POET Biorefining Presented Patriot Award
On Wednesday Jan. 26, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented a Patriot Award to POET Biorefining in Emmetsburg. The award is unique in that it is only given by nomination of an employer by a grateful guardsman or reservist employee.
Ted Ellis, ESGR representative, made the presentation to members of the POET staff.
POET Biorefining was nominated for the award by employee SSG A.J. Poeppe of Emmetsburg who is currently on active duty abroad with Battery A 1st Battalion 194th Field Artillery 2nd Brigade 34th I.D. of the Iowa National Guard.
Poeppe’s nomination letter follows:
“July of 2005 I had just returned home from a one-year tour in Afghanistan and applied for a position at the plant. I started in September. In less than two years I was notified of a Kosovo deployment July 2007-August 2008. While I was gone that year my family never had to worry about snow removal because someone from the plant came by and scooped the drive. I also received care packages from my fellow employees.
“February 2010 my unit was notified another tour to Afghanistan was on the calendar. March 5th I was brought on full-time to assist the unit in preparation. August 1, 2010, my unit left for mobilization. I will be gone from the plant until October 2011.
“The management team at POET Biorefining Emmetsburg has always been very supportive of my service. My maintenance position has me scheduled to work every other weekend, and my manager worked around my drill schedule if the two conflicted each other.
“My employer may not pay me a salary or keep my benefits going while I am gone on deployments, but they make the transitions back and forth seamless. That’s what I appreciate.”
Poeppe is the husband of Nicole Poeppe from Emmetsburg. The couple has a daughter, Annika, age 7, and son, August, nearly 1. A.J. is the son of Dale and Bea Poeppe, also of Emmetsburg.