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SECU a finalist in Defense Employee Support Award
RALEIGH, N.C. (5/19/11)--State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) of Raleigh, N.C., is a finalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.
State Employees’ CU, Raleigh, N.C., has been named a finalist for the 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. SECU Benson Vice President Elizabeth Fair (standing) took care of the children of National Guard Reservist/Benson Financial Services Officer Cathy Baker during her deployment. (Photo provided by State Employees CU)
The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition of employers for support of their employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. SECU is one of 30 finalists selected from 4,049 nominations from Guard and Reserve service members or their families. The finalists were selected from a group of 148 semifinalists announced last month. The credit union was nominated by Jamie Applequist, SECU senior vice president and an Air Force reservist. Employers named as finalists for the Freedom Award stand out for the initiatives they put in place for Guard and Reserve employees and their families. Among the examples of support that Applequist cited in her nomination were differential pay and ongoing benefits support, an SECU co-worker who took care of a service member’s children for a month and other employees handling chores for a service member involved in a car accident. Also, SECU has been supportive of the North Carolina National Guard and other deployed state soldiers. The credit union provided 5,000 gift boxes during the past holiday season to soldiers serving abroad and participated in National Guard Yellow Ribbon and Welcome Home events. The SECU Foundation, funded solely by SECU members, also supports National Guard initiatives, including Operation Kids on Guard and educational scholarships. A national selection board of senior defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select 15 recipients for the 2011 Freedom Award. The Department of Defense is expected to announce the award recipients in early summer. The 2011 recipients will be honored in Washington, D.C., at the 16th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Ceremony Sept. 22.


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