For six years in a row HCSS running team - HCSS Heavy Haulers has participated in the Texas Independence Relay. This year the team covered the 200 miles race in 27 hours and 6 minutes, improving our time from our first run in 2008 of 32 hours and 6 minutes. The course map is broken into 40 relay legs starting from Gonzales, where the Texas revolution took place and ends in San Jacinto Monument in Pasadena where the Texas independence was won. (http://texasindependencerelay.com/race-information/). The relay took place March 23-24.
A team of 11 HCSS employees completed the race. HCSS Heavy Haulers won 2nd place in the corporate men’s team category. We also finished 31st overall which is the highest we have ever finished.
The team at finish
Also, on April 14, HCSS employees also took part in the 5K Run for the Rose event which took place at the Reliant stadium. We were the largest corporate team with a total of 151 people signed up on our team, making HCSS the largest team for the event.
HCSS employees and families at the event
The Run for the Rose is a foundation that supports Brain cancer research. The foundation was started in honor of Dr. Marie Rose who was a pediatric resident doctor at Children Memorial Hospital, she died of brain cancer at age 32. Her family established the Dr. Rose Foundation and the annual 5K event, and have raised over 2 million dollars for brain cancer research at MD Anderson and Children Memorial Hermann Hospitals.
HCSS has been a sponsor of Run for the Rose for 7 years.
Some key reasons HCSS support races such as these are:
It promotes team building
It falls in line with our strong wellness culture at HCSS
It help mitigates health costs
Continues to fosters positive attitude in the workplace
Good job to everyone that participated! Nice team effort all around.
Social Media Specialist
For the 2nd year in a row, HCSS been named a finalist of the 2013 Healthiest Employer Award hosted by the Houston Business Journal. The award features local companies in the Houston area that are exemplary in promoting corporate wellness programs.
HCSS receives wellness award
To compile and analyze results, Houston Business Journal teamed up with Healthiest Employers LLC, a wellness technology and data research company. Data was gathered using a 75 question wellness questionnaire. Of the 16 healthiest employers selected in the 100 – 400 employees category HCSS finished #9.
In addition, HCSS CEO Mike Rydin was awarded the Houston Wellness Association Paragon Award for Leadership for the second year in a row. The Paragon Awards are four special recognitions given at the end of the ceremony to recognize special achievements out of all of the finalists.
HCSS CEO, Mike Rydin receives Leadership Award
To promote wellness, HCSS has an on-site gym, basketball court and outdoor running track available for employees to use. We also have wellness trainers providing various boot camp classes, strength training and Zumba classes throughout the week.
Employees running on the HCSS track
Employees at boot camp
HCSS Weight Watchers at work
Strength training class
Congrats to Mike, and all of us at HCSS that help sustain the wellness culture.
Stay active, stay healthy!
Social Media Specialist
Sugar Land Legends, is a new minor league professional basketball team based in Sugar Land. The team is part of The American Basketball League, which is a league comprising of 12 teams.
HCSS is a proud sponsor of the team and also contributes to the team’s success by making meeting space available to the team and allowing the team practice on its basketball court.
HCSS V.P- Tom Webb taking The Legends on a tour of HCSS
HCSS COO- Steve McGough being introduced to The Legends
It's practice time at the HCSS basketball court
The Sugar Land Legends play their home games at the Wheeler Field House on Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land. Click here to view The Legends games schedule.
This is one of the ways HCSS contributes to the Sugar Land community.
Social Media Specialist
One of the ways HCSS gives back to the Sugar Land community is by contributing to the development of young adults through programs that expose them to technology. One of such mentoring programs that HCSS is currently involved in is organized by The Fort Bend Sugar Land Church.
The Fort Bend Church which has a high school and college age student ministry sent 4 of their high school age students to HCSS to help the student gain exposure to software development and discover what working in a technology company is like. When involved in programs like these we try to come up with fun, interactive and hands on ways to ensure that the student are engaged throughout the whole experience.
The mentoring program started with the students meeting with some HCSS executives. The executives were able to provide the students with an overview of the dynamics in the business of software development.
HCSS CEO Mike Rydin taking the students on a tour of the HCSS Campus
Next, we allowed the students spend about 20 minutes each with a bunch of different careers in development; they got to see first-hand how software get developed, managed and designed. The students were introduced to our Application Developer- John Ehlinger, Web Developer- Michael Glueck and Software Designer-Steve Maliszewski.
In addition to all this, we had the group sit through an actual software design meeting for our Estimating Software-HeavyBid. This gave them an opportunity to see firsthand how products get designed and have a chance to participate and get direct feedback from the HCSS HeavyBid team.
To crown the experience, the students were assigned the task of testing the HCSS HeavyBid Mobile Apps. To perform their task the students were equipped with tablets and mobile phones and directed to test the product looking for bugs in the app. We had some bugs in there and wanted to see if they would find them. They found the bugs.
The student met the Sugal Land Legends when touring HCSS
Overall, the students learnt a lot about software development and were pleasantly surprised to find how team oriented software development is. They also enjoyed taking a tour of the HCSS campus and loved the HCSS culture.
Social Medial Specialist
For the past couple of years HCSS has entered runners for the Chevron Houston Marathon/Half Marathon/5K into a team challenge. The main benefit of the team challenge has been to get access to a private section of port-a-potty on race day. The port-a-potty usually have very little if any line.
Actually we won twice in two separate divisions.
We won in the 5K only team (all participants in the team run the 5K) as well as the Small Company Division (Under 500 employees).
Before anyone thinks that the reason we won is because there weren’t that many people signed up for our division, our team would have won in the Open Team category as well.
Here are the standings and makeup of the teams. (The top 3 members of each team score for the team…not necessarily the fastest; it’s weighted by your place in your age group and the number of people in your age group)
Small Company Winner (3rd overall Marathon Team)
HCSS 5K Double
Score: 860 points
4th Small Company (17th overall in the Half Marathon)
Marathon/Half Marathon/5K Runners
Congratulations to all the HCSS runners... Great job!!!!
The Circuit of the Americas is a recently completed world class 3.4 miles motor racing track located in Austin, TX. HCSS CEO, Mike Rydin was one of 200 drivers in the first club group allowed to drive on the track. The racetrack event took place Jan 12-13, and was hosted by Drivers Edge High Performance Driving Club.
Mike Rydin thought the track was absolutely amazing to drive on although it took him over a dozen laps to really figure out where he was on the track which had 20 turns, several of the turns were over 90 degrees including the end of the back straight-away. Also, having to shift from 5th gear all the way to 2nd gear for a corner was something he was not used to.
Tickets to the event quickly sold out and the event was a huge success. This was one of several monthly event hosted by The Drivers Edge.
Interestingly, The Circuit of The Americas was built by one of HCSS Customers- Austin Industries. The 5 minutes video below shows a little of what it took to build this $250 million Formula One racetrack.
Social Media Specialist
At the beginning of every year most people have some form of get fit, get healthy or lose weight goal. Last year, HCSS started a 17 weeks Weight Watchers at work program to help employees achieve their healthy goals. We got a Weight Watchers coach who came to the office every Wednesday at 2PM to help employees make and attain the appropriate healthy goals.
32 employees signed up for the program last year and collectively lost a total of 456 lbs. This year, we have 31 employees signed up and have already lost a total of 52 lbs.
Now, I must confess, this is not the fast lane track to losing weight and being healthy. It takes a lot of work and determination to attain the lifestyle change necessary to make Weight Watchers work, but the end result is so worth it.
Weight Watchers is not just for those looking to lose weight; it is a great program for anyone interested in improving their overall health.
The Weight Watchers plan is built on 4 pillars critical for weight management:
Tracking: A huge key to succeeding in Weight Watchers is tracking everything you eat. Unlike several diet programs out there, Weight Watcher does not in any way restrict what you can or cannot eat. However, you quickly learn that every meal has its points and you constantly have to make a choice.
Activity: A get moving and stay active plan helps you reach your goal faster.
Support: Attend the Weight Watcher meeting every week to weigh in and get helpful tips. The meeting keeps you accountable to others.
Behavior: The program promotes having a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Your commitment to the program will show in your restaurants and meal preference.
Most of the employees that signed up for the program lost at least 5% of their initial body weight. We have several employees fitting into smaller dress sizes.
We had an employee who actually looked fit join the program because he wanted to lose some weight so he could improve his time at a marathon. He lost 12lbs and succeeded in having his best time ever at the recent Houston Chevron marathon.
Another employee who had been through several crash diet programs but still struggling with his weight found out that making wise food choices and exercises that fit his schedule helped him lose over 35 lbs. He is now training for the Boston marathon.
|Shoes are off cause every pound counts!
The cool thing is that we are doing it together, getting huge success and not eating card board tasting food.
|The image is from weightwatchers.com
I may not have my Jenifer Hudson look yet but I can say that I am well on my way to achieving it.
Social Media Specialist
On Saturday, November 3rd, 2012, HCSS employees woke up at the break of dawn, laced up their sneakers, and lined up at the starting line to participate in one of the company’s annual corporate sponsored 5K runs, The Run to Cure Huntington’s Disease. This company sponsored event took place at the constellation field in Sugar Land,TX.
HCSS had 120 participants on the corporate team and was a noticeable presence on race day as each employee was adorned with the neon yellow running shirt that can be seen from over a quarter of a mile away.
All funds raised for this event through donations go towards supporting and finding a cure for Huntington’s Disease.
This year, to motivate and prepare employees for the run, HCSS organized a corporate pedometer challenge where all participating employees wore a pedometer and recorded their daily steps. Teams were created by department creating a competitive air amid the company as each department tried to "out step" other departments to put themselves in the running for first place. As the challenge neared the end, the Administration department came out on top and took first place closely followed by IT and HeavyJob/Dispatcher.
The pedometer challenge ended with a fun "last man squatting challenge" which put employees in a 90 degree squatting position against the wall while the judges waited to see who could stay up the longest. This was a great way to encourage exercising in the company and to get employees ready for the race.
These are some of the ways HCSS promotes wellness in the company and community.
|And the winners are....
Hope you enjoy the pictures. Stay fit and stay healthy!
Daniel FrancikCorporate Ambassador
For the seventh year in a row, HCSS has been awarded the Contractor’s Choice awards by Roads and Bridges. This year HCSS received three awards for its construction software products.
HCSS appreciates the recognition our products have received over the years. We are continuously driven to provide our customers with innovative software and friendly customer support so they can work more efficiently, and these awards let us know that we are on the right track.
Marketing & PR Specialist
Braam Mouton, the headmaster of the Ethembeni School for disabled children in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, flew to Houston to present HCSS’s CEO, Mike Rydin, with the “The InDuna Award”. InDuna is a Zulu title meaning “great leader”, and it was awarded to Rydin in recognition of the support the company has given the school over the past year.
|L-R: HCSS CEO Mike Rydin, Ethembeni Headmaster Braam Mouton, Runner High Club of Houston Grady, HCSS Employees Steve Maliszewski and Michael Glueck
HCSS built a relationship with the school this past year when two of our employees took part in the 56 mile Comrades Run that takes place annually in South Africa. The race, which started in 1921, runs from the city of Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Each year, the race changes the direction and elevation of the starting point; it either starts running up to Pietermaritzburg or down to Durban. Michael Glueck one of the employees that took part in the race wrote a blog article a couple of months ago about their experience in South Africa: (http://blog.hcss.com/2012/06/hcss-and-friends-contribute-over-15k-to.html)
One of the major highlights of the race is passing through Ethembeni School.
The school educates and accommodates the physically disabled and visually impaired children of the region. They currently have about 300 students enrolled. During the race the students from the school come out to cheer the runners and some runners in return will hand out gifts to the students. Over the course of the years the race adopted the school as one of the charities that it supports.
This year, to support the employees running the race, HCSS offered to match all employees donation. This helped the group of runners in conjunction with the Runners High Club of Houston raise over $15,000 for the school. The donation will be used to develop a computer lab for the students.
The video below shows the beautiful children of Ethembeni, recorded during the HCSS employees visit.
Next year, HCSS will be raising funds again to help support the student of Ethembeni. If you’re interested in being a part of the fundraiser please call 713-270-4000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Ethembeni School and how to support the students click here.
To participate or learn more about the Comrades Marathon click here.
Social Media Specialist