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Employees of Health Care Service Corporation pose after award ceremony

Deb Auer (left) and Amanda Leonard (right) with employee and Army reservist Ken Waluube after receiving Patriot awards. 

Supervisors Recognized for Supporting Military Employees

As a contractor for Health Care Service Corporation, Ken Waluube exhibited characteristics his supervisor Deb Auer and her director Amanda Leonard look for in an employee, responsibility, dedication and curiosity.

When they hired him last year as a full-time analytics and reporting analyst, his service as a U.S. Army reservist stood out as an additional attribute, despite Waluube’s obligation to take time away from work to serve. Since military service has been core to the families of Auer and Leonard for generations, they appreciate and support Waluube’s commitment.

Auer’s grandfather, parents, son and son-in-law served. So did Leonard’s grandfather and husband, as well as her son, who is an infantryman in the U.S. Army National Guard.

“Other places I've worked managers were not as supportive,” says Waluube, a financial management technician with the 342nd Finance Company, 376th Finance Battalion based in Wausau, Wisconsin. “It kind of worried me all the time if I was going to keep the job. Even though it’s in the law, a lot of employers break it, both knowingly and unknowingly.”

In appreciation for their support, Auer, a customer service manager, and Leonard recently received Patriot awards from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Office. ESGR representative Jon Adler presented the awards at HCSC’s Chicago headquarters.

Kelly Butler, a customer service vice president; Antonio Crosby, senior diversity and inclusion consultant for HCSC’s Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Waluube’s teammates and members of the business resource group Supporters of Military Veterans at HCSC, which Butler also chairs, were among those at the ceremony.

HCSC employs hundreds of veterans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The company has been recognized on Viqtory’s Military Friendly® Employers list since 2010. 

“I’m glad to have good managers who let me do this,” Waluube told the attendees. “This award is for managers who support military careers. It shows it's possible to be a reservist and guardsman and have a job.”

Waluube, a reservist of three years who drills in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, also expressed gratitude for the service and sacrifices of Auer, Leonard and their families. 

“You are very deserving of this award,” Waluube said. “People who have family in the military already are sacrificing too much.”

Humbled by the recognition, Leonard and Auer expressed appreciation for Waluube, and Leonard vowed to continue supporting HCSC’s service members, as well as those submitting applications.

“The pleasure is really having you on our team,” Auer said.

Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.