Individual finalists – Fittest Execs 2012


Tina Semotan

VP of HR & Organizational Dev., Franklin Energy

I work out 3-4 times a week (every other day)- Running, weights, and stretching. I like sticking to the basics, like push-ups and sit-ups. I have recently added regular sauna times to my workouts as well. Also, I am in the military and am required to do annual physical fitness test for that which helps with the continued motivation.

Being fit has had an impact on all facets of my life. I am a wife, a mother, an executive and a military member. Staying in the best physical shape I can will allow me to be better at all of the jobs I hold. By setting an example, I hope I will have an impact on others’ lives as well.

Sara Meaney

President, Hanson Dodge Creative

Walking, running from meeting to meeting, playing with my kids.

The investment in the health and wellness of our staff and working environment has only ever translated into overall health of the business. Without a doubt.

Tracy Pearson

CFO, Franklin Energy

I try to get out and walk 2.5 to 3 miles each evening after work. I am recovering from a lower back injury a year ago and am working my way back to running again. My weekends are spent chasing my kids to and from all of their sporting activities.

I truly believe that staying fit has played a major role in keeping me out of the doctors office. It has allow me to be able to function as a high performing multi tasker that is required of a Mother, Wife and Executive of a fast paced growing company.

Kathy Schmidt

Chief Financial Officer, 
Wm K. Walthers, Inc

I teach 2-3 aerobics classes a week (Jazzercise) I run 1-2 times a week, if not working with my trainer I swim once a week I work with a personal trainer once every other week on average

We just started the initiative this year. We are seeing employees engage and it is refreshing. We are providing them with much needed tools to START somewhere! That is the hardest part and we are getting feedback that is positive.

Abby Vogen-Horn

Regional Vice President, 
Franklin Energy

Weekly is less regimented with little children, we bike, swim and play…hike/explore nightly in the summer. We try to make fitness activities part of our daily family life….mixing fitness with family is critical for the working mom who spends the entire day away from the children already. Majority of fitness is bi-weekly waterskiing in summer and skiing in winter, biking, training for Trek 100 events, softball league, etc For our family fitness is a means to an ends….being fits ensures we can do all the things we like (waterskiing, skiing, biking, mountain biking, softball, etc.). It’s not fitness for just the joy of running, etc.! Daily stretching, pushups, situps and hand weight exercises.

Lead by example, make it an integral message to your employees…but also understand it is a personal choice and not required for being a part of our team. In the beginning some saw as a “big brother” effort. By providing an environment of positive recognition for those who participated but not one of calling out of those who did not participate, we are seeing a higher general awareness and participation. Also understand it is a long term plan not a short term gain.


Mary Starr

Executive Vice-President, The Starr Group

I work out daily with a combination of weight training, aerobics and stretching. My workouts consist of weight training an average of 2-3 times per week with a personal trainer; aerobic workouts consisting of running, biking or swimming 5-7 days per week; and stretching, including bikram yoga, an average of 3-5 times per week. I started triathlons about 6 years ago which is great because it added a great deal of variety to my training and workouts. My goal is to participate in 2-3 triathlon per year.

I am thrilled to say that I am experiencing an increasingly health-conscious organization since the introduction of our wellness program 6 years ago. Our wellness initiatives have had a positive impact on employee morale, productivity, motivation and energy. We are also seeing biometric changes in our personnel with drops in cholesterol of up to 49 points, drops in glucose of 26 points as well as an overall loss in both weight and body fat.

Cathy Buck

President, Froedtert Hospital

3X week martial arts clasess (working on 3rd degree blackbelt). 3X week either running or taking step/zumba/body works classes at the WAC.

I have a high stress job. Exercise “shifts my brain” and helps me to relax, unwind and refresh both mentally and physicially. I could not live without it.

Nora Hauser

HR Director, R&R Insurance

Daily exercise either on elliptical, treadmill, exercise videos, or walking in neighborhood/or where ever I am with my children’s events

Our yearly biometric screenings have shown dramatic overall improvement! Also, on a daily basis, we have employees who are walking on breaks/lunches. It was something that was not happening years ago. Our overall commitment has changed and employees have caught on–very exciting to see this! I would like this to continue to spread EE’s families too, and I think it is!

Mary Roeming

Owner, Roeming Industries

I work out with a trainer once a week, do his work-out every other day, walk on the off days, teach water aerobics 3 times a week and ride my bike as often as I can.

We have found that promoting a walking program has lifted the spirits of our employees. They can walk and get paid for that time. They love it and find they work even better after their walk.

Mary Steffenhagen

Owner/Director, CONCEPT & DESIGN by Steffenhagen

Yoga group exercise class once or twice a week. Walk/run interval 3 miles 4-5 times per week. Will be adding in power water aerobics and swimming.

Get started. If you falter, shake it off and start again. The most important thing is DO NOT GIVE UP. Try a variety of group exercise classes and see what makes you happy. If you enjoy what you’re doing, chances are you’ll stick to it. For corporate wellness initiative, create a program that works for all your employees schedules. Be supportive. And make it fun.


Michael Boehmer

Director, Salus Corporate Wellness

Swimming, biking, running, strength training, teaching functional fitness classes, among other fun things!

We are just starting to develop our internal wellness programming. We hope to include employee wellness offerings to help our employees to become more productive during the work day as well as improve their personal health and wellness. We see a great benefit in that this will allow us to develop and test new ideas to offer our clients.

Eric Friedle

President, Publisher’s Diversified Mail Service, Inc.

I spend 6 days a week at the gym. I do a mix of carido, lifting, palaties, and yoga. When I lift i have three different workouts I do that are either chest and bi’s, legs, and back/tris. During the winter time I play foot ball with a group of friends from the gym. From April-October I spend 4 days a week on the water training for barefoot water ski tournaments. I travel all over the country to do tournaments. I hold multiple state and regional titles but am the current National Men’s II national champion.

Fitness effects a lot of our work because my production people are doing repetative work all day long. Them being in fit helps them limit injuries and do their job faster. They do not lift a lot of weight at once but they do it thousands of times throughout the day and that is what is hard. They do not slow down as much if they are in better shape and can work faster.

Matthew Kons

Partner, The Berrall Kons Group of Wells Fargo Advisors

Having four kids (one of them being a newborn) at home doesn’t leave a ton of spare time. My goal is to have three intense one hour sessions of exercise each week. At least twice per week I engage in a self defense workout program at Krav Maga Milwaukee called “fit to fight”. Mixed in with an intense cardio workout this class promotes techniques to help get you home safely no matter what situation you might find yourself in. The third more intense session I mix in either P90X or Insanity at home in my basement whenever I can fit it into my schedule that week. On the weekend, I also routinely mix in a jog around my neighborhood park while my two oldest kids play on the playground. They get a kick out of giving me a high five upon every lap I take around the park. On my less intense or “off” days where I am not doing more formal exercise programs, I mix in 200 situps (or ab ripper X) and minimum of 50 pushups. I also work in weight training such as curls or tricep extensions.

We are encouraged to improve our health to earn Wellness Dollars towards our HSA plan. This financial incentive seems to lead to a constant improvement to the health of those around me. Many of us encourage one another to keep up the good work in our exercise and diet. Having that accountability at work really helps to keep you motivated and on the right track.

Matt Shumlas

Executive Director of Sales, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield

20-30 minutes of cardio and 30-45 minutes of weight training 4-6 days per week. Hockey twice a week on average.

For a corporate wellness plan, lead by example. If you want to start a corporate plan you need to be in the forefront and let your direct reports and colleagues see you taking an active role in the program. Inviting them to particpate in walks at lunch or a healthy snack is an easy start for everyone involved. If you are starting a personal fitness plan, consult a professional to help you design a program fit to your level of experience and one that will put you on track to achieve your goal.

Artur Stypula

Vice President, Ability Risk Management Inc.

Weight Routine every other day, minimum 45-60 minutes of cardio every day before work, yoga at least 1-2 times a week when shedule permits. Always stay active otherwise, ride bike for fun, walk around city of Chicago,and Milwaukee

I was in a car accident in the sixth grade, and was never supposed to walk again, being fit has saved my life.


Mike Neu

Business Manager, Chr. Hansen, Inc.

I exercise six days a week. Four of the days involve aerobic exercise (running, cycling, spinning or using the elliptical) and the other two days I focus on strength training.

Fitness helps you keep your mind sharp and allows you to handle higher levels of stress. In addition, I believe that being fit allows me to be a better leader. I have the strength to lead my teams effectively.

Dominique Delugeau

Executive Vice President, DCI Cheese Company

Running, cycling, swimming at least 3 times a week.

Being fit keeps me focused and energized throughout the day.

Nick Kroll

President/CEO, Aries Industries, Inc

I work out consistently 6 days per week. Cycling, weight training, hiking at Lapham Peak, jumping rope, water skiing, and golf. I enjoy biking to work May through October on average twice per week.

I took over as CEO in March 2011. We just started our wellness program in January 2012 – the first such initiative for Aries Industries. I am excited to see our organization embrace this initiative. We have had very positive employee response. I try to set a good example for the organization and fully support employee wellness. I look forward to seeing our wellness initiatives grow.

Troy Peterson

Principal, Midwest Insurance Group

4-5 workouts per week consisting of functional full body movements including: slow lifts (squats, deadlifts, press, bench), olympic lifts, running, plyometrics, kettlebells, gymnastics. Mobility/stretching are also important to keep me going and combat the issues from sitting in an office/car throughout the day. What I eat also plays a big part in fitness and overall health. Avoiding grains, processed foods and added sugars are goals I work towards in my eating habits.

Over the past few years every person in the office has taken initiative to do something. This ranges from coaching/wrestling with local high school/college teams to walks at lunch to gym memberships.

Lawrence Schreiber

President, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin

Not enough! It is always hard to make time to do everything you want to do in life and fitness is no exception. At a high level, my commitment is to sweat a minimum of 45 minutes a day for atleast 5 days a week. On most days I am able to get in closer to an hour a day and in most weeks I do this 6 days a week. My preferred exercise is running but I have been trying to mix things up of late. Biking is always a good option as is P90X on occassion. I haven’t been able to get into the mode of doing P90X on a daily basis as the program suggests but on those occassions that I do it, it certainly meets my baseline goal of getting a good sweat in for an hour! When I am running or biking I take time to stop and push ups and squat thrusts every so often as well. In the end, I like to keep things simple. The more I complicate my work out routine with equipment needs or having to drive to a fitness club, the less time I have to actually workout.

Wellness is part of who we are and what we do. What’s more, it is fully integrated with our health benefits strategy and drives how we align our contribution and incentives.


Jason Koenitzer

VP Marketing, Helwig Carbon Products, Inc.

3 days of aerobic, weight, and stretching.

For the personal fitness plan you have to develop the habit and stick with it. I joined the YMCA right after college and have been working out consistantly since then. The corportate wellness initiative is a process. It takes time to develop a wellness culture. We have a manufacturing environment where wellness is not high on people’s priority list. We had to educate our employess, implement a Health Risk Assessment, and continue to provide opportunities and incentives to lead a healthier lifestyle. So far our investments in wellness have paid off with lower health insurance costs, but it does not happen overnight.

Jim Borris

Pres & CEO, Zilber Ltd

5 – 6 mile jog and 50 half push ups about 5 times a week. I run outside 52 weeks a year and only miss if extreme weather – maybe 10 below. Some stretching and crunches after run.

Do it – there is only upside and no downside. It is hard to imagine company varible costs of program exceeding benefits. Personally any executive will feel better and perform at a higher level if wellness is a priority.

Bill Budzien

CFO, Willis of Wisconsin, Inc.

Running, Biking, Swimming, Strength Training

Staying fit allows me to lead a more active life style and to compete in triathlons and other running events.

Tim Dodge

Chief Innovation Officer, 
Hanson Dodge Creative

Typically I run or bike 4-5 days a week. Lift weights 1-2 a days week, and play tennis once a week.

Being more fit builds my confidence to take on new challenges; work related and otherwise. Whether hiking a 5,000 ft. mountain peak, running an all day and night Ragnar relay race, or taking a risk in business ; it’s all the same. Fitness gives you the edge to know you can just do things.

Paul Schueller

CEO, Franklin Energy

Jogging, treasdmill, biking, basketball – 3 to 4 times per week. Weight lifting/stretching – 2 to 3 times per week.

Positive impact on our rates (very small recent annual increases). Good group activity (improves morale). Individuals/employees that participate, really benefit from the experience and create a support network.

Tom Bruseth

President, Warehouse Equipment Co.

A short 15 minute work out each morning. A 45 minute bike and Hill climb 3-4 times per week. 3 to 4 triathlons per year. Biking or hiking on the weekend. I also belong to 2 softball and 1 basketball leagues.

It is easy to balance the stress of work and home when in shape, everything seems to fall in place. I can still buy the same size jeans I did in High School.

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