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Crate and Barrel increases presence at Chicago's Corporate Challenge

Members of Crate and Barrel gather for a team photo at the 2013 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Chicago. The company returns for next Thursday's 2014 race, which will feature a capacity crowd of 25,192 at Grant Park.
Members of Crate and Barrel gather for a team photo at the 2013 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Chicago. The company returns for next Thursday's 2014 race, which will feature a capacity crowd of 25,192 at Grant Park.

With a little push from top management, Crate and Barrel keeps increasing its presence at the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge® in Chicago.

In fact, this year, it is not just the number of participants that is growing for Crate and Barrel. It’s also the number of its companies.

 “Crate and Barrel and CB2 will be participating in the Corporate Challenge for the second consecutive year,” said Purchasing Coordinator Daniel Speller, the company captain and resident of Rogers Park. “Our sister brand, The Land of Nod, will join us this year as well. This will be The Land of Nod’s first time participating in the event.”

The 33rd annual J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Grant Park will feature a capacity crowd of 25,192 entrants from 594 companies. The starting horn will sound at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 22.

Perfectly positioned for the corporate crowd to ease into the Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer in Chicago, the Corporate Challenge has become a popular staple. It is an event that is an ideal fit for Crate and Barrel, a point recently reinforced by the company’s CEO.

“Sascha Bopp (who is participating this year), promoted the event at a recent company-wide business meeting, known internally as the State of the Crate,” said Speller. “We’ve been very fortunate to receive support from the top, but that isn’t uncommon at Crate. Registration increased by about 40 percent in the week that followed our 15-second State of the Crate spot.”

In all, Crate and Barrel has 47 registered entrants, including Bopp. Such support by top management frequently has a far-reaching, positive impact.

“We’re excited that the CEO of Crate and Barrel and the managing director of The Land of Nod will be participating in the event,” said Speller. “In addition to their support, their attendance will ideally inspire additional participation for those in our stores and warehouses who aren’t likely to meet and socialize with them otherwise.”

Crate and Barrel finds the Corporate Challenge an opportunity to promote health and fitness within, while also promoting a message of commitment to the community.

“Our CrateLifestyle Committee continuously works to promote healthy practices throughout the company, in addition coordinating other fitness-related events at our corporate office,” said Speller. “Their commitment to health and wellness began a few years ago with the requirement of an annual physical exam for every associate on our medical plan. Events like the Corporate Challenge help reinforce this commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

“Also, as an advocate of philanthropy, J.P. Morgan’s commitment to designate a beneficiary for each Corporate Challenge makes this an even more admirable event,” Speller added.

This year’s J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Chicago will benefit Get In Chicago, which is addressing the problem of youth violence by supporting prevention and intervention efforts across high-violence community areas in Chicago.

And, in terms of promoting camaraderie in the workplace, the Corporate Challenge has long been recognized as providing a unique opportunity for employees to share an out-of-the-office experience.

Speller is a big fan of that.

“I enjoy participating in the Corporate Challenge because it’s a great way to represent our company, spend a fun evening with work buddies in the city, and possibly make new ones,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to get together with work friends outside of the workplace and enjoy a fun, large, competitive event in the city, representing a company that you’re excited to be a part of.”

And, this year, with Crate and Barrel’s expanded presence, more of its associates than ever will get that chance.

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