Marissa Kalkman, MS, MCHES, ACSM EP-C
Executive Director, Wellness Council of Wisconsin
Katie Reiels, MS
Project Strategist, Wellness Council of Wisconsin
The Wellness Council of Wisconsin (WCWI) holds the belief that health is a shared value, and that wellness is an aspiration for all. But we also know that health and wellness is affected by the circumstances and environments of where we live, learn, work, and play. WCWI is a leader in facilitating employers and communities to connect strategies for workplace and community health promotion for the ultimate benefit of transforming Wisconsin’s workforce. For over 30 years, WCWI has been supporting employers as the premier resource for employee wellness. Since 2005, employers in Wisconsin have been making it their priority to create a culture of health and wellness for their employees and surrounding communities through a distinct process that was created, and is endorsed nationally, by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) called Well City USA. Well City USA is championed locally by WCWI and each unique Wisconsin community that engages in the project. WCWI has a rich history of uniquely supporting seven Wisconsin communities through the collaborative effort of achieving Well City
USA designation. Gathered from WCWI’s work in close support and consultation with previous projects, moving forward into 2020 and beyond, the foundational philosophy of new projects in Wisconsin will follow the framework of collective impact theory and the process of seven community core values. The framework will drive a strategic, systematic, and sustainable approach for employers and community entities to work together to impact the health and wellness of the workforce and the larger community. This session will describe the context of employer and community collaboration as a best practice, share stories and examples from Wisconsin Well City designated communities, and will outline the future of driving change in Wisconsin through community core values and collective impact.
Marissa Kalkman is the Executive Director of the Wellness Council of Wisconsin (WCWI), a statewide non-profit organization that serves to be a community of connected employers that are transforming Wisconsin’s workforce. As Executive Director, she leads the organization to support 700 professionals from over 500 member
organizations of all industries and sizes across the state, in developing and sustaining results-oriented strategies to impact employee wellbeing.
She leads with the mindset that inclusive employee wellbeing is vital for the organization and the people and
works diligently and passionately to serve Wisconsin employers and communities with comprehensive and creative strategies. Marissa has a unique skillset in employee and organizational wellness gathered from her experience as a consultant, strategy leader, change agent, program manager, health educator, and coach. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Health Education, and a Master’s degree in Applied Health Science, Health Promotion from Indiana University. She’s a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, and completed Wellness Coach training through Wellcoaches School of Coaching.
Marissa serves as a community leader on the Board of Directors for Mental Health America of Wisconsin, the
Advisory Board for the UW Extension Health and Wellness Management program, and Wisconsin’s State Health Assessment Steering Committee.
Katie Reiels serves WCWI members as a Project Strategist. This role emphasizes her passion and abilities to support our community relationships; assist members in building their wellbeing strategies; share best practices in Wisconsin through Well Practices, expert interviews, and employer case studies; and assist with current and future WCWI initiatives. Additionally, Katie is enthusiastically working to continue to elevate employee wellbeing in Wisconsin through creating and delivering WCWI’s TECH Training, a virtual professional development and networking group for the innovative wellness practitioner.
She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Physiology from Marquette University and a Master’s of Science in
Kinesiology with an emphasis on Health Promotion and Wellness from UW-Milwaukee. Previously, Katie served
WCWI members as the Program Manager, implementing and managing WCWI programs as well as providing
consultative service through the 7 Benchmark well workplace process. She’s also had extensive experience in
program planning, implementation, and evaluation through her roles at the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee,
Excel Personal Training, Froedtert Health, Active Across America, and Wisconsin Athletic Club.