Being an engaged member of our communities who gives back and helps out is one of our company's core values. We're also committed to helping our associates succeed in our company and in life. That commitment -- to our neighbors as well as our associates -- is perhaps one of the reasons we've seen a number of military veterans among our associates who have likened the Festival Foods culture to their service in the armed forces. It's something we like to celebrate all the time, but especially around Veteran's Day on Nov. 11. A number of the military veterans who work at Festival Foods say their service in the armed forces created a very personal connection to our company's values that spell out the way we relate to our guests, each other and our communities. “The level of devotion that was taught to me in the Guard is used daily here at Festival. I come in to work knowing that I can train my associates using the same morals and values that were taught to me," said Jonathan Belval, Produce Manager in Sheboygan. He served in the United States Coast Guard from 2002 to 2009. "Festival Foods is committed to providing guests with a great grocery environment and an extremely high level of customer service and I am able to help with that using the core values that I was taught in the Guard.” Adam Ewald is the Assistant Deli Department Manager our Appleton area location on Northland Avenue. He served in the United States Army from 2004 to 2007. “The Army taught me how to use teamwork and communication to accomplish the mission," he said. "These two tools can achieve almost anything and coincide directly with the hurdles of life outside of the military, including goal-driven work. "One of my favorite things about working for Festival Foods is that the company’s culture shares so much with the Army values and those are values we should strive for every day. They include loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage as well as leadership." Matt Guetschow, the Assistant Bakery Manager at our Green Bay-East location, says his 22-year military career created a very personal connection to the values our company emphasizes every day. "Everything we do at Festival – saying ‘Yes, ma’am,’ and ‘Yes, sir’ – I feel like every person is my boss. I think what I learned in the military carries right over to the way we address our guests now," he said. "It’s really the same thing, I’m just not wearing a uniform anymore.” Paul Kozelek, Loss Prevention Leader in the La Crosse area, served in the United States Marine Corps from 2004 to 2008 as well as the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 2011 to 2014. "My leadership knowledge has benefited me, as Festival puts a high value on teamwork and getting the job done; something that every member of the military has deeply ingrained in their work ethic," he said. "The values that Festival Foods lives out every day go hand in hand with those I learned while serving in the Marines. Servant leadership, teamwork, and service in the community are all characteristics that Festival expects from its associates. These are the same standards which I have come to value as a result of my military service." We're hopeful that more military veterans will consider a career with Festival Foods. We've got a wide variety of openings, including leadership positions, at locations across the state. We love having military veterans among our associates and we also sincerely appreciate seeing them in our stores every day. At our Kenosha location, we're so happy to be able to host a group of veterans every Friday from 8 a.m. to noon at the Heroes Cafe. It's a time that allows these incredible individuals to just be together. It's a very small way to say thank you to all of our amazing military veterans, but we'd like to give you a slice of our Upper Crust Apple Pie on Veterans Day. Show your military ID on Veterans Day and have some pie on us!
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