Members of the Synacor team have some fun at the 2009 Chase Corporate Challenge in Buffalo and are gearing up for the 2010 race on June 10 at Delaware Park. "Working well as a team is essential to our success," says company captain Darci Hosier. "Helping each other out and doing whatever is required is something that comes naturally here. Participating in events such as the Corporate Challenge helps our employees feel even more like part of our team."
Synacor's 'techies' love fun, fitness
of Chase Corporate Challenge in Buffalo
Synacor's corporate tent in 2008 was soon to be populated by a team that enjoys the out-of-the-office camaraderie of the Chase Corporate Challenge.
BUFFALO, May 3, 2010 — Many employees at Synacor, Inc., are — well — “techies.” But, don't feel sorry for them. They produce some exciting products and they do get out from behind their computer monitors. In fact, Synacor is fielding a team for the seventh consecutive year in Buffalo 's corporate fitness party of the year, the Chase Corporate Challenge®.
As in past years, the 30th edition of the Chase Corporate Challenge will be the catalyst for a sea of corporate tents to spring up on the green expanse of Buffalo's beautiful Delaware Park on Thursday, June 10. Last year, 392 companies participated, and most took advantage of the event to host post-race parties that filled the Frederick Law Olmsted creation with the smells of barbecues and the sounds of employees having fun in a decidedly out-of-the-office setting. (Registration remains open for this event.)
In the middle of it all once again this year will be Synacor, which is no accident for the Buffalo-based global technological company.
“Some people may think of a “techie” as the stereotype of a person behind the computer that never leaves the house — not true!” said company captain Darci Hosier. “We do spend a lot of time behind our computers, but we're firm believers that a little exercise goes a long way in terms of helping stay focused and more clear-headed. It is even more important to make fitness a priority when you're working a somewhat sedentary job.
“We may not be the strongest runners, but we have fun and love the camaraderie.”
And, Synacor clearly also breaks the stereotype for “techies” in other ways at its headquarters in Buffalo. Since being formed in 2001, the company has produced an exciting array of products that provide “Internet solutions to enable ISPs, media companies and advertisers to build close relationships with consumers on the Internet.”
“We build portals for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) — think of sites like MSN or Yahoo — a website with your email, news, weather, etc.,” Hosier explained. “That's what our portal platform is. We don't put the Synacor name on it, so the websites look just like they come from the ISP. We have tons of cool and engaging content for the portals — like videos, games, and movies. So they are not only useful, but fun!”
Earlier this year, that “fun” reached all the way to the Winter Olympics when Synacor worked with 14 U.S. cable operators nationwide to allow more than 9 million subscribers to watch the Winter Games from Canada online in a technological breakthrough that illustrated not only the advance of broadband broadcasting capabilities, but the continued evolution of television and the web.
“Our culture is casual and fun, but very hard working,” said Hosier. “It may be a cliché, but it's true, that we work hard and play hard! Getting together outside of the office is commonplace for our employees, and the Corporate Challenge is one of our most popular events we participate in. We are still growing, so for newer employees it's also a great way to get to know people that they may not have had a chance to work with or meet.”
And, as the company captain for two years, Hosier says she has seen firsthand the effects of the Corporate Challenge on her fellow workers.
“We have a number of employees who have committed to a more active, healthy lifestyle since the Corporate Challenge last year,” she said. “They have made considerable improvements in their overall health. It is not uncommon to hear Synacorians discussing their workout routines and the progress they've made.”
That makes it even easier for her to recruit a team for the Corporate Challenge.
“Synacor has so many active individuals, that it's not difficult to get a team together at all,” she said. “We also love to get together for a good party — and every year for our tent we get great BBQ catered and just have a good time! In advance we'll send out a staff email telling employees about the event, and from there word-of-mouth takes over, and people want to join in just to be with their friends and fellow coworkers.”
The company also can relate to the team aspects of the Chase Corporate Challenge, where individuals must enter as part of a company team.
“Working well as a team is essential to our success as a company,” Hosier said. “What we do at Synacor couldn't be done without great teams. In order to launch a successful product or new client, it takes contributions from literally every department. Helping each other out and doing whatever is required to get the job done is something that just comes naturally here. Participating in events such as the Corporate Challenge helps our employees feel even more like part of our team. We cheer each other on and celebrate one another's achievements. Even though we are at all different fitness levels, what's great about the Corporate Challenge is that everyone can take part.”
And because the Chase Corporate Challenge pulls together Buffalo 's corporate community and each year benefits a local non-profit organization, Synacor's employees look forward to participating.
“Synacor is committed to the Buffalo area and seeing it grow and succeed,” said Hosier, “so we love to network with other companies and individuals — you never know where your next great employee or customer will come from!”