GOLDEN Employees Experience Wellness Success in 2009

January 13, 2010

Since the beginning, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. has been a company committed to an open and progressive atmosphere for its employees. Family founders, Mark and Barbara Golden, have built GOLDEN around an environment in which every employee can thrive. Golden Artist Colors, Inc. has prepared all employee owners to take greater responsibility and share in the company's success -- making positive changes in order to sustain the business.

"In a time of increasing healthcare and insurance costs, it is suggested that individuals have no control and there is nothing they can do to make a difference," said GOLDEN CEO, Mark Golden. "Well, in fact, we do have some control, and that control begins with us and our individual commitment to become healthier. Golden Artist Colors believes that we can help in at least providing an environment to support those employees trying to make healthier choices in their lives and the lives of their families."

One area of positive change has been the company's implementation of a formal Wellness Program, encompassing three distinct employee-driven task groups: Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Exercise & Fitness and Healthcare Options.

During 2009 the company sponsored a variety of weight loss competitions, resulting in weight loss for 25% of its employees. Because employees are choosing healthier lifestyles, many of their family members are as well. Weekly Healthy & Cheap articles in the company newsletter inspired exposure to new, sometimes unique foods and an onsite community garden was also created by staff! Furthermore, in November over 20 staff and family members participated in the Norwich YMCA Turkey Trot 5K run!

One of the most recent developments in the Wellness Initiative at GOLDEN is a change in health insurance plans being offered for employees and their families in 2010. Three years ago, the employee-based Healthcare Options Task Force began working closely with Management to develop a 5 year plan to move solely to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) in order to keep the cost to employees and the company as low as possible. Because of the sharp increases being proposed, the change of insurance plans is beginning two years early, on January 1, 2010.

"We considered the impact of the early change to employees and agreed that we needed to move forward in order to sustain health insurance benefit coverage for our staff," said GOLDEN President and COO, Barbara Schindler. "About 40% of staff was already enrolled in a HDHP for the past couple of years. Education has been and will remain key for staff to understand these plans."

For more information about the Wellness Program at GOLDEN, please contact Wellness Program Coordinator, Bill Berthel at 1-607-847-6154.