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U.S. Department of Defense Organization Awards Summit Electric Supply Highest State Honor, Nominates for National Freedom Award

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The U.S. Department of Defense organization that supports civilian employment efforts of active duty soldiers, reservists and veterans, has selected Summit Electric Supply for its highest state honor, the “Pro Patria Award” (large company category) for demonstrating exceptional support for their employees who participate in the National Guard and Reserve.

The New Mexico chapter of the organization - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) - selected Summit from among 18 companies nominated for the award.

The recognition, coupled with Summit’s winning the “Above and Beyond Award,” led the group to nominate Summit for the prestigious national Freedom Award.

Only current or former military personnel can nominate companies for the state awards. It was the nomination of retired Army 1st Sgt. Daniel Sanchez, a veteran of the Gulf War who retired from the military in 2006, that touched the committee’s heart, said Gary Kaiser, ESGR member.

“When I was on my last deployment, they took good care of me and my concerns while being deployed, and I can say that takes a lot off of you,” Sanchez wrote. “They not only made up the difference on pay, but they held my position for me. Plus, Summit has 20 branches that have actively participated in sending care packages and phone cards for military personnel. The Web site speaks about the veterans, about how we took up the challenge of serving our country, and they value our service enough to invest in us and our future.”

Sanchez has worked at Summit since 1991. As he stated, Summit’s military friendly policies include holding soldiers’ positions and making up for any differential between their military pay and Summit salaries while they are deployed. The company also offers on-the-job training and promotes largely from within. These policies helped to garner the “Above and Beyond Award,” which is given in limited numbers to employers who go beyond the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act.

Summit President and CEO Victor R. Jury Jr. signed a statement of support for the Guard and Reserve last year, and Summit participated in a first-ever job fair sponsored by the ESGR specifically for military personnel last October in Santa Fe and another one in Las Cruces last month.

The awards ceremony will be held in Albuquerque March 4 at the Courtyard by Marriott. The state banquet will be in Hobbs on March 21.