Terakeet in the Community: Kilter Rewards Challenge

Maggie Farragher-Gnadt

Terakeet is as committed to making health and fitness opportunities accessible to our workforce as we are in investing in the community we call home. So when our employees heard about the Kilter Rewards Challenge, we were all in!

Kilter Rewards is an app that was created by Seth Braddock, a former Syracuse native. Kilter states that their mission is “to make a positive impact on the health of the world.” Kilter users participate in a series of fitness challenges for a chance to win a donation to a cause of their choice. The app hosts a variety of different challenges that work in different ways, from employer challenges to individual ones. 

Nicole Burun (Human Resources Administrator) described how she first encountered Kilter, and what it means for our efforts with our internal charity, Cause for the Cuse. 

“When Seth Braddock (founder and CEO of the Kilter app) approached me and said that Kilter challenges could be tied to fundraising for a charitable organization we picked, I knew immediately that we had to be involved. By participating in these fitness challenges, we could raise money for Cause for the Cuse, and that would directly benefit the children of the Syracuse City School District.”

Nicole continued, “One of the things I love most about this challenge is that it brings us all together and allows us to build relationships with other employees that we might not talk to in our day to day jobs. On top of bringing the team together, it generates some healthy competition amongst other Syracuse-area companies, so I’d call that a win-win.”

Terakeet first entered the Kilter Rewards Challenge in the summer of 2019 for the app’s “Summer Cause Challenge.” This challenge involved a large number of companies from all over the country, all competing to win a donation to the charity of their choice. 

It was a close race, but Terakeet won the challenge, winning $1400. We also moved on to Kilter’s “Fall Challenge.” This fitness competition was slightly different, with all competing companies hailing from the Syracuse area. The pressure was on, since the top four teams from that challenge would move on to Kilter’s “Fall Championship Bracket.”

Nicole talked a little bit about the competition, saying, “I was taking a prep course at LeMoyne with other HR professionals in the area, including the captains of some other Kilter teams. Terakeet’s team was on top of the challenges week after week, and it made for some spirited dialogue and healthy competition between local companies that was really fun!”

You may wonder, what was Terakeet’s secret to crushing these fitness challenges? Simple: our awesome people! We would not have been able to win these challenges and raise money for Syracuse schools without our ‘Keeters consistently getting active, uplifting each other and staying focused on the greater good. 

racheal morrow and nicole burun at cuse camp bootcamp

Vanessa Langdon (Digital Content Specialist) said, “I’m a board chair member of Cause for the Cuse, so this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I’m also a highly competitive person – but not overly athletic or coordinated. I loved that the Kilter Rewards Challenges didn’t require you to be an athlete as a prerequisite.”

She added, “I was able to earn my points and be an active member of the team for these challenges within my own fitness level. I think removing that barrier to entry regarding needing to meet a certain ‘body type’ or ‘fitness level’ really opened up the competition to anyone at Terakeet, especially those who were just starting on their fitness journey.”

Challenge participants were asked to meet a daily activity level, which was measured using a smart-connected device or manually entered into the app. Sometimes it can be hard to take time for fitness on a busy day, but our ‘Keeters were determined to make it happen!

Nicole said, “That lazy Sunday where you don’t want to get off the couch but you have to get your points in for the day? I would get up and go for a 30 minute walk and it got me motivated and energized for the day.” 

Our ‘Keeters also helped hold one another accountable to their individual and collective wellness goals. Maeve Byrne (Outreach Team Lead) commented that, “I would run into people who were also doing the challenge at the gym. It was motivating and inspiring when I saw other people participating because it meant we were all one team working together to reach our goals. We had a group chat on slack saying “going to the gym now” or “remember to check in,” so it was nice checking in with other people and seeing their progress.” 

Ryan Maxson (Senior Digital Outreach Specialist) echoed this sentiment. “Overall, the experience was really great. To be honest, it was even more motivating for me to get to the gym or get those 10,000 steps in or to walk two miles. The value of having a group of people to cheer you on and push you to get to the gym when you might not be feeling like it cannot be undersold.” 

free yoga class in syracuse

Whether it was to stretch their legs with a stroll to Starbucks in Armory Square, a free yoga class in Clinton Square or a quick stop at the gym, Terakeet’s contestants found a variety of ways to work out for a good cause. Many spent time at one of ‘Cuse Camp’s many bootcamp locations. 

Vanessa commented, “Once CFTC was contacted about working with ‘Cuse Camp for one of their ‘‘Cuse Camp Cares events,’ I signed up for that limited membership and got hooked! I’ve been going to a 5:50 a.m. ‘Cuse Camp class ever since. Through the Kilter Challenge, I found that my body responds better to working out in the mornings and I’m much more consistent that way!”

‘Cuse Camp has been a great supporter of Syracuse Schools – in the past, they’ve offered discounted memberships and donated all proceeds to Cause for the Cuse. In addition, the ‘Cuse Camp locations collected donations of school supplies and hygiene items for Cause for the Cuse. In total, ‘Cuse Camp has donated more than $1,000 to help Syracuse schoolchildren!

Cause for The Cuse accepting donation from Cuse CampCares

The cost of a gym membership can be a huge barrier to a healthy lifestyle. That’s why Terakeet is committed to making wellness a cornerstone of its benefits package. This includes a sponsored membership to Aspen Fitness for each and every Terakeet employee. We’ve heard that not only does access to one of Aspen’s four fitness clubs make it easier for our employees to work out on a daily basis, but it also provides a place for ‘Keeters to connect and bond. 

Vanessa commented on this camaraderie, saying, “A major hurdle for me was just body confidence. I was fortunate to have access to workout equipment but for the longest time I was only comfortable enough to work out in my living room. I wouldn’t even let my boyfriend be in the room while I did yoga.”

She added, “Through the consistency that I’ve found with the Kilter Rewards Challenges and the other members of the team, and the little group that I have at the Liverpool ‘Cuse Camp motivating me, I feel much more confident in my work out abilities.”

Terakeet is currently competing in Kilter’s “Fall Fitness Championship Bracket,” vying for a $1,000 donation to Cause for the Cuse alongside another local team and two teams as far flung as Fort Worth, Texas and Louisville, Kentucky. So far, we’re in first place! We can’t stress enough how much every dollar donated benefits our community’s children and their families. We’re so proud of our ‘Keeters for getting fit for a good cause, and “Donating Their Hustle” with Kilter Rewards!