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Urness nominated for Employer Support award

Tim Urness, front left, one of three owners at C.H. Urness in The Dalles, accepts an award for supporting a soldier on the staff from Craig Stiff, coordinator of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s outreach efforts in the area. Also recognized were owners Mike Urness, back left, and Kathy (Urness) Udhalde, who was standing next to soldier Chris Williams and Terry Holtzman, service advisor at the business.

Photo by RaeLynn Ricarte
Tim Urness, front left, one of three owners at C.H. Urness in The Dalles, accepts an award for supporting a soldier on the staff from Craig Stiff, coordinator of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s outreach efforts in the area. Also recognized were owners Mike Urness, back left, and Kathy (Urness) Udhalde, who was standing next to soldier Chris Williams and Terry Holtzman, service advisor at the business.



Chris Williams, an Army Reservist working in the service department of C.H. Urness Motors, nominated the business for a special award because of the support its three owners have given him.

His bid for recognition through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve was granted and a plaque present to Tim Urness, his brother Mike and cousin Kathy (Urness) Udhalde last week.

Craig Stiff, coordinator of ESGR’s outreach efforts in Oregon, made the presentation at the dealership on Cherry Heights Road.

“On behalf of Secretary of Defense James Mattis, we wish to acknowledge the fact you have an employee who thinks your company is pretty spectacular,” he said.

Stiff said Guard and Reserve members often deploy with little notice and have to be absent for training, which can create hardships for their employers.

He said accommodating the schedule of a soldier who is providing for the national defense was above and beyond the call of duty and deserved a commendation.

“The fact that he (Williams) is given latitude and flexibility means a lot,” said Stiff.

Tim told Stiff and Williams: “We are just happy to support his service. They (soldiers) are the ones who have to leave their family and spend time away. It’s everyone’s civic duty to support them.”

Williams, 28, is a specialist in the Reserve and trains out of Fort Lewis, Wash., as a 13 Fox Forward Observer. He has been in the military for three years and said he can be gone a week or two every other month for training.

“I just really wanted these guys to know I appreciate them,” he said. “They bend over backwards to let me do what I’ve got to do, they don‘t fuss — they are happy about it.”

He said the support of the Urness family has gone as far as to have them throw him the keys to a new truck when his broke down so that he could get to Fort Lewis.

“That’s not something that everyone would do,” he said.

Williams is an automotive technician at Urness and Tim said he is greatly valued because of his high production numbers and willingness to put in whatever hours are necessary to get the job done.

Stiff said about 15 businesses in the local area have been nominated by Guard or Reservists for the awards. He can be reached for more information about the program at www.ESGR.mil or by calling 503-804-4795.

ESGR is a Department of Defense organization that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers by recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of the law and resolving conflict.



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