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Welcome to Colorado ESGR. Our purpose is to have an informative newsletter that will educate, inform, and promote service by and to ESGR while fulfilling our mission of supporting Employers, Guard/Reserve members, and COESGR Volunteers.
“Colorado Employers Move One Step Closer to Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award”
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, announced today that three Colorado employers have been selected as semifinalists for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the DoD to employers for exceptional support of their Guard and Reserve employees. This year, 133 semifinalists nationwide stood out among an impressive pool of 3,236 nominees. The Colorado employers named semifinalists are: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Broomfield; Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs; Infinity Systems Engineering, Colorado Springs.
Freedom Award nominations come directly from Guard and Reserve members, or family members acting on their behalf.
The Freedom Award provides service members with an opportunity to recognize employers for going above and beyond what is required by law. Employers chosen as semifinalists support their Guard and Reserve employees through a variety of formal and informal initiatives, including developing internal military support networks, providing full benefits to employees fulfilling their military obligations, caring for the families of deployed employees, and granting additional leave to Guard and Reserve employees preparing to leave for or return from deployments. "The employers selected as Freedom Award semifinalists have distinguished themselves for their support of their National Guard and Reserve employees, and are truly serving our Nation with their extraordinary commitment to these special employees," said ESGR National Chair James G. Rebholz. "Their efforts are to be applauded, and ESGR salutes these patriotic employers for their special care of their Guard and Reserve employees and their families while they serve our Nation in times of war and peace." ESGR will announce the 2012 Freedom Award finalists next month after a review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selects the 30 most supportive employers from among the 133 semifinalists. The 15 award recipients will be announced early this summer and honored in Washington, D.C. at the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on September 20, 2012.
Colorado’s ESGR Electronic Newsletter is published not only for the information and benefit of the members of the Colorado ESGR but most importantly to our Guard and Reserve members and their employers. The contents of this newsletter highlight activities and events conducted by Colorado ESGR. Send comments regarding this publication to the Newsletter Editor: James Garrett at firstname.lastname@example.org 1
Nominators of the three Colorado Semifinalists wrote about why their Employers are deserving of the Freedom Award.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Nominator - Keli Jones, TSgt, Colorado Air National Guard “This Colorado corporation of 3,500 employees has built one of the most supportive corporate cultures I have ever witnessed. Their efforts are truly exceptional and comprehensive. “In addition to supporting myself and other National Guard and Reserve members during times of deployment or military duty, BATC also has a Veterans Resource Group which continues to recognize and support our military. Some of the activities the VERG supported this year are: 1. 4/02/2011, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado – re-seed Four Mile Canyon 2. 10/23/2011, Volunteer worked Colorado Veterans Administration Wounded Warrior 5k run, City Park Denver 3. 11/11/2011, Veterans Day Flag Rising ceremony – BCH, Broomfield Colorado 4. 12/3/2011, “Adopt a soldier” Holiday packages packaging - Sacred Heart Church Boulder 5. Orchestrated raising $3,900 for Michael Dinsmore’s family as his son was critically injured in an IED incident. Also – we sent items overseas to the troops and cards to members who serve or have family who are currently serving.” Ball Aerospace and Technologies supported the mission of ESGR through their attendance at the Military and Veterans Employment Expo, in May 2011. The company operated a booth at the event, seeking to hire Guardsmen and Reservists for roles in the company. Ball Aerospace also completed six Statements of Support Supervisors earned three Patriot Awards. Pro Patria Award in 2011. Colorado Springs Utilities Nominator - Christopher Ortiz, Chief Petty Officer, Navy Reserve “Colorado Springs Utilities has always supported me and my reserve career. I have completed 12 years of annual training with additional training days here and there with no lack of support from my company. In addition to my annual training I have been deployed once for a full year. While on deployment, the company matched whatever the pay difference was going to be between my active duty pay and what I make as a civilian. They also paid me my 15 military leave days a year. The constant contact my company kept with my wife and I reassured us that they were there for us if we needed them for any reason. This re-enforced my belief that I would have my job when I returned. All of these factors help me be able to stay more focused on my deployment mission and not have to worry about the home front so much. It was reassuring knowing that if for some reason my military pay was less then my civilian pay, my employer would make up the difference. Knowing this meant our mortgage was going to get paid no matter what. Upon returning from my deployment, I was told a supervisor position came open while I was gone and they filled it in term until my return. They now will post the position so I may apply for the position as well. This position was held for 8 months just so I would have a fair chance at applying. The great support my employer has shown me and my family over the years has been a tremendous factor in me being able to complete 24 years of Naval service. There are no words that can express mine and my families thanks and appreciation for their support through the good and rough times. This nomination for the Freedom Award is just a small token of thanks for everything my employer has done for my family, fellow guardsmen, reservists and myself! I am proud to say I am a Navy veteran and a employee of Colorado Springs Utilities!!” Colorado Springs Utilities has been recognized with two Patriot Awards and earned the Colorado Committee Award in 2011. CSU was nominated for the Freedom Award in 2010 Completed nine Statements of Support.
Infinity Systems Inc. Nominator Scott Hollister - 2nd Lt, Air Force Reserve “Infinity Systems Engineering continues to show why they are the best company to work for as a reservist. They exceed the standards in benefits, military support and community involvement. The company provides the flexibility necessary to succeed in both the corporate realm and Reserve/Guard duty. Infinity takes pride in the knowledge and skills their Reserve/Guard employees bring to the table and actively supports those employees in making military duty a priority. Infinity constantly ensures employees are satisfied with the time allotted to fulfill their obligations to our country, and does an outstanding job of recognizing the efforts and sacrifices of those individuals and their families. Infinity continues to go above and beyond by supporting reservists and their families during extended periods of duty in ways unparalleled within the community. The generosity of Infinity always shocks those who hear of the unrivaled benefits and treatment given to military members. It is truly moving to see an American business come together to support their military members by making people the priority ahead of profits. Infinity truly makes its employees feel like a family and is beyond deserving of this honorable award and recognition.” Infinity has also been an active AFA community partner 5 of the last 6 years and sponsors members in the military affairs council and chamber of commerce who protect military priorities in Colorado Springs. Infinity has been the recipient of both the Above and Beyond award and Pro-Patria. Infinity was also nominated for the Patriot Award in 2010, and continues to receive recognition for their support and active role within the military community.
A complete list of Freedom Award semifinalists from each state is available at www.FreedomAward.mil under the Media Tab in the Press Releases section. About ESGR and the Freedom Award:
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. In the years since, 160 employers have been honoured with the award. Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. 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 questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, please contact Mandi Rumble, ESGR Public Affairs, at 571-372-0704 or by email at ESGR-PA@osd.mil.
Colorado Employers that hosted Guard and Reserve members to our Employer Awards Banquet who have served in Iraq/Afghanistan
Meet Sandra Shreve, one of our most active Senior Advisory Council members and a major contributor to our ESGR Statewide efforts. The Council members are top Colorado leaders who help, advise and counsel us in our efforts. The Council is crucial to our efforts to reach more employers, to get their support for our Guard and Reserve members , and to lead the way for all our employers, public and private, to recognize, value and support the military service of their employees. Sandra, retired after a 33 year career in education, has been an extraordinary member of the community serving on many boards, in leadership roles, and has been recognized with numerous awards. Her community service included President of the League of Women Voters of Denver, Chair of the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame, President of School Personnel Administrators, board member of the Spirituals Project, and a Trustee of the Denver Foundation.
Note: We featured all members of the Senior Advisory Council in the March newsletter issue but Ms Shreve’s picture was not available at that time.
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Walking for the Troops
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Mike Mobley, right, embarked March 24 from Highlands Ranch on a 2,000 mile, three-month journey to raise awareness to U.S military service and military families. Mobley has twin sons who are both enlisted. His son Matthew, who has served two tours in the U.S. Army is pictured at left, while his son Ryan, a marine, is currently deployed to Afghanistan on his fourth tour. Photo by Ryan Boldrey
Ryan Boldrey Staff Reporter Highlands Ranch Herald Phone: (303) 566-4104 www.ourhighlandsranchnews.com
Walking for the troops
By Ryan Boldrey | Posted: Sunday, March 25, 2012 10:00 am
Longtime Highlands Ranch resident Mike Mobley, a self-described young 58, is not the first person to decide to hike across America to raise awareness for a cause. Yet when the man who signs his emails as Forrest — in honor of Tom Hanks’ recognizable character who ran from coast to coast during one stretch of “Forrest Gump” — embarked on a 2,000-mile, three-month quest on foot March 24, he did it in honor of raising awareness for the United States military and military families all over. “I feel very fortunate to be able to do this,” said Mobley, who is carrying an iPod, his cell phone with a GPS, a laptop, bedroll and some food and clothes with him. “I want people to realize that there are still people overseas fighting for our freedoms and sacrificing everything.” Mobley, who has lived in Highlands Ranch since 1989, has twin sons who graduated Highlands Ranch High School in 2004 and enlisted in the Marines and Army immediately thereafter. With his sights set on seeing America from a new and different perspective, Mobley said he hopes to accomplish a lot more than just making it to his final destination of Camp Lejeune, N.C., before his son Ryan, a Marine, returns to the camp from his fourth deployment this June. He hopes to raise awareness to four nonprofit organizations that benefit veterans and he is accepting donations on his website, 100 percent of which will go directly to those organizations. Those nonprofits are Adaptive Adventures, The Fisher House Foundation, The Greatest Generations Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Project. Both Ryan, and his brother, Matthew, who has served two tours in the U.S. Army, have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have experienced Traumatic Brain Injuries while serving over the past eight years. Both have also been deployed multiple times and received clearance to return to action following their experiences with TBI. “As identical twins they were never apart until they went into the military and enlisted in separate branches,” Mobley said of his boys. “But the military has made them closer than they have ever been. Both were injured in 2007 within a couple months of one another and both returned to action.” As mentioned, Mobley is not just doing this for his sons, but for all military service members and families. “It’s because of those who have fought for our country in the past that I’m even able to take this walk,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine doing this in a foreign country. We are pretty fortunate here.” The Herald will be keeping tabs on Mobley’s trek over the next three months and following him on his journey with a series of features on him, his sons, his wife, and the organizations he is raising awareness for.
One can also track Mobley’s progress by visiting his blog on his website, www.operationherotrek.com
Mike Mobley is a volunteer with the Colorado Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
Article used by permission of Ryan Boldrey. 6
Colorado ESGR Notable Events
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HELPING OUR HEROES GET HIRED!
Thursday morning, April 19, 2012, Gregg Moss, 9NEWS, spoke with Rear Admiral Dick Young who heads up the program in Colorado. He talked further about the mission of the organization and upcoming employment expos.
Video: Helping our heroes get hired
KUSA - The overall unemployment rate for veterans is, on average, about 0.8 percent lower than the rate for non-veterans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but there have been some reports that this figure is much higher. Regardless, those who have served in the military often have a unique set of challenges. It's sometimes difficult for them to relate the skills they've developed in their military service to civilian life, and they may not have been in the job search mode in years, perhaps never. The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a local nonprofit organization that helps connect employers with veterans. Over 200 volunteers work all over the state visiting companies, getting their commitment to hire veterans and visit with veterans to be sure they know the laws governing their employment. (Written by Gregg Moss, KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
Vernon K. Crow, is an Ombudsman volunteer with the Colorado ESGR Committee. He shared an ESGR informational brief as well as his experiences with his Lions Club members.
I shared with them what I do as a volunteer for Service Members and Employers. Even though I have worked all volunteer areas of the Colorado ESGR, I mainly discussed my Ombudsman role. I shared a few stories with them, failures and successes. I also shared with them how I got started. When I was the Colorado Army National Guard's State Retention NCOIC (Non Commissioned Officer In Charge), I was told to get involved with ESGR. I knew who they were, what they did and I got involved. When I retired from the Army, I tried to leave the ESGR but the State Chairman would not accept that. About 10 years ago, I tried to drop out again and they placed me in an Alumni status. I asked what that meant and they said that they could still call on me at any time. They did, and now I have over 20 years with ESGR. I enjoy helping our Service Members and who knows how much longer I will be doing it. Hopefully many more. At 0200 hrs. I opened an Ombudsman case from the computer and started working it before this Lions Club meeting. I shared with them what I was needing to do for this case. Last club meeting, I reported to them that two days later the service member was receiving his promotion and the back pay he would have received. They were pleased to hear the successful conclusion. My pay is having a successful conclusion and both parties are working together.
Thank you Vern for those 20 plus years of service to ESGR!!
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MAY 2012 2011 Colorado ESGR Accomplishments
STAFF AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Pat O’Flaherty – Staff Director email@example.com 720.250.1176 Kathleen Dorram – Program Support Manager Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org 720.250.1195 FAX: 720.250.1199 Chandra Hance – Program Support Specialist email@example.com 720.250.1189 FAX: 720.250.1199
164 volunteers and growing 33 volunteers assigned to National Guard and Reserve Units 13 volunteers serve as Ombudsmen, mediating conflicts between employers and their employees in the military Colorado ESGR Volunteers:
COESGR Business Office 12200 East Briarwood Avenue, Suite 160 Centennial, Co 80112
State ESGR Chair
Richard E. Young, RADM, USN (Ret) firstname.lastname@example.org COLORADO ESGR DIRECTORS Military Outreach Mary Rathje email@example.com Joe Ely firstname.lastname@example.org Employer Outreach Bev Skinner email@example.com Dave Pruett - Co-Director PruettDE@comcast.net Ombudsmen Bill Belz firstname.lastname@example.org Gary Brown
State ESGR Vice Chair
Tom Mills, Brigadier General, CONG (Ret). email@example.com EMPLOYER OUTREACH AREA CHAIRS Boulder/Longmont Vacant Colorado Springs Mark Hustedt firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Miller email@example.com Cortez Area Robert Valencia firstname.lastname@example.org Denver Area South Paula Kauffman email@example.com Denver Area North Michael Mitchel firstname.lastname@example.org Douglas County Area Lorin Ricker Lorin@RickerNet.us Estes Park Area Chair Gary Brown
Briefed 1,586 employers and 13,476 service members Mediated 69 cases Completed 12,600 volunteer hours
National Site News and Information Join Facebook and Twitter and become a friend of Colorado ESGR
Training Lynn Albi email@example.com
NEWSLETTER EDITOR James Garrett firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Programs Kip Cheroutes kcheroutes@ Emgacommunications.com National Guard Liaison Robert Balster, BrigGen,USA email@example.com Public Affairs Iris Fontera IFontera@aol.com Kelly Mazezka - Deputy Kelly@kellymaze.com Employer Initiative Program Dir ector
Click for Tutorial Video on Using H2H
Fort Collins Vacant Grand Junction Lou Brackett firstname.lastname@example.org Pueblo Harry Vogel email@example.com
Brad Gallup Brad@Cable-Safe.com 8
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