Dead River Company has been recognized for their dedication to hiring veterans and military members. Back row from left to right: Rob Daniels, Mark Ramsay, John Hammond, Dalton Simmons, Tim Corbett, Guy Langevin and Peter J. Coggins. Front row from left to right: Casey Cramton, John Andreozzi, Mike Aboud, Robert Eaton, Greg Gibson, Grant Delaware, Pete Black and Tom Waters.  Lisa Morrissette

SOUTH PORTLAND — On Nov. 7, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded Dead River Company the Gold Medallion Award to recognize its dedication in hiring veterans and other military members.

The South Portland-based company, now New England’s largest retailer in home heating, is the first in Maine to receive the Gold Medallion Award, said a press release from marketing director Lisa Morrissette.

The company’s achievement also received praise from Gov. Janet Mills.

“I could not be more pleased to congratulate Dead River Company on this achievement,” Mills said. “This well-deserved award is not only a testament to Dead River’s support of our veterans, but it is also proof that Maine companies are national leaders in hiring those who bravely served our nation.”

According to the press release, about 12 percent of Dead River Company’s workforce comes from the military, throughout its offices in Maine, Vermont and Western Massachusetts.

“We’re honored to receive this award,” Deanna Sherman, president and CEO of Dead River Company, said. “Our company has a long history of recruiting military veterans because our motto of ‘delivering on a promise’ resonates with men and women who are mission-driven to serve others. They are independent thinkers who also work well as part of a team and who can push through sometimes adverse conditions—such as New England weather.”

Guy Langevin, vice president and chief administrative officer of Dead River, said that the company is partnered with Boots2Roots, which, the organization’s website said, works with military members in their transition to live and work in Maine.

Dead River Company has been working with Boots2Roots for the past three years, Langevin said.

“Ours is a complex industry with a need for people with technical, intellectual, business and practical skills,” Langevin said. “We need people who are adaptable to changing environments and situations, and people with a military background bring those skills. We can train them in the particulars of the industry because they bring the ability to learn and be trained.”

He said that there’s no typical day on the job for the employees.

“We hire veterans for an array of positions including delivery driver and service technician, as well as in our shared services functional areas like risk management, IT and human resources,” Langevin said. “We have also recruited veterans as manager trainees.”

Langevin said that Dead River Company believes it’s important to hire veterans and help them with their transition back into Maine as a way to show appreciation for their selfless work.

“We’ve been told by many of Veteran employees that they appreciate being part of a team, and knowing that at the end of the day, they made a difference,” he said. “Plus, we’re willing to train employees. If they come to us willing to learn, eager to succeed, and able to adapt, we can teach them the industry. That’s something we’ll do for anyone, but it seems that veterans and reservists are particularly interested in this type of environment.

“We also have a company culture that values service to others,” Langevin continued. “As a company we try to give back to the communities we serve, and as a team each of our employees values that ethic in their own lives.”

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