There’s exciting news at Innovative Refrigeration this week! The Virginia Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) honored Innovative VP of Manufacturing Keith McGinnis with the Patriot Award.

The ESGR, which is an arm of the US Department of Defense, gives the Patriot Award to supervisors who use their management standing to support employees who are also members of the National Guard or the Reserve. Area Chairman Ronnie Emerson presented Keith with the award.

Keith McGinnis accepts the Patriot Award from Ronnie Emerson of the ESGR.

“The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees,” Emerson said. “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.”

Keith was nominated for the Patriot Award by Lance Corporal Brysen Adams of the United States Marine Corps Reserve, whose unit is currently in Okinawa, Japan on a one-year mission.

Adams’ letter of recommendation spoke glowingly of Keith’s management of Innovative employees who are also serving their country.

“Upon notifying my employer, I was granted an absence for my upcoming deployment. During such absence, I struggled with finding a place to keep my tools and materials for work. My supervisor, Mr. McGinnis, offered to store my tools in storage at our company free of charge, including my toolbox, until my return,” Adams wrote. “He has been very understanding on how hectic my life had become as I prepared myself for deployment, randomly having to leave work throughout the day to verify documents, taking unannounced phone calls throughout the day to verify information to my chain of command.  His being around and being a great example of a leader, and not just my boss, has been very reassuring.”

The Patriot Award is the ESGR’s most well-known award, but not necessarily its only one. It also honors businesses as a whole for outstanding patriotism & military support with the Pro Patria Award and the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, among others.

Mike McGinnis — President of Innovative and brother to Keith — is proud of the recognition.

“Military members are so often successful here at Innovative because they’re used to traveling & solving problems, both of which are key skills in our field,” Mike said. “We’re pleased to continually show our commitment to military members and their success.”