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SCC Is Recognized as a “Patriotic Employer”

A 42A Human Resources Specialist in the military, Danielle de Asis has found an abundance of support in her civilian job as HR generalist at the Southern California Conference (SCC). From hiring her knowing she would need to take regular leave for drill and training, to expressing “excitement at having a soldier on board,” she noted, there have been many ways de Asis has received the message that she is a valuable part of the organization.

Each honoree received a patriot award lapel pin with both the American flag and ESGR flag. Cress is seen here receiving his pin from de Asis.
Each honoree received a patriot award lapel pin with both the American flag and ESGR flag. Cress is seen here receiving his pin from de Asis.

So this March, de Asis arranged to have personalized awards delivered from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and presented to Iris Chuah, HR director; Deanna Simeone, HR assistant director; John H. Cress, executive secretary; and Velino A. Salazar, president.

Salazar shares how honored and humbled SCC is to have received this recognition.
Salazar shares how honored and humbled SCC is to have received this recognition.

ESGR is a Department of Defense program created in 1972 that, according to its mission statement, “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.”

“I realize that employers cannot deny my leave, but for it to be done with a very patriotic and positive spirit is not a legal requirement,” de Asis pointed out. “The conference—specifically Elder Salazar, Elder Cress, Iris, and Deanna—has gone beyond what the law requires of them.”

“SCC is blessed to have Danielle doing ministry for this religious organization at the same time that she serves our country in the National Guard and Reserve Force,” Salazar said. “Since we recognize the great value of this military officer, we have been open to make accommodations for her to serve our country as well.” 

ESGR volunteer and WWII veteran Ernest Cowell presents the last award to the president as SCC office staff look on.
ESGR volunteer and WWII veteran Ernest Cowell presents the last award to the president as SCC office staff look on.

The awards ceremony was meticulously planned, but it was a surprise for the honorees. “I was caught off guard and delighted that Danielle would go to such lengths to arrange for a ceremony to recognize our conference for hiring her and supporting the National Guard and Reserve Force,” Chuah said. “She looked gorgeous in her uniform. We are so proud of her!”

Office staff gathered in the lobby as the awards were personally presented and their meaning was shared. “There is much significance for the conference to be acknowledged as a patriotic employer by this government agency,” Chuah continued. “From the HR perspective, it means that we earnestly support our employees who are on the National Guard and Reserve Force when they need to take time off from their work for field training to prepare themselves in the national security and protection of our country. And we are glad to do our part for America.”

According to the ESGR website, “These citizen warriors could not defend and protect us at home and abroad without the continued promise of meaningful civilian employment for themselves and their families.”

As de Asis put it, “It is heartwarming to be in a team that sees you as an asset.”