Austin's Fit Businesses

By Leah Fisher Nyfeler – October 25, 2012

C3 Presents Takes Care of Employees…and Concertgoers 

October in Austin means Austin City Limits, and so AFM reached out to Austin-based C3 Presents, the company that produces ACL, to find out what they do to keep their employees and music fans healthy. Here’s what Lindsay Hoffman, festival marketing manager, had to share:

What company fitness programs/incentives/benefits does C3 Presents provide?

Because so much of our team is traveling and gigging, C3 is very conscious about employee health. Health begins with a very comprehensive benefits plan that addresses everything from fitness to mental health. We’ve just started a boot camp for co-workers with Dane’s Body Shop. And we bring in Viva Day Spa during the busy times to massage away the stress.

How do you keep employees healthy during the long ACL weekend?

Festivals can be rough on the body. ACL provides a house doctor for employees and caters three meals per day for all staff, crew, and artists. Our incredible office manager, Katie Williams, stocks our working trailers with vitamins, healthy snacks, and first aid kits. The most effective thing is we look out for each other. Your crew is always checking in to see if you’ve had enough water, if you’ve had a break, if you’ve eaten lunch. Safety is a priority at our events, and many precautions are taken across the board.

Is there anything about your office culture that says "health and fitness"?

In addition to the two-month boot camp, we also have runners, cyclists, and yogis in our ranks. Working an event is a lot of work—you have to be fit!

How does C3 Presents look at health and well being as it pertains to ACL?

We see health at ACL as something both individual and environmental. It’s monumentally important to stay hydrated over the weekend, so we have multiple Camelback water filling stations, where fans can fill up on free triple-filtered water. By addressing that health requirement, we’re also able to keep nearly a quarter of a million water bottles from entering a landfill. At ACL Eats, we work with great local restaurants to offer a huge variety of food. We also work with Hope Farmer’s Market to provide extra healthy fare and options for individuals with special diets. Since feeding people can generate waste, we offer composting and work with all of our vendors to source eco-friendly, compostable materials. ACL Cares also hosts multiple health and environmental causes, including HAAM and SIMS, two local organizations that provide healthcare for musicians. The nonprofit organization Love, Hope, Strength swabs cheeks for the national bone marrow database and have found 12 life-saving bone marrow matches among ACL fans. ACL has also partnered with the Nature Conservancy to help spread the word about vital issues affecting the water that so many Austin fitness fans enjoy.

Capital Metro Employees Hop on the Fitness Bus 

by Leah Fisher Nyfeler

Seven years ago, Capital Metro needed to find a way to deal with rising annual health care costs and so the Employee Wellness Program was developed, its mission to “reduce absenteeism, lower health care costs, and increase employee morale.” This year, Cap Metro was chosen by the Austin Business Journal as one of Austin’s “Healthiest Employers” and has seen a reduction in health care costs that tally in the millions. How’d they do it?

Cap Metro took a three-pronged approach to promoting healthy lifestyles: providing physical spaces and equipment, education, and incentives. It’s not every employer who can provide one 24-hour workout facility but Cap Metro has four separate onsite Wellness Centers. The main bus depot houses a full cafeteria with healthy food choices and a registered dietician oversees even the vending machines. The bicycle checkout program allows employees who watch a short video on bike safety to take a spin for up to four hours, whether running errands or simply taking a break on the nearby hike and bike trail. In addition to bikes, employees can check out pedometers and heart rate monitors.

There are numerous opportunities for employees who want education. Health fitness specialists at each Wellness Center offer free personal training and individualized exercise program design. Seminars provide information on financial health, disease and pain management, and free fitness programs ranging from outdoor camps to walking to 5K/10K race training. There are alternative health fairs as well as “lunch and learn” meetings on fitness and nutrition. For customized instruction, Cap Metro has free nutritional counseling with a registered dietician and Polar Body Age assessment (the Polar system gives a fitness evaluation based on the body’s vital statistics, a follow-up summary of findings, and personal training recommendations).

Need an incentive to become healthy? Several groups (Weight Watchers at Work, Freedom from Smoking, and diabetes management classes) provide support in numbers. Even the workplace environment became motivating when the administrative offices, bus, and rail stations became smoke-free. There are cash incentive programs that reward gym participation, average and above ratings in the Polar Body Age assessment, lowered body weight, participation in 5K/10K runs, and tobacco cessation.

With some 64 percent of Capital Metro employees taking advantage of these healthful living options, it’s no wonder this fit business has seen employee health costs decrease. Fit business pays off at Cap Metro!

3M Company Offers Award-Winning Health and Wellness Programs

by Tracy D. Nelson

Consistently ranked one of the best companies to work for, 3M Company is committed to the health and wellness of its employees. 3M encourages its employees to make positive health and lifestyle choices by offering wellness programs throughout the year, incentives for health and fitness improvements, and an onsite fitness center.

The state-of-the-art 3M Austin Fitness Center, managed by HealthFitness, features the following:

-A large exercise area with stations and equipment for cardio and strength
-Multi-purpose classrooms featuring instructor-led classes such as Cardio Funk, circuit-strength, kickboxing, step, Nia, and yoga
-Innovative programs, such as 21 Days: A Mind/Body Bootcamp– a comprehensive goal-oriented fitness program featuring nutrition, cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility components
-Massage therapy
-Locker rooms
-Certified staff who lead classes, perform fitness assessments, and provide 1:1 personal training

3M employees can join the Fitness Center for $15 per month, and membership is free for spouses and 3M retirees (although some programs charge an extra fee). The participation rate is high—with about 350 members; nearly half of the 3M Austin employees belong to the Fitness Center.

Along with the gym, 3M’s healthy lifestyle initiatives emphasize education and outreach, which include the following:

-Monthly newsletters featuring employee spotlights, health tips, and announcements
-Wellness seminars, stretch breaks, and health awareness booths including blood pressure, weight management, and more
-A site-wide Wellness Fair in the fall, and a Fitness Expo in the spring
-Weight management courses
-Annual health screenings
-Incentives tied to health and fitness, including weight management, completion of health courses, completion of health screenings, and tobacco cessation

3M extends its commitment to health and fitness to the Austin community. For 19 years, 3M has organized one of Austin’s most popular races, the 3M Half Marathon. To help 3M employees prepare for the race, the 3M Fitness Center offers a 14-week half marathon training program for all levels of runners. Their motto: We don’t just run for the tape, we make it.

And 3M’s wellness initiatives have not gone unnoticed. Last year, 3M was crowned the winner in the “Health and Wellness (Large Company)” category at the Greater Austin Business Awards, organized by the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Pilgrimage Keeps Thought Leaders Fit 

by Melanie P. Moore

Seton Cove’s Leadership Pilgrimage helps thought leaders stay fit for leadership. The foundation of Seton Cove’s leadership programs, the Leadership Pilgrimage mixes individual and group experiences that ultimately allow each person to slow down and regain awareness required to do “inner work” that modern life rarely enables. The use of personal stories, tales from the wisdom traditions, contemporary thinkers, and experiential exercises facilitate individual reflection and group discussion.

The guiding principles of the program are:

-effective leadership flows from the identity and integrity of the person;
-every person has gifts to offer to the practice of leadership;
-leaders lead from within, not from external expectations;
-authentic leadership demands spiritual depth and centeredness;
-spiritual depth and centeredness flow from a commitment to contemplative practices.

According to Patricia Speier, Executive Director of Seton Cove, the Leadership Pilgrimage is completing its tenth year. Classes usually contain 22-25 people and the program has served more than 250 leaders to date. “Many of these have been through one or both of our follow-up programs, The Practice of Contemplative Leadership and The Taos Leadership Intensive,” Speier said.

“At The Seton Cove, we define a leader as someone who wants to make a positive difference in the world,” she said. “As a result, we have a diverse enrollment that includes leaders from the nonprofit world as well as individuals whose main work is volunteerism. While the bulk of participants are executives and professionals, you definitely do not have to be a CEO to benefit from this program.

“The Leadership Pilgrimage envisions a world where leaders lead from a place of wholeness. It seeks to integrate leaders’ external ways of knowing—their reason, logic and empirical knowledge with the deep wisdom of their minds and hearts. The pilgrimage provides thought leaders with the time, space, silence and community to do the inner work that so many long to do but can't find the time or even the permission to unplug long enough to do it on their own. It is based on the belief that leadership that can be transformative has to incorporate a practice of intentional silence.”

Attorney Richard Alexander said, “It was an authentically transformative experience inside and out. I began to see my place in the world from the point of my own sense of integrity (who I am called to be), which may or may not be consistent with the role others see me in or their expectations/demands of me in a given circumstance.”

“The Pilgrimage gave me the space and the tools to begin the journey from a human doing to a human being,” said Linda Ford, Ph.D., owner of Ford Business Consulting. “As a classic Type A driver, doing has taken the center role for many years. Now I’m more of a whole human being in whatever I do. This has given my work more power and made my life more satisfying and rich.”

For details about the program, visit the Seton Cove website. The next information session will be October 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Call the Seton Cove to register for the information session.


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