGR Volunteer)

Posted in: Minnesota
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