November is National Veterans & Military Families Month, and we wanted to share a story about Jesus Ortiz, a Finance Manager here at Comcast in Greater Boston, and his employee, Nick DiSalvo,a finance analyst and an active Air National Guard reservist.
Jesus recently received the prestigious Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense – an award that stands out as it’s the employee who nominates their leader. In this case, Nick wanted to recognize the care and guidance he received from Jesus prior to and during a recent four-month deployment to Kuwait. Nick has served in the Rhode Island Air National Guard 143rd Airlift Squadron for 17 years.
“Jesus is always supportive of my Air National Guard commitments, both in spirit and action,’’ said Nick of Nashua, New Hampshire, who has worked for Comcast for three years. “I wanted to recognize him and for him to be held up as an excellent example of veteran support from a direct supervisor, I consider myself very fortunate to have.”
Jesus, who has worked at Comcast for three years and is a member of the VetNET Employee Resource group for employees who are veterans, called the award “deeply meaningful.’’
“I am honored to receive the Patriot Award as a result of Nick’s nomination,’’ he said. “This award is deeply meaningful to me because it’s a manifestation of the respect I have for our military and it’s a result of the daily effort that I invest in teambuilding at Comcast.”
Lt. Colonel Keith S. Napolitano, Commander, 143d Airlift Squadron explained the importance of an understanding employer to the success of Guardsmen and women in a letter to Jesus informing him about the award. For example, the typical Guard member works one weekend a month and two weeks a year to prepare for stateside and overseas contingency missions and deployments. However, in the 143d, individuals are often asked to perform duties far beyond this expectation due to the unique and demanding capabilities of the C-130J tactical airlift mission.
“This skillset also comes with numerous flying currencies, training blocks, checkrides, and off-station training commitments that are not only essential, but have the unfortunate consequence of putting a larger burden on our members’ civilian employers,” said Lt. Colonel Napolitano. “As a supportive employer and direct supervisor, Mr. Ortiz understands the need for these sacrifices and truly contributes to the well-being being of his National Guard employees through his unwavering support, spirit and positive actions.”
Whether it’s for disaster relief, helping to provide security and safety to communities impacted by protests and social unrest, or other events that prompt calls for National Guard assistance, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Comcast provides support and care to help make the transition from civilian to service member overnight.
In 2016, the company established a Military Concierge Service team that acts as a central resource for employees and their supervisors to help balance working for Comcast NBCUniversal while serving in the National Guard. Staffed by human resource professionals, the team provides administrative support and knowledge about the company’s Military Policies and Benefits, including offering paid leave for military duty, a military pay supplement, and continued health benefits for employees and their families.
This latest award adds to a successful year of military award recognition for the company. Comcast NBCUniversal was ranked #1 on Military Times’ Best for Vets: Employers 2020 list and received the 2020 Patriots in Business Award from Chief Executive Magazine among other honors.