City Arena manager receives ‘Patriotic Employer Award’

ALBERT LEA, MN — A southern Minnesota man is being spotlighted for his work with our heroes.

A local soldier, Specialist Pence Upchurch, who works at City Arena in Albert Lea nominated his manager for a prestigious award.

The Patriotic Employer Award goes to a supervisor who works with soldiers as far as flexible scheduling, time off prior to and after deployment and more.

The City Arena facility manager is one of a few people that received the award in the entire first congressional district of Minnesota.

“It was a huge surprise, quite the honor. When I first heard about it I didn’t know how big of an honor until I did a little research on my own and talked to Norm a lot and to have somebody nominate you for this is quite the thing,” said Facility Manager, Bob Furland.

He said he hopes that more citizen-soldiers will come to work there.

“I try to accommodate everybody, but with him and other people, they’re doing special things for us. We have to find something to keep them working and hopefully help them go through school and the service,” Furland said.

He said they hope to have Upchurch back working at the arena this fall.

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