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Corporate Facility Builds Wellness Culture

The Verizon Health & Wellness Center offers many free services to members, and helps to create a healthy culture within the company.

When it comes to working out, people often need motivation. The Verizon Health & Wellness Center, a corporate facility located in Basking Ridge, N.J., has a long list of incentives to get people to come into its facility. Best of all, they are free! Free Pilates, post- and pre-natal fitness programs, individual nutritional counseling, at-work Weight Watchers, onsite massage, one-on-one personal training, Lunch and Learns on different topics, ergonomics seminars, Pregnancy and Fitness seminars, and more. The facility also offers onsite volleyball, soccer, basketball, softball and intramural activities, plus an outdoor walking path and ping pong tournaments. All for no extra charge to the employee. How's that for an incentive?

The fully equipped fitness center features strength and cardio equipment, a group exercise room, a group cycling area, locker rooms, a conference room, a lactation and massage therapy room, and a fitness testing room. However, the best part about the facility, according to Head Coach Mark Monteyne, is its staff. Staff members, known as "coaches," are experts in a special area of fitness, from running, to nutrition, to power lifting. "The coaches are known for providing an atmosphere that is positive and motivating, making our members feel at home," Monteyne says. The coaches' main purpose is to provide exceptional customer service, not only to members, but to their families, as well. "It's a feeling of community," says Monteyne.

Verizon Health & Wellness Center

Basking Ridge, N.J.908 559-7198 Date fitness facility opened: April 2006 Fitness facility size: 14,000 square feet Number of members: 1,302 Group exercise classes: 30 classes per week, including mat Pilates, yoga, outdoor bootcamp, outdoor group cycling
Charitable and community events are also important to the facility. Past events included drives such as food drives, Dress for Success, Shower for Shelter, Sneaker Drive, School Supply Drive and a Care Coat Drive. One big event is the Corporate Classic 5K, in which the company has participated for the past 17 years. Two years ago, the Verizon Health & Wellness Center took over sponsorship for the race, which is now called the VZW Corporate Classic 5K. Says Monteyne, "The participation level has grown to 3,800 runners, walkers and joggers. Our company had a turnout of 992 Verizon and Verizon Wireless employees for the latest race, plus family members." The race benefits the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, an organization that supports domestic violence awareness - an issue Verizon Wireless has been committed to since 1995 through the company's HopeLine program.

The fitness center itself is marketed to all employees in the complex. In addition to this facility, Verizon has 24 other fitness centers, with five more in-house health and wellness centers that will open by year's end. Verizon keeps opening fitness centers for its employees because "our success is based on keeping our employees healthy, which in turn saves the company money on healthcare costs," Monteyne says. "The fitness centers foster a healthy culture, reduce absenteeism, boost morale, build team spirit and support the work/life balance. Offering our employees access to information that helps them lead a healthy life is one of the ways our culture is unique, and, we believe, one of the reasons employees choose to work at Verizon."

To have your fitness center featured, send an email describing your facility to anne@fitnessmanagement.com
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