FARGO, ND – Gate City Bank has been selected for the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award – the highest honor given by the U.S. government to employers for exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members.
Each year, this prestigious honor is awarded to only 15 employers in the nation. Gate City Bank was selected out of 2,777 nominated employers throughout the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
“At Gate City Bank, we’re incredibly honored to receive the Freedom Award,” said Kevin Hanson, President & CEO of Gate City Bank. “It’s an honor and a privilege to support our team members who serve in the Guard and Reserve, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to make a difference for servicemembers and their loved ones throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. These heroes deserve our support for all they do to defend and serve our great country.”
The Freedom Award began in 1996 with only 310 honorees to date. Winners are recognized for going above and beyond to support National Guard and Reserve employees with enhanced pay and benefit packages, flexible scheduling, generous leave policies and support before and after deployment.
Gate City Bank was nominated for the award by Sergeant Bleau Hoge, a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard who is employed at Gate City Investment Services in Bismarck, ND. “I have served in the military for six years, and I have always been proud of serving my country. Other soldiers are always in disbelief when I tell them about the benefits that I am provided with Gate City Bank. They take great care to ensure that all servicemembers – team members, customers and everyone in between – are treated with respect, dignity and honor.”
Known for its long history of support for military personnel, veterans and their families, Gate City Bank provides team members who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces with continued full pay when they are activated for any reason – including training, deployments and special assignments. Additionally, the bank provides uninterrupted benefits and two weeks of paid time off after deployments, so servicemembers can spend time with family and relax before returning to work.
“Gate City Bank elevates the standard by actively reaching out to military servicemembers to see how they can support them better or differently,” added Andy Stein, Gate City Bank’s Vice President of Information Security, who has served in the North Dakota Army National Guard for 11 years. Stein was also deployed to Kuwait from 2011-2012 and Fort Meade, MD, from 2019-2020. “They provide a smooth transition in areas that are often stressful to soldiers: finances, benefits and family support. They even stayed in contact with me during deployment and trainings, just to see how I was doing and how they could help my family while I was away.”
The Freedom Award will be formally presented to Gate City Bank in Fargo, ND, in September.
About the ESGR and Freedom Award
The North Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of servicemembers. To learn more about ESGR outreach programs and volunteer opportunities, call 800-336-4590 or visit ESGR.mil.
About Gate City Bank
A $3.1 billion mutual bank founded in 1923, Gate City Bank is the region’s leading financial institution, as well as the #1 mortgage lender in North Dakota. The bank employs more than 770 team members at 43 locations in 22 communities across North Dakota and central Minnesota. The bank believes in creating a better way of life for customers, communities and team members, and it has contributed $33.5 million in philanthropic giving and more than 266,000 hours of team volunteerism since 2003. Additionally, Forbes has placed Gate City Bank at #2 in the U.S. on its list of the World’s Best Banks. The bank has also been named one of the “50 Best Places to Work” nine years in a row by Prairie Business magazine.