NORTH BAY -- The Business Journal is seeking nominations for its annual Healthiest Companies awards, designed to recognize outstanding efforts of businesses across the North Bay in the critical movement toward wellness.

Last year, 17 companies were selected as winners, using criteria established by and done in conjunction with the Northern California Center for Well Being, a Santa Rosa-based nonprofit that focuses on wellness matters for employers and the general population as a means of lowering health care costs.

Winning companies must have a location in Marin, Sonoma, Napa or Solano counties. The awards will highlight successful wellness programs by employers and organizations, which can help offset employer health care costs and improve employee morale and productivity. Such efforts can also help employers retain and recruit employees, according to health officials.

The winners will be announced later this fall and will be honored at the Business Journal's annual Health Care Conference in November. Profiles of the winners will appear in a special report preceding the Health Care Conference. Winners will be selected after gathering nominations and company surveys about their health practices.

To nominate your company, go to www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/78119/2013-healthiest-companies-in-the-north-bay-nominations/