Thank you to all the attendees of the 10th Annual Journey to Wellness meeting! The purpose of the event was to create an engaging environment where grantees can learn about effective employee wellness strategies, exchange ideas, brainstorm solutions to challenges, celebrate successes and build a network of colleagues for inspiration and support.

Please click on the links below to access materials from the event.


“The Illusion of Control: Human Behavior and Donuts” – Elissa Epel, Ph.D; University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Elissa Epel is a co-founder and current director of the UCSF Center for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment (COAST), Assistant Director of the Center for Health and Community, and Director of the Aging, Emotions and Metabolism Laboratory. 

Co-author of The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer

“The Happy Secret to Better Work” – Shawn Achor; Good Think Inc.

Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard, and has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success.

Author of The Happiness Advantage, Before Happiness, Big Potential


Superintendent of Rainier School District Michael Carter speaks about administrative buy in and the importance of leadership support for SEW programs. Rainier School District currently has a School Employee Wellness Grant.

Whitney Ellersick is the Nutrition Services Senior Director at PPS. She discusses how to make SEW programs work for hard to reach employees that may have different needs and work schedules.

Gigi Sims is the grant coordinator and district wellness coordinator for Corvallis School District. Her district successfully completed the OEA Choice Trust SEW grant in 2015-2016 and was awarded a Mini Grant from the Trust in 2018. Gigi discusses how to sustain programs and build off a successful foundation.

Joanne Maki is a PE teacher and Wellness Coordinator for David Douglas School District. She helped initiate the district’s school employee wellness program and continues to serve as a co-Coordinator. Joanne shares her experience with developing and growing her district’s SEW program.