Serving those who serve: Retiree receives top honors from Virginia National Guard
From left to right:
- General Timothy P. Williams
- Donna Monroe
- Matt Kellam, Military Recruitment Program Coordinator
- Major Alexa Carlo-Hickman
Dominion Energy is committed to those who served our country, and is recognized as a top employer for veterans. But one employee who supported the company in that mission recently received her own recognition. Recent retiree, Donna Monroe, was recognized by the Virginia National Guard for her outstanding work as Dominion Energy’s Military Leave Coordinator from 2012 to 2019. Colleague and Army National Guard veteran, Major Alexa Carlo-Hickman, submitted Donna for this honor because of all of the support she received from her when she was active.
Major General Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General for the Virginia Guard, presented Donna with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Patriotic Employer award and a Commendation Medal from the Virginia National Guard.
To shed more light on these high honors, Donna and Alexa both sat down to chat with Matt Kellam, Military and Recruitment Program Coordinator for Dominion Energy.
Donna Monroe, Dominion Energy Retiree, Previously Served as Military Leave Coordinator
Matt: Tell me about your role as Military Leave Coordinator. How did it evolve over time?
Donna: Starting in 2012, I was the sole administrator of the Military Leave Policy for the company. I remained in this role for seven years, which came with a wide range of responsibilities. I served as the primary contact for military reservists, ensuring that they were supported every step of the way.
I responded to all inquiries regarding military annual training and active duty orders, in addition to corresponding with employees throughout their leave of absence and upon their release from duty. This included providing guidance, keeping records, and sometimes communicating with employees spouses when they did not have access to communication, themselves. I worked to ensure a seamless departure, absence, and return for all of those who served.
Matt: What did you like most about your role with Dominion Energy?
Donna: I mentioned at the awards ceremony that it was my honor to provide support for those who voluntarily served our country. It was a very gratifying responsibility for which I tried hard to achieve excellence in administering. The employees were very appreciative of the company’s generous policy, and my ability to respond to their inquiry with expedience and understanding.
Alexa Carlo-Hickman, Dominion Energy’s Security Compliance Manager and Major in the Army National Guard
Matt: Could you share more about your experience being activated and working with Donna?
Alexa: I started working for Dominion Energy in early 2017. About a year later, I was notified that I was mobilizing. In addition to the million other things I was doing to get ready, it was incredibly helpful to have a dedicated Dominion Energy point of contact to help get my employment affairs in order.
While I was away, Donna was my go-to person for updating my benefits, answering any of my questions, and reassuring me that my job would be waiting for me upon my return. In a nutshell, she took any Dominion Energy-related stress off my shoulders so I could focus on my mission.
Matt: Can you tell us more about why you submitted Donna for this recognition and the importance of Donna’s role to employees serving in the Guard and Reserve?
Alexa: I submitted Donna for the award because as routine or trivial as my Dominion Energy issues might have been for a regular employee, they were significantly more challenging for me. I no longer had access to Dominion Energy resources in order to solve my problems, and I also had limited time to deal with personal issues. I relied squarely on her to help me and she came through every single time. This took a tremendous amount of stress off of me and my family during an already stressful time. Employer support to that level is extremely rare and I wanted to make sure she and Dominion Energy knew how much I appreciated having her as a resource.