The Journal's 2014 Healthiest Companies in the North Bay will be honored at the Nov. 18 Health Care Industry Conference.Alvarado Street BakeryBurr Pilger MayerCoddingEPIC Insurance Brokers & ConsultantsExchange BankGhilotti Bros.Heffernan Insurance Brokers--North BayKaiser Permanente--Marin and SonomaKeysight TechnologiesKirby ConstructionLEMO USAPacific Union CollegePetaluma Health Care DistrictPetaluma Health CenterRedwood Empire Schools' Insurance GroupSt. Joseph Health--Sonoma and Napa countiesSutter Pacific Medical FoundationW. Bradley ElectricWorkrite ErgonomicsAlvarado Street BakeryFirst-time winner'Wellness is a state of mind built into our culture'
PETALUMA -- Workers at Alvarado Street Bakery believe in their company's mission statement and incorporate its principles into their daily lives. It says:
"Through our worker cooperative, we will use whole grain and organic ingredients wherever possible to support sustainable agricultural practices and healthy living."
According to plant environmentalist Michelle Zimmerman, "Our guiding beliefs include striving to create a healthy work environment that emphasizes humanistic values and positive working conditions. This is who we are and what we do."
The bakery is an employee owned business where staff members educate themselves with information about what "healthy" means to be in a position to help staff members gain self-worth and to care for each other.
Results of the company's wellness program have been impressive. In the last 12 months participation has increased from 40 percent to 66 percent. Two life-long smokers have quit, and several people have gone from being couch potatoes to competing in local races like the Santa Rosa Marathon and the Clo the Cow Half Marathon and 5K.
More of Alvarado's people are going to gyms and practicing a level of fitness above what their heavy physical labor jobs require.
"Preventive health care is one of our top usage categories. Illnesses are being caught earlier allowing for better management. People are getting up and moving around," said Ms. Zimmerman. "We're increasing our overall level of activity, counting more steps, improving food choices and becoming a more fit group of people."
For over 30 years Alvarado Street Bakery has been a leader in producing healthy, organic whole grain breads, and now sees itself as one of the healthiest companies in Northern California.Burt Pilger Mayer, Inc.Three-time winnerProviding tools employees need to take care of their own health
SANTA ROSA -- "In a profession where people spend many hours each day sitting indoors, it is important to give employees tools and access to information they need to take care of their own health," said Ted Grafe, partner and North Bay business development and marketing manager for Burr Pilger Mayer, the largest California-based CPA firm with six Bay Area locations.
He said healthy employees are more engaged, more productive and miss less time from work.
"Our job as a responsible employer is to provide the mechanisms employees need to maintain and improve their health and lifestyles," Mr. Grafe said.
Some 35 percent of the firm's 400 employees (including 50 in Santa Rosa and St. Helena) regularly participate in the BPM wellness program.
Several employees have lost weight and have maintained their weight loss. Since launching the wellness program, food for company meetings and events is healthier, and many more employees are aware of small changes they can make to improve their health.
Medical insurance premiums did not increase last year because of BPM's year over year biometric numbers.
The firm also received a $50,000 wellness credit from Aetna, the company's new health care provider for 2014. This credit was given because BPM has a wellness program in place and has been able show through biometric results that the firm's risk factors have improved.
BPM Wellness is the only benefits program to see a monetary return on its investment, according to Mr. Grafe.Codding InvestmentsTwo-time winnerWellness programs help attract and retain top-tier talent
ROHNERT PARK -- Workplace wellness is very important at Codding. Our employees are considered family and the firm's most treasured assets," said Tina Montgomery, property and marketing manager. We believe our wellness program has" also helped us retain and attract top-level talent."
The culture is based on close working relationships established by company founder, Hugh Codding, which has been the cornerstone of the firm since its inception in 1947.
Codding's wellness committee promotes workforce wellness with education and events for its 47 employees and their families. This empowers the staff to not just feel great about being part of the enterprise, but to do great things personally and professionally.