Farrell Sprague (bottom right, bib number 238) captains the Butler/Till team at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, which includes Kimberly Jones (bib 43), the firm’s President.
With its move to Downtown Rochester in 2017, the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge solidified its reputation as one of the region’s most celebrated and anticipated after-work social events.
The Corporate Challenge, which will celebrate its 28th annual running on Tuesday, May 22, brings together businesses of all sizes in dozens of industry groups to celebrate workplace fitness and camaraderie. It’s also a 3.5-mile run and post-race party full of networking opportunities.
“The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is an excellent venue for creating both community and business connections,” said Farrell Sprague, Senior Data Analyst for Butler/Till. “We love meeting and talking to people from other agencies, vendors, school districts, not-for-profits – anyone – whether or not a business connection is made.”
Butler/Till, a media and communications agency specializing in healthcare brands, technology & telecommunications, and financial services, will register approximately 30 of its employees for the Corporate Challenge, contributing to a total anticipated crowd of over 9,000 runners and walkers from more than 300 companies. And Sprague finds that there are several tangible benefits to Butler/Till’s participation.
“First, we love that it’s a major charitable event here in Rochester that attracts a multitude of different business and organizations that wouldn’t normally share the same turf,” Sprague said. “Butler/Till gives all employees three full work days each year to use as part of our Community Involvement Program, and hours can be used for any cause we’re passionate about. Since the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge is held after business hours, we get credit for the time spent at the event and apply it the same as we would regular time off.”
The Corporate Challenge has been a staple in Rochester since 1991. For the first 13 years of its existence the race was held at Highland Park. It then had another successful 13-year run on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology. Now with its move Downtown, with post-race hospitality at beautiful Frontier Field, the event is poised for a new generation of hosting Rochester’s business community.
Like the Corporate Challenge, Butler/Till is on the move. It was named to the Rochester Chamber Top 100 2017 list, highlighting the fastest-growing private companies, and has made the Democrat & Chronicle’s Top Workplaces list all five years the newspaper has announced the award. Butler/Till also opened a San Francisco office last year, and recently named Gabrielle Bedewi, Ph.D., as its first Chief Analytics Officer.
“The growth is a testament to the positive impact we’re having on our client businesses,” Sprague said pridefully, also noting that Butler/Till is 100-percent employee owned, certified woman owned, and a certified B Corp.
Some of the companies Butler/Till will share the Downtown race course this year will include Wegmans, which entered an amazing 830 total entrants in 2017. Paychex, University of Rochester, Harris Corporation, Labella Associates, CGI Communications and Coopervision are some of the other top brand names in the market that support in big numbers each year, keeping the Corporate Challenge top of mind and in the media headlines.
This year’s J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, benefitting the Veterans Outreach Center, remains open for registration through May 3. It’s an all-inclusive event, open to runners and walkers of all skill levels. And, as Sprague points out, it’s also a good way to spend time with the boss.
“We have a dedicated squad that participates every year, including both runners and walkers,” Sprague said. “Our President, Kimberly Jones, is an accomplished runner. Having completed marathons, running 3.5 miles isn’t overly challenging for her, but she does indeed enjoy the event – and perhaps some friendly competition!”
Perhaps Jones and Butler/Till will challenge at the front of the pack this year. In 2017, Corning (men and women) and Rochester Regional Health (mixed) were the team champions and earned an invitation to compete in the 2018 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Championship, which will be held in Boston on June 21. Rochester teams have an excellent recent history at the Championship, with Corning winning the women’s team title in the 2016 Championship in Central Park and DuPont’s Trisha Byler earning the individual women’s title in Frankfurt, Germany at the 2017 Championship.
And, in the Butler/Till spirit of socialization, every company can share in the networking spoils by securing hospitality space within Frontier Field, with space available to reserve through May 3.