io News

iostudio Receives 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

July 23, 2012

iostudio has been named a recipient of the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense (DoD) to employers for exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve employees. Selected by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a division of the DoD, iostudio is one of 15 honorees out of more than 3,200 nominations from Guard members and Reservists or their family members, and is the first and only marketing or advertising agency to ever receive the award. 

Former CNN news anchor Leon Harris introduces Mitch Powers, iostudio President and CEO, as he receives the 2012 Freedom Award from Erin C. Conaton, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and James G. Rebholz, National Chair, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). The award was presented in Washington, D.C., on September 20, 2012.

iostudio distinguished itself from its industry peers for prioritizing service to the country. Between its in-house customer care center and agency branch, nearly half its employees are currently serving members of the Army National Guard and Air National Guard. “I consider myself fortunate to be a partner in a company where so many employees have a military background,” explains Mitch Powers, founding partner and president of iostudio. “I expect them to bring their ‘A’ game every day—to leave nothing behind of what their life experience has taught them. After all, when you’re accustomed to flying in and out of hot landing zones several times a day, there’s little that will rattle your cage in the business world.”

iostudio also ensures that its employees in the Guard and Reserve are allowed the time and schedule flexibility they need to be able to serve. For Jason Johnson, an Army National Guard soldier and head of corporate training for iostudio University, this is one of the many reasons he nominated iostudio for the award: “iostudio supports its service members, whether they’re here or currently deployed, with the comfort of knowing they are valued, celebrated daily and part of a caring family.”

iostudio Training Manager Jason Johnson and several other National Guard Support Team members enlisted the assistance of the company’s video team to produce this presentation, nominating iostudio and its partners, Chris West, Ed Brown and Mitch Powers, for the 2012 Freedom Award. Companies must be nominated by a current employee or family member.

A selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees selected the 15 recipients. The 2012 honorees will be recognized at the 17th annual Freedom Award Ceremony, hosted by the Secretary of Defense in Washington, DC, on September 20.


About the Freedom Award

The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional support from the employer community. It is the highest in a series of employer recognition awards given by the DoD. In the years since, 160 employers have been honored with the award. Established as a DoD agency 40 years ago, ESGR develops and maintains employer support for Guard and Reserve service.