PLATTSBURGH - When you wage a challenge against your employees, be prepared to face the consequences - especially if that means taking a whipped cream pie to the face.
CVPH Medical Center president and chief executive officer Stephens Mundy made good on a promise to hospital employees Jan. 7 when he took not one, but eight, pies to the face. Mundy had challenged departments to double their participation in the annual fundraising campaign for the United Way of the Adirondack Region.
The combination of that and other increases in donations throughout the hospital put pledges to the campaign at $51,491 - up 32 percent from last year's campaign. The amount is believed to be an all-time record for CVPH employees giving to the United Way.
Martha Joslyn, from the hospital's human resources department, was one of the employees chosen to put a pie in Mundy's face and the feeling was one most would imagine it would be.
"It felt really good," said Joslyn, laughing.
"It is not everyday that you get to smash a pie into your CEO's face and it couldn't have been for a better cause," said registered nurse Brenda Murphy, who was also selected to hit Mundy with a pie.
Patient accounting department employee Danelle Nephew credited Mundy for being "a great sport."
"United Way reaches out to many and I think its great that the employees of CVPH took that into consideration along with the pie throwing event to step up to the plate and donate to such a great cause," said Nephew. "Hopefully next year even more will participate."
"It feels really nice to be part of a team that shows such great effort," she said, adding she likes donating to United Way because of the number of organizations it helps. "[Donations] don't have to go to one spot, you can choose from a list to help a variety of things."
Joslyn said she, along with many employees she knows, would donate to United Way regardless of the pie throwing incentive.
"But, it was fun," she said.
John C. Bernardi, executive director of the United Way of the Adirondack Region, said it's the commitment of people like the employees of CVPH that makes it possible for the organization to help so many others.
"I'm just astonished at the amount of generosity that the community of CVPH has provided to the United Way," said Bernardi. It's tremendous for us ... You should all be very proud."
Mundy congratulated the staff on reaching their goal but said he looks forward to even more participation next year.
"As successful as we were, we did this with statistically one in 10 employees donating," said Mundy. "We can do a lot better and as the largest employer in the community, I think it's our responsibility to get to that point."