INLAND EMPIRE, CA– The Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA/Agency) was recently awarded the “Above and Beyond Award” along with five IEUA staff members who received the “Patriot Award” from the U.S. Department of Defense through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program (ESGR).

The “Above and Beyond Award” was created by the ESGR to recognize employers who have gone above and beyond to provide Guard and Reserve employees additional non-mandated benefits that surpass the legal requirements of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The USERRA protects servicemembers and veterans from discrimination in the workplace based on their military affiliation and ensures they return to work after military service. To qualify for this award, the employer must sign or agree to sign an ESGR Statement of Support and have had at least one supervisor/manager recognized with a Patriot Award.

The “Patriot Award” is not awarded to an entire staff or organization as a whole, but recognizes individual supervisors who provide support for citizen warriors through measures such as flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. Recipients of this award include IEUA staff members Shivaji Deshmukh, General Manager; Randy Lee, Executive Manager of Operations/Assistant General Manager; Robert Delgado, Manager of Operations and Maintenance; Ian Tillery, Deputy Manager of Operations; and Albert VanBreukelen, Deputy Manager of Maintenance. These recipients were nominated by Mike Frazier, IEUA Maintenance Planner who is currently an active member of the military reserves.

“The Agency is honored to receive the ‘Above and Beyond Award’ and we are proud to have five staff members receive the ‘Patriot Award.’ I feel grateful to have been selected to receive this award, as well, and to be a part of an Agency that is committed to providing support to our National Guard and Reserve service members, and recognizes their sacrifice to serve and defend our nation,” stated Shivaji Deshmukh, IEUA General Manager.

ESGR, a U.S. Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency covers 242-square miles, distributes imported water, provides industrial/municipal wastewater collection and treatment services, and other related utility services to more than 875,000 people through its member agencies which include Chino, Chino Hills, Cucamonga Valley Water District, Fontana, Fontana Water Company, Montclair, Monte Vista Water District, Ontario, and Upland.

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