TEMPE, Ariz. — With dust on their cleats and grins on their faces, U-Haul Team Members left the Kiwanis Park with a sense of camaraderie. The Company’s softball tournament had come to a close, the trophy now in the hands of Sully’s Sluggers.
“The competition was intense,” notes Monique Wantland, U-Haul wellness marketing specialist. “To see more than 100 Team Members come out to play and work together was very rewarding. Everyone was cheering each other on, even if they were on opposing teams.”
In 2015, U-Haul created the Healthier U initiative. The system-wide program has given Team Members access to more wellness benefits, health fairs, healthier food options and scheduled activities outside of work. The softball tournament is one of many events offered to Team Members throughout the year.
Stepping Up to Bat
Eleven teams registered for the Nov. 11 softball tournament. Some 126 Team Members from across Arizona gathered in hopes of winning the trophy to place in their respective offices. Some teams managed to coordinate practices before the tournament.
“More than half of our Team is from U-Haul internal audit,” explains Evan Johnson, a member of Sully’s Sluggers. “It was tough to coordinate a time to practice due to our travel schedules. The odds were stacked against us, but our team believed in one another.”
The single-elimination tournament paired Sully’s Sluggers and the Tech Center Knockouts in the championship game. Building an early lead, Sully’s Sluggers were in control until one of their players suffered an injury late in the game, prompting a change in the field.
“Our entire team had faith in (coach) Dennis Sullivan’s decision,” Johnson says. “When the next batter hit a huge arching fly ball to right field, Matt Tanzer made an outstanding catch to seal the deal for Sully’s Sluggers.”
Since the implementation of Healthier U, U-Haul has garnered numerous fitness-related awards. It was recently named one of the Valley’s healthiest employers of 2017.
“For U-Haul to offer additional activities and events outside of normal business practices speaks volumes to the leadership and direction of the Company,” Johnson says. “These opportunities give Team Members a greater sense of pride while building camaraderie and making connections.”
Did you know U-Haul renovated its corporate café to offer healthier food options to its Team Members?