LogistXGames return to Suffolk

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, June 8, 2017

The fourth annual Hampton Roads LogistXGames were held on Thursday at Virginia Regional Commerce Park building B in Suffolk, coinciding with the grand opening of the new 284,580-square-foot warehouse facility.

The annual event is organized by founding sponsor CBRE Hampton Roads and ws hosted this year by Panattoni Development Company.

This year’s competition brought together 11 teams from logistics companies in the area to raise money for workforce development programs. More than 100 logistics personnel competed in work-related challenges, and 44 companies sponsors donated supplies and money to make this year a success.

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“I think this is our best year ever,” said Scott Flanders, Ace Hardware Import Redistribution Center Manager and co-chair for the event. “There’s a lot of motivation and a lot of teamwork.”

The games promoted the importance of the logistics industry and recognized the employees of some major transportation and distribution employers, including the Port of Virginia and Givens Inc.

Teams assembled and labeled boxes, then stacked them with careful urgency while being timed. Three members of each team did this challenge with their teammates cheering them on from just a few paces away.

“It was an adrenaline rush, with Target screaming behind us and the teamwork,” said Target operations manager Zachery Chavis. “That was my favorite part.”

Contestants participated in a timed pallet jack relay race that had them weaving through a narrow route, while simultaneously keeping their packages on the pallet.

“It’s one of those slow is fast … things,” Target team captain Richard Wimberly said.

The games encouraged company employees to work together and connect with their coworkers outside of the office. For some of them, this was the first time getting to know their teammates.

“We’re all from different terminals,” said Port of Virginia’s David Bocanegra about his teammates on Thursday. “It’s cool meeting some of the guys I don’t usually work with.”

Givens Inc. warehouse supervisor Michael Davis has competed in the games every year since his team won the first year. He said it’s grown each year, which allows more companies to interact with others in the industry.

“It’s good to meet all the other customers that you deal with,” he said.

Givens Inc. won first place in the competition this year, while Keurig Green Mountain placed second and Emser Tile took third place.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new building before the games began.

The building was developed by Panatoni Development as the first speculative project in Hampton Roads since 2008, indicative of growth stemming from the Port of Virginia and other expansions, according to Panatoni Senior Development Manager William Hudgins.

“We’re confident that businesses want to be here,” Hudgins said.

The proceeds of the event support scholarships for Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation and Tidewater Community College Educational Foundation.

Flanders said both schools have great programs that train students for logistics industry careers, and Paul D. Camp has identified dozens of students that have benefited from these scholarship donations specifically

The event has raised $88,000 during the past four years to support those scholarships, and the goal for next year is to have raised $150,000 since 2014, according to Flanders.

“I think we’re going to beat it next year,” he said.