There are many people in Premera Alaska and Seattle and in Vivacity that have made a difference to us, to our company and to me personally.

Lynn, you define the word panache for me and I love to watch you work (a room and a plan). You are the reason that I finally got off my butt and started to write the Habits at Work book. Admittedly, some days I curse you for that, too! Thank you for nudging me for years to write the book, and for your faith in us to help you build the, now very successful, Alaska Wellness Academy. It’s been an awesome three-year ride and I am confident that your efforts have left so many employers in Alaska empowered and inspired to do great things in their wellbeing programs and efforts. I’ve met so many committed and inspiring people through this work and it fills me up every time I’m in Alaska.

Maureen, I know without your tireless work no-one would have ever shown up to the Alaska Wellness Academy events. I know a lot of people are involved in each one, but I believe that you have always been the linchpin in the success of the Academy. I have counted on you to make sure everything is ready and working and to give me the space and understanding to pace the halls before each session starts. Thanks for being kind, thoughtful and sharing a big smile whenever I see you. I’m very happy you’re moving back to Alaska and hope that means we get to see each other on every visit again.

Nicole, you have become more than a trusted partner. You are a deeply valued friend and an invaluable sounding board. You inspire me in your role as a mom, and in how you combine that with your ability to juggle all the balls in the air at Vivacity. We’ve had a fun and rewarding time working with you and your team, and I expect we’ll be friends for years to come, whether we’re working together or not. I look forward to the times we talk, and missed you terribly while you were away on maternity leave. I am very glad you’re back! You have been the glue and connector for our two teams and it’s through you that we’ve gotten to know and work with Kristina, Aimee, Kristen, Andrea, Scott, Julie and many others. I know the team is bigger than that, and I’ve not mentioned everyone, but each person on the team that I’ve worked with has been open, willing and an advocate for the health of the people we serve together and alone.

Dave, you’ve put your money where your mouth is and have trusted us with a lot of big projects over the years. I know you’ve fought for us (and our budget) and that took a lot, but it’s the conversations we have over a beer and the plans we’ve hatched together that make the biggest difference. The ideas you came up with for the Academy just last week reminded me of the old saying, "Two heads are better than one." Thanks for our partnership over the years.

Scott, you’re the only guy I know that has read more of what’s in our BRATLAB vaults than even some of our own team. You inspire me with your voracious appetite for learning and growth and your humble and charming approach to people. When we spend time together, you remind me of the value of being nice, without being a pushover; of being warm, while telling clients not what they want to hear but what they need to hear. I expect great things for your career and will always be watching to see which career mountains you choose to conquer next.

Neal, I call you “the most connected man in wellness”. You have opened doors for me and for our business that would have taken us years to do on our own. I hope we continue to speak together at conferences for years to come. We do a lot of walking meetings in our company, but when we meet for a walk and talk, I feel like I’m attending a university course. Thanks for everything you’ve taught me, both about the business and science of wellbeing and engagement, but also about the worlds of pottery and about life. Some of the funniest nights I’ve spent have been with you sharing stories about our misspent (or well spent) youths! Long may that continue.

There are many other people in Premera Alaska and Seattle and in Vivacity that have made a difference to us, to our company and to me personally. Kristina, Andrea, Kristen, Amie, Denise, Julie and others at Vivacity. Brad, Julia, Nadia and the team at Premera Alaska and the many people in Premera Seattle. Majd, David, Susan and the whole team at Lifewise of Oregon, although that business is no longer operating, were patient participants in our Wellness Expert Training Course. We had a ball over the two years that we worked together. Thank you all for trusting us as partners, for being patient with us as we learn to understand your needs and for being forgiving of us when we're difficult to work with or don’t quite “nail” a project on the first go. Your partnership and friendship is very dear to me. It has made the last seven years of working with Premera and Vivacity so invaluable to the Habits at Work team.

Of course, all of that was possible because of the generosity of Brian Melanson, who first gave us a shot at that work. Thank you Brian, not only for that, but for all your efforts over the years to help us and our business. I watch what you’re doing at M4 Innovation today, especially your 4mul8 conference and wonder how you pull it all off. If you’re a leader in any health business and you’re reading this, this is a conference not to miss. We met in Dallas so many years ago and you were the only person from any of the insurers who took the time to invest in a new business being set up by some guy from Africa. That kindness will never be forgotten and it
makes it so clear to me why you have such an enormous network of supporters and friends.

Join the VIAL 5 Challenge!