Although he is surely busy running the multi-billion dollar conglomerate Jarden Corporation, Executive Chairman Martin E. Franklin told Patch “I always have time for Westhcseter Tri,” on a phone interview this week.
On Sept. 23 Franklin will join about 1,600 others at the 28th Westchester Triathlon, where the hundreds will compete in an Olympic distance race- a 9/10ths mile swim in Long Island Sound; a 25 mile scenic bike course; and a 6.2 mile run.
Franklin, an England native who came to Rye at age 16 and graduated from Rye County Day, now lives in Harrison and also has a home in Colorado. He is the Executive Chairman of Jarden, a world-class consumer products company with over 25,000 employees, manufacturing facilities in 12 countries and operations in over 20 countries. Jarden is known for making house hold items, sporting goods and thousands of other home products most people use every day. The company is also dedicated to giving back and promoting healthy lifestyle.
Here is an abridged version of what Franklin had to say about the Westchester Triathlon, an event he has participated in for many years.
How did you choose to get Jarden Corporation involved?
A core part of Jarden’s philosophy is to be involved in the communities in which we have operations. Our headquarters is in Rye and we felt it was important to do something be involved in an event that is very much tied to the community.
We have large outdoor divisions and brands involved in the sport of triathlon like Zoot. We felt it was a great fit. We’ve been involved for a number of years and every year it has gotten bigger and better. And it creates a really nice weekend. We love having the relationship with them.
Do you remember how your sponsorship was suggested?
I competed in the triathlon for many years when it was a small race, I think I competed when only 250 people were in it. I’ve known organizers for some time and known the race and I have seen it develop. When Jarden was growing I was in conversation with the (organizers).
We quickly decided that the right thing for us to do would be title partner to the event.
Are you participating this year?
I am participating with some employees and my two sons.
Can you tell me any inspirational stories from the event?
There are many stories. The organizations I am more involved in I know the stories best. The great thing is the race helps a number of charities and there are people who organized their own charities around the race...There is a lot of community assistance and charitable giving that takes place around event.
What charities are important to you personally?
At Jarden, we are great believers in serving and giving back to our veterans returning from active duty. We have an affirmative action program to seek to hire vets coming back from service, it is a core part of hiring policy. And we have a reserve program so we make sure there is a guaranteed position in the company when they return and we fill the gap of loss in pay and bonus while they are in service. These are things we think are our civic duties on how to run our business. The Wounded Warriors helps injured veterans back into society and a lot of things they do are athletically driven. We think it is great work.