On Thursday, June 27, 2019, transportation manager Bill Ludolph and supervisor Nicholas Wolf were presented with a certificate of recognition as a patriotic employer from the office of the Secretary of Defense. These awards are given to individuals who employ service members of the Reserves.
The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) program is operated by the Defense Department of the United States government in order to promote and develop supportive work environments for Reserve members who work full time for a civilian employer. One of the ways it does this is by recognizing individual supervisors and managers who employ service members through the Patriot Award. Specifically – for QCD Portland – one of the drivers individually nominated Ludolph and Wolf six months ago.
“I was elated,” Ludolph said. “Our management team was having a conversation earlier about associate recognition, and that sometimes all it takes is a simple thank you – and this is the biggest thank you I have ever received.”
Wolf added that “it means a lot to me that the military recognizes us and our hard work.”
As a supervisor of just nine months, Wolf had an interesting perspective on the driver who nominated them for this award.
In October of last year, QCD Portland launched a pilot program utilizing straight trucks and drivers with Class B licenses. Among the group of drivers being brought on was Maxwell Rounds. Rounds came from the service and mechanical side of commercial motor vehicles and had experience driving a tow truck in a previous occupation.
“I was a new supervisor at the time, so I really bonded with some of the new guys we were hiring at the time,” Wolf said. “But Max was particularly interesting to me because of his drive to do the job and do the job well. He displayed a lot of the typical characteristics you would see of service members.”
Rounds had a small concern during his orientation. He was enlisted in the National Guard Reserves, and would be required to report for drills on a monthly basis and would most likely conflict with his work schedule at QCD.
“We understand that while he is a full-time employee here, there will be moments from time to time where he will need to miss work to fulfill his duties,” Ludolph explained. “I’ll always be willing to work around those situations where he’s engaged in something as important as that.”
Rounds has had situations where he missed work not only because of the standard scheduled drills, but also because of unexpected situations stemming from those drills that extended his absence.
“From the start I wanted to nominate them because they have consistently bent over backwards for me, and I want them to know that I will bend over backwards for them and our team,” Rounds said. “Not everybody who is nominated gets them, so I’m happy that they [ESGR] were able to recognize them.”
The process of nominating someone involves submitting not just names, but extensive write ups. Rounds submitted his nomination applications in December, not knowing that they would be accepted.
“I wanted to nominate everyone here because our entire team works hard to accommodate my responsibilities,” Rounds added.
Ludolph saw the “team player” mindset of Rounds during his training, and worked with him to ensure that he wasn’t stressed about his absences caused by his National Guard duties.
Rounds’ commitment to the success of his team of drivers at QCD Portland was further illuminated by another development on that very same Thursday. Prior to presenting the Patriot Awards, Rounds announced that his class B license is now officially a Class A commercial driver’s license. He has since started his training to become a Class A driver.