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GREER – A typical board of Commissioner’s meeting turned into a surprise award ceremony for one Greer CPW employee. Mark Harvey was recognized with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award July 22nd.

“I was definitely surprised – equally surprised that folks around here could keep a secret that long,” said Engineering and Planning Manager Mark Harvey.

The ESGR, a Department of Defense program, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between reserve military members and their civilian employers. Under that program military members can nominate a supervisor for the Patriot Award – an award that recognizes a person who shows extra compassion and flexibility when working with a military member.

Currently Greer CPW has 2 Commissioners that are veterans and 6 employees who served or are serving with the military. 2 of those employees are currently deployed overseas with the National Guard. 1st Lt. Dan Espinosa with the 124th Engineer Company and Greer CPW GIS Coordinator nominated Mark Harvey for the Patriot Award.

“…they (Greer CPW) have made every attempt to ease the transition from civilian life to military duty by approving military training leave dates and developing a plan to maintain my active role in the organization. Mark’s support during this time reflects great leadership upon himself and the unrelenting support of the entire organization,” said 1st Lt. Dan Espinosa.

Mark is the Engineering and Planning Manager for Greer CPW and is responsible for most recently coordinating the infrastructure improvements in Downtown Greer, long-term system expansions and project designs.

“I’m humbled 1st Lt. Espinosa took the time to nominate me and I wish he were here so I could thank him. Although the award was presented to me, it is the organization and the Commissioners who deserve the credit for adopting policies that support our military employees during training and deployment,” said Harvey.

Mark has been with CPW since February 2015 and has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and a Master of Engineering in environmental engineering systems from Clemson University.

“As 1st Lt. Dan Espinosa forward deploys, we are reminded that freedom is not free. We are honored to have him as an employee and wish him Godspeed and a quick return to his position at Greer CPW. We are equally proud of Mark Harvey for being recognized with the Patriot Award by the Department of Defense,” said Commissioner and U.S Navy Veteran Perry J. Williams.

[PHOTO: Photo of Mark Harvey (left) with ESGR volunteer Jack Bowdle courtesy of The Greer Citizen]