ENTRY FROM: 2016 Top Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Kelly Holt

Inspiring Nashville to become a "Wellbeing City"

Paradigm Group
Wellbeing Strategy Consultant
Benefits Consulting
7 years wellbeing experience

Paradigm Group, a benefits consulting firm, saw the need for a role committed to meeting the wellbeing strategy needs of our 150 clients primarily headquartered in Tennessee. My role as Wellbeing Strategy Consultant is to help our clients design or refine their current wellbeing strategy. Our clients range from 2 employees to 3,000 which gives me the great responsibility to help guide our clients in creating well-designed programs that are tailored to their employee's needs. I have 7 years of experience in the wellbeing industry, and have gained a great understanding of the needs of employees while working with a wide range of budget limitations. I've also had the honor of planning our annual wellbeing conference for community leaders which has given me the opportunity to spread the workplace wellbeing message to the Middle Tennessee community. I look forward to continued development, and to positively impact as many employee's lives as possible.

Professional Development

I received a Bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University.  I am a WELCOA Faculty member, a certified health coach, and have my Diet and Lifestyle Intervention program certification through The Wellness Forum Health Institute. Our program has been recognized as a Healthiest Employer, and a Healthier Tennessee Workplace.

I’ve always had a passion for wellbeing.  Through athletics I have enjoyed the mental benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.  I also want to influence my family members who have struggled with diabetes.  I have found my WELCOA training most valuable in helping our clients create well-designed wellbeing programs. 

Demonstrated Success

My most successful intervention has been our annual Wellbeing Conference.  The conference is attended by our client’s leaders, and other employers in the Middle Tennessee community.  The conference has addressed a number of wellbeing elements including financial wellbeing, nutrition for brain health, motivation and support for workplace wellbeing, and finding your wellbeing purpose.  We will host our third conference in 2017 which will address stress management in the workplace.

My goal is to introduce our clients and community to the most current and impactful topics in the workplace wellbeing industry to inspire them personally, and to provide applicable tools they can take back with them to their company. This conference allows me to communicate with a large amount of influencer’s in our community while having a great time learning about the freshest topics in our industry.  We have had several WELCOA affiliated speakers at our conference including Sean Foy, Dr. Ann Kulze, and in 2017 Jim Porter.  Our clients have been able to share tools and resources from Sean and Dr. Ann to their employees. 

The outcomes of our annual conference have been overwhelming.   We survey our attendees each year to measure the relevance, presentation, and practical application of our speaker’s messages.  96% of attendee’s strongly agreed or agreed they received useful and valuable information from our speakers that they could take back with them to implement at their workplace.  Many attendees were inspired personally and professionally. An attendee was inspired to find the “Why” in their life.  Many reported that the topics were thought provoking and inspiring.  The title of our conference each year is Elements of a Healthy Culture.  We know how important it is to view an individual’s total wellbeing, and focus on creating a culture of health to truly drive change.  I was thrilled to learn an attendee went back to their organization, and had a walking meeting and created a company-wide initiative to move during the workday.  Many attendees appreciated the new ideas to keep employees motivated. 

I have used the WELCOA 7 Benchmarks as the backbone for strategic planning for our client’s wellbeing programming.  I made sure to incorporate several of the benchmarks in the content for our conference including Capturing CEO Support, Collecting Data, Creating a Supportive Environment, and Evaluation Outcomes.  At our first conference, we had our Nashville Mayor at the time, Karl Dean share his vision for improving healthy lifestyles in the Nashville community.  I followed his presentation highlighting the importance of senior level support, and used the Mayor as an excellent example.  Mayor Dean has routinely lead races in the community, and invested greatly in the health and wellbeing of the Nashville community.  I also shared data from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that proves that risk reduction is over 2 times higher when a program has support from senior level and mid-level management.  I provided easy ways for senior leaders to convey their support for their programs in order to make them successful. 


When I started in my position, I decided it was most important for me to make sure our company’s wellbeing program was first class before I could confidently help our clients develop programs of their own.  We walk the talk by offering a work/life balance policy, a wellness vendor with personalized goals and health coaching, healthy meeting food, healthy snacks, stretch breaks, multiple 3K walk/runs, and various other events.  I walk the talk by eating nutritionally, getting in physical activity each week (including captaining a tennis league with a co-worker), and stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness and yoga.  WELCOA has been the best resource for achieving leadership status in this field as well as our annual conference, working on professional development, and attending webinars on various topics.  My advice for other wellness practitioners would be to role model the behavior you are hoping to achieve, and utilize WELCOA’s immense resources as the building blocks of your program.


I’ve learned that an employer with a limited budget/wellness interest can still dip their toe in wellness starting small with resources that they have with the intention to gain leadership buy-in, and expand each year.  I help our clients that are just starting their wellbeing journey to utilize what resources they have through their medical carrier, EAP, 401K, and use those to create awareness.  I recently helped a client create a program using resources that were available and employee survey data that has been very successful with employees.  Their first challenge had over 30% participation, and an employee reported she was making behavior changes and has already lost 20 pounds!  I have also put a heavy emphasis on creating a supportive environment.  There are many companies that are only investing in biometric screenings and HRA’s, but are not making the environmental changes necessary to make the healthy choice easy. 

Compelling Vision

Technology will be a huge opportunity in wellness programming, and if used correctly can engage all generations including the millennial workforce.  There are many apps in the market that are little to no cost.  It is the responsibility of the wellness practitioner to stay abreast of trends, and help highlight the resources that are most beneficial.

I personally plan to continue to develop my skills.  My goal is to expand my experience beyond just physical wellbeing with my clients to all aspects of total wellbeing such as financial, social, community, and career wellbeing.  I hope to improve the method to measure value of investment with my clients, and continue to learn about wellness technology.  I also plan to grow our wellbeing conference each year, and continue to inspire and encourage wellbeing programming in Tennessee.  I would also like to have a more active role in wellness planning in our community. 


You can vote as often as you like. You may vote once per hour per entry.
When you come back, use the search function to find this entry.
Flag as Inappropriate

You can vote as often as you like. You may vote once per hour per entry.
When you come back, use the search function to find this entry.


profile photo Posted by
Kelly H.
View Kelly H.'s Profile.
Post a Comment

Comments 2

Comments are in order of newest to oldest

With everything out there it is hard to know where to start. Thank you to professionals as Kelly who lead not only by example but can demonstrate how to take that first step and put the control back into our own hands of our health. Thank you and you deserve this Kelly!

Robyn C. on 11/29/2016

Great bio!

Jill E. on 11/29/2016

Post a Comment