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There once was a time when Mona Leopard didn’t know if she would be able to dance at her son’s wedding. By her own admission, she was struggling with her weight, unable to do all the things she wanted to do. But after making some major life changes to make sure she could, last year she did just that.
Mona chooses to take her new commitment one step further, by banding together with co-workers to help others. The Protective Life paralegal is one of the many employees who are committed to raising funds and awareness for the American Heart Association. From bake sales to raffles, the employees lend energy and creativity to Protective Life’s commitment to the AHA.
Most recently, employees from the Birmingham office, including Mona, raised money for and walked in the 2016 Heart Walk.
“We have such a commitment to reducing heart disease and stroke, that it’s really intertwined throughout our culture,” says Jimmie Bottcher, Protective Life’s Corporate Wellness Director. The company supports fitness initiatives, hosts healthy cooking demonstrations, and encourages employees to get regular health screenings. (In fact, the AHA recognizes Protective as a “Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite.”)
The Protective Life Foundation supports good causes and the efforts of Protective employees. For instance, funds raised by the Heart Walk team were matched by the Foundation.
Steve Callaway, Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, led the Birmingham Heart Walk team, and says he is impressed by the grassroots efforts amongst employees, supported by corporate initiatives. “In the 20 years since I’ve been at Protective, I’ve seen employees work toward living heart-healthy lives, supported by company initiatives,” he says. “And when it comes to the Heart Walk, there’s really a healthy competition to see who can raise the most money.”
Mona and Steve are located in Birmingham, but AHA is an example of a national cause that employees at all Protective locations can support. In many locations, Protective Life employees serve on the boards of their local AHA chapters, and participate in events like the Heart Walk and the annual Heart Ball.
“Protective Life makes it easy for us to contribute to this cause,” says Mona, a 23-year and second-generation Protective employee. “If our communities work together, like we do at Protective, we can make an even bigger difference, so that hopefully future generations don’t have to suffer.”