Going Above and Beyond at this Year’s First Responder Bowl

This December, in partnership with the National Emergency Number Association, Comtech honored America’s 9-1-1 professionals as one of the sponsors of the 2022 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. The annual First Responder Bowl is a postseason college football game dedicated to honoring first responders — those who put their lives on the line every day to help others and keep our communities safe.

Our sponsorship of the First Responder Bowl this year was one of many ways we say thank you to the men and women who are not only some of our most trusted customers, but also those who stand ready to help each and every one of us when we need it most.

“As one of the First Responder Bowl sponsors, we joined NENA’s #ThankYou911 campaign to raise awareness of our dedicated 9-1-1 professionals and thank all the brave men and women who sacrifice so much in their selfless service to our communities,” said Ken Peterman, Comtech’s President and CEO.

Thanks to Comtech and NENA sponsorship, ESPN’s broadcast of the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl featured messages of support to the men and women who care for our communities around the clock, be they firefighters, EMT or 9-1-1 dispatchers, and we donated hundreds of tickets to 9-1-1 professionals so they could attend the event. Importantly, we had one special guest who was the winner of our first ever Above and Beyond Award.

Above and Beyond Award

As part of our People First strategy, Comtech is passionate about engaging with our employees at every level and acknowledging their hard work both at work and on their personal time, including their volunteer activities. In December, Comtech introduced the first annual “Above and Beyond” award, which was developed to honor Comtech employees who consistently demonstrate an unyielding dedication to their community through their time, actions, talents, and service.

“We were blown away by the nominations we received for our first annual Above and Beyond award,” said Jennie Reilly, Comtech’s Chief People Officer. “It is clear, across our locations, that Comtech employees have incredible dedication and commitment to volunteering for impactful organizations, serving others, and assisting those who may need a helping hand.”

While there was only one winner of the Above and Beyond award, there is no doubt that Comtech employees are making a significant and positive impact in communities around the world.

After thoughtful consideration, U.S. Army Veteran and Comtech employee, Marissa Hamelin was selected as Comtech’s first-ever Above and Beyond Award recipient. The volunteer work Marissa is doing to support veterans who struggle with physical and mental health is truly remarkable.

Marissa spent 20 years in active-duty service, which included two overseas combat deployments. When she retired from the U.S. military, she was eager to continue building on a lifetime of volunteerism. She immediately set out to find new ways to give back to others and support the veteran community.

“One of the reasons I love the veteran community is we find each other and help each other out,” said Marissa. “At the end of the day, you don’t know what someone is going through. While they might look okay on the outside, they could be dealing with struggles on the inside. This is why a majority of the organizations I support aim to help veterans and others who might be struggling with mental battle wounds or invisible disabilities.”

Marissa volunteers for three organizations that offer services and provide tangible outcomes for veterans across the nation and the globe who struggle with mental and/or physical health.

Since 2018, Marissa has been a committed Irreverent Warriors volunteer. Irreverent Warriors is a non-profit organization that has dedicated itself to providing a unique brand of unconventional therapy to the military and veteran communities since 2015.

Irreverent Warriors also holds hundreds of events in support of veterans across the country and overseas. The organization’s main event, the Silkies Hike, has directly impacted the lives of over 60,000 veteran and military participants, and their network has reached countless more.

This past year, Marissa coordinated and participated in multiple hikes for Irreverent Warriors at locations across the United States. She also recruited friends and fellow veterans from her local area to join her, increasing the group size and providing additional support for veterans in need of a helping hand.

Marissa also volunteers with Flag to Remember, a non-profit organization that builds memorial flags for permanent public display across the country, with hand-sewn name tapes of fallen military members and first responders. The organization’s efforts provide families with a positive method in coping with the loss of a loved one. Through education and conversation, the organization and its members also assist surviving service members and first responders, and their families with locating resources and agencies to assist individuals battling PTSD and suicide.

The third organization Marissa supports is Through Tragedy Comes Light. Local to Fayetteville, North Carolina, this non-profit memorializes veterans through parking sign dedications and by organizing runs to raise money for other non-profit agencies that provide suicide awareness and prevention.

Over the past year, Marissa volunteered numerous hours and made monetary donations to each of the non-profit organizations she supports. At the end of the day, Marissa says its not the volunteer hours or the contributions, she’s happy she found a positive community of likeminded individuals who are passionately dedicated to helping others overcome any challenge they are going through.

“Friends of mine that I met through the veteran community helped me find each of these amazing organizations,” said Marissa. “These organizations help you find your family. They are filled with positive people who will build you up and help you overcome any challenge you might be facing.”

Marissa was in shock when she got the call that she was Comtech’s first recipient of the Above and Beyond award.

“When I got the call that I won, I was in complete shock and very grateful,” said Marissa. “But at the end of the day, I feel this award is another way to give back to the organizations I support – they do so many incredible things for veterans and people who need help. They are the ones that deserve this recognition.”

As the grand prize winner of this year’s Above and Beyond award, Marissa received an all-expenses paid trip to the First Responder Bowl to enjoy the game and meet a group of Comtech leaders who recognized Marissa and her fantastic volunteer efforts.

“It was nice to meet people at Comtech who make the company what it is today,” said Marissa. “The game was fun to watch, and I felt it had a much broader impact than just football.”

At Comtech, we are dedicated to continually recognize the leadership, mentorship and impact our team has on the communities we serve.

“I am honored to lead such a passionate team, so dedicated to volunteering and supporting communities around the world,” said Ken Peterman. “I want to thank Marissa and all of our Above and Beyond award nominees who exemplify what it means to be a leader at Comtech. People like you exemplify our culture: dedicated to volunteerism, caring for each other and our communities, with a heartfelt spirit of inclusion.”

“Congratulations to Marissa and all of this year’s Above and Beyond award nominees,” said Ken. “I am grateful for the way you go Above and Beyond each and every day.”

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information in this blog post contains statements that are forward-looking in nature and involve certain significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and performance could differ materially from such forward-looking information. The Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings identify many such risks and uncertainties. Any forward-looking information in this press release is qualified in its entirety by the risks and uncertainties described in such Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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