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Supporters vie for Champion of the Year

Individuals selected as finalists for the new Health and Wellness Champion of the Year Award lead by example and, in some cases, see to it that wellness has a secure place in the company budget. Read on for raves by co-workers who nominated them.

Kathy Roos
Consumer lending specialist and member of the Health Sense wellness committee, Canandaigua National Bank

Kathy Roos is a true warrior of wellness! She has committed to healthier eating habits and to a vigorous exercise program. These changes in her lifestyle have resulted in significant weight loss and a passion for exercising, and she has inspired many of her co-workers and her entire department to make healthier choices.

Kathy shares many of her morning smoothies and even brings in healthy lunches for co-workers. She eagerly shares her menu ideas with teammates and has made everyone more conscientious about eating healthier foods (and removing some of the many temptations from the department).

She gets employees to walk at lunch and holds one-minute exercise sessions for her department. It is not unusual to hear that they are doing wall sits or planks! Kathy participates in many of the local walks/runs such as the Chase Corporate Challenge and the Women’s Foundation 5K Race and Walk. Further, she has gathered seven co-workers to participate in a fundraising bowling tournament and also organized a BubbleBall team.

Kathy has been the catalyst for increasing participation in our Weight Watchers program at our main office. Many of her co-workers and family members have also been inspired by her successes and have lost weight and started exercising because of Kathy’s known results. Employees have stated that they are less likely to bring in unhealthy snacks and are more focused on fruits and vegetables because of Kathy. We applaud her dedication to wellness!

Brian Quinn
Fitness trainer, CooperVision
Brian Quinn is the heart and soul of the wellness program at CooperVision in Rochester. Employees from all three of the locations—Henrietta, Scottsville and Victor—know him and know that he will go out of his way to help individuals feel better and get healthier.

Brian organizes events and enthusiastically supports everything wellness related at CooperVision. With his personal training background and expertise, he excels at getting the most out of people in the gym or any area that is designated for exercise. However, Brian’s passion for helping people extends far beyond the gym. He is a people magnet.

Employees are drawn to him because of his approachability, his openness and his nonjudgmental way of dealing with people and helping them to solve their problems. He recommends books, articles and videos and shares stories from his own life to help people better understand what they may be going through. His goal is always to help people help themselves, and he has an incredible way of connecting with people so that they find it within themselves to make behavioral changes.

The quality of our program has steadily increased due to Brian’s commitment. He is keenly aware of how we need to change our program to keep it fresh and exciting for employees. He continuously engages people to participate in the overall program and, more impressively, strives to engage people who have not participated in any wellness initiative in the past. In this way, our program is always gaining new members, and the reach that we have is constantly expanding.

It’s an honor and privilege to be able to nominate this amazing person.

James Watters
Senior vice president of finance and administration and treasurer, Rochester Institute of Technology

Jim is a prominent senior leader on campus. He is the reason that RIT has a successful, highly recognized employee wellness program that is truly making a difference in keeping our faculty and staff healthy.

Our program began in 2007. We approached Jim for a special budget to help with purchasing pedometers and having some related celebratory events. At the time he approved the budget, he indicated that this was not in itself a wellness strategy and that we ought to have one. Thus, RIT’s Better Me program was born.

Over the years, Jim has approved adding significant resources to focus on employee wellness. We now have a professional wellness director, four full-time staff and several part-time instructors and credentialed fitness trainers supporting the employee wellness program, distinct from the resources that RIT already had in place for student wellness.

Jim has thrown his support behind adding biometric screenings with cash incentives, building a second campus fitness facility popular with faculty and staff, and arranging for an RIT institutional research professional to work with wellness staff to develop a metrics dashboard to measure the effectiveness of the Better Me program.

Jim is committed to technology and innovation, and Better Me staff explore ways to use technology to encourage wellness. One example is our use of the higi wellness platform and tracking stations, where participants monitor biometrics and earn points for wellness activities. With Jim’s encouragement, we are developing a video series that provides quick, informative wellness topics to faculty and staff on the Better Me website.

Jim has increased funding so we can reduce or eliminate fees for fitness classes. He proves over and over that he deeply believes in the value that a robust worksite wellness program can deliver.

Eric Rorapaugh
Founder and president, SMP Corp.
Eric is responsible for bringing the SMP Wellness Program to life. He invested in a full-time, dedicated wellness director as the 48th employee of SMP. This is a testament to the care he takes in treating employees well.

Prior to that, Eric had already laid the foundation for a healthy company. Lunchtime bike rides, Zumba classes and sponsorship of and participation in community-based fitness events and races were already traditions at SMP. With this healthy atmosphere already in place, the SMP wellness program was able to formalize and quickly become pivotal in the identity of SMP.

Eric continues to be essential in encouraging a healthy lifestyle and program participation. He sets an example through his midday workouts and by participating in SMP fitness challenges and community fitness events and races. Eric loves to see employees in the gym for a midday workout or heading out for a lunchtime run. He is a quiet voice that continually encourages employees to take care of themselves and engage in the program. Eric is the living example of SMP’s identity as healthy organization.

6/3/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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