DCC honoured for providing active support to Reservists

Shawn Bindon, DCC Site Manager and commander of the 33 Canadian Brigade Group, the Army Reserve in Eastern Ontario, James Paul, DCC President and CEO, Steve Cromwell, DCC Borden Site Manager, Ontario Region Director John Graham and Alfred Lai, Technical Specialist, Real Property Management and also major in the Reserve Force (32 Signal Regiment).

Shawn Bindon, DCC Site Manager and commander of the 33 Canadian Brigade Group, the Army Reserve in Eastern Ontario, James Paul, DCC President and CEO, Steve Cromwell, DCC Borden Site Manager, Ontario Region Director John Graham and Alfred Lai, Technical Specialist, Real Property Management and also major in the Reserve Force (32 Signal Regiment).

DCC has been recognized by the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) for supporting employees as they carry out their duties as Canadian Armed Forces Reservists.

Alfred Lai, Technical Specialist, Real Property Management, DCC Borden, who is also a major in the Reserve Force (32 Signal Regiment), nominated DCC for the Council´s Employer Support Award. The award honours organizations that provide active support to individual Reservists in their employ and have Reservist-friendly human resources practices.

Among Lai’s roles as a Reservist is that of Designated Assistant (DA), which he trained for after returning from a tour in Afghanistan in 2006–2007, when he served as a full-time Reservist. Designated Assistants work with the families of deceased or seriously injured or ill soldiers, helping them get the support they need with administrative and personal matters.

In the summer of 2013, Lai learned the military was looking for a qualified Designated Assistant who spoke Cantonese. Lai, who is originally from Hong Kong, volunteered. Thus began several months’ work with the family of a soldier with a terminal illness. Lai’s duties included helping the soldier’s family members, who didn’t speak English, with all the administrative staff work and procedures associated with the soldier’s care and benefits at the final stage of her life, and upon her death making cemetery arrangements.

“The family was really appreciative that I could deal with DND and speak their language,” Lai recalls.

To make this assistance possible, Lai had to be on 24/7 standby and available from time to time during regular business hours. Finally, upon the soldier’s passing, he supported the family on a full-time basis for several weeks. And, that’s where DCC’s support of Reservists came in. Lai’s supervisor, the late Mike Drake, as well as DCC Borden Site Manager Steve Cromwell, and others within DCC, set up a pre-approved leave arrangement that allowed Alfred to temporarily step away from his DCC duties as soon as the family needed him.

“This kind of support is above and beyond expectation from any employer,” Lai says.

“It is an honour and a privilege to receive this award as recognition of the support we provide to our employees who participate in the Reserve,” said James Paul, President and CEO. He received the award on behalf of DCC from Ontario Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell at the ceremony in Toronto on March 11, 2015, also attended by Alfred, Steve and Ontario Regional Director John Graham, as well as Shawn Bindon, a colonel in the Reserve Force.

The Canadian Forces Liaison Council is a national group of business and educational leaders who volunteer their time to promote the benefits of Reserve Force training and experience to the civilian workplace.


In our past issues

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