Gate City Bank to be Presented Highest ESGR Award

<< All News Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Fargo, N.D. — The North Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will present the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award to Gate City Bank, Sept. 14. A recognition ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the Swiontek Center, Fargo, N.D.

Scheduled to render remarks are, Gov. Doug Burgum and Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota National Guard adjutant general. Also scheduled to speak are Kevin Hanson, president and CEO of Gate City Bank; Steve Swiontek, Chair of the Board for Gate City Bank; and Delton Steele, state chair for North Dakota ESGR. The award will be presented by Steele and Dave Johnston, the Vice Chair for the North Dakota ESGR.

The Employer Support Freedom Award is the highest recognition given by the Department of Defense to employers for their exceptional support of National Guard and Reserve members. The Freedom Award began in 1996 under the auspices of ESGR to recognize exceptional employer support, with only 310 honorees to date.

Gate City Bank is one of only 15 recipients of this award out of 2,777 nominations this year. Basin Electric, in 2012, was only other North Dakota business to earn this recognition.

The bank was nominated for this award by Sgt. Bleau Hoge, a former member of the North Dakota Army National Guard. Hoge is employed at a Gate City Bank branch in Bismarck.

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve.

For more information:

  • Freedom Award, visit
  • ESGR outreach programs and volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit

WHO: Gate City Bank

WHAT: Presentation of 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

WHEN: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022

WHERE: Swiontek Center, 500 2nd Ave North, Fargo, North Dakota, 58102

MEDIA: No pre-coordination needed. 


The North Dakota National Guard is a trained and highly motivated force of about 4,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen.  We are always prepared to provide ready units, individuals and equipment in support of our communities, state and nation.  Always ready, always there.


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