Mary Starr

Mary Starr

Chief Financial Officer

The Starr Group


What does your daily or weekly fitness regime consist of? My weekly fitness regime includes a combination of cross training that includes riding my bike, a run, swim and free weights.I also stretch daily and have added golf, tennis and bikram yoga to my fitness schedule. I also generally do 2-3 triathlons and 1-2 charity bike rides per year.

What fitness clubs do you belong to, if any? Wisconsin Athletic Club in Greenfield, Bikram Yoga Milwauee, Corporate Wellness Member of the Southwest YMCA

Other than the obvious health benefits, how has being fit improved your life? Exercise is definitely the number one method I use to alleviate stress and to increase my energy level. If I go several days without exercise, I can definitely feel the negative impact on my stress and energy level. Fitness enhances both my personal and professional life. It allows me to think more clearly, be more productive and maintain a positive attitude. Maintaining my fitness routine definitely gives a huge boost to my overall confidence level. I believe that the majority of illnesses are prevented simply by adding exercise and proper nutrition to your life which is just one more reason why I make fitness a priority.

How does personal fitness affect your work life? My position as chief financial office and vice president of The Starr Group is fast paced and can involve a high degree of stress. My fitness regime allows me to decrease my overall stress level and increase my productivity and effectiveness. I am more present when I am working, which allows for greater efficiency which means I am able to allow the time necessary to incorporate my exercise routine. I believe that being able to maintain a balance between work and fitness is vital to fulfilling the requirements of my position.

How does fitness or wellness affect your overall organization? I have had the pleasure of experiencing an increasingly health-conscious organization since incorporating our wellness program four years ago. Our wellness initiatives have had a positive impact on employee morale, productivity, motivation and energy. I believe it has also enhanced our recruitment efforts and cost savings via sick leave and disability claims. Our efforts have created an overall decrease in our employee’s health care utilization along with the creation of an informed health and health care conscious workforce.

What advice do you have for other executives interested in starting either a personal fitness plan or corporate wellness initiative? My number one suggestion would be to consider your wellness initiatives an investment rather than just an expense. All you have to do is look at the percentage of your income that is spent on personnel and compensation. Human capitol refers to the many abilities and resources an employee brings to the organization including their attitude, vitality and physical and emotional efforts. Poor health will affect all of these. You also need to realize that your efforts will only be as effective as your participation rate. I feel it is vital that upper management endorse your wellness efforts with their own participation in order to increase the buy in from the entire organization. I would also suggest starting with a health risk assessment. This will highlight the primary areas of concern for the overall organization and this is where you can begin to focus your efforts. You cannot change something if you don’t know it exists, so I believe this is your first step.

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