Current Company: C&A Industries, Inc.
Job Title: Accounts Receivable Specialist
Industry Type: Staffing and Recruiting
Years in the Field: 20 years
Organization Size: 700
Education: I graduated in 2018 with my Associates in Accounting ACAAS and Business Management-Generalist BGAAS, from Metropolitan Community College. In the fall of 2018, I enrolled at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and minor in Organizational Leadership and Communication.
Academic honors received, awards won, recognition received (at the organizational, program, or individual level): On an individual level: I made Metropolitan’s Community College Dean’s List in 2016, 2017, and 2018. I earned my Completion Certificates in Professional Development I and II. I was nominated as C&A’s Q4 Employee of the Quarter in 2012. I joined the wellness committee, AurHealth, in 2012, and continue to be a part of the program. I devoted my time as 3rd Chair of the committee in 2016, Vice Chair in 2017, and Chair in 2018. I was named AurHealth’s Total Wellness Award winner in 2018.
On the program level: C&A’s Wellness Committee, AurHealth, celebrated its 15 years of wellness, in October 2018. In the committee’s history, AurHealth has won: a WELCOA’s Well Workplace Silver Award in 2007 and Gold Awards in 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018; WELLCOM’s Governor’s Wellness Award Sower Award in 2008 and Grower Awards in 2011, 2014, and 2017; Since 2013, AurHealth, has nominated employees for WELLCOM’s annual Light of Wellness Award and has earned their employees recognition for their Transformation and/or Leadership; Earned its first Silver Recognition from the American Heart Association, Workplace Health Solutions in 2018, and finished in the Large Business Division Top 10 Team, two years in a row, at Trek Up the Tower.
At the organizational level: C&A Industries, Inc., amongst the philanthropy work and various presenting Sponsorships, they have earned the recognition of Sustained Excellence Award in 2019 from the Best Places to Work in Omaha. Training Top 125 2019 Winner, named to the 2019 Staffing 100, #1 Employment Agency in Omaha, Best of B2B Winner, for the 11th year in row, 2018 World Client of the Year by LMI, and the 27th largest staffing firm by Staffing Industry Analysts and 84th largest globally.
Professional Development and Leadership
My education started in Music Vocal Secondary Teaching. I knew I wanted to lead in creative ways, and in creative ways it lead me to where I am at today. After two years of schooling, I stepped away, began a family, and found a new career in Accounting. Learning the ropes, from Accounts Payable to Accounts Receivable, I began to grow within.
In early 2000, I focused on work and raising my family. I worked in the Finance Department, for a Car Dealership, and moved onto working for Heartland Automotive, in 2008. While at Heartland’s corporate office, I joined the WE Team. A Workplace Enrichment Team that found creative and motivating ways to get employees up and moving.
In 2011, Heartland transitioned their office down to Texas. I decided to stay in Omaha and began to look for a new job. I was a new mother, when I began working at C&A Industries, and I knew right away I was at the right place.
C&A was on the leading edge. They had Wellness Rooms for new mothers or medical use and an established wellness program, AurHealth. The commitment of the Ambassadors was remarkable. They worked creatively to engage the employees in a Health Fair and various activities throughout the year. I knew I had to be a part of it.
As I grew within, through the Professional Development courses, I learned how to be a leader. Without the title, I found my strengths and learned my weakness. In 2012, I joined the AurHealth committee and in 2013, C&A incorporated a wellness discount for their employees.
It was important for me to earn the discount however; I didn’t realize how important it was to live a healthier lifestyle until later that year. My husband was on the verge of going into a diabetic coma, when we found out he had Type 2 diabetes. It was the beginning of a lifestyle change not only for him, but the family.
I began to read labels, found ways to be active, and eat healthier. I joined Weight Watchers at Work and made it a lifestyle, not a diet. It had to be sustainable to be successful. My household was busy. We both worked full-time jobs, I also had a part-time job, and our boys were 10 and 2 years old.
Fast forward to present, I meal prep and add healthier dishes into the menu. Cut out the fast food and use the down time – lunch hours and Saturday mornings, to get active. The changes have trickled down and my passion for my wellbeing and others has flourished into who I am today.
The continued support from the Senior Executives and past leaders of AurHealth, help me engage in wellness. I look for positive ways to make wellness a lifestyle and not a chore, and it pushes me to do more. At the end of the day, you decide how you want to lead, with or without a title. Be extraordinary!
Success Stories and Innovation
Larry Courtnage had a vision. He knew, after attending a WELLCOM presentation nearly 20 years ago, if his company was going to continue its success, he would need to establish a wellness initiative for his employees. His company could do more for his employees.
The employees were the asset. In an industry where we sit all day behind a computer, weight management and nutrition would always be a factor. AurHealth was established from a handful of employees, to find ways to get up and be active, and look for healthier living options.
The committee started looking for resolutions. As members of WELCOA and WELLCOM, we used their resources to find ways of sustainability. Attended the webinars, went to the discussions, and used the online resources. We began to incorporate ways to get healthier living into the daily routine and keep the longevity of our employees.
C&A added an Avanti Market and got rid of the vending machines. We started a Walking Club, began challenges to get up and moving, and offered gym memberships for our employees and their family. In August of 2015, we found success with Weight Watchers at work. The convenience of having an on-site program has helped our employees lose 2,500 pounds. Over the years, the program has changed lives and earned 7 employees Lifetime status, including me.
AurHealth continues to empower the employees of C&A. It’s a position where the Ambassadors dedicate their time to help find success within their peers. Not everyone’s journey going to start the same, so to provide knowledge in all aspects of wellness, not just health, is what has created the lifestyle of healthy living.
When the value of a gym membership was established, it helped employees take control of their lives. It gave awareness that the company cares of their wellbeing and it resonated. Over 130 employees use the company’s membership and it has gained a greater self-worth. The weight and body fat has been dropping, mentally there’s more engagement, and healthier lifestyles has been instilled. The sustainability of the employees has truly increased.
AurHealth continues to look for innovative ways to benchmark ourselves against other companies. We use WELCOA’s Seven Benchmarks and WELLCOM’s Governor’s Award, to measure the success and failures of our initiatives. When failures occur, we look at what went wrong and figure out if it can be revamped.
An example of a failure was our Poker Walk. It was taking more manpower to make the walking event possible. The participation was only at 3%. Thinking outside the box, I recognized we needed to make the walking event relevant with the times.
With technology at our fingertips, a Selfie Scavenger Hunt was created. Riddles were designed to motivate employees to walk a mile and find the clues. With phones in their hands, employees and entire departments ventured out to catch selfies. Success was happening before us! Participation increased 9% and the employees were engaged. It was proven you can make healthy living fun!
Wellness will always be around us. How we embrace it, will be the deciding factor. The actions we display and information we give will be the building blocks for generations to come.
Our vision is to empower our employees to live happier, healthier lives however, it won’t happen overnight. We have to continue to grow, motivate, and immerse ourselves through the lives of others. Teach others that happiness is beyond physical wellness.
Understand the overall pieces of wellbeing. The mental aspects of stress and how it correlates with work, health, family, and livelihood. Every piece, little or small, are measurements of improvement.
How will the concepts be applied? Increase the physical, social, and mental pieces of wellness? That will be the key to driven results. We’re all at different stops on the wellness train. It’s when we’re ready to get off, will the impact be made.