Lineman nominates MVEC for Patriotic Employer Award

MVEC was the recipient of an ESGR Patriotic Employer Award. Lineman Matt Althoff nominated the company for their support during his National Guard duties and deployment. Althoff recently returned home from Operational Spartan Shield. From left are Gary Kinsinger with ESGR, Althoff, and MVEC HR Manager Suzy Gilkerson. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Staff at Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) were recently recognized last week by the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) with the Patriotic Employer Award.

     MVEC Human Resources Manager Suzy Gilkerson accepted the award.

     The award signifies MVEC’s “contribution to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.”

     MVEC was nominated by lineman Matt Althoff, who was recently deployed in Qatar for Operation Spartan Shield (OSS).

     Althoff, 27, originally from Guttenberg, has been with the National Guard and MVEC for two years now. He served with an infantry company during OSS, which was a 10-month deployment. He arrived home on April 13.

     “My job was still here when I returned,” he said.

     Prior to joining the Guard, Althoff served for four years in the Marine Corps. He had a three-year gap between his services.

     “I wanted the opportunity to deploy,” he said as to why he joined the National Guard.

     Althoff said he nominated MVEC for the award because they have always been there for him, “even with a high work demand.

     “They work with me during my trainings,” he said.

     Speaking of those intense workloads, fortunately (or unfortunately), Althoff was deployed in August 2020 when the derecho hit. Intense storm damage greatly affected MVEC’s infrastructure during that time.

     Althoff’s family has quite a legacy of serving in the military. His grandfather, father, and brother have all served in the Marines.

     When it comes to balancing his work duties with MVEC, his Guard duties and the possibility of deployment, Althoff said, “I just focus on the task at hand in front of me. I prepare for what’s coming.”

     MVEC CEO Jeremy Richert said they are all appreciative of Althoff’s nomination.

     “It’s ironic because he’s the one who’s sacrificed and provided an act of service,” expressed Richert. “He should get the award. This says a lot about who he is.”

     Althoff said when MVEC hired him, he informed them about his Guard duty and the requirements associated with his service.

     “They’ve always been supportive of that,” he said.

     Richert said they always made sure Althoff knew his job would be here when he returned, if he was interested in coming back.

     “We’re eagerly take him back,” Richert said.

     During his recent deployment, MVEC sent letters and care packages to him, especially over the holidays.

     Presenting MVEC with the award was Gary Kinsinger, ESGR Area 6 Chair.


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