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Akron, Ohio-based Famous Supply is a fourth-generation, family-owned wholesale distributor of HVAC, plumbing, industrial PVF, building and LED lighting products with 45 branch locations, three distribution centers, 10 showrooms, and 19 Famous University classrooms.
The company is wholly committed to the continued training and development of its associates, who are dedicated to the customers they serve.
Living the Famous Way
At Famous Supply, its purpose is to “build meaningful relationships for life,” and the company strives to fulfill that purpose every day.
This mission is driven by the distributor’s core values of family, trust, communication, teamwork and continuous improvement. The company brings its core values to life through its 40 “fundamentals,” one of which is maintaining a healthy work/life balance (No. 34):
“Take care of yourself at home and at work. The healthier you are, the more you’ll thrive personally and professionally. Balance your time between work, family life, community activities, physical fitness and emotional/spiritual development.”
In 2019, to further carry out that fundamental, Famous Supply hired health and wellness coach Kaitlyn Nemunaitis, RDN, LD.
“Not only do we want to encourage our associates to maintain a healthy work/life balance, but we also want to give them the tools to make it a bit easier to achieve,” Nemunaitis explains. “Healthy associates are happier and more productive, so it’s really a win-win situation for both sides. We truly care for our associates, and we want the best for them.”
Famous Supply had some wellness benefits prior to Nemunaitis joining the team but realized the need for a more comprehensive wellness program.
“My role is to meet associates, ask the right questions and support them on their journey of creating healthy habits to get them to where they want to be,” she says. “I am a registered dietitian, which allows me to support our associates, especially those with chronic diseases. And, of course, health coaching is completely confidential.”
Working the Program
Around 11 percent (and counting) of Famous Supply associates are enrolled in one-on-one health coaching or group coaching. Plus, hundreds more participate in various monthly challenges and competitions throughout the year, Nemunaitis says.
“Associates can participate in health coaching through phone calls, video calls and in-person visits — so it is really accessible to everyone,” she notes. “When meeting in person, I bring a healthy treat or conduct a recipe demo for smoothies, oatmeal cookies, or everyone’s favorite — egg roll in a bowl. We also use Microsoft Teams for different challenges (e.g., New Year’s, healthy lunch, steps, ‘rethink your drink,’ meditation, removing sugar and other challenges throughout the year), so associates can engage and share their progress throughout the challenge.”
This way, Nemunaitis adds, associates support and encourage each other through their respective wellness journeys and feel like they do not have to go it alone.
“Our branch associates get really competitive with the annual steps competition,” she explains. “While they are working hard to win, they also cheer each other on for our overall success, and that camaraderie is quite amazing to see.”
Nemunaitis records and shares wellness “bites” throughout the year — short videos to teach associates more about various wellness topics. She also shares healthy recipes and other tips on www.healthyfamous.com: “I am constantly working to adapt my approaches to best support everyone, no matter their role.”
Many success stories have come out of the program.
“We share success with all our associates,” Nemunaitis says. “Some amazing stories include associates who reversed diabetes, got off cholesterol-lowering and arthritis medications, and have lost hundreds of pounds collectively.”
Speaking of success, Famous Supply associates have won the Cleveland-Akron Spark Challenge, an active “minutes” competition between different companies in the city for the past three years in a row. Associates have also won healthy worksite awards from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio.
In addition to the company’s wellness coaching, monthly challenges, and website, Famous Supply provides gym membership reimbursement and insurance discounts for preventative care.
“We offer a variety of prizes for challenge participation from water bottles to Fitbits, gift cards and air pods,” she said. “Health coaching sessions may take place during work hours, and walking meetings or breaks are encouraged throughout the day.”
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