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CEO Rick Hurwitz (1049 at right) joins members of the Pictometry International Corp. team at the 2012 JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge in Rochester.

Teams, runners enjoy ideal conditions
at 22nd Rochester Corporate Challenge


Women's champion Jessica Snyder of the University of Rochester (19:44) and men's winner Mark Andrews of Fleet Feet Rochester (17:33).

ROCHESTER, May 31, 2012 — More than an hour before the start of the 22nd JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge, Rick Hurwitz, CEO of Pictometry International, was already with his colleagues in a hospitality tent at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

“This is all about esprit de corps,” Hurwitz said. “It’s about a company being together outside of the office, in the fresh air, with the community. We’re famous for trying to win in the workplace, and we’ve also had success here, with our runners finishing in the Top 10 frequently.”

Hurwitz has a lot to be proud about with the business. A business grown out of the pioneering image science roots in this Western New York city, Pictometry attracts top local talent and sells its products nationally and globally. And, on the occasion of the Corporate Challenge, they come together to celebrate that success.

“We have software engineers, sales people, administrative people, marketers ... all have busy schedules and sometimes are separated by that functional divide. So it’s important to me to be here with them at the Corporate Challenge to interact, share some food and share some laughs.”

And then Hurwitz pointed to the corner of the tent, to a very special member of the team.

“That’s a chemist that brewed some home grown beer for us,” Hurwitz laughed. “We’re doing it right!”

Indeed, pre- and post-race camaraderie definitely ruled the evening as 9,967 runners and walkers from 399 companies gathered in spectacular late spring conditions. Blue skies, race time temperature of 63 (humidity 43%), a light breeze. Just the right ingredients for the corporate social event of the year — the ninth year this race has been held on the RIT campus.

Not surprisingly, the runners didn’t complain about the weather. They thrived.

Mark Andrews of Fleet Feet Rochester, the individual men’s champion here in 2010, broke the tape first for the men in 17:33, beating his previous winning time by 14 seconds. Andrews beat Corning’s David Bronfenbrenner (17:41) and Ryan Kaiser of Gleason Works (17:43) to the tape.

Jessica Snyder was the defending women’s champion, clocking a 20:20 in 2011. She burned up the course this time around, winning in 19:44, just in front of her University of Rochester colleague Sarah Loerch (19:54). Dupont’s Trisha Byler (the 2009 champ) was a solid third in 20:10.

Members of Wegmans flash a "W" sign for their company before the race.

The largest teams were an eclectic collection of Monroe County businesses. The University of Rochester led the way with 384 entrants, followed closely by a pair of wildly-popular supermarkets, Wegmans (364) and Tops Friendly Markets (318). Paychex had 279, Unity Health 217. Event owner and operator JPMorgan Chase entered 166 of its employees.

“I’ve been the team captain for the past 16 years,” said Kristen Deisering of Wegmans. “We really start to get together a group for the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in March and use the race to kick-off our wellness program. Everyone gets really excited for this event as it’s a nice way to get to know each other outside of the office.”

Among the hundreds of companies that took hospitality in the RIT Bowl and the nearby “Tiger’s Den” were locally-owned, mid-size companies that create the fabric of the business community. Businesses like Lewis Tree, Hammer Packaging, Sentry Group, Performance Technologies, Bergmann Associates, Horizons Solutions, Partners + Napier and Logical Operations also shared post-race camaraderie long after the last walker crossed the finish line.

“I’m the team cheerleader and about two months before the race we begin to promote the Corporate Challenge,” said Debbie Valle, the tireless Lewis Tree captain. “We post pictures from last year and send around information to get everyone really excited. We have about 50 people (48) participating this year, which is a lot more than last year.”

Runners focus as they near the finish line in the 2012 JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge in Rochester. Included in the group are Michael Cerasoli of the University of Rochester (4835), Ted Scardino of Nixon Peabody (3394), Renee Martin of EFP Rotenberg (2132) and James Nicol of Computer AID (1809).

The businesses were helping to benefit the Greater Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross. The JPMorgan Chase Foundation will be making a donation to the Red Cross, specifically to provide relief and peace of mind to working families that endure home fires. This is part of a Corporate Challenge-wide initiative in Upstate New York with events in Buffalo (June 7) and Syracuse (June 19) also benefiting the local chapters of the Red Cross.

Additional funds to charity will come from the companies judged to be the most creative. Sigma Marketing and SUNY Geneseo won the popular vote of the T-Shirt competition at www.facebook.com/rochestercorporatechallenge and each will receive a $1,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase to designate to a charity of their choice.

The 36th season of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series continues next week about 75 miles to the west with the 32nd annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Buffalo.

(For comments on JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge Series features, or suggestions for feature stories, please contact Alan Tieuli at series-info@jpmorganchasecc.com)


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