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Luncheon honors organizations for supporting military troops

7/11/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of the Northeast Ohio Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
NORTHEAST OHIO — Recently, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense, hosted its “Briefing With the Boss” luncheon, which was attended by more than 110 employers from more than 50 businesses and institutions in Northeast Ohio, according to ESGR officials.

Master of Ceremonies Lt. Col. Chaker Fadel, the employer outreach coordinator for the Northeast Ohio ESGR, thanked and acknowledged the employers in attendance. The purpose of the luncheon was to both honor employers who hire Guard and Reserve members and to educate employers looking to do so.

Along with local business leaders, representatives from Barberton, Bath, Copley, Fairlawn, Lakewood, Medina and Stow were in attendance. Representatives from U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci’s (R-District 16) office and the Summit County Executive’s Office also attended.

“Look around the room. These employers are examples of true patriotism as they support and encourage their military personnel,” said Fadel. “As business people, you all know the challenges of managing your company, but there’s an added challenge when reservists are employed by the civilian work force. We certainly appreciate all of your cooperation and flexibility when working around the schedules of your military employees.”

The lunch program consisted of several guest speakers, including Christy Scott, of the Ohio Committee for the ESGR, who discussed what the ESGR is and how employers can play a role for Guard and Reserve members; Col. Joseph Sheehan, a reservist for the U.S. Marine Corps and employee of Lockeed Martin, who shared the story of his deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, shown above; and Capt. Erik Hewitt, of the Ohio Army National Guard and employee of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., who told of his time in Afghanistan.

During the event, Fadel presented a Patriot Award to Gerald Alessia, of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., for his outstanding support of his reservist, Hewitt.

Guest speakers also included Rita Stahl, from the Troop and Family Assistant Center; Melissa Wise, from the Regional Inter-Service Family Assistant Committee; and Ret. Col. Bob Labadie, from the Hero 2 Hired Program, which helps veterans and those in the Guard and Reserve find jobs, as well as assists employers looking for those types of employees.

For more information about the ESGR, visit www.esgr.org.

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