Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Meet Team Molex

sophia_blogCollaboration is the Key to Motivation

By Sophia Park, Operational Excellence Global Black Belt, Molex

Molex offers the opportunity to participate in sponsored events, networking with coworkers and I am able to help others reach their goals. For those reasons, I signed up as a volunteer at the 2015 Bank of America Marathon.  Due to it being a great experience I’m returning again this year.

It is through such events and Molex’s encouragement of having a work life balance and fitness that allow me to grow both professionally and personally. The fitness center offers the best trainers that I’ve experienced and the group classes keep me driven to continue my workouts. I’m inspired and motivated through the people at Molex. I work to push myself harder and improve my skills. Focusing on my health keeps me focus on my professional career. My energy levels are up and I’m more alert during the workday.

Outside of the fitness center I enjoy riding my bike, going to the park and swimming in the lake. I’m looking forward to another positive experience at the 2016 Bank of America Marathon.

staysha_blogMolex Fitness Culture Inspires Major Boost in Fitness and Well-Being

By Staysha Titus, Manager, Corporate Accounting & Reporting, Molex

Before joining Molex in December 2014, I never exercised. I worked in downtown Chicago with a three-hour roundtrip commute, working 80 hour weeks. My exercise consisted of walking a mile each way to and from the train station. I was so exhausted from working that exercise wasn’t even a consideration.

Through the encouragement Molex offers, I found that it was possible to take time during the work day to exercise. Not only does Molex have a top-notch fitness facility and amazing trainers, it also focuses on work/life balance that includes personal health. I went from zero exercise to taking a lunch-time class every day.

After starting an exercise routine, I decided to challenge myself by signing up for the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where Molex was a first-time sponsor. I was inspired by the Molex Running Team and the dedication the members have to the culture of well-being and camaraderie. I went from never running more than two miles in my life to completing the marathon and accomplishing my time goal.

The changes in my energy level, health, and body were amazing! Additionally, the mental and emotional benefits have been as important as the fitness benefits. Taking just 45 minutes to an hour each day for myself has made a huge improvement in my emotional well-being and lowered my stress levels, and my lunch time workout helps me be more productive throughout the day. The additional health benefits help me keep up with my two (soon to be three) young children.

Though I ran the 2015 Chicago Marathon, my pregnancy is putting me on the sidelines this year. However, I hope to celebrate my 30th birthday next year by running the 2017 Chicago Marathon and my goal is to cut my time from 4:40 to 4:15!

I am so grateful to Molex and proud of the effect its well-being culture has had on my life.

sanjivsharmaGetting Inspiration from Health and Fitness –in More Ways than One!

By Sanjiv Sharma, Director Global Supply Planning and S&OP, Datacom & Specialty Solutions, Molex 

The Molex Fitness Center is a great way for employees to stay fit and the friendly and highly qualified instructors are the icing on the cake. Also, the busy lunch-time environment of exercise and classes, is inspiring to keep the motivation up. Add to that the Molex sponsorship of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and you couldn’t ask for a better health and fitness culture at your workplace.

I am in my 40s and still have the same energy levels I did when I was in my 20s. All the credit goes to exercise, a healthy diet, a supportive family and the support from Molex for health and fitness. And it’s good for Molex, too! I get some of my greatest ideas when exercising/running — especially when I hit a brick wall at work. Whether it is early morning, afternoon, or late at night, being fit helps keep me alert. Due to my global role, I have early morning and late night calls almost every day, and without exercise I would not be as effective on those calls.

The health and fitness culture at Molex also helps inspire other employees. Each year, people see the examples of me and other Molex fitness enthusiasts and take up exercise and running to lose weight. Then they are able to keep the weight off. There is no better reward than seeing others’ life habits change for the better.

I run and exercise about 10 hours per week, and it helps me play with my kids and eat a sumptuous meal sometimes since I’m burning a lot of calories. Even when I travel on vacation I try to fit in a running event. This year, I’m aiming to run the Chicago Marathon in 3:30, and I hope to run the Boston Marathon someday. It’s great to have long-term – and long-distance – goals!

frank_blogWhen You’re a Runner, You’re Never Alone

By Frank Rehder, Customer Service Systems Manager, AME Customer Service Operations, Molex

The 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon was a great experience for me. It was the first time I had volunteered at a running event, and I was inspired to participate after running my first half marathon last year. It was an honor to support all the runners, but especially those running for Molex.

This year, I will be one of the runners in the marathon, which seems amazing to me. Running is a great sport because in addition to motivating yourself to reach specific goals, you’re part of a group and can help motivate each other. Over the last few years, I have been on an interesting personal journey. I’ve lost nearly 130 pounds and finding my love for running in the process has been a big part of the journey. I began running about a year and a half ago (see my blog here).

In addition to running, I bike, swim and lift weights. I enjoy working out immensely and also play some sports (even though I am not that athletic!). Staying active is so important.

Molex does an amazing job of supporting its employees’ health and wellness goals. The Fitness Center itself is a great benefit, but the fitness classes, personal support from the staff and the Molex involvement with local races make it even better. On a personal note, I am in the running to appear on the cover of Runner’s World magazine in December 2016 and Molex has been very supportive of this goal. My story was recently shared on our global intranet, on all of our social media outlets and on Molex’s blog. It’s overwhelming how supportive the organization has been — including the personal support of CEO Martin Slark.

dan_blogMolex – A Great Place to Exercise the Mind and Body!

By Dan Klein, engineer, Molex

Since starting at Molex over 20 years ago, I’ve lost 50 lbs and kept it off!  I attribute this to the motivation I discovered through Molex’s encouragement to health and fitness. In 1995 Molex participated in its first corporate challenge and I signed up along with four others. We trained during lunch or after work and while we were focused on getting in shape for the event we built friendships. We also started the Molex running club that is still going today.  

With my increased fitness level, I feel that I think better and am more alert during the day resulting in the best me for Molex and my colleagues. Through exercise I discovered my love for running and the opportunity to tap into my competitive side. Once again I will run the Chicago Marathon in October and have a goal time of 3:15.

I spend about 8 hours a week exercising and participate in several races ranging from 5K to marathon distance. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I am able to keep my weigh stable, play in different sports and rarely get sick.  Molex is a great place to help me work my mind and body!

briangThe Benefits of Being Part of ‘Team Molex’

By Brian Gifford, Senior Manager, Tax, Koch Industries

Molex consistently supports its employees’ health and fitness goals by encouraging them to take advantage of the company Fitness Center and take part in other healthy activities. It’s a clear message sent by CEO Martin Slark not only in his words, but also in his actions.

I’ve personally seen the benefits of a commitment to health and fitness, and it’s made a huge improvement in my quality of life. Before I started exercising, I was always lethargic in the afternoons. Today, working out during lunch gives me more energy to add value in my role at Molex. It also helps with the energy I need to keep up with my three boys at home!

I spend about 10 hours a week exercising, and running is my favorite exercise and sport. It makes me feel healthy and strong while helping me maintain my weight goal for many years. It’s also improved my marathon time, and I’m hoping to run under 3:40 at this year’s event. It’s great to be a part of Team Molex!

chris_blogVolunteering and Fitness — a Great Combination!

By Christine (Chris) E. Coyne, Global Customer Service Representative, Sales & Marketing Division, Molex

For me, one of the most important parts of life is being a volunteer. It’s a great way to connect with other people who share the same interests and promote causes you believe in. I have been volunteering for various causes and events for the last 35 years, and last year I started volunteering at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Over the years, I had been curious about the Chicago Marathon but never knew how I could assist in such a major event. Molex made it easy for me to sign up and volunteer. I had a built-in group of people to hang out with, a mode of transportation to and from the event, a close-up view of the runners, plus a pretty good feel for the logistics of running one of the marathon water stations. I was quite humbled by the vast array of runners and grateful that I could be of service to others. I also thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of my co-workers.

I prefer to volunteer my time at races that benefit specific causes. I live in a suburb of Chicago and every Thanksgiving morning there is a race called the Bonfield Express. It’s named after the late Jim Bonfield, who was a beloved teacher at the local high school. The funds it raises go to college scholarships for needy students that live in surrounding communities. It’s the type of race that is certainly worth my while and provides a real benefit to the community.

Being a part of “Team Molex” gives me many opportunities to volunteer, promote healthy lifestyles and be active. When I started at Molex, I helped out with the Christmas and Easter programs for families. There was also an opportunity to help out with Habitat for Humanity, which was initiated by Doug Jones, the customer service manager at the time. I also helped out with the “Molex Adopt a Highway Program” along Ogden Avenue, which borders the Molex campus.

I was asked to help out with the “Go Red for Women” campaign at Molex, which was initiated by the American Heart Association. I gladly volunteered to run the campaign to educate others about being heart healthy. I’ve also volunteered for “Dress for Success,” “Backpacks for Education,” and “Molex Friends of the American Cancer Society.” In volunteering for these programs, my hope is that I am helping to improve someone else’s life. For me, I get to connect with others who enjoy volunteering.

Volunteering also led me to be fitter and healthier. I was not a regular runner until about three years ago. When I helped out with the Go Red for Women campaign, a fellow Molex employee mentioned that the American Heart Association was sponsoring a half marathon. At that time, I had never run longer than three miles. I thought “why not try a half marathon – go for the experience and the challenge.” Dan Klein, a seasoned marathoner at Molex, volunteered to run with newbie runners like me every week for a couple of months before the big run. I ran with a group of Molexers every Saturday morning and we tacked on an additional mile every week. I might not have been the fastest runner but I accomplished my goal of finishing the race. As a runner, I have gained an immense appreciation and admiration for the dedication of any person who takes on the commitment to run in both short or long races.

My motto is “stay healthy and active.” In addition to running, I cycle (in 2015, I logged 1,000 miles for the Molex cycling team), hike (my adventure in 2015 took me to Glacier National Park, where carrying “bear spray” was a must!), golf and, my favorite, dance. I like to mix it up, which certainly makes life more interesting!

My goal is to stay healthy for the long-term for myself, my four children and, so far, my five grandchildren. I find that exercising or movement makes me feel better about myself both physically and mentally.


untitled-2Energy and Excitement at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

By Brian Bartz, Business Systems Manager, Molex

Molex promotes both volunteering and health and fitness, and it’s great when those things come together — like at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

I volunteered last year for the Chicago Marathon and was chosen to lead the Aid Station for the Molex team and worked with Melissa Savage at Mile 9. It was a great experience. I like helping others, being part of the energy and excitement of a big event, meeting new people and helping others work hard to achieve their goals. I appreciate that Molex supports many different causes and offers a lot of opportunities for people to make a difference by volunteering.

As far as fitness goes, I’m a part-time runner and enjoy other running events that Molex participates in, such as the Chase Corporate Challenge. I also enjoy playing basketball, lifting weights, walking, etc. All these physical activities contribute to my health and well-being. It’s through the support of Molex to all of its employees to have a balanced life of work and fitness that encourages me to work hard at both every day.