BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Pennsylvania Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an office of the Department of Defense, announced that Qurate Retail Group (QVC) recently received a Patriot Award in recognition of extraordinary support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.
Pennsylvania ESGR is particularly proud to present employers with a Patriot Award for their strong support of their employees serving in our nation’s Reserve forces during ESGR’s 50th Anniversary year.
QVC’s Justin Masellas was nominated for the Patriot Award by Spc. Benjamin Borakove of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s B Company of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 28th Infantry Division located in Harrisburg.
In nominating Masellas for the Patriot Award, Borakove commented: “Justin Masellas understands what it means to serve in a reserve component of the nation's military. As a USMC reservist, Justin deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan and received the Purple Heart. During my short tenure with QVC, Justin has been nothing but supportive of my military career and my ARNG obligations, including both my normal drill schedule, some extended training, and a deployment. During these times Justin has been incredibly helpful, always going the extra mile to make sure I was treated fairly and that my reserve obligations were being respected - even when my absence significantly impacted our internal operations. In preparation for my extended leave of absence Justin worked with me and my vision for my team and helped develop future leaders to take my place in my absence and supported me in the last weeks as I transitioned towards active status. Justin is the kind of leader that understands that drill is not a 9-5 ordeal, and that service members may need some time off before or after a long and busy drill… Lastly, Justin has fostered a team environment so rich that he and my coworkers consistently check in on me while I complete my obligation.”
Borakove continued: “QVC has incredibly generous policies for Guard and Reserve service members. As I prepared to leave for extended orders, every leader in the chain showed me immense support and appreciation as well as significant understanding as to how important it was for me to fulfill my obligation. Reserve component troops are incredibly appreciated at QVC, and for their service to their country as well as the unique talent they bring to the table.”
Presenting the award on behalf of ESGR was Joseph Gentile, Pennsylvania East Central Area Chair. Gentile commented: “It’s critical and an honor to recognize and pay tribute to those employers that hire and support our Guard and Reserve forces. It would be difficult for those in the uniformed services to perform their mission without employer support.” Gentile added: “Today’s members of the Guard and Reserves are highly trained and skilled; they bring integrity, a global perspective and, proven leadership to the civilian workforce.”
In addition to presenting a Patriot Award, Gentile obtained a Statement of Support from Masellas. The Statement of Support confirms that the company joins other employers in pledging:
“Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units,” said Gentile. “I am asking all East Central Pennsylvania employers to take a look at their current human resources policies to incorporate policies supportive of Guard and Reserve employees.” Many Pennsylvania employers provide support above and beyond their legal requirements by law by offering pay-differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits, which complement coverage provided by the military, when their employees mobilize.”
QVC joins a cadre of Fortune 500 companies, state and federal, agencies and thousands of America’s employers in demonstrating support for our armed forces. Gentile added: “By signing the Statement of Support, the QVC 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, a Department of Defense office, 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. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.
For more information about ESGR Outreach Programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 1-800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.