Mandan, N.D., Dec. 2, 2020 – National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) has been awarded the Pro Patria Award by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the highest award that may be awarded by an ESGR State Committee, for their support of National Guard and Reserve employees. The award is presented annually and recognizes employers for their leadership and practices, including adopting personnel policies that make it easier for employees to participate in the Guard and Reserve.
NISC employee and National Guard member Hayley Larson nominated NISC for this award, as well as her manager, Cindy Levi, for the Patriot Award. The Patriot Award honors individual supervisors who support Guard or Reserve employees through a wide range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and more. NISC supervisor Rock McElwee also received the Patriot Award from ESGR in 2017. Both Cindy and NISC were recognized for their efforts during a Zoom award presentation on Dec. 1.
“The purpose of ESGR is to create a culture where all American employers support their Guard and Reserve employees,” said North Dakota ESGR State Chair Delton Steele. “It’s evident that culture is extremely important to NISC and we’re proud to be celebrating both Cindy and NISC for their outstanding support of their military employees.”
Prior to receiving the Pro Patria Award, NISC was also awarded the Above and Beyond Award for exceeding the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act by providing their Guard and Reserve employees additional, non-mandated benefits such as differential or full pay to offset lost wages, extended health benefits, and other similar benefits.
“After enlisting in the military, NISC assured me my position would be available after training,” said Larson. “They provided differential pay knowing my wages may be less. My team and supervisors wrote letters and sent care packages to me while I was away, and my team picked up extra work while I was gone. NISC did not need to be that supportive of my military goals, but they truly went above and beyond to support my call to serve.”
During the presentation, ESGR volunteers also stressed how vital employers are to national security. By supporting military employees, organizations play a role in protecting the nation, their state and their community.
“This award is so meaningful to our organization,” said NISC President and CEO Dan Wilbanks. “We’ve had a number of employees in the military over the years and we are more than happy to support them. Culture is the number one thing at NISC, and how you treat your employees and your community is so important. We are so proud of Cindy and her team for their hard work during Hayley’s leave and, of course, Hayley for her service to our country.”
ESGR is a Department of Defense program that develops and promotes supportive work environments for Service members in the Reserve Components through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. It also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers. Learn more at: www.ESGR.mil.