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    AAFES Named a Top Government Agency for Multicultural Business Opportunities

    Meanwhile, company employee is the first to earn Air Force Wounded Warrior "Care Beyond Duty" award.

    DALLAS -- For the third consecutive year, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) was recognized by DiversityBusiness.com as offering the best multicultural business opportunities, and earned the No. 5 spot on the "Top Government Organizations" list, the company stated.

    An online election determined the top agencies for the "Div25," which recognizes those government agencies that provide the best and most business for diversity-owned companies. Decisions were based on factors such as volume, consistency and quality of opportunities granted to women and minority-owned companies, according to the company. AAFES received honors due to its commitment to opportunity, particularly in the communities it serves, evidence of which is its increase in 2008 spending with diverse business owners by more than $58 million from the previous year, the company stated.

    "It’s an honor for AAFES to once again be recognized nationally," AAFES Director of Diversity Jeanne McDonald said in a statement. "Ranking fifth on the list of all government organizations shows the lengths we go to ensure the exchange’s product mix mirrors our diverse customer base."

    AAFES and other winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony at DiversityBusiness.com’s 9th annual Multicultural Business Conference, taking place next month in Orlando.

    In other AAFES news, Wanda Clayton, credit risk manager, became the first recipient of the Air Force Wounded Warrior "Care Beyond Duty" award March 11. Clayton went "above and beyond the call of duty," providing exceptional support to a "wounded warrior" and his family, who were suffering from financial problems.

    By working with the senior airman on credit concerns related to a Military StarSM Card account, Clayton eliminated a portion of the debt to help protect the family from a potential financial crisis, the company stated. Upon hearing of Clayton's actions, the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program created the "Care Beyond Duty" award to recognize those who go out of their way to take care of other Wounded Warriors.

    "Ms. Clayton demonstrated a genuine personal interest and compassion toward this airman and his family," Lt Col David L. Bringhurst, Air Force Wounded Warrior program manager, said in a statement. "The positive impact she made on this family will be felt immediately and for years to come. It is also worth noting that she is the first recipient of this new recognition from the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program leadership and staff, a real testament to the level of commitment she’s shown to our wounded warriors."

    Clayton was honored with a suprise ceremony at AAFES' headquarters in Dallas.

    "While I was certainly honored and surprised to receive this award, I was just doing my job," said Clayton. "It’s extremely important to help our Wounded Warriors to the fullest extent that we can and it was truly rewarding for me to assist this Air Force family."

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