Corporate Challenge Brings Hundreds

WHEELING — The town’s business district saw some wholehearted participation in Saturday’s race events with a corporate challenge led by two of the half marathon’s top sponsors.

The Health Plan and WesBanco had almost 300 employees participating in the race, along with associated family members. The companies covered the cost of entrance fees and shirts for their racers.

Tony Pietranton, head of human resources for WesBanco with a time of 1:01:5 in the 5K walk, said the race coincided with the company’s policy of encouraging healthy lifestyles among employees.

“For the last several years, we’ve had a corporate wellness program where we encourage employees to develop healthier lifestyles, and we like to get involved in these types of events to promote that, and also to promote the community,” said Pietranton who also said the company saw high participation in the race.

“We have over 130 employees on our team, and their family members,” he said. “We also encourage members of the family, not just the employees. We were pleased with that number … Our employees are excited. They were thrilled to be able to participate.”

Pietranton said WesBanco and The Health Plan have cooperated in promoting healthy choices.

“We’ve been working with them on some wellness initiatives together,” he said.

“It’s just a great team-building exercise for us,” said Todd Clossin, WesBanco’s president, with a time of 30:03:8 in the 5K run.

“(The race) attracts a lot of people into Wheeling,” said Kim Griffith who is Vice President of Human Resources for WesBanco with a time of 41:56:5 at the 5K run. “It’s good for the economy and it’s a good, fun time for families.”

Jim Pennington, president and CEO of The Health Plan, said he was excited to work with The Ogden Newspapers to find ways to boost participation. His time was 52:54:1 in the 5K walk.

“To kind of create a little more of a buzz around the business district downtown,” said Pennington. “We came up with the idea of doing a corporate challenge. The Health Plan and WesBanco and other employers in the downtown business district to get involved in the race and to get our employees and their families involved in the race.

“We had over 160 employees signed up,” he said. “Employees and family members, their kids, making it a family event just like the race is a family event.”

Pennington said spirits were high at every level of the company.

“We had some couch-to-run challenges,” he said. “We had a walking challenge. We gave T-shirts away and some events at the office to get people encouraged about joining and getting involved.

“We had people in each event,” said Pennington. “We have runners that are running the half-marathon. We had a couple of walkers take off in walking the half-marathon. We have a lot of families in the 5K walk and the 5K run.

Ed Polli II, an employee at WesBanco with a 59:41:5 in the 5K walk, said the event was an excellent way to kick off the summer. He spoke about the atmosphere leading up to the race.

“The bank likes being involved in the community and a lot of people joined,” said Polli. “There’s been a lot of enthusiasm and interest. People came from a lot of other branches to do it, from Weirton and Steubenville and Pittsburgh.”

Judy Kyer, a The Health Plan employee with a time of 3:27:14 at the half marathon walk, said a sense of good-spirited competition permeated the workplace.

“We have four floors at The Health Plan, and there’s a challenge even among the floors for a pizza party, the more we can sign up,” she said.