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CSX, Salute Mission Critical Honored With 2023 Patriots In Business Award

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Presented by Chief Executive and Thayer Leadership, the award recognizes businesses that lead our nation in supporting active-duty military members, veterans and their families.

CSX, one of the world’s leading rail-based freight transportation companies, and Salute Mission Critical, a Michigan-based data center services firm, were honored today as winners of the 6th annual Patriots in Business Award for their leadership in helping America’s veterans, active-duty military and military spouses.

The award, presented each year by Chief Executive magazine and Thayer Leadership, is part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness among corporate leaders of best practices in helping military veterans and their families. The award ceremony will take place on Nov. 10 at the 11th annual Veterans Day event in New York City, in partnership with Nasdaq Marketsite.

The Patriots in Business award—presented in the categories of large enterprises (greater than $1B annual revenue) and medium-sized businesses ($10M-$1B annual revenue)—recognizes outstanding businesses that lead our nation in supporting active-duty military members, veterans and their families and exemplify the U.S. Military Academy values of Duty, Honor and Country through their business practices and throughout their community and industry.

“CSX is incredibly honored to be recognized with the Patriots in Business Award,” said Joe Hinrichs, president and CEO, CSX. “Due to highly transferable skills and a shared commitment to service, safety and performance, veterans and current service members make great railroaders.

“This is why our ONE CSX team is committed to recruiting and retaining talented employees with a service background. Through our Pride in Service initiative, we also take our shared commitment to military families beyond out internal efforts, by giving and volunteering across the communities where we live, work and serve.”

Said Erich Sanchack, CEO, Salute Mission Critical: “Receiving the Patriots in Business Award 2023 is a tremendous honor as it is not just a recognition of Salute Mission Critical’s journey but a validation of the dedication and resilience that defines our company’s role in the business landscape and our impact toward the evolving digital economy. This award serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment of our team and reaffirms our mission to excel and inspire across the veteran and business communities.”

Both companies rose to the top of a highly competitive, nationwide judging process in which a panel of Thayer veterans’ affairs experts and business leaders with military backgrounds assessed each nominated company’s programs.

The business executives on the panel included: Nicholas Pinchuk, chair and CEO, Snap-on Incorporated; Michael Volk, managing partner, GuidePoint Security (a 2022 PIB honoree); Troy Vaughn, president, Principle Services LLC (a 2021 honoree); Charlie Quinn, VP of recruiting, HumCap (a 2020 honoree); John Perez, director, Military & Veterans Affairs, Johnson & Johnson (a 2022 honoree); Tom Karinshak, EVP and chief customer experience officer, Comcast (a 2020 honoree).

“Plenty of companies care for veterans and military families,” said Marshall Cooper, CEO, Chief Executive Group, “but these two companies are really in a class by themselves. They’re tremendous examples of best practices in supporting this important group in American society. We’re delighted to honor them both.”

Said Dan Rice, co-president of Thayer Leadership: “These two companies clearly stand out as going above and beyond in their support of veterans, military spouses, National Guard and Reserves, and military families. They showcase how military support can cross into industries both related and unrelated to the military—every company can offer support regardless of their mission and size.”


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