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U.S. Department of Defense announces Hanson as ESGR Freedom Award reci

5/31/2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    
May 31, 2011

Contact: Amy Kay, Public Relations Coordinator
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
(217) 747-9283
akay@hanson-inc.com

Beth Sherman, ESGR 
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR)
(703) 696-1171, ext. 539
ESGR-PA@osd.mil

Lt. Col. Tim Franklin
Illinois Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
(217) 761-3642
tim.franklin@us.army.mil

U.S. Department of Defense announces Hanson as ESGR Freedom Award recipient

ARLINGTON, Va. - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) agency, announced the 15 recipients of the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award including Hanson Professional Services Inc. headquartered in Springfield, Ill. The Freedom Award is the DoD’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. The 15 employers stood out from a field of 4,049 nominations submitted by Guard and Reserve service members or their families.

“We are honored and humbled in being notified that Hanson was selected for a Freedom Award. Hanson has always fostered a supportive culture for our employees who serve in the military,” says Sergio “Satch” Pecori, president and CEO of Hanson Professional Services. “We want our employees serving in the military to know that their service is appreciated, that their families are being cared for at home during deployment, and that their jobs are waiting for them when they get back. As an employee-owned company, we believe it’s the right thing to do.”

“Hanson has gone well above what is required of an employer to create a supportive culture throughout the company that allows our Guardsmen and Reservists to serve with confidence, knowing that they are appreciated and that their families are being cared for at home,” says Dr. Michael Ayers, Illinois ESGR Field Committee Chair.  “Being chosen as a Freedom Award recipient is a tremendous achievement and honor that everyone at Hanson can be proud of and all of us should recognize and applaud.”

The 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients include:

- 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn.  
- Ameren Missouri, St. Louis, Mo.
- Burt County Sheriff’s Office, Tekamah, Neb.
- CSX Transportation, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Electrical Contractors Inc., Omaha, Neb.
- Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mich.
- Hanson Professional Services Inc., Springfield, Ill.
- Integrity Applications Incorporated, Chantilly, Va.
- Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana, Calif.
- Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa
- Qwest Communications, Denver, Colo. (acquired by CenturyLink Inc., Monroe, La.)
- St. John’s Lutheran Church, Yankton, S.D.
- State Employees’ Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C.
- Town of Gilbert, Gilbert, Ariz.
- Wells Fargo & Company, San Francisco, Calif.

Freedom Award recipients distinguish themselves by going to extraordinary lengths to support their military employees. These employers exceed what is required by law, putting into place formal and informal initiatives that include providing the difference between military and civilian salary during deployments, continuing full benefits, sending care packages and providing personal support to the families of employees called away from home.

"To stand out among the many thousands of employers who firmly support our Citizen Warriors is a testament to the remarkable efforts of these 15 recipients," says Dennis McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. "On behalf of the Department of Defense, I congratulate the 2011 honorees and thank them for serving as outstanding partners in our nation's defense."

On behalf of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. The 2011 honorees will be recognized in Washington, D.C., at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony on Sept. 22, 2011. Since 1996, only 145 employers have been presented with the Freedom Award. Last year’s recipients met privately with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates prior to the ceremony. 

About Hanson
Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, architecture, planning and allied services. The firm’s corporate headquarters is located at 1525 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL  62703.  The office may be reached by phone: (217) 788-2450 or fax: (217) 788-2503.

About ESGR and the Freedom Award
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR. ESGR was established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. 

For questions or interviews regarding the Freedom Award, please visit http://www.freedomaward.mil/ or contact Beth Sherman, ESGR Public Affairs, at 703-696-1171, ext. 539 or by email at ESGR-PA@osd.mil.

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