Sprint Leaders Honored with Patriot Awards

Four members of Sprint Waste Services’ leadership team have been honored with the Patriot Award from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Co-owners and Partners Joe Swinbank, Will Swinbank and Reagan Swinbank, and President Dave Nelson all received the award following nominations from U.S. Army Major Rory Escalante, an operations manager at Sprint Waste’s Freeport branch. 

The Patriot Award reflects an individual supervisor’s efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide range of measures such as flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. The Department of Defense says employer support enhances retention rates in the Armed Forces and ultimately strengthens our national security. The ESGR awards program serves to strengthen the relationships between service members and their employers while honoring the sacrifices made by employers to support Guard and Reserve Service members.

Escalante is an active Army Reserve major who joined Sprint Waste almost six years ago. He has been a member of the Army Reserves for 22 years and plans to retire from his Army post next February. Escalante said he nominated Sprint Waste and its owners and management team  because he believes the company provides outstanding support to him and others at Sprint who serve in the Reserves and National Guard, and he wants the company to be recognized for it. 

“I am so fortunate to work for a company whose management values my service in the Reserves and encourages me in all of my professional and military goals,” Escalante said. “Many in the Guard and Reserves don’t have the support I enjoy here. I want to thank the management and leaders at Sprint Waste and my team at the Freeport office who have wholeheartedly encouraged my service and training in the Army.”

Escalante, who lives with wife Christine and 7-year-old son Jaxon, said military service and training haven’t always been convenient or easy, especially as he’s balanced his military obligations with family, career goals and even graduate school. He’s been deployed twice (16 months in Iraq in 2004 and 15 months in Afghanistan in 2011) during his Army Reserve career (earning a Bronze Star Medal), and has continued his active service while advancing through the ranks, graduating last year from the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Dave Nelson, Sprint Waste Services president, said receiving the Patriot Award was a great honor for him and the Swinbanks. “We are incredibly proud to support our military and the men and women in our Reserve forces who make huge personal sacrifices to defend our country,” Nelson said. “Like Rory, the reservists, National Guard and veterans on our staff are shining stars in our organization. Their work ethic and dedication to country and company are inspirations to us all.”


Pictured above l to r: Sprint Waste President Dave Nelson, Partner Will Swinbank, Partner Joe Swinbank. Partner Reagan Swinbank was absent from the presentation.