Lexmark Receives Highest US Government Recognition
Lexmark has been presented an award for supporting its employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
The 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their support of employees.
Lexmark President and CEO Allen Waugerman received the award at the Kentucky State Capitol by Governor Andy Beshear (pictured), on behalf of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Waugerman was accompanied by David Jenkins, who leads Lexmark’s IT Strategic Project Management Office. Jenkins, who nominated Lexmark for the award, is a brigadier general and serves as assistant adjutant general for the South Carolina National Guard.
According to Lexmark, it was one of 15 recipients of the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
“I am proud to recognize these 15 outstanding civilian employers,” said Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper in the Department of Defense announcement. “The citizen warriors of the National Guard and Reserve have evolved from a strategic reserve to become an integral component of the operational force. Having employers that support their military service is critical to their success and the success of our national defense strategy.”
“It is my great honor as Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to recognize Lexmark International Inc. as one of this year’s recipients of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “The Kentucky National Guard and Reserves are indispensable assets, and its soldiers are proud members of communities throughout Kentucky. Lexmark has a long history of success and innovation in the Bluegrass, and that clearly extends to the company’s enlightened leadership, which supports its workers and all of our people with a strong military.”
Freedom Award recipients were selected from more than 2,600 nominations received from Guardsmen and Reservists highlighting how their civilian employers went far beyond what federal law requires to support them. The Freedom Award began in 1996, and there have only been 295 honorees to date.
“Lexmark values the leadership skills veterans bring to the table and recognizes the partnership that inherently exists with the Reserve Components of the U.S Armed Forces,” said Jenkins. “From Captain to Flag Officer, through deployments and international expatriate assignments, Lexmark has enabled me to advance and realize my potential as a leader in both corporate America and the Army National Guard. I could not maintain the high tempo demanded of my military service without the unwavering advocacy and support of my colleagues at Lexmark.”
“We are honored to receive the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award,” said Waugerman. “Lexmark takes great pride in supporting the communities in which we live and serve, and acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by veterans, reserve component personnel still serving, and their families. We are pleased to be recognized as a company that is committed to honoring the sacrifice and commitment of National Guard and Reserve forces.”
Lexmark has also been named a Military Friendly Employer for the fifth consecutive year, receiving the esteemed Gold designation for 2021. Lexmark’s scores exceeded the Military Friendly standard in all measured categories including Recruiting & Sourcing; Policies & Compliance; Support & Retention; Culture & Commitment; Opportunity & Advancement; and Hiring & Onboarding. The Military Friendly Company survey identifies those whose commitment to serving the military and veteran community is comprehensive in scope and meaningful in terms of actual outcomes and impact.
In 2019, Lexmark came under some suspicion for being a China-owned entity in terms of national and cybersecurity, but the company has always declared that its loyalty to the US and its customers is paramount. The Support Freedom Award gives evidence to this.
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