Original Juan Honored by Department of Defense with an Above and Beyond Award

Kansas City, KS – Kansas Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announced April 30, 2014 that Original Juan, was honored with an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employee who serves in the Kansas Army National Guard. Original Juan has a military background that should not go unnoticed. The owner’s father retired from the US Air Force and the Co-founder, R.J. Samuels served in the US Navy with two tours in Viet Nam. SGT Miles Samuels, a member of the Kansas Army National Guard states that Original Juan is extremely supportive of his military career. Original Juan considers military service as a privilege and values him as a part of the team and has never treated military assignments and duties for SGT Samuels as a burden. Original Juan supports Veterans and Guard and Reserve in the community any way possible. The company also mailed care packages of their products to the troops while their employee was deployed. Joe Polo, CEO, accepted the award from Col Frank Altieri, Director of Operations, HQ ESGR, and Walt Frederick, Kansas ESGR State Chair, on behalf of Original Juan in a recognition ceremony held at Overland Park, Kansas on April 26, 2014. SGT Miles C. Samuels was also in attendance to recognize his employer. The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize employers like Original Juan, who provide extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive employers like Original Juan are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units. Original Juan Specialty Foods is housed in a 60,000 square foot facility on the historic Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, Kansas. Original Juan has been creating specialty sauces, salsas, snacks and dips for wholesale, retail and co-pack/private label customers since 1998. Some of the company’s most recognizable brands are Pain is Good, Da’Bomb, Fiesta Juan’s, Bilardo Brothers and Mama Capri. Original Juan also manufactures custom food products under co-packaging and private label arrangements for over 100 companies throughout the world. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.

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