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First Data Recognized for Exceptional Support of Military Employees & Families


CEO Capellas accepted 2009 Freedom Award in Washington, D.C.

ATLANTA . - First Data Chairman and CEO Michael Capellas was presented with the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award today at the annual awards banquet in Washington, D.C.

The award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for outstanding support shown to their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Rob Lawrence, Director of Vendor Relationship Management at First Data and Command Sgt. Maj. for the Colorado National Guard, nominated First Data for its efforts to support the National Guard and other military employees.

Capellas said, “I am honored to accept the Freedom Award on behalf of First Data’s 26,000 employees worldwide. We are extremely proud to support our employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. They demonstrate their dedication every day whether it is serving our country or our company.”

First Data offers a variety of benefits to employees and their families during military deployment. Some of these include providing differential pay between military pay and First Data salary and continuing family medical and life insurance benefits. Lawrence also cites Capellas’ efforts to personally contact families of deployed service members as well as employees’ activities such as sending care packages to deployed troops during the holidays and volunteering at local Veterans Hospitals.

“First Data has supported me since 1982 through an active duty leave of absence, three combat tours and more than 20 annual training periods,” said Lawrence. “By nearly every measure, this company has gone to extraordinary lengths to support their guardsmen and reservists and their families.”

The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. More than 3,200 National Guard and Reserve members or their family members from across the country nominated their employers for the Award this year.

“In the eight years our nation has been at war, America’s employers - almost universally - have done an outstanding job of supporting their Citizen Warrior employees,” said Dennis M. McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. “These fifteen employers are the ’best of the best’ this year. They reflect the powerful synergy that exists between the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve, and their employers.”

In the past, First Data also has received numerous Patriot Awards and the Pro Patria Award, including several awarded this year.


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