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June 07, 2012 at 19:18 PM EDT
De Lage Landen Employees Rally Support For Their Clipper Crew in New York and 3 More States
Crew Enters Last Leg of Global Race in 2nd Place

NEW YORK, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Some 300 American employees of global asset finance company De Lage Landen (DLL) arrived in New York City's North Cove Marina today to greet the company's Clipper Race crew as it departs for the United Kingdom in its last leg of a global sailing race.

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The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race started in July last year, and the route from San Francisco to New York included an American employee, Heather Stephens, of Duluth, Ga.

DLL embarked on this unique corporate adventure almost a year ago to unite its 5,400 employees worldwide. Their clipper race entry is unusual because company employees are part of the crew and this has attracted fanfare at each port stop.

Employees not in the crew have followed this race all year via Internet. Today, close to a thousand employees broke out in flash mob dances here and in other DLL office locations in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Iowa. In NYC, they also waved and cheered from the Hudson River as the vessel joined the parade of 10 Clipper Race sailing yachts, departing the New York harbor and passing ceremoniously by the Statue of Liberty.

Stephens, a 27 year-old sales development executive, said she took this challenge to expand her comfort zone and found that it was, indeed, an adventure.

"It was like a metaphor for life because you learn to make the most with what you have and strengthen your relationships," said Stephens. She said she will miss the camaraderie on the ship but is excited to return to her home and regular office job after two months away.

DLL is in second place and hopes to keep this position as it comes to the finish July 22 in Southampton, England.

Bill Stephenson, the chairman of the DLL's vendor finance division at the U.S. headquarters in Wayne, Pa., said, "This has unified our company. We see it in the pride, the passion, and the creativity of our employees who are embracing their Clipper Race team and realizing that we are one global team to serve our clients in 35 countries."

De Lage Landen, a fully owned subsidiary of Rabobank Group, specializes in asset-based financing programs for equipment manufacturers, dealers and distributors all over the world.

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