In 2008 I started my wellness career at Waste Management, creating wellness programming on the side as I continued my career as a Paralegal within the WM Law Department. After the successful completion of my first wellness program my dream was to someday make corporate wellness my full time position. I am currently getting closer to fulfilling that dream. I am now the Director and Yoga Instructor for Fit2Ride,LLC. Instead of just bringing wellness programs and yoga to one company, I am excited to share this aspect of wellness with other Companies, not only in WI but across the country.
In 2005 I started my journey back to a healthier lifestyle, because I had decided it was time to Take Care of Me. Due to my successes from 2005 to 2009 and my new found passion for wellness, I decided to bring wellness programs to Waste Management and share my passion with others. Not being a wellness professional, I started my corporate wellness education using the tools WELCOA had to offer. Those tools included the webinars, expert interviews and wellness bulletins. I also utilized my personal wellness journey as a means of engaging and supporting others.
In 2008 at Waste Management I started my corporate wellness journey. My title was Contracts Manager working within the Law Department. The first program I put together was based on my own experiences through an outside activity based challenge I had participated in for two consecutive years prior to bringing it to Waste Management. Around 250 people had the opportunity to participate and 90 of them signed up. They were broken out into 5 teams and I guided my team captains as they supported each other and tier teams through the 100 day challenge. Due to corporate downsizing we lost some of the participants mid January 2009. Throughout the 100 day challenge, I supported the participants by creating a wellness newsletter, holding monthly healthy potluck lunches to share success stories to keep the motivation throughout the challenge. This was my “test” program to see if I could put together a successful wellness program in my corporate office setting. I funded that initial program out of my own pocket, providing incentives of monthly gift cards and final team awards. It was a very incentive based program. Was it successful?? Upon completion of the program, I spent the rest of that year participating in several WELCOA webinars. WELCOA was my primary source of learning and education in the corporate wellness field. In November 2009 a co-worker approached me, wondering if I was going to offer another wellness challenge in 2010. Utilizing some of the information I had learned from the WELCOA webinars, I decided to hold another challenge. I started by discussing the program with the Area Vice President’s to gain Waste Management's support for the program. Based on the success of the initial program I put together earlier that year, he decided to support my 2010 efforts with a budget and some personal advice based on his experiences. I formed a wellness team and we sent out a survey to find out what employees wanted in the next wellness program and that created the 2010 Lifestyle Changes Challenge. We held our first market area health fair that had over 100 participants. That event helped one employee find out her cholesterol levels were extremely high she went right from that event to the hospital to get the care she needed. Cultures were starting to change. Fellow co-workers were learning and changing habits based on wellness success stories and listening to their peers talk openly about moving more and what they were eating throughout their day. This culture shift caused one of the best success' from someone that never directly participated in a wellness program. With all the talk and positive energy around her she decided to take her wellness journey into her own hands and lost over 30 pounds. When the attitudes and culture of an organization changes, you will never know how far it will reach and the impact you will have on people’s lives.
At Waste Management I was a Wellness Champion for the Midwest Market Area. I worked toward building relationships within the local wellness community by reaching out and partnering with owners and management at local gyms, YMCA’s, chiropractors and other local wellness professionals and I still maintain those relationships. I attend National WELCOA training summits to get to know other wellness professionals. I was also one of the first 200 WELCOA Faculty members. In 2010 I earned my Spinning® certification through Mad Dog Athletics and in 2011 I became a certified 200 Hour Yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. My commitment to wellness continues, as I am now working toward my WellCoaches® certification, with Coach Meg. To be successful in the wellness industry, you need to be a life long learner, lead by example and be willing to keep up with industry changes. Also keep in mind Dr. David Hunnicutt’s mantra of Good, Better and Best.
As I entered the corporate wellness arena at Waste Management in 2009, I also took the opportunity to be a part of the Menomonee Valley’s Business Improvement District’s (“BID”) wellness team. For the past 5 years the team has been providing wellness initiatives to over 100 companies in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley. Enhancing larger companies current wellness offerings and bringing wellness initiatives to smaller companies that do not have the opportunities to offer their own wellness programming. Each year we bring these companies together at an annual Health and Wellness Fair for HR and Wellness professionals. This allows an entire district of wellness professions to come together to network and see the offerings of local health and wellness service providers. Together Everyone Achieves More!
Take Care of You. A vision most people can’t understand in today’s busy, fast paced, electronics filled world. As we move wellness forward in the workplace, companies need to consider alternative stress reducing programs that can be offered to employees during the work hours. This vision is helping to guide me into my first full time wellness position as director and yoga instructor at Fit2Ride, LLC, bringing wellness, yoga and relaxation techniques to Corporate America. We all need to recharge our batteries so we will be the best we can be as we enjoy this “Ride Through Life”. Take Care of You, Tracy Chrobak’s mantra since 2005!