A military honor

Great River Energy's Yellow Ribbon ceremony

Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Larry Schmid (left) welcomes Brigadier General Sandy Best (center) and Minnesota Director of Military Outreach Annette Kuyper to Great River Energy’s Maple Grove, Minn., office to celebrate Great River Energy being named Minnesota’s 57th Yellow Ribbon Company.

On Oct. 4, the State of Minnesota, on behalf of Gov. Mark Dayton, proclaimed Great River Energy as Minnesota’s 57th Yellow Ribbon Company.

The Minnesota Department of Military Affairs awards the Yellow Ribbon to organizations that unite all key areas within a company structure to proactively support service members, military families and veterans. Brigadier General Sandy Best presented the honor at the cooperative’s Maple Grove, Minn., office during a ceremony attended by employees, directors and member cooperative CEOs.

“The kind of environment you have created at Great River Energy ensures veterans and military families feel appreciated in the workplace,” General Best said.

General Best said that organizational support is particularly important at a time when military training and deployment requirements are increasing for Minnesota’s National Guard and reserve.

Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Larry Schmid, who is an Air Force veteran and retired member of the Air National Guard, received the honor on behalf of Great River Energy. He also shared the qualities that veterans bring to Great River Energy.

“Veterans know about leadership, how to work under stress, teamwork, sacrifice, integrity, and about working for the greater good for all,” said Schmid. “In addition to thinking about what Great River Energy can do for veterans, we also considered what veterans can do for Great River Energy and our membership.”

Minnesota Director of Military Outreach Annette Kuyper detailed the requirements and expectations of Yellow Ribbon Companies. Companies must submit an action plan for veteran recruiting, hiring and retention, while supporting military-connected employees and community groups.

“Great River Energy has been doing many of these things since long before applying to become a Yellow Ribbon Company,” Kuyper said.