2020 Virtual Celebration & Recognition

Ignite. With this light motif we seek to recognize how these personal and organizational journeys can strike the spark that lights the wellness journey of a whole community. Together we celebrate these local achievements, and stoke the blaze of passion for whole-person wellbeing in our workplaces and our communities.


Watch here to leave comments of congratulations!

The Ignite Awards Celebration was held as a free virtual event in lieu of a 2020 Gala, and honored the individual and organizational stories of health and wellbeing award winners. These individuals and organizations made strides in personal, organizational, or community wellbeing in a truly difficult year.

Time to Party!

Download and print our props to take your own photos as you celebrate! Use the hashtag #IgniteAwards and tag @thewellbeingpartners on Facebook and Instagram!

Build a Culture of Recognition

Download our Culture of Celebration toolkit for tips on celebrating the Ignite Awards virtually or safely socially distanced, and tips on how to use the Ignite Awards Celebration as an opportunity to launch a culture of recognition (and how that helps you)!



The William M. Kizer Light of Wellness Awards honor William M. Kizer, 1925-2017. Mr. Kizer pioneered the worksite wellness movement. He is Chairman Emeritus of Central States Indemnity and founded the Wellness Council of the Midlands, previously WELLCOM and now The Wellbeing Partners, in 1982. Thirty-seven years later, the mission continues reaching thousands of employees across the Midwest. The Light of Wellness Award was named in his honor in 2001.

Wellness Leadership

Recognizes business and community leaders for providing encouragement, time, and resources to create a healthy workplace for all employees. Recipients are role models for strategically moving the wellness program to a top business priority. This award is specifically designated for senior level executives.

Corey Watton,
Fusion Medical Staffing
Wellness Inspiration

Celebrates employees who have been steadfast supporters and active participants in their company’s wellness program. They inspire and serve as role models for others.

Shawna Bennett.
LaConda McKinney,
HDR, Inc

Alyx Smeal,
Fusion Medical Staffing

Not pictured:

  • Jennifer Pribyl, Mutual of Omaha
  • Natalie Ries, Fusion Medical Staffing
  • Vickie Weiss, Union Bank & Trust
Wellness Transformation

Recognizes employees who now lead healthier lifestyles and have made a significant wellness transformation in any dimension of wellness as a result of participating in their company’s wellness program.

Courtney Anderson,
C&A Industries
Trisha Herr,
Grinnell Mutual
Emily Bowen,
Physicians Mutual
Nicole Hoeneman,
C&A Industries
Brad Underwood,

Mark Ellinger,
HDR, Inc
Katie Malmberg,
Physicians Mutual


The Sister Norita Cooney Illuminate Awards honor Sister Norita Cooney, RSM, 1939-2011. Sr. Cooney served as the first president of the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community and was instrumental in the founding of Live Well Omaha in 1995 and Alegent Health in 1996. She was known for being a champion of the vulnerable and caring for the dignity of people, and was awarded with our inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously in 2019. In 2020 the Illuminate Awards were named in her honor as they will continue to recognize leaders in community health and innovation.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Honors a leader who has dedicated a lifetime to the achievement of healthier communities for all.

Dr. Adi Pour,
Douglas County Health Department
Health Innovator Award

Honors a key product, service, or other deliverable that a person or organization brought to the market to advance a culture of health.

No More Empty Pots,
Emily Barber
Health Leader Award

Honors a promising upcoming leader who demonstrates integrity, ability and willingness to lift up the voice of the unheard, and passion for the health of all.

Dominique Morgan,
Black & Pink


The Torchbearer Awards are presented to organizations leading the way in cultural wellbeing and innovation to impact total employee health.

  • Drake University
  • First National Bank of Omaha
  • Fusion Medical Staffing
  • Grinnell Mutual
  • Union Bank & Trust
  • University of Nebraska Foundation

The Torchbearer Blaze Award is presented to organizations who are leading the way in cultural wellbeing and innovation.

Christine Lembo,
Employee Wellbeing Champion


The Torchbearer Flare Award is presented to organizations whose work marks them as future leaders among regional employers, and whose work is currently starting to burn intensely.

Lydia Caraveo,
Wellness Program Manager

The Torchbearer Spark Award is presented to organizations that meet the award criteria and can be described as starting to innovate or address a problem. Spark winners are moving towards important work and working on cultural transformation.

Sam Dolezal,
Wellbeing Advocate


Trek Up the Tower is the region’s leading stair climb, drawing about 2,000 each year. Participants can run as individuals as well as part of a team, and honors are awarded to the fastest teams in three categories.

Fastest Large Corporate Teams
  • 1st Place
  • Mutual of Omaha

Not pictured:

  • 2nd Place
  • Kiewit Corporation
  • 3rd Place
  • Gallup
Fastest Small Corporate Teams
  • 2nd Place
  • Schemmer

Not pictured:

  • 1st Place
  • Tenaska
  • 3rd Place
  • Woodmenlife
Fastest Community Team
  • 1st Place
  • The Real McTrekkers

Not pictured:

  • 2nd Place
  • Team Hrabchak Family
  • 3rd Place
  • Gettin’ High with Friends