By: Pete Woody, Sports Backers

The Anthem Corporate Run returns in October, and whether working from home or back at the office, companies around Richmond are preparing to take part. The new event format for 2020 includes a two-week long Fitness Journey challenge leading up to the virtual 5k, and for many participating businesses, it’s a great way to encourage health, wellness, and employee engagement.

We caught up with several teams as they get ready to take part to learn more about their preparations and the importance of health and wellness initiatives to their overall workplace culture, so take a look at the Q&A interviews below, and remember, there’s still time to get your team registered for this year’s event here.


Members of the UR Team in 2019

University of Richmond
Heather Sadowski, Director of Health Promotion

Sports Backers: In general, talk about your employee engagement initiatives and why they’re important to the overall company culture.

Heather Sadowski: We have the ability to help educate employees to see the vital impacts of healthy behaviors so they can live healthier lives. Our campus has developed the UR Well initiative, which focuses on a culture around eight dimensions of wellness. This initiative provides a holistic and integrated approach to creating a thriving, collaborative campus culture. Key campus partners work together to strengthen well-being efforts and provide programs and services that contribute to the culture of well-being. We truly have a comprehensive team approach to engagement across campus!

SB: What role does corporate wellness play in those engagement initiatives? How have you had to adjust due to remote or virtual work plans?

HS: UR WELL has provided our campus with weekly programming since the University’s modified operating status was put in place in March. Our team will continue to provide resources for physical, mental, and emotional health throughout the duration of our virtual working accommodations. Please visit the Employee Well-being site to find resources, download helpful information, or watch past and current webinars.

SB: Why does the University of Richmond feel like the Anthem Corporate Run is a good event to participate in?

HS: Our employees love the social connection they have with their colleagues at this event! It’s wonderful to see each other in a different setting, rather than the office, and share laughs, smiles, and a great run/walk together! This will be the eighth year the University of Richmond’s faculty and staff have taken part in the event. Each year we have anywhere from 175-200 employees that join in the festivities! We motivate each other with some friendly competition and strive to promote a healthy lifestyle across our campus.

SB: What are you looking forward to about this year’s event? How are you preparing for new elements like the Fitness Journey Map and Team Superlatives?

HS: This will be new and exciting for our employees! I can’t say that I am looking forward to one specific event, rather I am looking forward to the increased activity levels and comradery for the duration of the entire event! We have created messaging and a promotional box linked to our website to promote these new elements. We want to engage daily with our team and support employees along the way during each aspect of the event!

Kari Wright, Office Coordinator

Sports Backers: Tell us a little more about Paymerang’s employee engagement initiatives, how they fit into the overall company culture, and how they contribute to making Paymerang one of the area’s top workplaces.

Kari Wright: Our values say it all: Integrity, Passion & Positivity, Simplicity, Teamwork, Customer Focus, and Grit. At Paymerang, our culture is at the center of our work and our employees.

We listen to our people through daily stand-ups, surveys, and quarterly town halls. Feedback is incredibly important to our leadership team and oftentimes, at our Town Hall, we will focus on questions and concerns addressed in these surveys. Everyone has a voice here.

We celebrate milestones together through baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, and holiday events – sometimes even silly holidays like National Ice Cream Day with an ice cream truck parked outside or National Dog Day with pictures of everyone’s fur children.

We work together to support our community through volunteer efforts like FeedMore, Habitat for Humanity, Shalom Farms, Children’s Hospital of Richmond, and local schools. Last year we volunteered at 2 FeedMore – Backpack Program events, we donated school supplies to Westover Hills Elementary School, we were able to put together over 50 thanksgiving dinner boxes for local families in need and participated in the Seneca Resources program to decorate pumpkins for children in local pediatric units.

We support overall wellness, and healthy lifestyles for our employees through free healthy snacks, daily company-wide walks, fitness challenges/competitions and events such as the Anthem Corporate Run.

It’s important to our employees, especially now, to get to know our co-workers away from work projects and deadlines.

SB: What role does corporate wellness play in those engagement initiatives?

KW: Health and wellness play a big role in our culture. We believe that employees who are healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally are not only happier at home but are happier at work. Happy employees perform better and help us continue to offer an exceptional level of service to our clients and vendors.

SB: Why does Paymerang feel like the Anthem Corporate Run is a good event to participate in?

KW: In the age of social distancing, it has been hard to find events that help bring our team together. Many of our previous events have either been cancelled or postponed. Now more than ever, connection is incredibly important, and we feel that the Anthem Corporate Run is a great opportunity to add a little bit of healthy competition, connection, and fun into the day to day of our employees and their families.

SB: What are you looking forward to about this year’s event? How are you preparing for new elements like the Fitness Journey Map and Team Superlatives?

KW: The Fitness Journey Map is a fun new twist to the Anthem Corporate Run, and I look forward to seeing how our Paymerangers get creative completing it. We are working on compiling a list of ideas to help them with this and a few more ideas to help us win some of the Team Superlatives in a fun but still remote/socially distant way!