of The Fulton Companies gather for a group photo before the start of the 2009 Chase Corporate Challenge in Syracuse. The company will return on June 22 when the 29th edition of the race is held at Onondaga Lake Park.
The Fulton Companies joins Corporate Challenge
in growing while focusing on the environment
SYRACUSE, May 20, 2010 — The Fulton Companies is growing in step with the Chase Corporate Challenge®.
The 29th edition of the Corporate Challenge — Central New York 's largest road race — is expected to draw upwards of 7,000 runners and walkers on Tuesday, June 22. That is approximately 14-percent more than the 2009 crowd of 6,155 full-time working entrants.
Fulton also has a burgeoning footprint. Its headquarters building in nearby Pulaski is undergoing an expansion that will triple its manufacturing and office space. But that is just part of Fulton 's story.
A global manufacturer of steam, hot water, and thermal fluid heat transfer systems, Fulton has roots in Upstate New York that stretch back more than 60 years. In 1949, Lewis J. Palm started Fulton Boiler Works, Inc. in Oswego, New York with his invention of the vertical tubeless boiler as the only product. Still owned and directed by the Palm family, Fulton today has joined a growing number of companies, as well as the Chase Corporate Challenge, in focusing on developing practices and products that help the environment.
The expanding headquarters building, funded in part by a $1.5 million grant from New York in recognition of Fulton 's greening efforts and its impact on the Upstate economy, is a great example.
"Fulton is always focused on reducing our carbon footprint; we are integrating many green technologies into our newest building expansion project," said Erin Sperry, a Fulton engineer and Company Captain for its team in the Corporate Challenge.
"Fulton is focused on not only the health of its employees but also on the health of the environment. We are constantly looking for new opportunities to provide innovative heat transfer solutions, reducing both the energy bills and carbon footprint of our customers," Sperry added. "We have many products that feature the highest operating efficiencies available, low emissions, and customized energy management controls that integrate systems into our customers' facilities. These products go into both the commercial heating markets as well as the industrial process heat transfer markets from right here in central and upstate New York and around the world."
The environmental focus is shared by the Corporate Challenge, which in late 2007 began its own environmental campaign - "Teaming Up For a Greener Tomorrow®" The campaign uses environmentally friendly methods including recycling, all-electronic registration and the encouragement of public transportation to reduce the carbon footprint of the world's largest corporate running series, as well as to showcase to participating companies that even seemingly small changes can have a big, positive impact on the environment.
So, it is no surprise that Fulton 's participation in the Chase Corporate Challenge is also growing.
"Fulton has been participating in the Corporate Challenge for the past several years," said Sperry. "We have a wide range of participants in the event - everyone from executive vice presidents, welders, assemblers, engineers, service technicians, purchasing and customer service. I encourage anyone and everyone to participate. It is a challenge to encourage people who are not used to these types of events. In these cases I will communicate aspects of the non-competitive, social and fun atmosphere. Fulton has around 200 employees at our Pulaski facilities, and this year we should have between 15% and 20% participation."
The company also will have a bigger presence at its corporate tent, which will join others in what is annually a small village that rises on the shores on Onondaga Lake.
"Participating in the Corporate Challenge is a great team-building experience for us," said Sperry. "It's nice for Fulton employees to see not only ourselves but many other local companies coming out and supporting the community. Being a team player is one of the core values for Fulton employees, and spending time together outside the office helps promote that value. At the post-race gathering, we are planning to have a barbeque to relax and socialize. We're upgrading our hospitality site size this year so we can invite some of our vendors and customers to join in the post-race festivities."
The effort to put all this together is no small task, but for Sperry, it's a natural extension of a running career that began when she was a young teen-ager.
"I have been running competitively since I was 13 years old, including cross country and track, through high school and college, where I was often the team captain," she said. "The competitive spirit, along with the team bonding and encouragement that comes with participation in these events is especially great when an employer supports these causes."
Fulton is now the third company at which she has served as a team captain for the Corporate Challenge. It's an effort that proves its worth each year because of its impacts on people.
"Healthy employees are happier, have more positive attitudes, are more productive when at work, and take fewer sick days," said Sperry. "This is not only better for keeping the business profitable, but improves everyone's well-being. Fulton employees (and their families) have access to a company owned fitness center at a rate of less than $2 per week, and flexibility in personal schedules lends to employees having more time to exercise."
And completing the 3.5 miles of the Corporate Challenge, and then enjoying the shared experience at a post-race party, is the type of event that truly helps inspire long-term fitness-related changes.
"Although we've had several employees post fast race times, what's more important to Fulton is getting as many people exercising, healthy and active as we can," Sperry said. "We have many initiatives in the workplace to promote healthy eating, quitting smoking, losing weight, and lowering other health risks. The Corporate Challenge gives us a chance to get people that have experienced these successes together and continue to encourage others."
And now, the Chase Corporate Challenge also gives Fulton employees a chance to do something else important to them and their company — help the environment by encouraging all companies to take a greener outlook.