Basin Electric attends “Lunch with the Boss” event

From left to right: Steve Mundahl, Basin Electric I&C Telecommunications engineering supervisor; Jena Gray, Basin Electric staff writer/editor; Ryan Anderson, Basin Electric aviation manager; Boyd Trester, Basin Electric electrical engineering manager; Mark Scheele, Basin Electric chief pilot and UAS (unmanned aerial systems) program manager; Todd Brickhouse, Basin Electric interim CEO and general manager; Instructor Pilot Greg Schaff, former Basin Electric electrical engineer; and Captain Steven Schaffner, Basin Electric pilot.

Basin Electric was honored at the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) “Lunch with the Boss” event held on Aug. 19.

The ESGR was established to promote cooperation between citizen soldiers and their employers to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. 

The event began with a tour of the Army Aviation Support Facility in Bismarck, North Dakota, and continued with a mission and flight briefing followed by a 40-minute ride in a UH-60 Black Hawk. After the flight, an award ceremony was held. 

National Guard members Captain Steven Schaffner, Basin Electric pilot, and Instructor Pilot Gregory Schaff, former Basin Electric electrical engineer, nominated their supervisors, Steve Mundahl, Basin Electric I&C/Telecommunications engineering supervisor, Boyd Trester, Basin Electric electrical engineering manager, and Mark Scheele, Basin Electric chief pilot and UAS (unmanned aerial systems) program manager, for the Patriot Award

The award reflects the efforts made by a supervisor to provide flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, and leaves of absence to those serving in the military. “The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees who have answered their nation’s call to serve,” says ESGR volunteer Russ Kroshus.  “Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.” 

“Having support from an employer is important for veterans and the current members of the National Guard and Reserve,” Schaffner says. “For prior service employees, they feel supported when they are valued by their supervisors who can use their experience, unique skills, and innovation gained through his or her time in the military. For those still serving in the military and also working a civilian job, having flexibility and an understanding supervisor is crucial.” 

Todd Brickhouse presents the Patriot Award to Mark Scheele. Steven Schaffner nominated Scheele for the award.

Scheele was honored to be nominated for the award. “Anyone who is willing to step up and defend our country deserves acknowledgment,” Scheele says. “They and their families sacrifice a lot of time and effort to serve in the military. The last thing they need is to be worried about it affecting their job.”

“I was surprised to be nominated,” Trester says. “To me, it isn’t an individual award, it reflects on Basin Electric and my entire team, and makes me very proud of them for the support and extra effort put forward in support of Greg and his service to our country.”

Mundahl says the nomination was unexpected and he and his team appreciate being recognized. “This award is shared with the I&C/Telecommunications engineering group members who assumed additional project responsibilities while Greg was deployed with the National Guard,” he says.

“This was a great event and a good way for employers to be more educated and see firsthand what our Guard members do,” Scheele says. “Hearing about it is one thing, but seeing what they do, where they work, and sitting in on their briefings puts a different perspective on it.” 

Todd Brickhouse, Basin Electric interim CEO and general manager, attended the event and handed out the awards during the ceremony. “Military service develops unique skill sets in individuals and we are fortunate to benefit from these skills when we employ veterans and those still active in the National Guard and Reserve,” Brickhouse says. “I am proud of the support Basin Electric provides to our teammates who serve in the National Guard and Reserve and even prouder of our teammates who volunteer to serve.”

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