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ESGR in the News


AIEA, Hawaii – Kauhi Tehiva, Manaola Hawaii store manager, received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award recently for the extraordinary support she provides to her employee, 1st Sgt. Kuuipoikaheepueone Lilikoi-Van Buren.

The presentation started with an “e kipa mai” where 1st Sgt. Lilikoi-Van-Buren asked (sang) for the participants to be invited into the store, at which time Tehiva invited them into the store. It was a “very moving experience following a Hawaiian tradition,” expressed ESGR volunteer, Bob McKaig.

“Kauhi, has become friends with myself and my husband outside of work. Our children has gotten to know each other as friends as well. My husband knows that he can count on Kauhi at any time for help when I’m on military duty. She has always recognized me through conversations, at meetings, and seemed to be proud of my military involvement; always welcoming me with a huge hug, each time I return back to work. Kauhi really cares about all her employees and accommodates not only my schedule, but also take in consideration of other’s as well; assuring fairness for all. You cannot find a more caring leader to work with; who will bend over backwards for anyone in need. She’s the epitome of what Ohana (family) stands fore and I can always count on her as a manager, a friend, and as a family member,” mentioned 1st Sgt. Lilikoi-Van Buren.

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. Supportive supervisors are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

National Guard and Reserve members bring tremendous skills and capabilities to our workforce, and employer support for their military service is critical to maintaining the strength of our Guard and Reserve units. By valuing the military service of their Guard and Reserve employees, employers are directly supporting the readiness and retention of our All-Volunteer Force, and our national defense.

In addition, Tehiva accepted the Freedom Award nominee certificate on behalf of Manaola Hawaii and an ESGR 50th Anniversary coin. Tehiva also signed a statement of support signifying the company’s support for those who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

ESGR is a Department of Defense office that develops and promotes supportive work environments for service members in the National Guard and Reserve through outreach, recognition, and educational opportunities that increase awareness of applicable laws. ESGR also provides assistance in resolving conflicts between Service members and their employers.

For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

Posted in: Hawaii
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