Minnesota companies come together to support their military employees

October 12, 2021 (ST. PAUL, Minnesota) – Beyond the Yellow Ribbon companies from across Minnesota attended the bi-annual Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Company Conference virtually and in-person at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on Oct. 6, 2021.

“The conference is an opportunity to bring together all of our Yellow Ribbon companies and our key support partners to share best practices, build relationships, and educate one another about resources,” said Annette Kuyper, director of military outreach for the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs. “This is the first one since 2019, so we’re very excited. It’s a great opportunity to get everyone together.”

Many of the BTYR companies have employees who are also Reserve or National Guard service members. Each company has learned how to best support these employees through training weekends and federal and state activations through presentations at the conference. Mental health was also a prominent topic with the challenges of balancing military and civilian life, especially through the pandemic.

“I think the main thing about the event today is the amount of information given to people and, once you get that information, the ability to share it,” said Tim McElroy, a retired senior master sergeant with the U.S. Air Force, a retired employee of 3M, and a senior advisor to the 3M military support network. “You can do things remotely, you can send out emails, but the most important thing is you have time face-to-face to actually talk about real life situations for our military members and their families as well.”

The conference was hosted by two St. Paul BTYR companies, the Minnesota Wild and Hiway Credit Union.

If your company or community is interested in becoming a part of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, visit https://mnbtyr.ng.mil/

Story by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec, Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs