Hanson receives 2011 ESGR Freedom Award


Sept. 23, 2011

Contact: Darrel Berry, Marketing Communications Manager
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
(217) 747-9291

Hanson receives 2011 ESGR Freedom Award

ESGR ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Hanson Professional Services Inc. was one of 15 employers honored Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C., by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve with a 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.  The Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to large, small and public-sector employers for their support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.  Only 145 companies have been presented the Freedom Award since it was first instituted in 1996. 

Hanson’s President and CEO Sergio “Satch” Pecori accepted the Freedom Award during a ceremony held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  Pecori and other award recipients also met privately with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon prior to the awards ceremony.  During this meeting, the award recipients presented Secretary Panetta with the first Statement of Support signed under his watch.

“We are honored and humbled to receive the distinguished ESGR Freedom Award.  It was a privilege to be among the 15 employers nationwide selected for this award.  As an employee-owned company, Hanson promotes and supports service to our country’s military and defense services.  We’re proud of our employees who have chosen to serve in our nation’s armed forces, and we’re committed to providing a supportive culture throughout our company that allows them to serve with confidence,” says Pecori.

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

  • 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Ameren Corp., St. Louis, Mo.
  • Burt County Sheriff’s Office, Tekamah, Neb.
  • CSX Transportation, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Electrical Contractors Inc., Omaha, Neb.
  • Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich.
  • Hanson Professional Services Inc., Springfield, Ill.
  • Integrity Applications Inc., 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 & Co., San Francisco, Calif.


According to the ESGR, since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 820,000 Guard and Reserve members have been activated, with almost one-half of the total U.S. military serving in the Guard and Reserve.  This year, more than 4,000 Guard and Reserve members nominated employers for their exceptional support.  Hanson was nominated for the Freedom Award by Maj. Craig Holan, a project manager at Hanson who served a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 with the Headquarters Support Company 766th Engineer Battalion Illinois National Guard.

In his nomination, Holan wrote, “Hanson has gone above and beyond what is asked of ESGR companies, from providing differential pay to general military support. However, Hanson’s greatest strengths are the moral support and confidence it gives us — the reservists who go and do our military jobs — feeling secure that our jobs and careers will be waiting for us upon return.”

Hanson’s supportive workplace environment has inspired others to enlist.  Eric Marks, an architectural and engineering intern at Hanson, recently joined the Illinois National Guard and will participate in officer training in Louisiana. 

“I joined the Air National Guard because I have always wanted to be a part of the U.S. military.  When I saw an officer’s position in the Civil Engineering Squadron, I thought it would be a perfect fit — allowing me to continue working at Hanson while serving my country,” says Marks.

Founded in 1954 by the late Walter E. Hanson, a U.S. Navy veteran, Hanson has employed many military service members, including those serving in Guard and Reserve units.  From World War II and the Vietnam War to Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, Hanson employees have served their country in various capacities.  According to Pecori, this has created a legacy of service, patriotism and pride at Hanson that has a positive impact on its employees, clients, communities and projects.

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 Hanson Professional Services Inc.
Known in the industry for its hands-on approach, Hanson Professional Services Inc. (Hanson) is a national, award-winning, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, architecture, planning and allied services.  Established in 1954, the firm employs more than 400 professionals – including engineers, architects, planners, land acquisition specialists, surveyors and scientists – in 22 offices nationwide, offering services throughout the U.S. and in more than 40 countries.  The firm provides services to public- and private-sector clients from seven strategic markets:  aviation; department of defense; energy and industry; government; infrastructure; railway; and telecommunications. To watch the acceptance video please click here.

About ESGR and the Freedom Award
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. 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 more information, please click here.


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