Citing exemplary support for military service employees, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented its “Patriot” Award to three Ridge Tool Company (RIDGID®) supervisors during a ceremony April 4 at RIDGID headquarters in Elyria, Ohio.
Doug Corlett, Chuck Stephens and Steve Kovach of RIDGID were each presented the honor, meant to recognize outstanding employer support for service men and women of the U.S. National Guard and Reserve. ESGR, a U.S. Department of Defense operational committee that assists in resolving conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment, considers the award the first step in what may lead to higher levels of recognition at the local, state and national levels.
Approximately 50 people attended the ceremony, including a veteran representative of each military branch from the RIDGID staff.
“I worked for this company for three months prior to deployment to Afghanistan,” wrote U.S. Army Reserve National Guard Sgt. Travis P. Ackley, who nominated Corlett, his supervisor in the company’s Wrench Department. “I came back after my deployment and the company treated me like I never left. They gave me all my seniority, all of my raises; my full two-week vacation time paid and treated me like a member of the team.”
“Always supportive and I was hired based on my merit and military service,” added Staff Sgt. Eric C. Francis of the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserve in his nomination of Stephens, his supervisor in the company’s Customer Repair Department.
ESGR recognized Kovach, the company’s human resources manager, for his efforts in caring for his veteran employees.
“It makes us feel really proud that a company like yours supports us as you do,” said ESGR Ohio Employer Outreach Coordinator and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Chaker Fadel, who oversees a network of approximately 28,000 reserve and guardsmen working for 7,200 employers in the state.
The nominations now head for further review by Ohio’s ESGR operational committee in Columbus. Pending the outcome of the committee’s review, RIDGID may be eligible for future recognition, including ESGR’s “Above and Beyond,” Pro Patriot” and “Freedom” awards.
For more information about the ESGR, please visit www.esgr.mil.