Street Talk

Street Talk: Well-being as a priority

Leadership leads.

September 21, 2018
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Priority Health is working to help clients address overall well-being rather than wellness alone.

The focus is on the “value of investment rather than return on investment,” said Miki Kobane, wellness director for Grand Rapids-based Priority Health.

Its new product, PriorityWell, goes beyond wellness programs to offer support in areas such as social, financial, environmental and emotional health.

Focusing on overall well-being, the company said employers will better be able to improve employees’ engagement, satisfaction and productivity, ultimately resulting in improved talent retention and a healthier workforce.

“We are consulting with clients to look at the value of the individual,” Kobane said.

The company noted unhappy workers cost the U.S. between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity each year, according to a 2013 report on the state of the U.S. workplace conducted by research and polling company Gallup.

PriorityWell is offered in three scalable packages to work alongside a Priority Health medical plan to provide an integrated experience with measurable results.

The packages start with a personalized web experience, promotional materials, educational classes, a health risk assessment and reporting.

Additional packages also offer services such as a cultural assessment, an employee interest survey, a three-year well-being roadmap, web-based challenges and custom reporting.

All packages have the option to add additional features depending on the greatest employee needs, like smoking cessation programs, incentive management programs, health coaching, on-site clinics and screenings and on-site support.

Priority Health is offering PriorityWell to employer groups with 30 wellness eligible members or more.

The company earlier this year launched Wellbeing Hub, available to all Priority Health members, offering online access to tools that support stress management, nutrition, weight loss, quitting tobacco, chronic condition management, financial support, sleep health and more.

Real steel

Is there such a thing as a steel welcome mat?

If so, Mill Steel Co. probably rolled one out recently when several political luminaries came to call.

The Grand Rapids-based distributor of flat-rolled carbon steel hosted Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. Rick Snyder and Congressman Bill Huizenga at its 36th Street headquarters Sept. 12.

The VP and his wife, Karen Pence, toured the steel service center and met with associates from Mill Steel’s production team.

Shortly after, Pence delivered a speech on economic growth and the current job market, specifically the recent boom in the manufacturing sector. Citing the U.S. Census Bureau, he said that in the last year and a half, more than 378,000 manufacturing jobs have been added to the economy, including 14,000 manufacturing jobs in Michigan. He went on to discuss the correlation between the uptick in manufacturing and the strength of the steel industry.

Pence also noted the impact of federal tax cuts, praising Mill Steel for giving 400 of its full-time associates a $1,000 bonus as a result of the tax cuts passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump.

“This is a fantastic company. This company and all of you represent really the backbone of American business,” Pence said.

David Samrick, Mill Steel CEO and chairman and second-generation leader of Mill Steel, also spoke about the company’s success.

“I know my mother Edith and my father Harry, the founders of Mill Steel, are looking down and smiling right now, marveling at all of you and what we’ve all accomplished together,” Samrick said.

He said in light of the recent tax savings, Mill Steel also purchased land to expand operations at its Melvindale location. The company also recently purchased a 33,000-square-foot building near its current headquarters and production facility. The building, a part of Centennial Commercial Park, will serve as Mill Steel's new corporate office and is undergoing major renovations. Associates are expected to make the move to the new office in early 2019.

Pence closed by paying tribute to the late Amway co-founder Rich DeVos in light of his death earlier that week, noting the unforgettable mark he left on West Michigan through his legacy and generosity.

Picture this

The Grand Rapids Art Museum will be displaying the artwork of 10 artists or artist pairs for ArtPrize 10.

There will be a broad range of forms and mediums, including 2D, 3D, time-based, and installations from local, national and international artists during ArtPrize, which runs through Oct. 7.

There also will be outdoor pieces and large-scale nighttime projects on the building’s exterior that will include sculptures, paintings and interactive performance works.

“Visitors to ArtPrize 10 at GRAM will find the Grand Rapids Art Museum's most ambitious presentation yet — dazzling installations adapted to interior and exterior public spaces, technology-based interactive experiences, monumental sculpture and more," GRAM Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen said.

The individual artists include Saskia Jordá from Venezuela, Michigan-based John Gutsokey, Phoenix pitch night winner Nathaniel Lewis and the late William (Billy) R. Mayer.

One of the collaborative duos is Arizona-based Lauren Strohacker and Kendra Sollars, who joined with Blandford Nature Center to create their time-based entry called “Animal Land.”

“The artists in the exhibition are grappling with urgent social issues and the current state of public and private discourse surrounding these issues. I look forward to seeing how our visitors will engage with the work on view,” said Ron Platt, GRAM’s chief curator.

GRAM, of course, isn’t the only ArtPrize venue. This year’s entries can be found throughout town, including other museums, bars, public parks, restaurants, theaters, hotels, bridges, laundromats, auto shops, vacant storefronts and office spaces in downtown Grand Rapids.

Leaders of the pack

A simulcast next month will bring together a diverse cast of characters to speak on the qualities good leaders possess.

Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids will host the 2018 Refresh Leadership Simulcast from 7:30 a.m.-noon Oct. 24, at The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids.

It will focus on how leaders can reach the next level, inspire their people and become more effective in their roles.

The simulcast will feature Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State; Mark King, an innovation expert and former president of Adidas North America; and Josh Sundquist, author, speaker and Paralympian.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss will kick off the event with opening remarks on the State of Grand Rapids as well as her thoughts on the most important aspects of leadership in the mayoral office.

Bliss said as mayor, she is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs and addressing disparities in the community to ensure Grand Rapids is “a great place for everyone.”

The Refresh Leadership Simulcast is in its ninth year and sponsored by Express Employment Professionals’ international headquarters and the Grand Rapids Express Pros office.

David Robb, director of marketing for Express Pros Grand Rapids, said the staffing firm is expecting a sold-out event with more than 200 business and community leaders present for networking and the simulcast.

Tickets are $35 and available at expresspros.com/grandrapidsmi or by calling (616) 281-0611.

All proceeds will go to benefit Kids’ Food Basket.

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