Nyemaster Goode, P.C., was one of fifteen employers from across the nation, and the only law firm, to receive the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award from the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) at a September 20 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Major Kristina Stanger, a member of the firm's litigation department, and her husband, Staff Sergeant Doug Stanger, both Iowa National Guard service members, had nominated Nyemaster Goode for the award, noting in her application that as "a small, hard-working Iowa employer," Nyemaster Goode had supported her not only as an employee with Guard responsibilities, but also as the spouse of a full-time Guard member and mother to their two daughters. She wrote, "I am honored to nominate my employer for its complete and unwavering commitment to the Department of Defense."
Out of more than 3,200 nominations, Nyemaster Goode and 14 other employers were recognized at a ceremony held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Major Stanger attended and spoke at the black tie event. In her remarks, she expressed gratitude for all of the employers honored that night, saying, "You all earned this esteemed award by fighting your own battle for the men and women on your team and for the service members and their families in your company and within your communities." She also noted that the policies, simple prayers, and thoughtful, selfless acts of the night's honorees were shining examples of what it takes for America to have the best military in the world.
Major Stanger was joined at the ceremony by her husband, by Nyemaster Goode's chairman, Michael Thrall and his wife, Carrie, by Nyemaster Goode attorneys Keith Luchtel, Steve Lytle, Frank Harty, Coreen Sweeney, Brian Humke, Robert Andeweg, and Paula Dierenfeld, and by Nyemaster Goode administrative assistants Barbara Goodson and Meagan Breckenridge. Prior to the ceremony, Mr. Thrall met with General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Freedom Award, created in 1996 to publicly recognize employers who provide exceptional support to their Guard and Reserve employees, is the highest recognition given by the United States government to employers for that support. Nominations must come from a Guard or Reserve member who is employed by the organization being nominated, or from a person in the family of such Guard or Reserve member. Only 160 employers have been presented the Freedom Award since its inception.
Nyemaster Goode's attorneys and staff, and their families, have a long history of military service, but the Stangers' situation brought the needs of military employees into sharp focus for the firm. "Observing Kristina first hand has given us a new perspective on the sacrifices military families make and the importance of providing support through the workplace," said Mr. Thrall. Nyemaster Goode is very proud of and thankful for those who serve and who have served in uniform, and is honored and humbled to have been selected for this recognition.