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The Positive Power of Corporate Health and Wellness

Studies have shown the positive benefits of implementing corporate wellness programs, and Pacific Power Renewables in Auburn California has jumped on the band wagon of health for their employees in a BIG way! When CEO, Dan Powell contacted me to run the kick-off fitness challenge for Pacific Power, I was more than happy to oblige and over-the-top excited to be a part of bringing health into their work place in a fun, interactive way.  This was not going to be about anything generic, but I wanted to reach out to each individual employee and provide realistic goals and ideas on how to adapt a healthy lifestyle.  The PPR Ten-Week Fitness Challenge was going to run right through the holiday season…now talk about being serious…I was all in and motivated to MOTIVATE them!  Check out what Dan Powell, CEO Pacific Power Renewables had to say:


“When we first considered this fitness challenge, it was meant to be a general health improvement program.  It wasn’t about insurance premiums or anything else, we just care about our little family here and wanted them to be healthier.  We hoped a residual benefit would be some team building and bonding. We originally expected about a 50% participation level and about a 50% attrition rate from there. We were surprised that we originally had over 95% participation and only two people have dropped out.  On the flip side of that, we’ve had people from related companies, family members, etc. who’ve wanted to take part after we started. 


Now not even halfway through it, we have noticed a significant improvement in energy levels.  People seem happier, healthier, and are working together as a team to plan meals, exercise, even just daily walks.  We’ve all been having a lot of fun with it.  It’s a competition but a friendly one.


Our program was designed to have individual prizes for the greatest weight loss as well as group prizes for aggregate weight loss.  As well, we wanted to keep people motivated, so we offered individual awards for each significant milestone; running shoes, water bottles, exercise balls etc. 


Only partway through our 10 week “fitness challenge”, we are declaring it an enormous success.  I attribute that to the following key factors:

1)  We hired a professional trainer in Darla Leal.  She assessed each person, set realistic goals and supported them throughout in uniquely individual ways.

2)  People here were on the verge of making these kind of life changes, they just lacked the motivation. 

3)  We went into this full bore, big prizes, professional trainer constant attention and motivation.


I have heard some touching stories come out of this.  People have made significant changes to their lives and we’re so glad we started this.  We’re having Darla give us a healthy cooking workshop in a couple weeks and people are really psyched about that.  Thank you for all your hard work Darla.  This has been fun!” Dan Powell (CEO Pacific Power Renewables Inc.)
Corporate wellness incentive plans are a great way to get employees started in a corporate health and wellness program.  Pacific Power has covered all bases with individual, group, and recognition awards throughout the program and the employees are definitely motivated.  I have seen excitement build over the weeks of working with each employee as weight has been lost, inches reduced, and overall health improved, but more than that, I have observed an improved mental outlook and happier person.


“I had been working out and eating somewhat healthy for months, but not losing the weight like I used to.  Darla offered lots of ways to make small changes that have really made a difference.  I’m finally on my journey in the right direction again!” Jennifer Goodwin


Most people spend more hours at work than anywhere else in addition to the time they spend commuting each day.  Taking that into consideration, it is easy to see why maintaining a healthy work and life balance has become increasingly important.  It is the caring employer that recognizes a corporate wellness program as an important tool to establish this balance.  The common goal of a workplace wellness program is to promote the well-being of the employees, employers and organization in general.  It is within such positive work environment that the morale is boosted overall, productivity is increased, and absenteeism is reduced as only a few benefits of a corporate wellness program.


“Darla is a very energetic, encouraging REAL trainer.  She listens to what your needs are and helps you find ways of success for your lifestyle.  Your encouragement and guidance got me started on the road to better health.  I am excited about losing weight and becoming healthier.  I am finding inner strength that I didn't realize I had and am now learning to control my weight instead of my weight controlling me.”Sarah Modgling

The bottom line is that Pacific Power Renewables has taken advantage of the benefits of corporate
wellness and has made it a goal to implement a program sooner than later, and not waiting until employees are stressed, sick or applying to other jobs.  I am touched each week by the care of the management and the response of the employees and have had the privilege to be a part of something very special within Pacific Power.  They have definitely set the bar high for other companies to follow suit in implementing a health and wellness program.  They realize that a healthy employee is a happy employee.

“I have really enjoyed this opportunity to work with Darla, and learn how to incorporate better, healthier choices into my life. Being accountable to another person has made it easier to stick to the program and keep up with my daily journal. Her enthusiasm is contagious and keeps me motivated to take my fitness to the next level.”

“Thank you so much for the nutrition work shop on Friday - it was a blast! The camaraderie that has developed from this program is really awesome!!”  Gina Herum
Stay Healthy Nutrition Workshop


Healthy Pizza Workshop
Another important and visible element of a corporate wellness program is setting up a fitness facility where employees can work-out.  Pacific Power Renewables has also answered that call and I have had the pleasure to conduct an interactive group exercise class as an intro to their new workout area.  This is definitely an added perk, free of cost, convenient and an investment that this company is willing to make for the health of their employees.  In addition to the fitness facility, Pacific Power has provided a Nutrition Workshop where I was able to teach not only the importance of eating healthy, but gave them a hands-on experience of cooking and tasting healthy foods.   When an organization invests in the health of their employees, the benefit is truly for the employer and employee as the quality of the workplace and the work through productivity and satisfaction are greatly improved in addition to overall health benefits for all.  Hats off to Pacific Power Renewables for making corporate health a priority!


It is time for all companies, large or small, to invest in the importance of health within their corporate environment.  I would be happy to consult with you to make this happen and I look forward to hearing from you.  Starting with a “Fun Fitness Challenge” to motivate and get people fired up for the program is a great start.  Give me a call today and StayHealthy!



Me with CEO Dan Powell and wife Karen
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