December 2009-January 2010

Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Don’t forget media OASD-RA McCarthy speaks to Illinois Chamber in event planning Discusses key role
Whenever you are planning a Statement of Support signing, Patriot Award presentation, Briefing With the Boss or other event, don’t forget to include the local press. Sending out a short media advisory or making a call to local media ahead of time could pay big dividends by having press show up to cover your event. If the press come out to cover the event, you should still have someone on hand to take photos and send out a press release with pictures afterward, especially in smaller media markets where the chance of coverage is greater. If you aren’t sure how to write a press release or what makes a good photograph, contact Illinois ESGR Public Affairs Chair, Mike Holub, or Executive Director, Lt. Col. Tim Franklin for tips or help.

of employers in Guard, Reserve success

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Dennis McCarthy visited Chicago Dec. 11 as the guest speaker for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Luncheon at the Mid-America Club. McCarthy spoke to Illinois Chamber board members about the importance of supportive employers to National Guard and Reserve members who serve their nation. He also talked about the sacrifices these employers make on behalf of their employees who serve in uniform and challenges that have emerged because of more frequent deployments due to the transition of the Guard and Reserve from a “strategic” reserve to an “operational” reserve.

GUEST SPEAKER: Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Dennis McCarthy, spoke to members of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at the board’s December 11 meeting and luncheon in Chicago.

Three Illinois companies AT&T Illinois, Leo Burnett, and Motorola - signed corporate Statements of Support at the Illinois Chamber luncheon.

“At the Department of Defense we know that employer support is critical to our national security,” McCarthy told the group. see OASD-RA, page 3

Illinois ESGR holds Annual Training Conference, Employer Awards Banquet in Peoria Jan. 15-16
PRESS COVERAGE: Include the local media in your ESGR event planning. Getting press coverage helps tell our story to a wider audience.

Inside this issue:
Message from the State Chair Whitey’s gets Above & Beyond BNSF given Seven Seals Award Sangamon County Recognized 2 6 7 8 ANNUAL EMPLOYER AWARDS BANQUET: Members and guests stand at attention as the 182nd Airlift Wing Color Guard, Illinois Air National Guard, posts the colors to open the 2010 Illinois ESGR Annual Employer Awards Banquet held at the Hotel Pere Marquette in Peoria Jan. 15.

The Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve gathered at the Hotel Marquette Jan. 15-16 for its Annual Training Conference and Employer Awards Banquet. The annual conference and banquet gave Illinois Committee leaders and volunteers the chance to get together and refocus on the mission and goals of ESGR, while recognizing the outstanding employers in Illinois over the past year. The conference kicked off the morning of Jan. 15 with a welcome from Field Chair, Michael Ayers, and remarks from acting ESGR Executive Director, Pauline Brunelli. see APAC, pages 4-5

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Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Message from the State Chair ...
Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE State Chair Michael Ayers Employer Outreach Terri Bergagna Military Outreach Terry McCollom Ombudsman Director Ron Bacci Awards Gloria Guy Public Affairs Michael Holub North West Chair William Glynn North Central Chair Terry McCollom Central East Chair Tom Murgatroyd South East Chair Dayton Loyd South West Chair Clyde Jones Central West Chair John Sheedy North West Chair Rick Pollack FULL-TIME STAFF Executive Director LTC Tim Franklin 217-761-3642 tim.franklin@us.army.mil Program Assistants Jean Collier 217-761-3971 jean.collier@us.army.mil Christina Dibble 708-824-6010 christina.rivera@us.army.mil MAILING ADDRESS Illinois ESGR 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. Springfield, IL 62702

I would like to thank everyone who was able to attend our Annual Training Conference and Employer Awards Banquet in Peoria January 15 and 16. The strong attendance and participation was noted by our guests from National ESGR office. We were honored to have NCESGR Acting Executive Director, Polli Brunelli, along with other members of the national staff. We were also honored by our two major speakers, RADM Steven Day, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, and Col. Scott Thoele, Commander, 33rd Brigade Combat Team. They each reminded us of the importance of our committee’s work. For those who attended, I hope you found the sessions and networking opportunities with colleagues worthwhile. The sessions were focused on the need to work together to meet the goals and objectives set both by the National Committee and ourselves. With the over 3,000 returning National Guard and reserve component members having returned from deployments, the pace of our work has picked up a bit. Thanks to each of you, we have met the time and work demands. Thanks to the Ombudsman volunteers for working and closing cases in good time. Thanks to those who have provided valuable work and participating in Yellow Ribbon Ceremonies and other reintegration briefings and support efforts. Your continued participation as an ESGR volunteer is a key to those efforts. Because of you and thousands of volunteers like you across the country ESGR is able to reach out to tens of thousands of employers in building a network of support for the men and women of the Guard and Reserve.

As noted during the Annual Training Conference, we have some ambitious, but achievable goals for the coming year. Those are:  Increasing the number of signed Statements of Support by 20 percent. Some continuing dialogue with NCESGR leadership will be necessary to ensure the numeric goal set for us, 1,482 signed SOSs from Civilian Employer Inventory (CEI) database listed employers is the right goal.  Contact and brief 100 percent of National Guard and Reserve units in Illinois.  Close or refer Ombudsman cases within 14 days.  Recruit 21 new volunteers onto the Illinois Committee. Again, these are ambitious, but achievable, goals. We have a great leadership team in place that is focused on motivating, engaging and recognizing area volunteers to meet these new goals. Please know the area and functional chairs, full-time support staff and I are all there to help provide you with the tools, training and other support you need to reach the milestones we’ve set. Don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the leadership for the support you need. At a January 14 face-toface meeting in Peoria, the Executive Committee discussed the possibility of conducting a second training conference during the year. This conference would be called to review and discuss implications of a soon-to-be approved new NCESGR Strategic Plan. The NCESGR leadership has been working to complete the new plan for some time. It is our understanding that a new, broader mission is contained in the plan. This new mission will bring with it some new/ revised objectives that will
Michael Ayers State Chair, Illinois ESGR

have implications to the work we do. Because of this anticipated change in emphasis, it was decided we should bring us all back together to decide how our plans and operations as a state committee may be changed. We will keep you posted as we examine the feasibility of second meeting. Lastly, I want to note NCESGR is conducting a series of Volunteer Leadership Training Program courses this year in a variety of functional areas. New this year, we are able to nominate select volunteers as “emerging leaders” to attend these courses. If you would like to take on a leadership role at some point with our state committee, please let your area chair know. When the course and registration schedule is finalized, we will distribute the information and identify those to be sent to the training from our committee. As always, thank you for all you do for ESGR to support the men and women of the National Guard and Reserves and the Illinois employers for whom they work. I am honored to be your State Chair and truly appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm you bring to the job.

Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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OASD-RA: Continued from page 1 “By signing a Statement of Support, they are publicly acknowledging the continued importance of service in the National Guard and Reserve,” McCarthy added. While the AT&T and Leo Burnett SOS signings were new, the one by Motorola was a reaffirmation of a previous signing made by the Illinoisbased company. “The support of employers is critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the National Guard and Reserve,” commented ESGR National Chair, James Rebholz. “Our Guardsmen and Reservists would not be able to continue to serve in uniform if not for the continuing support of great employers like AT&T Illinois, Leo Burnett and Motorola.” While a Statement of Support is not a binding document, it is an important acknowledgement by an employer that:  They recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA);  Their managers and supervisors will have the information and tools they need to effectively manage their Guard and Reserve employees.  They recognize and support their service members who serve in uniform in the National Guard and Reserve.

AT&T SOS SIGNING: James Rebholz, ESGR National Chair (standing left), and Dennis McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs (right), look on as Patrick Venetucci, President of AT&T Illinois, signs an ESGR Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve.

WELCOMING REMARKS: Chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Calvin Butler (above), introduces the Dennis McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, to the Illinois Chamber’s Board of Directors luncheon at Chicago’s Mid America Club Dec. 11, 2009. McCarthy was the featured speaker at the luncheon.

PHOTO CENTER: Illinois Chamber Board Treasurer, Bill Beck, asks a question following remarks by Assistant Secretary Dennis McCarthy. PHOTO LEFT: Darcy Davidsmeyer of Motorola accepts a Statement of Support wall display from Dennis McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Dennis McCarthy.

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Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

APAC: Continued from page 1 Training on day one of the conference included a NCESGR update from Regional Deputy Director for Central Region, Lt. Col. Eric Hill, as well as an overview on USERRA trends from Joel Samaroo, Central Region National Case Manager. The evening of Jan. 15 Illinois ESGR Committee members, military and civilian guests honored the top Illinois employers for 2010 at the Annual Employer Awards Banquet. The committee recognized three employers with the Pro Patria Award, the highest state level ESGR Award. Pro Patria Award winners for 2010 were Brinks Hofer, Gilson and Lione; Chicago Fire Department; and Northrop Grumman Information Systems. Employers receiving the Above and Beyond Award were Alfred Benesch and Company; American Buildings; Belleville Memorial Hospital; Berthold Electric; Health Care Service Corporation; Insure.com; Joel Berman Architechture and Design; LaGrange Police Department; Merck and Company; Motorola; Office Max; Packer Engineering; Palatine Police Department; Village of Midlothian; Winnebago

BANQUET PROGRAM: Brig. Gen. Robert Pratt (right), Illinois Army National Guard, and other banquet guests listen to guest speaker, Col. Scott Thoele, 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team Commander, talk about his experiences as brigade commander during the unit’s recent deployment to Afghanistan where Illinois Guard Soldiers served as trainers and mentors to Afghan National Security Forces .

Sheriff’s Department; and Illinois State Police. The training conference resumed the morning of Jan. 16 with new member orientation and a presentation by Gary Cyr of National Guard Bureau on using the Civilian Employer Inventory (CEI) database to maximize employer outreach activities.

PHOTO ABOVE: Terry McCollom trains volunteers on the ESGR Military Outreach Program during round-robin training sessions. PHOTO RIGHT: Acting Executive Director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Pauline Brunelli speaks to members of the Illinois ESGR Committee at the 2010 Annual Training Conference.

Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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PHOTO ABOVE: Bruce Weisseg of the law firm Brinks Hofer, Gilson and Lione makes remarks after accepting the ESGR Pro Patria Award at the 2010 Illinois ESGR Annual Employer Awards Banquet in Peoria Jan. 15. The Chicago firm was one of three Pro Patria Award winners honored by the Illinois committee for outstanding support to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. PHOTO LEFT: Col. Scott Thoele talks about his experiences in Afghanistan as commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix VIII. Thoele prepared and led more than 3,500 33rd IBCT Soldiers on their mission to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The mobilization and deployment of the Illinois Army National Guard infantry brigade was the largest call-up of Illinois Guard troops since World War II. Eighteen Illinois Guard Soldiers lost their lives in support of the OEF mission.

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Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Statement of Support Signings

Moline company given Above and Beyond for troop support
FT. BLISS, Texas – The Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve recently presented Whitey’s Ice Cream of Moline with an ESGR Above and Beyond Award in recognition of the ice cream company’s support to our men and women in uniform. “The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers who provide outstanding support and cooperation to members of the Armed Services, who like the Minutemen before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve.”
Michael Ayers Illinois ESGR Field Chair

DEKALB WAL-MART SIGNS SOS: Illinois ESGR North West Area Chair, Rick Pollack (left), looks on as Sean Hamer, manager of the DeKalb Wal-Mart, signs a Statement of Support for the men and women who serve in uniform in our nation’s National Guard and Reserve. The Statement of Support program is a way for employers to publicly acknowledge their Guard and Reserve employees.

“The Above and Beyond Award recognizes employers who provide outstanding support and cooperation to members of the Armed Services, who like the Minutemen before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Michael Ayers, Illinois ESGR Field Chair “Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve.” Whitey’s owners Jon and Jeff Tunberg donated a refrigerated rail car of their distinctive “camouflage” ice cream to Texas Army National Guard Soldiers training for mobilization at Fort Bliss, Texas. Illinois ESGR Executive Committee member, Tom Murgatroyd, presented the Above and Beyond Award to the Tunbergs at Ft. Bliss Nov. 20, 2009 in recognition of their support for the Soldiers training their in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

3M SIGNS SOS: Manager of the DeKalb 3M plant, Jim Bohlig, signs a Statement of Support Jan. 13 as a way to show support for the plant’s employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Because the National Guard and Reserve make up more than half of our nation’s military strength and capability, the continued support of employers like 3M is critical to our security here at home and around the world.

ABOVE AND BEYOND AWARD: Tom Murgatroyd (right), Illinois ESGR Executive Committee member and Central East Area Chair, presented Whitey’s Ice Cream owners Jon and Jeff Tunberg with the ESGR Above and Beyond Award during a Texas ESGR Bosslift event held at Fort Bliss in November 2009. The Tunbergs donated a rail car of camouflage ice cream to Texas Guardsmen training at Ft. Bliss for a deployment to Afghanistan.

Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

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BNSF given ESGR Seven Seals for support to families
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe received the ESGR Seven Seals Award during the holiday season for their support to military families with a special train ride on their Holiday Express. The Holiday Express is a unique vintage passenger train that BNSF runs each year to pay tribute to members of the Armed Forces and honor the sacrifices they and their families make in the service of our nation. In addition to being treated to a winter wonderland train ride through the Illinois countryside, military kids on the Holiday Express had a visit by Santa Claus during the trip. A winner of the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award, BNSF has demonstrated its commitment to its Guard and Reserve employees by going above and beyond the requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
SEVEN SEALS AWARD PRESENTATION: Illinois ESGR Employer Outreach Chair, Terri Bergagna, presents the ESGR Seven Seals Award to Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad officials Andrew Johnson (center) and Paul Nowicki (right) in Galesburg following the BNSF Holiday Express train trip for Illinois military families Dec. 8, 2009. In addition to treating the families to the special holiday train ride, 2009, BNSF presented a $10,000 check to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund. The award of the Seven Seals recognized the railroad’s support to Guard and Reserve members and their families.

Patriot Award Presentation

PATRIOT AWARD: Illinois ESGR Central West Area Chair, Jay Sheedy (right) presented a Patriotic Employer Award at State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Nov. 4, 2009. The Patriot Award went to Misty Vance, Director of Creative Services for State Farm. Vance was nominated for the ESGR award by an Illinois Air National Guard member from the 183d Fighter Wing in Springfield. Willie Brown (left), State Farm vice president, as well as 183rd FW Commander, Col. Mike Meyer (not pictured) also participated in the presentation.

SUPPORTIVE EMPLOYER: Illinois ESGR North East Area Chair, Bill Glynn, presented two Patriotic Employer Awards Nov. 13, 2009 to Shirley Marx and her son, David Marx, of New World Van Lines. They were nominated for the awards because of their support of the National Guard and Reserve members who work for the company based on the northwest side of Chicago.

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Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

AWARDS PRESENTATION: Illinois Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. William Enyart (left) looks on as Michael Ayers (right), Field Committee Chair, Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented Andy Van Meter, Sangamon County Board Chairman, with ESGR Patriotic Employer and Seven Seals awards at the Jan. 12 Sangamon County Board meeting. Sangamon County was nominated for the Patriot Award by Col. Anthony Libri, Illinois Army National Guard, who deployed to Afghanistan in 2008-09 with the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Based on Libri’s nomination, the Illinois ESGR Committee determined award of the Seven Seals to the country board was also appropriate. Van Meter also signed an ESGR Statement of Support of the Guard and Reserve on behalf of the county board. Photo by Staff Sgt. April Hawes, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office

Why logging your ESGR activities is important
There is a saying that goes, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Logging and reporting your volunteer ESGR activities is something like that saying. You can be doing all kinds of things with employers and service members, but unless you complete the process by reporting your activities so that information makes it up to the National ESGR Committee, we don’t receive credit for the great work you are doing. Why is this important? Because the work you do for ESGR, whether it’s getting employers to sign Statements of Support, presenting Patriot Awards, briefing Guard and Reserve units, or any of our other activities ultimately contributes our funding bottom line. As a committee, we report our activities to ESGR National at the end of each quarter of the fiscal year. Those metrics are used in deter-

VOLUNTEER REPORTING: Keeping track of and reporting your volunteer activities is a key component in helping justify more funding for the Illinois ESGR Committee.

mining how much funding we receive for the next fiscal year. The more we do, the more money we receive -but only if National knows about it. If you aren’t sure what information you should be reporting, contact Christina Dibble of the full-time support staff, who can help you. She can be reached at (708) 824-6010 or christina.rivera@us.army.mil.
FIRST LIGHT USA RECEIVES PATRIOT AWARD: Tom Murgatroyd (left), llinois ESGR Central East Area Chair, recently presented Jeremy Ross, Chief Executive Officer, First Light USA, Seymour, with the Patriotic Employer Award for his support of members of his workforce who serve in the Guard and Reserve. Ross was nominated for the award by James Nayonis (right), who serves as a Sergeant 1st Class with the Illinois Army National Guard.

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