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09.22.16 – Luncheon Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Teresa Schaal

President Michael Sytsema called the meeting to order and introduced Kevin Paul to lead us in singing the National Anthem.  Andy Brown led us in prayer.  The meeting was temporarily adjourned so members could enjoy lunch.

President Michael re-called the meeting to order and introduced Steve Starnes who was to introduce guests and visiting Rotarians but there were none, so we all welcomed Steve with a round of applause.

President Michael then spoke of Rotary Relevance and specifically about ArtPrize.  The Kroeze Krew has their artwork displayed at the Amway Grand Plaza.  Rotarians were encouraged to view the artwork and to vote on this beautiful work of art.  Nick Kroeze, past President of this Club, has participated in ArtPrize for 7 of its 8 years (he couldn’t participate during the first year as that was the year he was president of our Club).

A new member was introduced by Rotarian Larry Robson.  Nicholas Wallis is with Cornerstone Architects and has an 8-week old son.  He has a history of being altruistic and of volunteering; he is joining Rotary to provide a good example for his son.

James Eliassen spoke on behalf of the Community Engagement Committee and told of an opportunity on 9/29 to help at Fountain Street Church at “The Oasis” on behalf of Disability Advocates, who is helping people who struggle to view the artwork at ArtPrize and need a wheelchair for mobility assistance.  Six volunteers are needed to help check out the wheelchairs to assure they are returned.  There is a tab added to our website that can be used to see what volunteer opportunities are available.  He mentioned that the response to community engagement projects has been less than robust so is hopeful that this will change.

This week’s speaker, Amy Ritsema, was introduced by President Michael and received a rounding applause when noted that she’s a Hope College graduate (at least by 2 Rotarians, coincidentally both Hope College alumni!).  Her business is called Onsite Wellness and is all about workplace wellness.  She’s been selected as one of the 101 Best and Brightest business women in the Wellness sector and has been doing this work for over 25 years.

Amy made a business case for wellness.  Human Resource professionals understand the value of this program but oftentimes the CFO is concerned about what the Return On Investment is on this program.  She stated that the case for support is the fact that employees are any organization’s most valuable asset and that helping them be their most productive selfves helps with employee satisfaction on the job (less turnover) and more productivity while at their job.

There are 7 dimensions of wellness: mental, environmental, relational, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial.  They make up the “wellness wheel.”  The role of wellness solutions and the benefits of wellness are well known and documented.

Healthcare costs continue to rise and 70% of health-related issues are related to an individual’s behavior.  Risk factors vs. medical conditions; staying away from risky behaviors will decrease the chances of negative health conditions.  But, prevention is hard to measure.  It’s hard to know if a person’s weight loss positively affected their cholesterol or blood pressure — but not having a heart attack is worth investing in!

Wellness also reduces worker’s compensation costs to a company; safety and wellness go hand in hand.

Employees exhibit increased productivity when following a wellness plan.  They feel well, are more consistent and productive, and knowing that your company cares for you helps retention.  Wellness programs also reduce absenteeism, which could be due to transportation issues, illness (self or family), mental illness and socio-economic issues.

Wellness programs identify mental health concerns:  stress, anxiety and depression and can address these issues.  There is an improved ability to manage and handle stress; having a better work-life balance; and better financial health.  Amy gave an example of a company whose employees were struggling with social service issues so the company brought a social service agency into the workplace regularly so these employees could have these needs addressed during work time.

A comprehensive wellness solution supported by the leadership and the culture will result in an organization’s overall improvement.  This is the “soft side” of the bottom line.  The key message is “We care about you” vs. “What will it save the company?”  It puts value on your investment (employees).  While it may be hard to measure, the ROI helps the VOI (Value on Investment) and vice versa.

There was a short Q&A session followed by closing remarks made by President Michael who offered a certificate to Amy for a clean water system to be placed in a home of a family in Nicaragua in her name where there has never been clean water in appreciation for her time spent with our Club.

A group photo was taken.  An update on our member goal was given (44 to go), and it was announced that our club has raised $1,657 toward its goal of $20,000 for Rotary International’s Foundation.  There are 113 Paul Harris Fellowships in our Club.

Announcements of upcoming meetings were made and the meeting was adjourned.

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