Health and Wellness Vice President Taking Program to New Heights
Jackie Jones, a junior at MSU Mankato, is currently interning with YWCA Minneapolis. She had the opportunity to interview our new Vice President of Health and Wellness, Nicole Hessels.
Just a few months after being hired as the YWCA Minneapolis Uptown General Manager, Nicole Hessels volunteered at her first YWCA Women’s Triathlon. She was immediately inspired by all of the amazing women crossing the finish line and the overwhelming support they received. Nicole had always been a runner, but hadn’t really considered participating in a triathlon until she attended this event.
Participating in the YWCA Women’s Tri
Since then, she has participated in the YWCA Women’s Triathlon for four consecutive years, and has competed while pregnant for two of those races. Nicole is continually inspired by hearing the stories of #MomsWhoTri as she knows first-hand about their journey. She loves being a part of an organization that supports the whole being while empowering women to achieve their goals. Nicole will be sitting this year’s race out because she has been promoted to the new Vice President of Health and Wellness and is tasked with helping to run the event, but she says she will be back.
Health and Wellness Vision
As the new VP of Health and Wellness, Nicole is looking to take the program to new heights. Her vision is for YWCA to be a leader in providing health and wellness services, and to instill an understanding and support for the YWCA mission in our member community. Her ideal experience for our members includes a welcoming, inclusive environment that is the very best part of their day.
Experiencing the YWCA Community
While managing the YWCA Uptown facility, Nicole saw members struggling with the challenges of their daily lives. She noticed the many demands pulling at them from all directions, making it difficult for them to put themselves first. She really stressed to members how important it is to make yourself a priority, which will help you in all other facets of your daily life. She was able to experience how being part of the YWCA community helped members overcome these challenges. She observed that the social aspect of belonging to a supportive community and being a part of something bigger than themselves is a very powerful force.
Passion for Leadership and Health
Nicole’s passion for leadership and health will drive her as she looks to restructure and grow our corporate wellness program. She is restructuring the program by offering incentives to employees for staying healthy and using the fitness facilities. Nicole understands it can be very hard to fit in a workout over a short lunch break, and is looking to grow the a la carte services that YWCA Minneapolis offers. These services include bringing onsite fitness classes to corporations, taking out the travel time and hassle factor. In addition, she is looking to grow the Lunch & Learn program to educate employees and keep them healthy and happy.
When asked how she will define her success in her new role, she responded that hearing testimonials from members about the impact of the program on their individual lives will have a great influence on her. She also talked about how she will enjoy seeing her employees grow and climb the ladder as they are developed into leaders.