The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve honored three individuals in the CNMI last Thursday by presenting each of them with the ESGR “Patriotic Employer” award, which recognizes employers who support employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve.
The ESGR team, led by ESGR CNMI Area Committee chair Dr. Rita Sablan, presented the awards to Joseph Muña and Betty Terlaje from the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and William S. Reyes Elementary School principal Lynn Sharon O. Mendiola.
Muña and Terlaje received their awards at CUC’s main office’s conference room at the Joeten Dandan Building, while Mendiola received her award in her office at WSR.
Terlaje, who was nominated to receive the award by long-time CUC employee and U.S. Army Reservist Robert Lieto, said that Lieto was actually named CUC employee of the year last January and described him as a “hard worker and go-getter.”
“I appreciate Robert’s acknowledgment, and if there’s anything more that we can do for him, he knows he can [visit us] and let us know. …Robert’s been [at CUC] for 20 years, he’s a go-getter and gets the work done. I’d like to thank Robert [for nominating CUC], but I’d also like to say that it’s Robert who really deserves the recognition. …At the end of the day, you deserve recognition,” she said.
Mendiola, on the other hand, was nominated for the award by Roque Pulido, who is currently a registrar at the elementary school and is a U.S. Army Reservist. His nomination of Mendiola was read aloud prior to the award being presented.
Pulido wrote that Mendiola hired him this year to work as a registrar, where his role is to process student registrations for the upcoming school year. Processing typically takes place in the summer, which coincided with Pulido’s USAR unit’s annual training.
While he was off-island for a little over a month to attend the training, Mendiola and WSR vice principal Jocelyn Manibusan “without any complaints took on the weight of my job,” Pulido wrote. Pulido added that Mendiola regularly kept in touch with his fiancé, who is also employed at WSR as a kindergarten teacher, while he was off-island.
Pulido lauded Mendiola for being accommodating with his need to go off-island for training, and for recognizing him and other past service members who are part of WSR staff during military holidays and yearly events. For the reasons above, “she should be considered for higher awards,” he wrote.
Muña, Terlaje, and Mendiola all received framed plaques and commemorative pins. Besides Sablan, the ESGR team was also composed of ESGR CNMI area chair emeritus in charge of employer outreach Rose Igitol and ESGR volunteer Joann Aquino.
The “Patriotic Employer” award recognizes employers who have contributed to “national security and protecting liberty by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.” Employers must be nominated by an employee who is a National Guard or Military Reserves member to be considered for the award.