James Perry (23055, 3rd from left) and John Traugott (2nd from right) get off to a fast start at the 2007 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. Perry and Traugott helped Credit Suisse win the Men's team title in 2007 and finish third last year.
Success on a large scale the standard
for Credit Suisse at Corporate Challenge
John Traugott of Credit Suisse is cheered after winning the 2006 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Central Park in 2006.
NEW YORK, May 20, 2011 — For Credit Suisse, impressive results at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® in Central Park year after year have become the standard.
"Credit Suisse has participated in New York’s Corporate Challenge and seen strong results for a number of years," said Company Captain Heather Currier. "Brady Dougan, CEO of Credit Suisse, won the Most Senior Executive category in 2005 and John Traugott, Vice President in the Investment Banking Department, finished in first place in 2006. In addition, our Men’s team finished first in 2007, second in 2008 and third in last year’s race."
The list of accomplishments could go on and the 2011 Credit Suisse team will try to add to it when it joins 465 other companies on Wednesday, June 15 at the 35th edition of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Central Park. An additional 472 companies will participate on the second night of team racing over a hilly 3.5-mile loop in one of the world's most famed parks on Thursday, June 16.
Excellence at the Corporate Challenge, of course, is as much about participation as it is about winning, and Credit Suisse once again will be easy to spot this year in Central Park. In 2010, 598 Credit Suisse employees took part in the Corporate Challenge. The numbers are about equal this year.
"Our team fills up very quickly each year," said Currier. "This year almost 600 runners registered in only 10 days."
Currier has been organizing the large team since 2003, after running two years as a Credit Suisse member.
"As a member of the Corporate Events department and an active member of the New York running community, taking on the role of Company Captain in 2003 was a natural fit," she said. "In this role, I coordinate with the local captains in other cities where Credit Suisse has teams including Chicago, Boston, London, Singapore and Sydney, to ensure that the same shirt is provided to employees globally and that policies are consistent."
She makes sure to remind as many New York-area Credit Suisse employees as possible when it is time to register for the highly popular, sold-out Corporate Challenges in Central Park. In an era of instant communication, she takes advantage of modern technology.
"In order to recruit team members, a broadcast email is sent to the entire New York staff to announce the race and provide information on how to join the Credit Suisse team," she said. "Additionally, the previous year’s team is contacted to remind them of the event and registration deadline."
But, she also uses good old-fashioned leg work.
"As the Company Captain, I know many of the runners personally, and make it a point to remind them to register when I see them around the New York office," she said. "I also wear my Credit Suisse shirt to other New York City area races. This encourages employees who may be running in these races to become involved with the Credit Suisse running community and helps recruit future Corporate Challenge participants."
Central Park offers a great venue for out-of-the-office gatherings before and after the Corporate Challenge for companies such as Credit Suisse.
The payoff is important in many ways for a large financial firm such as Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse recognizes that its employees are a valuable and important asset and play a crucial role in helping clients achieve their goals.
"We are committed to providing employees with opportunities to realize success both in and outside of the work place," Currier said.
One way the Corporate Challenge helps achieve that for Credit Suisse employees is simply by offering the opportunity for them to come together to share a unique out-of-the-office experience.
Credit Suisse is structured into three divisions — Private Banking, Investment Banking and Asset Management. While collaboration across these divisions is encouraged, employees from different business areas do not always have the opportunity to work together on a daily basis, especially in New York, which has the most employees at the Bank outside of Switzerland.
"Credit Suisse understands the importance of bringing employees from different areas of the Bank together to cultivate relationships and ideas,” said Currier. “The Corporate Challenge is an excellent way for employees to meet, while supporting an activity that encourages a healthy lifestyle."
That's especially true at the Corporate Challenge since, as Dougan's Most Senior Executive title in New York in 2005 suggests, the Credit Suisse team members range each year from entry level to senior management.
"Credit Suisse has a reserved picnic area in Central Park for employees to gather both pre- and post-race," Currier said. "Some departments and desks also plan informal gatherings after the race, open to participants and supporters."
And, as the Credit Suisse results through the years indicate, there is also a reward at the Corporate Challenge for the best and most highly-competitive Credit Suisse runners. Chief among them has been Traugott.
He burst into the winner's circle at New York in 2006, capturing his race by 30 seconds in a time of 17 minutes, 48 seconds. A year later, he ran an identical time and finished second, but led Credit Suisse to the Male team title. Last year, Traugott ran 18:52 to join long-time team members Peter Ryan, Morgan Thompson and James Perry in finishing third among Male teams.
"Both our Men’s and Women’s teams are excited to participate again in 2011 and hopefully improve on last year’s solid results," said Currier.
But, she adds, other goals are equally as important for the team.
"Our team maintains a competitive spirit, but also acknowledges that events like the Corporate Challenge bring employees together over a common bond, and celebrates both individual and team successes," she said.
"Last year, one member of the team signed up for the Corporate Challenge even though she had never before participated in a race," she offered. "She committed to the (Corporate) Challenge, overcame her ‘first race’ jitters and successfully completed the race. She was so pleased with the experience and happy to have achieved this goal that she signed up again this year!"
That's the kind of success on which the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge — and the Credit Suisse team — is built.