News: Winds of Change awarded to State Chaplain
Story by Sgt. John Angelo
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lt. Col. John Morris, Minnesota National Guard State Chaplain, received the 2011 Winds of Change award at the Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity. It was awarded to him, March 24, at the Minneapolis Convention Center for his work as co-creator, along with Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, of the Minnesota Beyond the Yellow Ribbon reintegration program. Morris’ extensive work with service members from all branches and their families was also a key factor in his selection for the award.
The program provides assistance to combat veterans and their families, as well as provides support to the families while the service person is deployed. Some of the support areas are financial, legal and psychological services and training to help reintegrate the service member upon return. In 2008, Congress mandated Minnesota’s Yellow Ribbon program as the national standard for all returning National Guard and Reserve soldiers and family members.
Lt. Col. Trancey B. Williams, Minnesota National Guard State Equal Employment Manager, nominated Morris for the award.
“I feel very fortunate and very proud because I think that it was long overdue,” said Williams. “All of the hard and extraordinary work that he does is something we take for granted. We just say it’s Chaplain Morris and that’s what he does. His work needed to be recognized.”
A fifteen-person committee from across the state chose Morris as the award recipient from over 1,000 candidates from all types of business, university and organizations.
Minnesota’s forum is comprised of Fortune 500 companies, universities, institutions and organizations from across the state and is hosted by the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. This year’s 23rd annual forum is two days of workshops and guest speakers with the focus on workplace diversity and being proactive, effective and ethical business leaders. The purpose of the forum is to provide compelling learning experience fostering business and thought leadership in workplace diversity and inclusion.