When the organizers of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge hosted the first event on July 13, 1977 in Central Park, Moody’s was exactly the kind of participant they had in mind.

The financial services and data company has over 13,000 employees in 42 countries all over the world. With such a large footprint, it can be a challenge for employees throughout the organization to get to know each other.

This is where the Corporate Challenge comes in. It is an all-inclusive 3.5-mile road race, available for men and women, entry-level workers to C-Suite executives. The accessible race distance and social atmosphere makes it a perfect event for companies to come out in big numbers, show pride in their business, and learn a little about each other.

Moody’s will have approximately 150 of its employees on hand when it competes in this year’s Corporate Challenge in Central Park – scheduled for Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30.

“It provides us the opportunity to come together as one team and interact/meet others who we ordinarily would not have the opportunity as part of our day-to-day job,” said Kristen Setevage, a Vice President for Moody’s Investors Service (MIS).

Setevage provided an effective example of how the Corporate Challenge has brought Moody’s  closer together in New York.

“Andrew Conforte and I are captains (of the Moody’s Corporate Challenge team),” Setevage said. “I am an employee of MIS and Andrew is an employee of Moody’s Analytics. Neither of us had met or interacted until we participated in the event years ago and then five years ago took on the captain roles and continue to work together as one Moody’s team.”

The Setevage and Conforte captain partnership worked so well, in fact, that they were encouraged to organize Moody’s teams across the Corporate Challenge Series. And, in 2019, Moody’s will enter seven Corporate Challenges in total – Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Frankfurt, London, Singapore and Sydney.

“We have a wide range of individuals who participate each year in terms of seniority within the organization as well as running ability,” Setevage said. “This year our MIS CEO Rob Fauber joined the runners in Singapore with his business team in the region. Globally we have junior associates through senior managing directors participating in the event.” 

The May 29-30 Corporate Challenges will make the 43rd consecutive year the event has been held in Manhattan, and the runs will benefit the Central Park Conservancy. A capacity crowd of 30,000 entrants from approximately 700 companies will participate, and Moody’s can attest to how difficult it is to get into the race.

“The event is something employees look forward to each year,” Setevage said. “We joke about how quickly the team fills up, and employees are always alert to when the registration email will be sent out.” 

And among the Moody’s employees who do beat the deadline to enter are some quality runners. Three, in fact, finished among the top 40 New York men in 2018 – Jeff Perrella was 26th, Jaron Somers 27th, and Stephen Bione finished 38th.

Setevage will be equally proud at the finish line. “I have recently gone through childbirth and look at the event as an opportunity to get physically active,” she said.

When Setevage, Conforte and their colleagues are on the starting line, they’ll be wearing t-shirts that capture Moody’s brand and spirit.