MALIBU, Calif. – Platinum Equity associate Lindsay Saldebar knows firsthand the impact Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has on the community.
That’s why when she learned that Platinum Equity’s annual involvement in the Malibu Triathlon helps to raise money for the hospital, she just had to participate.
“My (family member) was treated at Children’s Hospital at a young age,” Saldebar said. “It’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and I think it’s awesome to see Platinum Equity giving back to such an awesome organization that supports so many children.”
Saldebar, who has been with the firm for just over two years, was part of the contingent of more than 100 Platinum Equity representatives involved in the 38th Annual Malibu 2XU Triathlon, a two-day event which raised more than $1 million for the hospital’s pediatric cancer research center. The longer Olympic distance occurs on Saturday; the Classic and Corporate Challenge events run on Sunday.
After the event faced possible cancellation because of several issues concerning flooding underneath the Zuma Beach underpass, which is part of the biking route, Platinum Equity representatives were excited to spend time together outside of the regular office setting. Colleagues got up early to display signage and wave pom-poms to support their co-workers.
“This event brings team members from across the firm and the globe together and provides us the opportunity to get out of our day-to-day environment,” Platinum Equity Human Capital Principal Lindsay Calautti said.
Calautti, who was on hand to support Platinum Equity employees, added: “I felt really energized after the day and I think a lot of people felt that way.”
Nearly 60 Platinum Equity athletes participated in the race, which now holds an annual spot on the Platinum Equity calendar.
“The Malibu Triathlon has literally changed some people’s lives. I’ve seen co-workers adopt new active lifestyles through training, create new friendships, all while supporting a great cause,” Platinum Equity Principal Katie McNaughton said.
“But the most important thing to remember is the event helps patients and families who benefit from the work of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It’s an extremely impactful event that does good in all sorts of ways.”
Platinum Equity Managing Director Robert Klap raised almost $16,000, which was the fourth highest total among individual fundraisers. Platinum Equity’s total of nearly $40,000 raised was the 10th best among corporations.
Klap, who works in Platinum Equity’s London office, competed for the first time with a relay team comprised of his son and Platinum Equity Managing Director Daniel Madden during Sunday’s Corporate Challenge competition.
“Fundraising was easy because it’s such a great cause that everybody in the world is happy to support it,” Klap said at the post-triathlon brunch held at the Malibu home of Platinum Equity Founder and CEO Tom Gores and his wife, Holly. Tom was on hand to welcome race participants.
First timers encouraged by teammates, colleagues
The scene at the Gores home was festive, but the day started just before dawn as adrenaline-fueled athletes traveled to Zuma Beach on the first day of October.
Saldebar was one of those athletes, and as waves crashed on the Malibu shoreline and end-of-summer humidity filled the air, she was feeling ambitious walking toward the starting line.
But that feeling left her as she completed the 4-mile run.
“When you’re running towards Point Dume, you’re about 3 quarters of the way through but it gets lonely out there because you don’t see anyone,” Saldebar said.
She needed a little extra motivation at that point.
“(Senior Vice President) Katherine Sassine waited for me to come by and cheered me on as I ran past her. It was really awesome for her to be there, encouraging me and helping me get through the hardest stretch of the race.”
Andrea Galindo and other Platinum Equity athletes joined Saldebar as first-time participants.
For Galindo, a senior paralegal associate, it was a competitive outlet.
“I’m competitive, and it looked like a lot of fun,” said Galindo, who attended the 2022 event to support her Platinum Equity colleagues.
“I just wanted to get out there and do it myself.”
Galindo agrees that’s a great team-building exercise.
“It’s become camaraderie for a good cause, and it brings everyone together outside of the office,” Galindo said.
Platinum Equity’s participation continues to grow
Platinum Equity’s participation in the triathlon began when Partner Bryan Kelln decided to participate shortly after moving to Malibu in 2015. McNaughton also participated in 2015 shortly after the birth of her first child. Eight years later, their interest has turned into a growing commitment from Platinum Equity.
After that first event, Kelln was joined by Managing Directors Christian Cook, Dori Konig, David Wolf and Madden the following year.
“We just came out and did it,” Cook said while enjoying the pasta party the night before Sunday’s event. “For me, it really kind of kicked off focusing on fitness and having some kind of balance between work and family as well as taking care of yourself.”
Madden, who works in Platinum’s Equity’s London office, agrees.
“It’s always good fun,” Madden said. “It also depends on how much training you’ve done, but I find the swim quite hard because I don’t swim a lot and swimming in the ocean is always a challenge, but for me, just finishing is enjoyable.”
The firm’s participation has continued to grow over the years.
“Aside from a bunch of adrenaline junkies getting together every year, there are two really big benefits to this race,” Cook said. “The first is that this raises a lot of money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which is terrific, and the second is that we’ve got so many people involved, there’s a significant portion of the firm that does this event.
“There are a lot of people that are usually on the road, visiting different portfolio companies and we don’t really get together and see each other very often. To be able to build and foster those relationships in an environment like this is special and makes us a stronger team.”
Kelln and other Platinum Equity representatives are hopeful to increase participation to 100 athletes in the coming years.
“It seems like the more people that come out and the more people that enjoy it, it becomes contagious in a good way,” Kelln said. “This year we had quite a number of team members come from all over Europe, Singapore and the United States.
“It’s truly become a global event for Platinum.”