ENTRY FROM: The Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals

Nominee: Linda Brinson

Stories from Draper Wellness Heroes

Linda Brinson is the Safety & Wellness Director at Draper, Inc. She has had 20 years of experience managing wellness programs in the manufacturing industry. Draper employs over 500 employees and they have never had a layoff.

Professional Development

I’m Linda Brinson and I’m the Safety & Wellness Director at Draper, Inc.  I came to Draper, Inc. in 2006 to develop a culture focused on the health and wellbeing of the employees and to increase safety awareness.   

My expertise includes 20 years of experience in human resources, safety and wellness primarily in a manufacturing environment.

I attended IUPUC for Human Resources.  I also have a PHR in Human Resources through SHRM, a wellness certification through University of Southern Indiana, CESCO in environmental & safety through National Registry of Environmental Professionals, and I am an authorized trainer for OSHA 10 & 30 hour.  Additionally, becoming well versed in the various WELCOA offerings and 7 Benchmarks has made a huge contribution to my ongoing success as a leader in wellness at Draper, in the community and in Indiana.  I am  currently the President of the Board of Advisors for the Wellness Council of Indiana.  Under my direction, Draper is recognized by IOSHA as an INSHARP company, is the 2013 winner of the Healthiest Employer award in our category (500-1,499 employees) in Indiana and has been recognized as the number 1 ranked healthiest employer in the nation by Healthiest Employers in 2014.

Demonstrated Success

When I first began this journey, I found that the top 5 health risks our employees and their families were facing are High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Tobacco use, Cholesterol and Glucose.  With top managements full support, I then developed a 5 year plan to raise awareness and change lifestyle based on my findings.   Year 1: Understanding Employee’s Health Risks, Year 2: Help Employees Manage Risk, Year 3: Building Employee’s Healthy Future, Year 4: Building a healthier family, Year 5: Building a healthy retirement. 

To better explain our success, let me introduce you to Dawn.

Dawn Jones started smoking at the age of 16 and after multiple attempts to quit, she found herself being more concerned about gaining weight as a side effect to quitting, than she was about the harm of the cigarettes.

It was the launch of the Draper cessation classes, combined with the ever-increasing price of cigarettes that Dawn finally decided it was her time to quit. She started attending the cessation classes on a weekly basis and found it to give her the motivation and support that she ultimately needed to finally kick the habit. Through the program she was encouraged to replace smoking with walking, which only helped with her fear of gaining weight. And she even started saving her cigarette money, which she was able to use to buy a new TV.  After being a non-smoker for over five years now, I’m thrilled to say, she is one of hundreds of Draper Wellness superheroes.

We are able to tell you this story due to the exceptional wellness initiatives we have in place at Draper. 

We began implementing Wellness at Draper over 7 years ago and since that time we have had some fantastic results, such as:

  • Up to 85% participation from our 509 employees
  • Over 3,000 lbs lost by employees
  • 41% decline in tobacco use
  • Diabetes down 6%
  • High Cholesterol down 28%
  • High Blood Pressure down 33%
  • Financial classes has shown a debt reduction of over $26,460.00 and employees saved over $10,125.00

Employees and their families are showing repeatedly that they are also working to be preventative by:

  • Exercise increase of 42%
  • Stress management improved 53%
  • Depression prevention improved 68%
  • Limiting Alcohol 89%
  • Cholesterol, BP, diabetes checks 100%
  • Colorectal exams 61%
  • Mammograms 92%
  • PSA’s 85%
  • Claims down 12%

We offer an onsite medical clinic for our employees and their families, prescriptions for $1.00, free diabetic supplies and free smoking cessation prescriptions.  In addition to these offerings, we have an onsite outdoor fitness park and use of a local school workout facility—all at no cost to our employees, retirees and their families.

We also have an onsite Health Coach that sets goals and if all the requirements are met, employees receive a contribution to their HSA and discount to their premiums.

All of this goes hand-in-hand with the numerous wellness challenges, classes, etc. that we offer on a continual basis.  Here are just a few:

  • Walk to Hawaii-participants have opportunity to win a trip for 2 to Hawaii.
  • Team Challenges-with prizes
  • Gym discounts
  • Bicycle program
  • Community outreach-Relay for Life, Cancer walks, school support and donating smoke alarms to low income homes.
  • Many more

Draper Inc. is a family owned business for 112 years.  And still operates with the same business philosophy and they also believe in responsibility to their employees.  Wellness is an important part of the Draper culture and Draper recognizes the value of healthy employees that lend to a healthy company and helps create a healthy community.


I am a firm believer in being an example.  I portray a healthy, positive attitude to encourage our employees and others in the community towards health.  I have a great wellness committee that works along side of me.  The wellness committee consists of CFO, managers and factory workers that brain storm on the best ways to keep employees motivated to participate and change to a healthy life for them and their family.


As mentioned early, Draper is the community.  My concern isn’t only for our current employees, but our future employees.  We have an ever growing epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes with our children-our future.  We are beginning an awareness campaign in 2015, first with the children of our employees, but in hopes of expanding this to the local hospital and schools by 2016.   With this, I work with other local and state businesses in an effort to help them develop wellness initiatives in their company and community so we can all work together to win this battle for a healthier life and a healthier future.

Company Information:

Draper Inc.

Spiceland, IN   

Linda Brinson-Safety & Wellness Director

Draper Inc. is headquartered in Spiceland, Indiana, a village of 800 people located 40 miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Draper is a manufacturer of window shades, projector screens and gym equipment and they have been in business since 1902.  Draper is still owned and operated by descendants for the original owner.  Draper is an international company based out of a rural community.  We have over 500 employees and we have never had a layoff.  The average age of employees is 49.

I have worked at Draper as the Safety & Wellness Director since 2006.

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Linda Brinson is a fantastic person who truly cares for Draper's employees. I look forward to the next adventure she sends our way, in order to keep us healthy. She has a positive attitude and is always smiling. She has been and continues to be a great leader at Draper. This coming from one of her followers, Dawn

Dawn J. on 1/21/2015

Linda Brinson, A wonderful person and team member who realizes that health and wellness within the job setting and with employee's, introduces a positivity at the highest level and in return produces a healthy productivity within that environment...Joyce

Joyce C. on 10/23/2014

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