From left: Jerry Bush, Northeast Tennessee ESGR Committee Vice Chair; Etta Clark, Eastman Vice President of Global Public Affairs & Policy; Todd Akard, Eastman Recruiter; CeeGee McCord, Eastman Director Global Public & Community Affairs; Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Mungenast, ESGR State Chair; Perry Stuckey, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Brandon Horne, Eastman Operator & EVETS Resource Group lead; Alex Green, Eastman Operator Apprentice
Eastman has received the Extraordinary Employer Support Award from the Department of Defense program, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). This is only the second time a company in Tennessee has been selected to receive this special recognition. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Mungenast, ESGR state chair, presented the award to Eastman in a Kingsport ceremony on Monday.
“I’m so pleased to recognize Eastman for its exemplary, continued support of its employees who serve our nation in the National Guard and Reserves,” said Mungenast. This award is a way to honor the leadership and employees of Eastman for continuing to create a welcoming and supportive environment for your active guard soldiers and reservists.”
“Success in our business takes discipline, courageous leadership, a bias for action, integrity, and a steadfast commitment to safety,” said Mark Costa, Eastman’s board chair and chief executive officer. “The military veterans, guard soldiers and reservists that we’re honored to have as Eastman team members represent those traits, and more. We don’t just value their service, we value what they bring to Eastman, and we’re honored and humbled to receive this award.”
ESGR’s Extraordinary Employer Support Award was created to recognize sustained employer support of National Guard and Reserve service. Only prior recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award or the Pro Patria Award, who have demonstrated sustained support for three years after receiving one of those awards, are eligible for consideration at the committee level. Subsequent awards may be given in three-year increments from the initial award.
“As an Eastman retired employee, who served all my 21-plus years in both the Army Reserves and National Guard, I can say from personal experience that Eastman has been and continues to truly be a military friendly company,” said Jerry Bush, Northeast Tennessee ESGR committee vice chair.
In 2008 Eastman received the Tennessee Pro Patria Award; and in 2013 was recognized nationally as one of 15 companies receiving the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
“We continue to achieve our growth strategy because of the excellent leadership of our innovative workforce that brings the best ideas to the table,” said Perry Stuckey, senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Veterans bring numerous and valuable skillsets to our company, and we have a great legacy from the significant contributions they’ve made to our organization. It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of all our Eastman team members across the nation, and to be recognized for our commitment to ensuring veterans and active duty guard soldiers and reservists are supported and feel welcomed in our company.”
Recently, Eastman also earned the 2018 Military Friendly® Employer and Top 10 Brand designations by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JobsSM, and Military Spouses.