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Employers recognized for supporting Guard and Reserve

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Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell was among the businesses recognized during the June 14 Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) luncheon in Roswell. Pictured, left to right, are Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh; Maj. Gen. Kenneth Nava, adjutant general of New Mexico; Dr. Shawn Powell, president, ENMU-R; Sgt. James Edwards, ENMU-R; Mike Kakuska, vice chair, ESGR New Mexico; Maj. Elizabeth Castillo; and Maj. Paul Lauritzen, ESGR Program Support Specialist. (Submitted Photo)

The Roswell Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) on June 14 hosted an awards luncheon to honor Roswell area employers. The event was held at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. Over 60 employers and civic leaders attended the event. In addition to lunch, the employers also received a briefing on the purpose and activities of ESGR and awards were presented.

Guest speakers for the event included Maj. Gen. Kenneth Nava, adjutant general of New Mexico, and Mike Kakuska, vice chair, ESGR New Mexico.

ESGR is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR is staffed largely by volunteers.

The following employers were honored for having been nominated by their employee for the Freedom Award during the past year. The Freedom Award is the highest award given by ESGR. Employers compete in three categories — large, small and public sector. One in each category is selected as the top winner for New Mexico each year. Fifteen area employers were nominated this past year.

Employers recognized for this year included: Lee Adams, All American Cleaners; Irma Alicia Rascon, Alicia’s Headquarters; Dr. Shawn Powell, ENMU-R; Mike Moore, Krumland Auto Group; Melisa Loos, JCPenney; Maj. Gen. Jerry Grizzle, New Mexico Military Institute; Tina Sisneros, New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy; Chief Devin Graham, Roswell Fire Department; Mike Moore, Roswell Nissan; Chief Phillip Smith, Roswell Police Department; Rosy Rubio, Tobosa Development Corporation; Karla Murphy, U.S. Postal Service; and Michael Ivie, XTO Energy.

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The following supervisors were nominated by their National Guard/Reserve employees and were presented the prestigious Patriot Award, which is awarded to employers for providing exceptional support to an employee who is serving in the National Guard or Reserve. Listed are the nominees, their organizations and the nominators:

Robert Leyva, Admiral Beverage, SP4 Leonardo Ganados; Irma Alicia Rascon, Alicia’s Headquarters, SGT Migael Castillo; Melissa Loos, JCPenney, PFC Cassandra Sierra; Shane Adams, Roswell Fire Department, SFC Gary Saavedra; Felicia Juarez, Tobosa Development Corp., SP4 Tami Doone; Michelle Pruitt, Tobosa Development Corp., SP4 Tami Doone; Rosy Rubio, Tobosa Development Corp., SP4 Tami Doone; Karla Murphy, U.S. Postal Service, SP4 Tania Rodriquez; and Tim Taylor, Wagoner Farms, SP4 Anthony Hall.

Three individuals were presented the Seven Seals Award, given by ESGR to individuals or employers who have provided outstanding support in promoting the ESGR mission: Dr. Shawn Powell, ENMU-R; Sgt. James Edwards, ENMU-R; and Capt. Michelle Martin, NMMI.

All employers in attendance were presented and invited to sign a statement of support, representing their firm’s support of their employees’ service in the National Guard or Reserve.

The National Guard and Reserve comprise over half of the nation’s military support and local units and individuals have been deployed multiple times in the past several years.