LHI was recently awarded the 2010 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. LHI was among 15 award winners in the country, chosen from a field of more than 2,500 nominees.
Founder and CEO of LHI, Don Weber, was presented with the award at a formal ceremony in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
"As an organization, we decided long ago that no employee of LHI who is called to active duty should ever have to worry about their job back home," explained Weber. "We want them to know we are behind them 100 percent, that their seniority, salary and benefits will not be compromised in any way while they are in service to our country. Simply put, we do it because it is the right thing to do."
Weber recognized employees for their role in creating a corporate atmosphere that sets a national standard for the respect and honor due to Service men and women. "This national award is directly attributed to the hard work and the vibrant corporate culture at LHI, which inspires us to give back to the men and women of the military in exchange for their tireless sacrifice."
The national award comes in the wake of ESGR state awards. LHI was one of nine recipients of the Wisconsin "Above and Beyond" awards as well as the top prize winner in the state with the "Pro Patria" award. Both were presented to LHI this spring. Weber addressed the crowd at the Wisconsin ESGR award ceremony, encouraging other employers to embrace the call to support Service members who are called to active duty. "The cost of freedom cannot be borne entirely by our soldiers. The debt must be carried by all of us," he explained. "We have the power to ensure that they can focus on war when they are warriors, peace when they are peacemakers, and civilian life when they are civilians."
More than 2,500 Guard and Reserve members, or their family members, from across the country nominated employers for exceptional support, which included providing full salary, continuation of benefits, care packages and even family support to employees fulfilling their military obligation. On behalf of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a National Selection Board comprised of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior Freedom Award recipients selected the 2010 Freedom Award honorees.