Steven P. Delarge, business executive, believes in giving back to the community. Each year, he participates in the Tour de Cure for Diabetes that, according to Delarge, is a bicycling event that benefits the effort to find a cure for diabetes. Today, Steven P. Delarge talks to Interviewing Experts about the event.
Interviewing Experts: How did you first learn about Tour de Cure?
Steven P. Delarge: I was actually looking for a great project to help engage my employees in charitable work in the community. We were searching for something that would incorporate fitness with helping the community.
Interviewing Experts: So that led you to Tour de Cure?
Steven P. Delarge: Yes, and after learning about this great bike ride to benefit diabetes in Saratoga Springs, I knew I’d found the perfect event. Bicycling is both great exercise and accessible to everyone. My employees wouldn’t have to be triathletes to participate.
Interviewing Experts: How far do the cyclists ride in the Tour de Cure?
Steven P. Delarge: The great thing about the Tour de Cure is that participants can choose the distance. Newbies can try out a five-mile fun ride, while more experienced cyclists can go for the 100-mile ride through the countryside.
Interviewing Experts: Was the event an immediate success with your employees?
Steven P. Delarge: Well, not exactly. In fact, the first year I was the only participant. The only other person who signed up backed out because it was storming the day of the race.
Interviewing Experts: But you rode anyway?
Steven P. Delarge: Yes–for five miles in the pouring rain.
Interviewing Experts: That’s dedication. Did others ride in the rain that year, too?
Steven P. Delarge: Yes, and it was so inspiring to see so many people pushing through despite the bad weather.
Interviewing Experts: Not just the cyclists, but the workers, too?
Steven P. Delarge: The volunteers manning the signup tables worked in the rain, and even diabetes sufferers were out there, riding alongside us in their red jerseys.
Interviewing Experts: Your company began taking a bigger role in the event after that. How did that come about?
Steven P. Delarge: As I stood there, cheering on the others finishing the race, I found the enthusiasm contagious.
Interviewing Experts: You made a big jump the next year, right?
Steven P. Delarge: The next year we had one of the largest teams, raising more than $15,000 for the American Diabetes Association.
Interviewing Experts: What would you say to other businesses interested in engaging employees in this type of activity?
Steven P. Delarge: I can’t express how proud I am of my former employees for their enthusiastic participation in this event. I highly recommend it. Not only is it a great way to support a good cause and become a part of the community, it’s also fun.
Steven P. Delarge has served as CEO and CFO for some of the most innovative chemical, energy, and aerospace businesses in the country. Currently, Steven P. Delarge serves as president of Silicones and Quartz for Momentive Performance Materials, where he leads operations and finance for more than 5,000 employees worldwide.