Healthiest Companies of Southwest Washington 2014


Recognizing the employers who go above and beyond to create a healthy workforce
Studies continue to show that good health practices at work create a more productive and efficient environment with less absenteeism, proving that the “daily grind” doesn’t have to be a grind. From a Vancouver-based manufacturer to a regional law firm, these four workplaces are making the 9-to-5 a happier and healthier experience.

Small Employer

Quail Homes

Quail-Homes“Our specialty since 1989 has been developing healthy living environments for people,” said Jon Girod, owner and builder at Quail Homes, “so we have to back that up as an employer.”

Quail Homes focuses on custom homes and remodeling, using the most recent techniques in green building, often in advance of the rest of the market, according to Girod.

With 12 full-time employees (half in construction, half in their Vancouver office), the company’s mantra is simple: Have fun and get work done. This “rule” empowers employees while fostering innovation and creativity, Girod said.

For their employees, Quail offers flex time to allow for low-stress scheduling, and to take care of their personal lives. Employees are encouraged to take time for activities such as yoga and walk/run events – things that keep stress out and physical energy in.

“Our business systems are completely mobile,” Girod explained. “Outside of the construction sites, our staff can log-in from anywhere, working where and when it works for them.”

Girod said his management philosophy centers around decreasing worker stress, emphasizing organized structure and open communication in all directions. He hopes to develop clear communication skills within his company, and continually seeks feedback from employees and subcontractors.

“My overall goal is to improve the lives of those building the home as well as those who will live in the home,” he said. “A healthy home and being well is something this company brings together.”
Mid Size Co.

Dynamic Events

Dynamic EventsExpanding Vancouver-based employer Dynamic Events plans and executes the details of other companies’ meetings, conferences and events. Their focus is every bit as meticulous when it comes to the health of their 35 local employees.

“We are an energetic company. Our staff travel a lot and work hard,” said Dana Clinton, director of operations, human resources and finance. “We want to support them in every way we can to keep them healthy and energized.”

Employees at Dynamic Events enjoy an on-site gym with cardio machines, weights, mats and a TRX system. Once per week a yoga instructor hosts a class, and a personal trainer comes to meet with employees twice a week.

“With the equipment and trainer right there, people are less likely to work through their lunch,” Clinton said. “They will work out instead.”
On a trail near the office, workers conduct both walking breaks and “walking meetings.”

Dynamic Events keeps their kitchen stocked with healthy drinks, sandwiches, fruit and veggies. For those who work out at their own gym at least 20 times per month, they offer reimbursement toward gym membership. When workers have been burning the candle at both ends, they can take advantage of nap areas. When professional healthcare is needed, the company provides full coverage of medical, dental and vision care.

“Health and activity becomes ingrained in our company culture with all of these options,” Clinton said.

Large Employer


Stacy SmithAt ControlTek, a Vancouver-based electronic manufacturing services provider, they offer high- and low-tech wellness options to their 150 employees.

“We have been committed to employee health for 43 years,” said Stacey LaFrazia-Smith, vice president of human resources and marketing. “We discovered along the way that people are often in health crises for very preventable conditions.”

ControlTek’s wellness vision is now nothing less than “to eliminate lifestyle related disease among our employees and their families.”

In addition to paying all health insurance premiums, the company supports a stress-reducing fun and healthy culture. One visit to ControlTek’s “company culture” webpage and visitors see a “VP of Hops” in a large pink bunny suit, working with high-tech equipment on Halloween.

The company’s formal wellness program includes annual biometrics testing, and on-site consultation with private and group wellness coaching.

“We have indoor and outdoor walking routes, a company soccer team, and company participation in many community walking and running events,” said LaFrazia-Smith.

Teams of employees compete in reaching walking goals, measured with company-provided pedometers. An indoor workout area provides low-cost workout options such as mats, weights, jump ropes and a basketball hoop.

“We’ve seen pretty amazing results,” said LaFrazia-Smith. “The biometrics has shown we have employees who have lost significant weight, lowered blood pressure and moved out of risk of diabetes.”

Headquartered outside of Southwest Washington

Miller Nash

Miller NashBased out of Portland with an office in Vancouver, the large, multi-location legal firm of Miller-Nash may only have 18 local employees, but they enjoy the benefit of the whole firm’s wellness efforts.

“We participate in global corporate challenges as a team,” said Heather Harmon, legal assistant at the Vancouver office. “We get out in the community, too, with teams for the Shamrock Run, Human Society Walk for Animals, the Heart and Stroke Walk, Make A Difference Day and more. We hope our employees’ healthy lifestyles extend to their home life and families, so we do what we can to include them.”

Each year, employees can log their fitness efforts in a Passport to Wellness, with cash drawings and prizes for those who meet their goals.

“It is designed so that people can set their own goals, and not compete with those who enjoy more or less intense activity,” said Harmon. In addition to the year-long challenge, the company hosts four-week “Choose Your Move” challenges as well.

“Movement Money” is available to subsidize active employees who pay gym membership fees, as well as athletic event entry fees, and Discover Pass parking permits for area trails.

Their local office offers bicycle storage and on-site showers, as well as standing desk options. Employees can find healthy snacks and vending options at work, and health magazines in the break room.

“Our wellness efforts really build camaraderie among our employees,” said Harmon. “It dissolves barriers between departments and creates bonds that might not otherwise form.”

Congratulations to Quail Homes, Dynamic Events, ControlTek and Miller Nash – our 2014 Healthiest Companies of Southwest Washington.

I'm the Editor-In-Chief of the Vancouver Business Journal and a Vancouver resident. I earned my degree from the University Of Oregon in Eugene and am a 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County. Go Ducks!