KPI-JCI honored as “Patriotic Employer”

Tina Grady Barbaccia

February 18, 2013

From left to right: Frank Giganti (South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve), Randy Blunck (maintenance supervisor), Wade Peterson (mechanic), and Mark Folkers (production manager).

Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI) has been recognized by the South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR) organization as a “Patriotic Employer” for its support of employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force. 

The company, along with Maintenance Supervisor Randy Blunck,was honored for its contributions to America’s national security and protection of liberty and freedom. Blunck and KPI-JCI were nominated by Mechanic Wade Peterson, who is a sergeant in the DET 1 147th FSC National Guard unit.

Peterson, who has worked for KPI-JCI for the past six months, said he nominated Blunck because he appreciates the support given to him by the company when he’s required to be away from his civilian job. “It’s a good job, and he’s a good boss,” Peterson said. “It means a lot to me to have the support of my employer and be able to pay the bills and have a good job.”

Blunck said KPI-JCI has an exemplary past employment history with members of the National Guard in South Dakota and surrounding states. In addition to being thankful for their service to the nation, Blunck also said he values the skills they bring from their military experience that benefit the company.

“I was honored when I learned that I was going to receive the Patriotic Employer Award,” Blunck said. “I feel that it is our duty to do everything we can for Wade while he is serving our country. Wade has the mechanical skills we were looking for to do the job. After we got to know Wade, we found he is very professional and has a lot more skills than we had anticipated.”

KPI-JCI employs 63 men and women who have served or are currently serving in the military. This is the third time KPI-JCI has been recognized as a Patriotic Employer by the South Dakota ESGR. The company earned the honor last year when Matthew Schmidt, an equipment operator, nominated Traffic Manager Todd Rothenberger.

To learn more about the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve organization, visit For more information about Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI), visit

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