UKG, a leading global provider of human capital management (HCM), payroll, and workforce management solutions for all people, today announced its sponsorship of Dan Cnossen, the 2018 Best Male Athlete of the Games, as he prepares to compete in the 2022 Paralympic Games, which take place March 4-13 in Beijing.
“I’m honored to be a UKG ambassador because of the company’s culture and what they believe in, including how they treat their customers, their communities, and their own teammates,” said Cnossen. “As someone driven by the concepts of team and togetherness my entire life, UKG’s motto, ‘Our purpose is people,’ is especially meaningful — and to be a part of that purpose is truly inspiring.”
Cnossen graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2002 and was one of only 16 members of his class given the opportunity to enter Basic Underwater Demolition/Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) training as officers. From 2003 to 2009, Cnossen was deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and rose in rank to become the officer-in-charge of an 18-person SEAL platoon.
In 2009, while on a night mission in the mountains of Afghanistan, Cnossen lost both of his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED). For the next two years, Cnossen endured more than 40 surgeries and entered intensive rehabilitation — which is where he was introduced to cross-country skiing and the biathlon. Three years later, Cnossen earned a spot on the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Team.
Cnossen shocked the world at the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang by tying for the most total medals — one gold, four silvers, and one bronze — on his way to winning Best Male Athlete of the Games and becoming the first U.S. male athlete to win gold in the biathlon.
“UKG’s support is allowing me to train and compete at the highest levels, and that support is so critical for Paralympic athletes,” added Cnossen. “I hope UKG’s commitment to me marks the beginning of more organizations supporting other adaptive athletes all across the world.”
As part of the agreement with UKG, Cnossen received the majority of sponsorship funds in 2021 to help him train for the 2022 Paralympic Games. Additionally, UKG will donate $91 — one dollar for every nation competing at the 2022 Paralympic Games — up to $20,000 to Semper Fi & America’s Fund for every hour of training logged by Cnossen since the UKG ambassador relationship began on November 1. Semper Fi & America’s Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing assistance to combat-wounded, critically ill, and injured service members, military family members, and veterans, and has specifically provided Cnossen with support for adaptive sports equipment.
“The idea to sponsor a Paralympic athlete came from our ADAPT (Accessibility and Disability Allies Partner Together) employee resource group at UKG — and, in researching adaptive-athlete corporate sponsorships, it was clear that it’s unfortunately a rare occurrence,” said Chris Todd, president at UKG. “Signing Dan to Team UKG is symbolic of our belief that teams and organizations perform at their best when all people are welcomed, respected, valued, and feel that they belong. We’re beyond proud that Dan will be representing UKG alongside his country on the world’s stage.”
Cnossen, who earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor, retired from the U.S. Navy in 2015 and returned to graduate school, earning two master’s degrees from Harvard University. Today, he resides in Massachusetts and, when not competing or training for the Games, is a motivational speaker.
At UKG, our purpose is people. Built from a merger that created one of the largest cloud companies in the world, UKG believes organizations succeed when they focus on their people. As a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, UKG delivers award-winning Pro, Dimensions, and Ready solutions to help tens of thousands of organizations across geographies and in every industry drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, streamline the payroll process, and help make work a better, more connected experience for everyone. UKG has 13,000 employees around the globe and is known for an inclusive workplace culture. The company has earned numerous awards for culture, products, and services, including consecutive years on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. To learn more, visit ukg.com.
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