Goodwill Manasota certified as a 'Healthy Business Leader'

Health Links™ recognizes Goodwill for its efforts to ensure the health and safety of its workforce

Published Thursday, July 27, 2017

Members of Goodwill Manasota's human resource and safety and risk management teamBRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota has recently been recognized as a Health Links Certified Healthy Business Leader in Manatee County due to its holistic approach to creating a culture of health and safety in the workplace. As a Certified Healthy Business Leader – the top tier of recognition possible – Goodwill has been recognized for holding managers and supervisors accountable for supporting health and safety, integrating health and safety efforts, actively preventing workplace injuries, and extending health and safety services to employee spouses, domestic partners, dependents, and the greater community. 

Organizations must meet the following benchmarks, among others, in order to earn the certification:

  • Demonstrate leadership commitment to health and safety
  • Integrate health promotion and safety programs and policies
  • Work to keep employees safe on the job with the proactive prevention of work-related injury and illness
  • Offer programs that promote healthy behaviors (ban tobacco on company property, address mental health issues, etc.) and actively promote health, safety and well-being in the community
  • Be inclusive of all employees in delivering health promotion and safety
  • Evaluate the impact of health and safety efforts

In 2015, Goodwill Manasota launched an internal wellness program featuring a holistic approach, called “GoodWellness,” which seeks to create an environment to foster and encourage team members to invest in themselves and family members, while continuing to provide support for ongoing daily challenges. A foundation of the program is a 48-page step-by-step resource book that guides team members through daily steps necessary to be preventative and ensure a high quality of life both at work and at home. Goodwill has been recognized in recent years for its involvement in trying to keep the community drug-free. Additionally, as part of Goodwill Manasota’s overall benefits package, team members can receive incentives such as fitness tracking devices, local gift cards, and premium differentials. These incentives, which are available to any Goodwill team members willing to invest in their well-being, are received throughout the year through completion of free annual preventive physicals, on the clock wellness education and training, and tobacco cessation classes.

"Goodwill's most important resource is the people within the communities we serve – if we’re not investing in the health, well-being, and safety of our teams then we are not achieving our mission," said Adrian Gessen, Goodwill Manasota's vice president of human resources and risk management. "We believe it is our responsibility to provide a safe workplace and offer opportunities, guidance and resources to enable our team members and their families to make healthy choices. We are proud to have been recognized with the highest level of Health Links certification and will always strive to do better for our teams and the community in the years to come."         

Health LinksTM is a signature program of the Center for Health, Work and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health that recognizes businesses for their excellence in workplace health and safety. Health Links assesses businesses via an online assessment tool that benchmarks their health and safety efforts. Health Links also provide businesses with expert advising by a local lead advisor and connects them with community resources to help them bring health to work. 

For more information about Goodwill Manasota, go to or call (941) 355-2721.


PHOTO ID: Members of Goodwill Manasota's human resource and safety and risk management teams (from l-r) Mallori Martin, Brady O’Neil, Adrian Gessen and Bill Thielen

About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit