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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2012

Restaurants Show Their Support for Veterans
Wisconsin National Guard Blackhawk helicopter lands at WRA Board of Directors meeting on June 25

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) supports veterans and encourages all restaurants in Wisconsin to offer their support as well. WRA is urging restaurants in Wisconsin to sign and display an official Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve.

“Unemployment is at record levels for returning veterans,” says Dick Vallin, State Chair of the Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). “Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.  I am asking all Wisconsin employers to review and amend their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act Law (USERRA).

Over 40 restaurant owners and suppliers were in attendance on Monday, June 25th at 11:30 a.m. when Brigadier General Scott D. Legwold of the Wisconsin National Guard and Mr. Vallin arrived via Wisconsin National Guard Blackhawk helicopter at the Heartwood Conference Center & Retreat at N10884 Hoinville Road in Trego, Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Board of Directors held its quarterly Board of Directors meeting. The restaurant owners and suppliers had the opportunity to have a photo taken with the Brigadier General and Mr. Vallin.

“I urge restaurants in Wisconsin to sign the Statement of Support and commit to meeting the criteria as a way to offer their support for Guard and Reserve employees who continue to answer their nation’s call to defend our way of life,” says Ed Lump, President & CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. “The restaurant industry is the largest private sector employer in the state, so we feel our Association can make a difference by encouraging restaurants and foodservice businesses in Wisconsin to offer their support to veterans.”

The ESGR Statement of Support program is an effort to gain and maintain employer support for the guard and reserve. The intent of the program is to encourage employers to consider hiring veterans and to support employee participation in the military.

“Veterans have many skills that they have developed in the military that directly translate to being great employees,” says Lynn McDonough, Chairman of the WRA Board of Directors and owner of Connell’s Restaurants in Eau Claire. “In some instances, you have veterans who are experienced at working in foodservice on ships or in training facilities where they are responsible for making 4,000 meals a day. I had the opportunity to cater meals to troops at a National Guard facility as they were preparing to leave for Iraq in 2005. I served breakfast, lunch and dinner for about 240 people at a time for over 2 months and I can tell you logistics and efficiency are key! My father and my five uncles all served in World War II at the same time and I am proud of their commitment to our country as I am proud of the men and women who serve our country today.”

Below are ESGR’s Top Ten Reasons Why Members of the Guard and Reserve Make Good Employees:
10. Global Perspective - Military employees have experiences that directly relate to current world events.
9. On-Time, All the Time - Military employees know that every second counts.
8. First Class Image - Military employees understand a professional appearance is a must.
7. Calm Under Pressure - Military employees are resilient and know how to handle stress, both on and off the job.
6. “Can Do” Attitude - Military employees possess critical skills and understand that nothing is impossible.
5. Physical Conditioning - Military employees are in top physical condition, resilient, and drug-free.
4. Understand Diversity - Military employees have succeeded in a very diverse workplace.
3. Responsibility - Military employees know how to make decisions and take responsibility for meeting deadlines.
2. Professionalism - Military employees have a high degree of integrity, an air of self-respect, and a sense of honor.
1. Leadership - Military employees are excellent leaders and outstanding followers: loyal, dedicated, and highly motivated.

Employers can get information about the financial benefits of hiring a veteran and can order a Statement of Support at www.esgr.mil.

- END -

Since 1933, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association has been dedicated to the promotion, protection and improvement of the foodservice industry.

 
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