Community Involvement | July 2, 2024

Stryten Energy Donation Helps Change the Lives of Veterans

Levi Crawford (left) and Amy Simon from Rivers of Recovery, and Rodger Meyer and Petar Oklobdzija of Stryten Energy present the veterans-focused charity with a check for $256,000.

Levi Crawford (left) and Amy Simon from Rivers of Recovery, and Rodger Meyer and Petar Oklobdzija of Stryten Energy present the veterans-focused charity with a check for $256,000.

Rivers of Recovery awarded $256,000, Stryten Energy awarded cornhole crown

“Your contributions are not only changing the lives of our veterans today. You are helping with the rehabilitation of the programs in the future.” – Amy Simon, Executive Director of Rivers of Recovery

During a gathering of all headquarters employees in May, Stryten Energy presented Rivers of Recovery with a check for $256,000 — a combination of the company’s annual contribution, and the results of winning a cornhole match.

“Stryten’s impact actually is going beyond just the individual veterans that we serve,” said Amy Simon, Executive Director. “Your support has allowed us to continue our outdoor therapy research with Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources.”

“We chose Rivers of Recovery to support because we can make a bigger impact and because we have direct access,” said Mike Judd, President and CEO. “We see people’s faces who participate in the programs. This organization is directly impactful to folks on the ground who have been in combat, and we see the results.”

Rivers of Recovery is an innovative, nationwide nonprofit that uses outdoor-based activities to effectively treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety in combat veterans and active-duty military. The organization has achieved national media attention for its unique programs and results-driven treatments, which combine fly fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities with a scientifically designed curriculum of therapeutic techniques.

In January 2024, the Stryten Energy leadership team attended the annual Atlas Holdings leadership meeting, along with leaders from about 30 other Atlas companies. During the meeting, all companies participated in January Madness, the annual cornhole tournament that raises money for charity.

After multiple years of losing early in the January Madness tournament, the Stryten team was determined to win.  Rodger Meyer, Executive Vice President of Operations, said to Mike Judd: “We’re winning the next cornhole tournament, and the money is going to Rivers of Recovery.”

That’s when the serious training started. The boards were set up in the back hallway of Stryten’s headquarters building, and bags were tossed several times a week at the end of the workday.

At the 2024 Atlas leadership meeting, the Stryten Energy cornhole team was ready to play, with months of practice under their belt. Rodger and Petar Oklobdzija, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, cruised through the first four rounds, making it to the championship game.

However, the Stryten team was quickly down 16-2. The pressure was on.

“I made eye contact with Petar,” said Rodger. “This isn’t going to happen. We’re not losing this game. It took a four-bagger. The first four-bagger broke, and then our opponent basically collapsed. We ended up winning 21-18.”

Throughout the tournament, all Atlas companies made donations that went into the pot for the winning team’s charity of choice. Some companies made additional donations as bets on who was going to win. The total amount in the pot for the winner was about $320,000. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, Stryten agreed to split the winnings with the second-place team, Georgia-based Iconex.

A ring ceremony was also held for Rodger and Petar, as winners of the Atlas cornhole tournament. Stryten Energy is grateful to Herff Jones, also an Atlas company, for providing the rings, along with the banners used for display at the event.

John Albrecht (left) of Herff-Jones, along with Rodger Meyer, Mike Judd and Petar Oklobdzija of Stryten Energy, with Rika Cuff of Herff-Jones at right.

John Albrecht (left) of Herff-Jones, along with Rodger Meyer, Mike Judd and Petar Oklobdzija of Stryten Energy, with Rika Cuff of Herff-Jones at right.

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