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AmerenUE Nominated for Secretary of Defense 'Employer Support Freedom Award'

AmerenUE has been nominated for the U.S. government’s highest recognition awarded to employers for supporting their employees in the National Guard or Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard Reserve. Only employees serving in the Guard or Reserve or their families can nominate a company for the Secretary of Defense’s “Employer Support Freedom Award.” Companies cannot nominate themselves.

UE’s nomination will be recognized during a “Breakfast with the Boss” event May 19, presented by the organization, Missouri Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Marriott West Hotel, 660 Maryville Center Drive. Featured speakers are Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.) Lee Metcalf; Ron Daugherty, of Daugherty Business Solutions; and Fox 2 meteorologist Chris Higgins. In addition, UE Managing Supervisor of Construction, Ken Beckmann, will receive a Patriot Award.

If UE’s nomination proceeds to the next level, UE representatives will travel to Washington, D.C., for the Department of Defense’s presentation to the 15 Freedom Award winners. A national selection board will choose the winning companies. This year, about 3,300 companies were nominated nationwide.
UE Dam Safety Engineer Glenn Eberhart submitted UE’s nomination while on active duty with the Naval Reserve in 2009.

“I have been blessed to be employed by a company that is committed to ‘doing the right thing.’ Ameren has supported my military responsibilities throughout my service with the company,” says Eberhart. ”The company has demonstrated exceptional support while I have been an employee, and they were aware of my commitments to the Naval Reserve while I was interviewing for my position. This commitment is critical now that our nation is in one of the highest and longest operational employment cycles for reservists in U.S. history.”

Last year, G.I. Jobs magazine named Ameren—UE’s parent company—a top 100 military-friendly employer. The company provides security and support to reservists and their families through continued benefits when reservists are called to active duty. In addition, Ameren has an aggressive military recruiting strategy that includes base visits, career fairs and multiple online resources. Currently, Ameren employs nearly 550 veterans and has a half-dozen employees on military leave of absence.

AmerenUE, founded in 1902, provides electric and gas service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the greater St. Louis area. UE serves 57 Missouri counties and 500 towns. The company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. For more information, visit www.amerenue.com.


Background: The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). ESGR is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 with its mission being to gain and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve Service by recognizing outstanding support, increase awareness of the law and resolve conflicts through mediation. Since Secretary of Defense William Perry authorized the first award in 1996, more than 100 employers have received this prestigious award. Today, 15 awards are presented each year to employers in three categories: big business, small business and the public sector.