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Officials Announce Finalists for Employer Support Awards

May 21, 2013  | DaVita in the News
ARLINGTON, Va., May 21, 2013 – A board of military and civilian leaders has chosen 30 employers of National Guard and Reserve service members as finalists for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

Officials of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department office, announced the selections today.

The Freedom Award is the department's highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. The board selected the top 30 employers from a pool of 2,899 nominations submitted earlier this year by National Guard and Reserve service members.

Freedom Award finalists distinguish themselves by implementing formal policies and informal initiatives that go above and beyond in assisting and encouraging National Guard and Reserve service, ESGR officials said. The 2013 finalists offered such support as creating veteran mentoring programs for service members transitioning to civilian life, offering flexible scheduling to allow guardsmen and reservists to attend to military tasks during business hours, and hosting an internal website accessible to deployed employees and their families so they could more easily keep in touch and see messages of support from their co-workers, they added.

"The 2013 Freedom Award finalists demonstrate the type of outstanding support our National Guard and Reserve service members count on when answering the nation's call to serve," said ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz. "These employers recognize the valuable role they play in the lives of our citizen-warriors, and in supporting these men and women, the finalists have made a critical contribution to our national security. On behalf of ESGR and the DOD, I want to thank each of the 2013 finalists for their extraordinary support."

A national selection board of senior Defense Department officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select 15 Freedom Award recipients, which will be announced early this summer.

The 2013 recipients will be honored at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington, D.C., Sept. 26. Past recipients of the Freedom Award have met privately with the president and vice president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The finalists for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award are:

-- Albuquerque Fire Department, Albuquerque, N.M.;
-- ASAS/Tysol, Inc., Woodbury, Minn.;
-- Bank of America, Charlotte, N.C.;
-- C.W. Driver, Pasadena, Calif.;
-- Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio;
-- Centerline Mechanical LLC, Cave Creek, Ariz.;
-- Charles Crafts, Attorney At Law, Boise, Idaho;
-- City of Columbus, Ohio;
-- City of Prescott, Ariz.;
-- City of Shawnee, Kan.;
-- Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs, Colo.;
-- Compuware Corp., Detroit;
-- Cranston Public Schools, Cranston, R.I.;
-- DaVita, Inc., Denver;
-- Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, Tenn.;
-- Express Scripts, St. Louis;
-- Family Allergy & Asthma, Louisville, Ky.;
-- Hubcap Express, Fort Wayne, Ind.;
-- Humana, Louisville, Ky.;
-- JG Management Systems, Inc., Grand Junction, Colo.;
-- Los Angeles Fire Department;
-- Pape-Dawson Engineers, San Antonio;
-- Prairie Grove Consolidated School District 46, Crystal Lake, Ill.;
-- Richland County Sheriff's Department, Columbia, S.C.;
-- Safeway, Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.;
-- Steel Plate Fabricators, Knoxville, Tenn.;
-- U.S. Bank, Minneapolis;
-- U.S. Marshals Service, Eastern District of Louisiana, New Orleans;
-- Waste Management, Houston; and
-- Zions Bank, Salt Lake City.

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 175 employers have received the award.

ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service, advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between service members and employers.
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