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For Ed Nebinger, the founder and CEO of Newtown’s Forecast International, the term “brothers in arms” extends thousands of miles and generations beyond his battlefield experiences.
The proud veteran and business owner, who flew combat missions as a 19-year-old Air Force fighter pilot over the beaches of Normandy during the D-day invasion and then went back for more when America went to war in Korea, was recently honored along with two of his staff members for hiring and supporting the careers of many other veterans who answered the call to serve after him.
On June 4, Mr Nebinger, his Vice President of Research Ray Peterson, and his Director of Personnel Sharon Grimm received the esteemed Patriot Award from representatives of ESGR — Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve — a Department of Defense (DoD) program working to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.
The ESGR Patriot Award reflects efforts made by a company to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures, including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, and leaves of absence if required, according to a release from company representative Matthew Beres, himself a veteran.
The privately owned company on Commerce Road was founded in 1973 by Mr Nebinger, a former US Air Force officer, specializes in long-range industry forecasts and market assessments used by strategic planners, marketing professionals, military organizations and governments worldwide.
Ted Graziani, chairman of the Connecticut chapter of ESGR, and colleague Eileen Hurst, military outreach director for the Connecticut ESGR were joined by State Senator Tony Hwang, Second District State Representative Will Duff, and First Selectman Dan Rosenthal. The lawmakers took the opportunity to present Mr Nebinger and his staffers with State of Connecticut General Assembly citations in recognition of their support for military employees.
The citation was signed by Sen Hwang, Rep Duff, Newtown Rep Mitch Bolinsky, and Rep JP Sredzinski of the 112th District.
“Culture begins at the top. Unless you have buy-in from the top, it doesn’t flow down,” said Mr Graziani. “Such a great attribute, what you have done, not only serving our country, but having run this company with your thoughts and know-how, and patriotism. On behalf of the DoD, we cannot thank you enough for the example that you have set.”
Mr Graziani went on to say that, “Other companies should benchmark what you do with your men and women in the military… and those who have served, too because you recognize what they have to offer.”
Mr Rosenthal remarked, “Often times when it comes to patriotism… we talk about the flag, we put stickers on our car, and everything else, and that’s all fine and good and important. But to see someone really making patriotism a part of their business culture, it really speaks volumes about Forecast International.”
Representative Duff expressed his thanks to the company for its support of servicemembers and veterans.
“I do appreciate when I hear stories about a company going out of its way to allow, first, that veterans are employed, and to support veterans in times when flexibility is needed,” Rep Duff said.
Senator Hwang pointed out that the Newtown company is world recognized.
“But you hire the best of the best, and some of them happen to be veterans. And they create a world-class company,” Sen Hwang said. “Not only is it patriotism and respecting the freedoms and rights that we have as Americans, but also this makes great business sense — patriotic, diligent, committed to excellence. This is a message that goes out to so many of our employers — to look to our military veterans as a resource to get them to the next level of employment competitiveness.”