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Andrew Coolidge, Sirva Worldwide Relocation & Moving chief operating officer, promotes fitness by example and has launched a wellness program for employees.

Sirva reveals path to wellness

Fort Wayne COO engages employees to meet fitness goals

Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Abby Rike, a former contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” encourages Sirva employees to meet their fitness goals.

Doughnuts with Drew are done.

Andrew Coolidge made that vow Tuesday as the Sirva Worldwide Relocation & Moving chief operating officer rallied his troops during the launch of the company’s health initiative.

The Vitality Wellness Program aims to encourage healthy living among Sirva’s more than 500 employees at its Fort Wayne location, 5001 U.S. 30 West.

“There’ll be no more doughnuts with Drew,” Coolidge said, adding that face time with the executive will now consist of more nutritious foods.

Lending a hand at the kickoff was Abby Rike, a former contestant on NBC’s reality series “The Biggest Loser,” who shed 100 pounds from a starting weight of 247 pounds.

Rike told the more than 250 workers attending the meeting that healthy living isn’t about how they look or how much they weigh, but whether a person is living or just existing.

“It’s a health journey,” she said.

Before taking the stage, Rike, now an author and motivational speaker, said employees are the lifeblood of companies and if they’re not happy it hurts profits.

“A business is trying to make money,” she said, “so it’s really just smart for a business to be concerned about workers’ health because they spend a large majority of their time at the job.”

Rike won a place in viewers’ hearts in 2009 after telling how she lost her husband, 5-year-old daughter and 2-week-old son in a fatal car crash three years before being on the show

“I don’t want you to pity me or feel sorry for me,” she said.

Instead, Rike encourages her audiences that though situations in life seem overwhelming, nothing is impossible, “because I’m still here.”

With Katy Perry’s song “Roar” blaring in the background during part of the morning meeting, Sirva officials hoped to inspire employees to join the Vitality Wellness Program, which rewards participants with points that can be used to buy prizes.

Kristen Merwin is executive vice president of human resources for Sirva Inc. She sought out Vitality Health Group Inc. of Chicago in hopes of improving employee health and lowering company insurance premiums.

“It’s doing the little things like annual health screenings, regular exercise and things like that,” Merwin said.

To encourage a healthy lifestyle, Sirva is dropping the prices on nutritious foods and may expand the menu at the company cafeteria.

Coolidge says he feels a responsibility to take the lead as workers will be watching his waistline.

“Oh yeah, the pressure’s on a little bit,” he joked. “I count my steps and keep up with my calories by using this (wrist device) that can send the information to my smartphone.”

pwyche@jg.net

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