Des Moines, IA (April 14th, 2012) – Den Hartog Industries, Inc., a small business employer has received the 2012 ‘Pro Patria’ Award – the highest award in the State of Iowa – for their support of employees who serve in National Guard and Reserve military units. The ‘Pro Patria’ Award is presented each year by the Iowa Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (Iowa ESGR). John G. Den Hartog, President of Den Hartog Industries, his wife Jeanne Den Hartog along with Den Hartog Industries’ employee, Shawn Broesder and his wife, Jessica, were present at an April 14th ceremony in Des Moines, IA where the award was presented.
According to Iowa ESGR State Chairman Dick Rue, “Den Hartog Industries, Inc. has demonstrated extraordinary support for their military employee and his family and we are proud to present the Pro Patria Award in recognition of their efforts.”
Shawn Broesder, nominator, started his employment with Den Hartog Industries, Inc. in April of 2004. In 2005 Shawn left for duty with the Army National Guard Reserves, upon their return the unit became known for spending the most consecutive days in Iraq for one tour. Less than four years later Shawn entered himself into another challenging, yet rewarding, situation. Shawn’s latest journey included training newer soldiers of the 2168th Transportation Company based out of Sheldon. His duty was to train the soldiers the tasks and drills needed prior to going overseas. In August of 2010 they were deployed to Camp Shelby Mississippi for another month of training, followed by additional exercises in the Mojave Desert in California before their ultimate departure to Bagram, Afghanistan.
“Coming home to such a great environment is crucial to readjusting to civilian life. Den Hartog Industries is not just an employer to me, but more of a family” – Shawn Broesder
Civilian military members in the Guard and Reserve have their employment protected under Federal Law. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides guidance on the rights and obligations of employees and employers with respect to military service. The Iowa ESGR annual awards are presented to employers who exceed the USERRA Requirements. Kooima Company of Rock Valley and Spencer Municipal Hospital were the only two other Northwest Iowa companies to be recognized.
Each year, the Iowa ESGR selects the top employers from among those nominated by military employees to receive ‘Above & Beyond’ Awards. Twenty-three employers were selected to receive the 2012 ‘Above & Beyond’ Awards. These awards recognize employers that have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting leave and providing support for military duty by their employees.
From these ‘Above & Beyond’ recipients, the ESGR selects three to receive the ‘Pro Patria’ Award. The ‘Pro Patria’ Award is presented annually by the state ESGR committee to one small employer, one large employer, and one public employer that has provided the most exceptional support of our national defense through leadership practices and personnel policies that support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
“Today, 1.2 million Americans serve in the Guard and Reserve representing nearly one half of the nation’s military force,” Rue added. “The extended nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has put added pressure on soldiers, their families, and employers. Employers like Den Hartog Industries, Inc. that take extraordinary steps to support employees in the military service earn the respect of their military employees and families, and these employers deserve the recognition and respect of the country.”
The Department of Defense established Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve in 1972. The mission of ESGR is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation, and if necessary mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees. Made up largely of volunteers, the ESGR has 150 volunteer members across Iowa.
Den Hartog Industries Inc. is a leading plastics and livestock equipment manufacturer located in Northwest Iowa and a nationwide distributor of Ace Roto-Mold, Injection Molding, Blow Molding and Sowjoy products. Den Hartog Industries has six employees who are or were actively involved with the Army National Guard and to show their gratitude, DHI will continue to follow their policies and procedures and programs that are ‘Above and Beyond’ what is required by the law and serves as an advocate for employee service in the National Guard and Reserve. Den Hartog Industries is a second-generation, family owned business that is committed to being “Always at your Service.” www.denhartogindustries.com