ENTRY FROM: The Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Sherry Leggett

Here's the B.E.E.F!

Certified Angus Beef LLC hired Sherry Leggett as the onsite Wellness Coach and Manager for employees to capture the heart of its business – where people are clearly the most important resource. The leadership for the Certified Angus Beef® brand, the beef marketing company for Angus cattle farmers and ranchers through the American Angus Association®, aimed to provide nearly 110 employees with an experienced and committed wellness professional to build on the healthy, positive, balanced, yet productive workplace. Sherry Leggett provides over 17 years of wellness experience and has a passion for helping employees through wellness coaching, designing individual integrative wellness programs, and coordinating the company’s wellness team that includes an onsite Physician, Psychologist, Lawyer, and Financial Planner. It’s because of Sherry’s strong visionary commitment for innovative programming for physical, emotional, and financial well-being that she deserves consideration for the Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals.

Professional Development

I received my Sport Medicine and Management Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. I am an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist, Certified Wellness Program Coordinator by National Wellness Institute/Larry Chapman Institute, and various WELCOA certifications. I have a passion for helping people achieve a balanced well life one interaction at a time. I have received various workplace awards, including the 2014 American Psychological Association’s Psychologically Healthy Worksite Award that signifies a strong commitment to employee wellness balance. My degree has provided a solid foundation for program development and employee individual wellness education. 

Demonstrated Success

Previously I was contracted by Certified Angus Beef LLC through a local hospital. There was not enough time to truly make an impact and provide individualized plans for employees who requested support. I am now onsite three days a week and utilized by 96% of the staff to assist with physical, nutritional, post-rehab, ergonomics, blood pressure and other individualized health services. The President John Stika, and executive team are active member of wellness programming, and at each bi-weekly meeting of managers I present a “Shot of Sherry”, a 5-10 minute Wellness brief presentation with meaningful impact. I’m also in charge of the Health & Safety committee that meets monthly for environmental modifications, monitoring outcomes, and conducting wellness interest surveys.

Over the past several years, we have observed dramatic improvements in multiple areas measured through the yearly Health Risk Assessment process. 

  • 85% of our staff met 3 out of 5 CardioMetabolic Measures compared to 65% of the national average.
  • 73% of our staff met the HDL requirements versus 60% national average.
  • 81% of our staff met the blood pressure requirements versus 71% national average
  • 84% of our staff met the glucose requirements versus 64% national average
  • 93% of staff were tobacco free versus 79% national average

Although our statistics are great and our team enjoys healthful beef choices, some of our main programs focus on Waist Circumference and Body Mass Index. To address the issue, we incorporated several programs to encompass whole well-being. I strive to motivate employees through incentives and education to assist with our health and wellness goals

  • Ongoing Fitbit (movement tracker) incentive campaign increased the exercise level of our employees by 87% since May 2013, with approximately 97% of employees enrolled. 
  • To assist employees with a better understanding of emotional eating, the onsite psychologist Dr. Marianne Bowden held a four-part series on Dr. Pamela Peek’s book the Hunger Fix.
  • We offer Weight Watchers for free for employees.
  • The company embarked on a program to provide healthy “to-go” meals for employees. The program has the full support of the executive management, with the goal to support and promote healthy eating and minimize stress from hectic weeknight plans.

As a 2013 American Heart Association Platinum Award Winner, Certified Angus Beef has had a focus on the AHA seven simple steps to decrease the risk of heart disease.  A toolbox of programming to make wellness a culture includes: walking meetings, fruit baskets refreshed weekly throughout the building, guided imagery, yoga, and free access to 7,000 fitness centers locations nationwide, and personalize free smoking cessation programs. 

Since the beginning of Health initiatives, Certified Angus Beef has enjoyed single-digit renewal increases in health insurance premiums, saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In addition, the health improvements of the employees have reduced the number and cost of claims.  I recognize that the programs, incentives, and opportunities we offer aren’t common in most workplaces, and as a result we stand out in our community.


Wellness part of every aspect of my life-from work, family to church life.  I have been teaching group exercise lunch classes for Certified Angus Beef Employees for six years- bootcamp, pilates, strength training, and yoga. Most recently, seven employees and I did a 100 mile relay endurance run.  I read at least two health and wellness books a month along with various wellness journals, continuously take WELCOA certification courses, so I can share weekly articles latest research with employees. My (and family’s) hobbies include triathlons, running, biking, hiking and organic gardening.  At my church, I lead a bible study group “First Place 4Health”.  I am frequently asked to do wellness talks throughout my community.

My advice for those entering the wellness field is as a wellness professional you must truly care about people and their wellness.  I feel fortunate that I come to work energized and enthusiastic to do a job that I love and get paid to do.  


While mass wellness challenges are good when sprinkled into programming, I challenged this large group mentality and took the monies to incentivize Individual Integrative Wellness Goal setting.  Each quarter, employees can meet with me to set up an individual integrative wellness goal.  The goal is based on their individualized needs goals may include, but are not limited to nutrition, tobacco use, water intake, preventive care, increased fitness, etc.  This individualized incentive approach has revolutionized the wellness of our employees, by creating a wellness culture of caring.  For example, in 6 month time,

  • 84% of employees set integrative wellness goals
  • 52% of employees have had four or more interactions with me
  • 24% of the employees have lost weight
  • 11% decreased their blood pressure

Whether it is the regular personal emails or the visits to my office, they know they can go where someone cares about them.

Compelling Vision

I think one of the biggest challenges facing employee wellness is mass programming that does not address the critical emotional health of employees.  With our on-site psychologist, we are in the process of developing a model that can be utilized in many wellness programs. 

Another issue is the “results demanded wellness coach”-the four hour a month coach that is required to have fifteen minute interactions with numerous employees, , and get unrealistic health behavior change results.  The statistics from Certified Angus Beef will prove that employing an onsite wellness coach will result in loyal employees, high employee referrals, plethora of high-quality applicants, a reduction in sick time, very low-turnover rates, and low increases in health insurance premiums. The Wellness coach needs to be part of the work-life team, an investment on part of the company that shows that truly believes that people are clearly the most valuable resource. 


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Comments 5

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Congratulations on your recent honor through WELCOA! You have always been a great wellness advocate, ever since I met you, and Angus Beef is very fortunate to have you as their Wellness Manager!

Mary Lynne Z. on 1/21/2015

Congratulations, Sherry! You have always been such a great wellness advocate ever since I met you! Angus Beef is very fortunate to have you as their Wellness Manager!

Mary Lynne Z. on 1/21/2015

Not only is Sherry Leggett committed to her wellness, she is dedicated to growing the commitment in each and every employee of Certified Angus Beef as well. She sets the example. She lives the example. She teaches the example. Sherry begins her day with a brisk run, and sometimes follows it up with biking to her job at Certified Angus Beef from her home in Orrville. She eats healthily, participates in marathons, duathlons, triathlons, teaches Yoga, Pilates and Core Classes for the staff, and participates in stress reducing activities on site, like guided imagery and walking meetings. She sets the bar just one peg higher for herself than she thinks she can reach, and pushes herself to reach it. She meets each of us on our own level, and helps us to set our bar just one peg higher for ourselves as well. She is so motivated, it spills over to us all. I have learned a lot from watching how she lives her life, and she constantly inspires me to become a better me. When I think of wellness, Sherry comes to mind, making her a perfect candidate for recognition!

Lisa F. on 10/28/2014

Sherry has been a great coach, helping each of us find what works for us and our busy schedules. She is a wealth of knowledge and willing To do More research if needed. Having her at the office is extremely convenient! I can stop indie a quick chat, schedule time in her calendar or send her an email. She helped me get a very sore muscle back to operating as it was supposed to! Thanks Sherry and thanks Certified Angus Beef!

Barb B. on 10/28/2014

Sherry is an inspiration to me.

Helen B. on 10/17/2014

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