Retired Army Captain Ron Lindgren made a special visit to the Stoneridge Software headquarters on behalf of the Department of Defense, Secretary of the Defense and the Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), to present Stoneridge Software Chief People Officer Briana Scearcy with the Patriot Award.
Briana and Stoneridge Software coworkers were nominated to receive the prestigious award by Administrative Coordinator Heather Tichy, who serves in Charlie Company 334th Brigade Engineering Battalion, Army National Guard.
In explanation of the premise behind the Patriot Award, the ESGR states “Our Nation has relied heavily on Guard and Reserve Service members since entering continuous operations more than 14 years ago. Employer support enhances retention rates in the Armed Forces and, in the end, strengthens our national security. To recognize employers who support their Guard and Reserve employees, ESGR grants a series of Department of Defense awards.”
Heather relays that she wanted to do something to show how much she appreciated the support of her supervisor, company, and coworkers, both personally and in her obligation to military service. During the presentation, Lindgren explained that there are many applications submitted for the award, though there are very few individuals actually chosen to receive the designation by the ESGR committee. Heather’s nomination particularly stood out and was submitted as follows:
“I feel that my supervisor, and Stoneridge Software as a whole, goes above and beyond what is required of them. My husband and I both serve the MN Army National Guard, in the same unit and we are currently expecting our first child. There have been some concerns with the pregnancy and with extra doctor appointments impending, my supervisor and other co-workers have volunteered to go to appointments with me, knowing that my husband might not be able to attend all of them due to military classes that he has to attend. They’ve also been extremely flexible with my hours, not only to help better accommodate for doctor appointments, but to also give me a break after a long drill weekend, or give me the opportunity to make up hours that I miss because of drill. Also knowing when my husband is out of town, they’ve offered visits and help around the house. They are also very good about making sure that someone covers down for me when I’m on drill status so that I don’t have to play catch up when I get back and have already set in place an intern to help out when I’m at annual training later this year. This is by far the best place I have ever worked, and a large part of that is never having to worry about being penalized in any way for my military service.”
ESGR Award guidelines: The first in ESGR’s series of awards is the Patriot Award. An employee serving in the National Guard or Reserve, or the spouse of a Guard or Reserve member, may nominate individual supervisors and bosses for support provided directly to the nominating Service member and his or her family. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.
Patriot Awards are awarded to individual supervisors, not to an entire staff or organization as a whole, though Heather acknowledges her coworkers and organization as part of the nomination.