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Honoring William M. Kizer

The William M. Kizer Light of Wellness Awards honor WELLCOM founder, 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 Mildlands, now WELLCOM, in 1982. Over 35 years later, the mission continues reaching thousands of employees across the Midwest. The Light of Wellness Awards were named in his honor in 2001.

Award Categories

Light of Wellness Leadership Award

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

Light of Wellness Inspiration Award

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 in multiple dimensions of wellbeing.

Light of Wellness Transformation Award

Recognizes employees who now lead improved lifestyles by making significant transformation in multiple dimensions of wellbeing as a result of participating in their company’s wellness program.


Applications are closed for 2019.


Eight Dimensions of Wellbeing

WELLCOM holds to SAMHSA's eight dimensions of wellbeing:

Emotional | The ability to cope effectively with life, create satisfying relationships, and maintain a realistic self-concept and enthusiasm about life.

  • Example: Managing stress by doing intentional activities that elicit a 'relaxation response.'
  • Example: Recognizing and expressing a full range of feelings in a healthy way.
  • Example: Taking responsibility for one's own feelings and avoiding blaming others for the way one feels.

Environmental | Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support wellbeing.

  • Example: My current living environment is safe and supports my lifestyle.
  • Example: Access to green spaces near one's home.

Financial | Satisfaction with current and future financial situations; the capacity to manage economic resources including savings, debt reduction, and a monthly budget.

  • Example: Solid understanding of one's financial portfolio.
  • Example: Ability to live within one's means by prioritizing ‘wants’ from ‘needs.'

Intellectual | Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

  • Example: Lifelong learner who willingly integrates new learning into an evolving worldview.
  • Example: Willing to listen to new ideas different from one's own, and constantly re-examine one's judgments.
  • Example: Seeks opportunities that challenge one's critical thinking skills.

Occupational | Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one's work; the process of engaging in activities that contribute to one's own personal growth as well as make the world a better place.

  • Example: Spends time working at activities that benefit individuals or society.
  • Example: Chooses a life role that one enjoys and matches one's values and lifestyle.
  • Example: Balances work with play and other important aspects of one's life.

Physical | Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods, and sleep; the process of prioritizing my body's needs including adequate physical activity, sleep, and nutrition in order to live my optimum life.

  • Example: Takes proactive steps to avoid and prevent injury and illness.
  • Example: Balances the amount of food consumed with sufficient exercise.
  • Example: Abstains from addictive behaviors including alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and nicotine.

Social | Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system.

  • Example: Communicates honestly and directly including resolving conflicts in a healthy, timely manner.
  • Example: Maintains a strong mutual, independent social support system.

Spiritual | Expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

  • Example: Has consistency among beliefs, values, and behaviors.
  • Example: Appreciates the individual uniqueness, diversity, and need for connectedness among all people.

2018 Award Videos

Located below are the 2017 Light of Wellness Awards videos.  You can access each award video by clicking on the award category below.  

2018 Award Pictures

Please click here to view the pictures from the 2018 Light of Wellness Awards Dinner. Please note, the site may request that you enter your name and email address; upon entering that information, you will have access to view and/or purchase the photos.

2018 Light of Wellness Honorees

Health Leadership

Ken Beckman – Central States Indemnity

Kathy Bressler – CHI Health

Jeremy Guenthner – RTG Medical

Health Inspiration

Susan Albright – Physicians Mutual

Samantha Barnhart – Nebraska Methodist College

Veronica Barrientos – RTG Medical

Tyler Ely – Fusion Medical Staffing

Ron Hertzberg – C&A Industries

Jenny Pelzek – WoodmenLife

Chris Reed – First National Bank

Kaylie Schneider – Dial Retirement Communities

Megan Skuya – Streck

Kit Zimmerman – Mutual of Omaha

Health Transformation

Mary Conant – Woodmen Life

Gina Davis – C&A Industries

Emily Gamm – Fusion Medical Staffing

Jim Gubbels – Omaha Public Power District

Steve Kerrigan – Omaha Public Power District

Mary Manero-Deaver – Union Pacific

Jordain Smith – RTG Medical


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