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Hargrove Teammates Step Up to the Challenge


Many Hargrove teammates are traveling to sites, working remotely, and sitting for long periods of time. Paired with busy schedules, staying active can be a challenge.

With heart disease as a leading cause of death in the United States and diabetes trailing behind, it’s important for individuals to stay active and exercise regularly. These actions can help lower risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, decrease blood sugar levels, and reduce chronic stress.

Inspired by a step challenge organized by Hargrove’s Atlanta office, Josh Payne, Controls & Automation (C&A) Division Leader, wanted to motivate the C&A team through a similar approach. Josh created the C&A Steps Challenge as a friendly competition to engage teammates and get them moving. Having participated in the Atlanta steps challenge, Josh “enjoyed having a goal of walking every day and the competition brought on by the step challenge made it easier to meet that goal.”

Teammates were sent a survey regarding their interest in participating in the challenge and emailed information on how to track their steps.

“Why not?’ is what I ask myself,” Celeste May, C&A Project Controls Specialist, said when considering participating in the challenge. “Why not work to improve myself in any form?”

In addition to challenging themselves and forming healthy habits, they paid it forward by raising money with each step for the American Heart Association.

Split among six teams, 51 teammates participated in the challenge, which ran through the month of March. When asked what he was most excited about during the challenge, Josh said, “I am excited to see the teams push each other and work together to meet a goal.”

A Month of Commitment

From day one, teammates charged into the challenge. Offices organized walks. Teammates brought their running shoes to the office. Even teammates who were not actively participating in the challenge imbued Hargrove’s value of teamwork, encouraging those around them.

For some teammates, this was an opportunity of transformation. “I love my job, but transitioning to office work took a toll on my health,” said C&A Engineer, Tom Hamel. “It seems proper that a work event should be the catalyst for me making a change. I’ve been going to the gym every morning for a week now, and already I feel incredible. So, I thank my Team for the motivation they all have provided me.”

The Steps Challenge Results

As a Team, Hargrove Controls & Automation accumulated over 12 million steps during the month of March and raised over $600 for the American Heart Association. A donation was made through the Hargrove Foundation.

C&A Administrative Assistant Nicole Woodard said, “The Step Challenge has been a major highlight during my time here at Hargrove. Teammates in our office were connected through the challenge and it gave us a common conversation topic, an excuse to joke around, and to constantly remind each other to take the longer route to our next destination.”

The Winning Team

With a total step count of over 2.7 million and an average of 344,000 steps, the team named The Peaky Striders took the top spot with The Walking Tread coming in a close second with a total step count of over 2.5 million.

Hargrove C&A Top Individual Steppers


Nicole, the overall top stepper, averaged the equivalent of a half marathon for each day in the month of March. “A huge shoutout though to both Steven Carlberg and Ben Pinewood! Without you all leading the pack our first few weeks, I don’t think I would have been as successful as I was. Thanks for keeping me motivated and making me worried that one of you would catch up if I didn’t keep getting more steps every day. Final shoutout to my walking pad and standing desk at home. Getting 30,000 steps a day takes forever and being able to walk and read or walk and watch tv helps the time fly by.”

Fostering a Healthy Environment

Although the challenge is complete, Hargrove teammates continue to schedule time to stay active. From a stroll around the office to check in on teammates, to a walk off-site for lunch, teammates are keeping the spirit of the challenge alive.

“I hope some of our teammates come away from this challenge with a new habit that continues for years to come,” said Josh. “I can absolutely see us doing more of these types of challenges in the future.”

Are you fostering an environment of healthy habits among your teammates? Step up to the challenge. Organize a program today. Build camaraderie. Support local charities.

Visit the Hargrove Foundation’s website if you are interested in donating or learning more about the organization.

To learn more about the American Heart Association, visit their website.

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