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WCWI’s Impact: A Look Back & What’s Next

by WCWI's Executive Director, Marissa Kalkman

Through the twists and turns and uncertainty of the last year, WCWI’s primary intention was to support the connection and resiliency of our members.  Together with our members and network, we led critical conversations, provided customized consultative support, hosted expert speakers, assessed the landscape of employer strategies through statewide surveys, and facilitated networking and idea-sharing on topics that are transforming how we do our work in employee wellbeing. Thank you for being a part of this community of connected employers. I hope you will continue to lean on us, as your coaches, connectors, and advocates in our shared commitment to impact employee wellbeing. 

During the member resource group, I noticed the incredible rapport you have with members. Considering the number of people who signed in and how they responded throughout, I felt like it went beyond engagement, more of a sense of camaraderie. You offered people a safe space to be real and they truly respect -what you have to offer and say. 

- WCWI Member Resource Group attendee in 2020



In 2020, we reached the WCWI community through 450 member employers and over 650 wellness professionals whose strategies are impacting the wellbeing of 900,000 total employees statewide. WCWI welcomed 55 new members and supported all of our members with a unique COVID Relief membership renewal discount aligned with our highest priority of ensuring all employers had the opportunity to remain connected to WCWI’s vital resources and community. More than 1,200 wellness strategists and people leaders joined us in virtual networking through Member Resource Groups and webinars, 300 participants learned from attending one of WCWI’s Learning Agenda trainings, and we convened 350 people from Wisconsin and across the country for our 30th Annual Employee Wellbeing Conference – Courage: Cultivating Possibility.  


I felt connected, rejuvenated and recharged to take on today’s wellness challenges. My courage glasses will be a reminder of the physical, creative, moral and social courage that make up being a human and a wellness professional.

- WCWI Annual Conference Attendee in 2020



One of the more momentous projects we worked on last year was a process over several months in which WCWI’s staff and Board of Directors examined our beliefs and values and how we deliver meaningful service and actionable support. We did this through in-depth focus groups with Board members, days of staff brainstorming, keeping a close pulse on the conversations in the national employee wellness industry and in our communities, and most importantly listening to what you - our members - were telling us.

As a result of this project, I’m happy to reveal a summary of WCWI’s core belief about employee wellbeing, the competencies that drive your member experience, and the values that we live every day to serve and support you. 



WCWI believes that employee wellbeing is a foundational strategy and business priority for every employer of all sectors, industries, and sizes. As a professional development and consultation organization for wellness strategists, culture designers, and people leaders, we will help your organization shift employee wellbeing to a foundational strategy that is valued and understood by all. 



  • Empower and equip people leaders and wellbeing strategists through strategic coaching and professional development.
  • Advocate for the success of our members by widening the scope of employee wellbeing in Wisconsin and navigating the barriers of the industry.
  • Lead the collaboration across employers to support the common agenda of improving the wellbeing of Wisconsin’s workforce and communities.
  • Unite and build connections for wellbeing strategists and people leaders through peer networking and idea-sharing.

See how these competencies create the elements of your member experience



We believe in the significance of wellbeing
Wellbeing is essential and it’s a right that should be afforded to all. WCWI catalyzes wellbeing in organizations as foundational, strategic, and systemic. We're at our best when we're grounded in our own wellbeing.

We cherish growth
Change is inevitable in our dynamic wellness industry. We accept challenges with a posture of resilience. For us, growth is born from creativity and innovation and the continuous desire to be better.

We craft the narrative
We remain students of the human experience. We continuously listen and respond to our members’ voices and to the needs of our people. We tell the stories of the data, the workforce, Wisconsin’s employers, and our fellow wellbeing strategists.

We bravely act together 
We are courageous in our work to widen the scope of wellbeing and to transform Wisconsin’s workforce. We strive to see through all lenses and to be driven by empathy and compassion. We seek diverse perspectives and ideas and we make space that is welcoming for all. If we have to call on our bravery, we’re doing something right.


For what’s next:
This year, we’re making your personal and professional growth a priority and we will be curating resources, learning, and networking aligned with these values. I’m grateful for the contributions of our members, sponsors and partners, Board of Directors, and staff in our shared responsibility to advance employee wellbeing. I look to the possibility of the future – guided by our belief, competencies, and values – to work with you to create strategic change and unleash the power of designed-cultures where employees will feel a sense of community, purpose, and impact.

Marissa Kalkman, MS, MCHES
Executive Director
Learn more about me.

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