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Race to the Top


Final Sand Towers

The Lawson Group kicked off its 6-week Wellness Challenge, Race to the Top, for employees this fall. Departments competed to fill their Sand Towers by completing healthy activities. Despite a close race throughout the challenge, the Consulting & Lab Team maintained their lead from day one!  They are now the first proud holders of our new Wellness Champ Teams Plaque.

The purpose of the challenge is to encourage participants to pick up new and maintain old healthy habits. This may be drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water, fitting in twenty minutes of cardio, or taking some time to read for leisure. Doing so earns that person’s team tablespoons of sand, which are added to their team’s tower at the end of each week. The first team to fill their Sand Tower wins the race! The challenge covers nutrition, physical activity, and peace of mind aspects of wellness. Each week also provides five new bonus activities which can be completed for additional sand.

The challenge was a success with a 92% participation rate among all employees. Multiple factors contributed to this success. Below are a few.

  • Sand Towers were displayed in the front entrance of the office and served as a continual reminder of team progress.
  • Dividing teams by departments promoted friendly rivalry and team camaraderie.
  • Team captains played an essential role in encouraging participation and fielding questions.
  • All challenge trackers existed in Google Sheets, which was user-friendly and accessible to employees working offsite.
  • The Lawson Group sponsored some great prizes for bi-weekly raffles and the winning team.

As the primary coordinator of this challenge, I would like to give a big thanks to our team captains for all of their efforts during Race to the Top! Helen Enzien (Lab & Consulting), Dawn Vaillancourt (Admin & Wellness), Michele Staunch and Kim Walker (Sales & Loss Control), Lauryn Wheeler and Rachel Tether (Claims) all did a wonderful job leading their teams through the six weeks of healthy habits! I would also like to thank The Lawson Group for contributing the multiple prizes used throughout the challenge. At the end of the challenge, the Consulting & Lab Team was able to enjoy their win over a celebratory Panera breakfast.

Now that we have our Wellness Champ Teams Plaque, I hope to continue to see some stirring of friendly competition. We shall see which team earns the next spot on the plaque with the next six-week challenge!

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Healthy Cook-Off

Employees of The Lawson Group recently battled off for titles of the “Healthiest,” “Tastiest,” and “Most Creative” recipes! Thirteen employees (or should we call them chefs) brought in their favorite healthy dishes on Monday, June 2, 2015, for The Healthy Cook-Off! Dishes ranged in ingredients from broccoli to angle food cake, with a whole lot of flavor and nutritious tweaks to details.

All employees were welcome to enjoy the dishes and vote on their favorites for each of the three categories in the midst of the coinciding Employee Wellness Fair. Winners for each category and their recipe are included below!


Michele Staunch’s Chinese Broccoli Salad with Walnuts took the crown for the healthiest dish! Your tastebuds will dance to the tune of ginger, soy sauce, and garlic when you treat yourself to this nutritious side.

Chinese Broccoli Salad with Walnuts:


1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1/3 cup walnut oil
1 tablespoon Chinese sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt (I used less)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger root
2 bunches broccoli, about 1 lb. each
6 oz mushrooms
1 1/2 cups toasted walnut halves

Combine first 8 ingredients. Cut broccoli into spears 2” long, and steam until just tender and bright green. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Add the caps whole and uncooked to the marinade. Mix well, cover, and chill. Stir the broccoli in the marinade within 15 minutes of serving. Sprinkle the walnuts on top immediately before serving.


We had a tie for the tastiest dish! Debbie Counter’s Chili came head to head with Bridget Overson’s Buffalo Chicken Salad Wraps! Snag the recipes below and make these tasty dishes on your own!



1 pound lean ground turkey (93/7)
1 pound lean ground beed (93/7)
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt

In a skillet, cook meat until no longer pink. Transfer to slower cooker. Add the rest of ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Buffalo Chicken Salad Wraps:

breast meat from 2 grocery store rotisserie chickens, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, chopped
3 ribs celery, diced
salt, pepper, Vege-Sal
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons buffalo-style wing sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Cabo Fresh Spicy Guacamole
Boston Lettuce Leaves

Mix all ingredients together, other than Boston Lettuce Leaves. Spoon mixture into leaves and enjoy!


Brendan Car delivered The Lawson Group employees with the most creative dish of the day, a Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing!

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing:

Ingredients (Thai Peanut Dressing):
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Directions (Dressing):
Combine all of the ingredients except for the cilantro in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro and blend for a few seconds until the cilantro is finely chopped. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ingredients (Salad):
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
1 cup prepared shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Directions (Salad):
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Healthy cook-off! I think we all left with a new recipe to make on our own!

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The Lawson Group’s 2015 Employee Wellness Fair

The Lawson Group hosted their annual Wellness Fair for employees on Monday, June 22, 2015. This event serves as an opportunity for employees to learn about various wellness offerings in the community, as well as for vendors to meet and collaborate with one another on a common ground, and raise awareness to their services.

Employees were able to receive a massage, Reiki, antioxidant screenings, eat some tasty Stonyfield yogurt, and more! Eleven vendors were welcomed and joined on-site for the event. Some of this year’s vendors included: Individual Fitness, White Mountain Crossfit, Sam’s Club, All Elements Healing, and Infinite Health Family Chiropractic.


The Center for Therapeutic Massage & Wellness providing employee (Phyllis Walker) with an antioxidant screening

Once vendors were setup, employees were able to stroll around the fair and visit each of their booths. The Better Hearing Center offered free video otoscope exams, which showed material buildup of the ears. Individual Fitness ran body fat percentage analysis and provided general guidance to exercise. And to no surprise, massages from All Elements Healing were a huge hit! Employees were able to sign up for 10 minute chair massages in a separate, quieter room. There’s no better way to break up a Monday than with a massage!

With the hands-free law coming into effect on July 1st, The Lawson Group used the fair as an opportunity to educate interested participants on driving safety with a fun simulation. Quite a few employees enjoyed jumping in the hot seat for this little “driving test”. The driving simulation, One Simple Decision, presents challenges of distraction on the road while the participant attempts to drive his/her passenger safely home. Below is a picture of the simulation.


Employee (Brendan Carr) with The Lawson’s Group Wellness Coach (Deanna Havener) attempting to beat the distractions with One Simple Decision’s driving simulation

Participating employees were entered into a raffle for prizes contributed by our generous vendors. Employee Paul Ghelli is now the proud owner of a robust First Aid Kit and we look forward to hearing about Brendan Carr’s Reiki treatment prize!


Employee (Lauryn Wheeler) feeling the Reiki energy with Reiki Empowers Healing

The Lawson Group would like to give a big thanks to all of our wonderful vendors who attended the event and an additional thanks to their wellness team for bringing the event together! We hope everyone involved found the wellness fair to be both beneficial and enjoyable.

All photos were taken by Lindsay Foley, Wellness Coach with The Lawson Group

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Bringing Modern Fitness Trackers into the Workplace

When Scott, our company’s president, approached me with the idea of kicking off a wellness challenge using modern fitness trackers, I literally jumped at the opportunity… not only because I knew it would be a hit, but because he had scared me half to death by sneaking up on me while I was running in our company’s fitness center. This was an unintentional fright of course, but the momentum that this conversation sparked was not.

We created a racetrack as a way to display the progress of the top steppers compared to Scott.

We created a racetrack as a way to display the progress of the top steppers compared to Scott. The gold, silver, and bronze sneakers represent the top steppers, while the bright yellow sneaker represents Scott’s iconic choice of athletic gear.

The Lawson Group’s wellness team came together to brainstorm ways to use fitness trackers to the advantage of company wellness. After quite a bit of collaboration, research, and some stamps of approval, our wellness challenge, Can You Keep Up With Scott, was born. Forty-three of our fifty employees signed up and competed for the most steps over the following 8-week period.

The friendly competition added a fun and new dynamic to our work environment. With the Fitbit devices tracking steps without attention needed, competition was constant. For some people, it didn’t seem so bad that the nearest printer was out of order or that the water fountain was furthest from their desk. People wanted steps! I created a challenge board in the office to display top competitors’ and employees’ average stats on a weekly basis. Employees would stop and share some banter in good spirit while passing by.

This lovely gift basket was a raffle prize for one of the bi-weekly mini challenges which included activities such as participating in the group discussion board with tips on how to increase steps.

This lovely gift basket was a raffle prize for one of the bi-weekly mini challenges which included activities such as participating in the group discussion board with tips on how to increase steps.

It was rewarding to see employees not only get excited and competitive over their step counts, but also improve some of their biometric measurements over the course of the challenge. I cannot speak for the company as a whole, but I will say that the positive feedback on the challenge came in abundance. We plan to continue the use of these devices in future challenges. Incorporating fitness trackers with modern capabilities into our wellness program truly brought out a cultural focus on wellness from within our company to shine.