Fort Buchanan Exchange Takes Home ESGR, LULAC Awards
The military community on the small island of Puerto Rico needs help from every resource to support military efforts, including the support of the Fort Buchanan Exchange. The contributions of Exchange associates at Fort Buchanan were recognized in July by the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
On July 28, Main Store Manager Rochelle Tolentino accepted the 2022 Excellence in Service Uniformed Services Public Service Award on behalf of the Fort Buchanan Exchange at the League of United Latin American Citizens’ 93rd National Conventional and Exposition in San Juan. The award recognized the team for its many contributions, including a visit from children at local orphanages.
In preparation for the event, associates enlisted retail vendors to give back to the children with volunteers dressed as special Disney and film characters. Exchange associates, including Tolentino, interacted with the children during the event on-post, which included military displays, a K-9 unit demonstration, sports, games and water activities. The children were given toys at the end of the day.
Fort Buchanan Garrison Commander Col. Tomika Seaberry nominated the Exchange for the award.
“We’re always the ones the community comes to first,” Tolentino said. “The commander is very imaginative and service-oriented, so we do whatever we can to make her ideas happen.”
The store was also awarded the Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, at a ceremony in July attended by Major Gen. Jose Reyes, the Adjutant General of Puerto Rico. Marisol Rosario Santana, the PX’s services business manager, accepted the award on the Exchange’s behalf. This is the first time Fort Buchanan Exchange has received the Seven Seals award and the second time the store has received an award from ESGR.
“Fort Buchanan has a huge Guard Reserve component,” said Fort Buchanan Exchange General Manager Andrea Frazier. “They reach out to the PX for meeting spaces to use across the island and we provide recruiting and job fair support to them.”
The Seven Seals Award is the broadest and most inclusive award given by the ESGR. The award honors significant individual or organizational achievement, initiative or assistance that promotes and supports the ESGR mission.
“Marisol allowed us to have an orientation booth at the PX every three months,” said ESGR State Chairman Jose Ramon Rivera. “We decided that she would be awarded the Seven Seals for supporting the branches of service.”
Frazier joined the Fort Buchanan team in June from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, where she also managed Dover Air Force Base and Thule Air Base. Frazier cites the relationship with the community as worth continuing under her leadership.
“This honor really hits home to our ‘family serving family’ core value,” Frazier said. “It’s extraordinary that our relationship with the Guard and Reserve is being recognized at this level.
"Since I’ve been here, we’ve continued to support them with job fairs and recruitment.”
The ESGR grants a series of Department of Defense awards each year recognizing supportive employers. The Exchange is the only non-appropriated fund member to receive an award.