Under the captaincy of Danielle Naftulin, Cooley has grown its participation at the San Francisco J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge by nearly 50 percent since 2015.
There’s an expression regularly used with pride at Cooley LLP, Danielle Naftulin’s workplace: “Be Cooley!”
Often, that expression is translated into the law firm’s staff showing up in force around the world for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.
“Our continual focus on culture and professional excellence are always front and center,” Naftulin said. “We have ongoing diversity and inclusiveness initiatives that are core to all we do as well as our internal wellness program – be.well@Cooley. To me, participating in the Corporate Challenge is an extension of those programs.”
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Cooley is internationally known as an elite law firm for technology and life sciences companies, including startups and emerging growth companies. It has a significant presence throughout the Corporate Challenge Series, regularly fielding teams in the San Francisco, Boston, London, New York and Shanghai races.
Naftulin does a masterful job captaining the San Francisco Cooley team. When the 34th edition of the Bay Area stop of the Corporate Challenge is held on Thursday, September 6, there will be a sold-out crowd of 10,500 entrants from over 350 companies. Cooley will have 120 of those entrants, with members from its Palo Alto and San Francisco offices.
“When I speak with Team Cooley participants, the overwhelming feedback is that the intangible benefits of entering the Corporate Challenge are great,” Naftulin said. “For some, it’s a reminder that being fit and healthy is paramount. For others it is an opportunity to connect with friends in another office. And for others, it is a reminder that our whole team, from staff to accounting to the most senior partners, is precisely that – a team!”
Cooley and Naftulin have been integral to the growth of the Corporate Challenge in San Francisco. When the law firm first began participating in the early 2000s, there were fewer than 5,000 entrants on the starting line at Crissy Field, which is where Naftulin first raced in the Corporate Challenge. The 3.5-mile course was moved to the Embarcadero in 2010, and the surge began. Cooley’s participation is four times the size it was at Crissy Field, increasing nearly 50 percent from 2015.
“Our continued involvement spurs predominantly from the tremendous camaraderie fostered and the deep satisfaction that comes from participating in an event that supports awesome local charitable causes,” Naftulin said. “It is hard to beat a great excuse to get out there together and do something phenomenal for our own well-being, our Bay Area offices’ collective team spirit and greater good. When you add the energy of knowing this is an international event, and participating alongside 10,000 others in the Bay Area, it keeps us coming back and reigning in more participants.”
The 2018 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series is on track to register over 250,000 entrants at events in 13 cities on five continents. You don’t generate that type of interest from the global workforce unless there is something for everyone, and Naftulin was happy to illustrate the diversity of participation at Cooley.
“We really get people across the gamut, including senior partners, the most junior associates and paralegals, secretaries, accounting staff and HR,” Naftulin said. “We have serious runners (including marathoners), walkers, and folks in-between, some sporting tutus. For Team Cooley, this is an all-comers event, and we encourage those of all abilities to join in.”
And the “Be Cooley” part extends past the finish line with an annual post-race party in the shadow of the Bay Bridge.
“We always host a party afterwards, which is a terrific chance to chat with whole cohorts of people with whom you might not otherwise have a chance to connect given different practice areas and offices,” Naftulin said.
Cooley, along with large and small companies representing dozens of industry groups, will take off on September 6 at 7:05 p.m. from a race course that begins at McCovey Cove. Registration is closed, as the event is at capacity. If you are a registered company and have additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Event Details page.