Mirror Show Management meets creative,
as well as fitness, challenge at Rochester
Members of Mirror Show Management gather for a group photo at the 2009 race.
ROCHESTER, May 18, 2010 — When the Chase Corporate Challenge® began 20 years ago in Rochester, less than a thousand runners from 76 companies gathered for the 3.5-mile race. Organizers probably could not have envisioned a future for the event they had just launched that would feature participation 10 times greater than the first race and a sea of corporate tents spread out on the park-like campus of Rochester Institute of Technology.
And, clearly, they would have had a tough time envisioning that creativity and design would become as important as it has for an event that promotes fitness and camaraderie in the workplace.
Yet, with the introduction of the T-shirt contest and the growth of corporate tents for post-race parties, creative design has become an increasingly large part of the Corporate Challenge. Nowhere is that more evident than when a company devoted to creative design enters.
Meet Mirror Show Management (MSM), which is participating for the third year in the Chase Corporate Challenge® on Thursday, June 3 at RIT (registration remains open).
Based in nearby Webster, NY, Mirror Show Management creates custom trade show exhibits and provides complete trade show and event management. It is a company so obsessed with making clients look good that its trademarked “cardinal rule” is: exhibitgreatness™.” “It's what we do. Every Day. To guarantee your trade show success,” the company says on its website.
It's not surprising then, that the creative aspects of the Corporate Challenge — particularly the T-shirt design contest — are a big deal for MSM.
“We host an internal competition within our creative department,” said Tammy Wilkes, Vice President of Human Resources at MSM and the Company Captain in 2008 and 2009 before handing over the reins to Dina Brouse this year. “As you can imagine, at a creative, design based company like ours, there is a fair amount of excitement and competition around who can come up with the winning design.
“This year, the design is a three dimensional rendering of a sneaker. This is not only an eye-catching way to represent the Corporate Challenge, but it also communicates what Mirror Show Management does for our customers; through our exhibits and events, we work to transform a company's brand into a three dimensional experience that will translate into greater awareness and sales.”
The design is striking, picking up on the company's “exhibit greatness” philosophy, which is so prevalent at MSM that it even shows up in the firm's employee fitness/wellness program — called Live Great.
“Our company tagline is “Exhibit Greatness” and the Live Great program is really an extension of that,” said Wilkes. “We strive to exhibit greatness in all that we do, including encouraging our employees to take care of themselves. The Live Great program is designed so that new hires or current employees can enter at any time. The first step is to sign a wellness pledge. Each quarter features a different theme, and activities are planned to support the theme. Employees earn tokens for participating in the activities, which range from biometric screenings, to health fairs, and water balloon tosses. Additionally, employees earn tokens for working out in our fitness center. Tokens can then be turned in for prizes.”
Because the Corporate Challenge is such a natural fit for MSM's Live Great program, as well as for the company itself, it's not surprising management is solidly behind the effort. That begins with company owner Donna Shultz, who, Wilkes said, is committed to a lifestyle of wellness at home and at work and fully supports events that challenge employees physically.
“We have huge management support!” said Wilkes. “The Corporate Challenge is a perfect event for Live Great because it embodies wellness, giving back to the community, teamwork and goal setting, and really ties back to our message of Exhibit Greatness.”
Times were recorded on a damp napkin at last year's race.
MSM first became involved with the Chase Corporate Challenge in Rochester in 2008, largely because Wilkes was “bitten with the running bug” and got company approval to form a team.
“I was excited to form a team for MSM for the first time,” she said.
The team came back in 2009, but endured a drenching rainstorm on race night. Now, it is back for its third time.
“We typically have not had difficulty in forming our team,” Wilkes said. “In order to generate a buzz about the challenge, we post fliers, post it on our intranet, talk it up during our fitness classes, and have a group that meets every Thursday to train for the challenge. We have 58 employees in Rochester, and on average, 20% of our workforce participates.”
The benefits from the Chase Corporate Challenge help in a workplace environment such as the one faced by MSM.
“Because our business is so deadline driven (you can never get an extension on a deadline because the show must go on!), it can cause a good deal of stress,” said Wilkes. “Fitness helps alleviate stress. An atmosphere of teamwork is also essential to our continued excellence in our work and the Corporate Challenge really promotes camaraderie and goodwill.”
And, she has seen the positive effects that promoting fitness in the workplace can have on her individual colleagues.
“I would say that lifestyle changes are the biggest success story for us (at the Corporate Challenge),” Wilkes said. “We have employees who had never run before, trained for the Corporate Challenge, completed it, and in the flurry of excitement and overwhelming sense of being part of something significant while at the race, caught the running bug and are still running one and two years later!”
Of course, winning a T-shirt design award at the Chase Corporate Challenge in Rochester on June 3 would, no doubt, also be considered a success story at Mirror Show Management.