DEC. 2013 - JAN. 2014
KERN BUSINESS JOURNAL
Kaiser’s recently installed vending machines feature ‘healthy snacks’ By Leslie Golich
aiser Permanente strives to find new ways to promote a healthy workforce and a culture of THRIVE among our employees and physicians, as well as the communities we serve. New vending machines recently were installed in the employee break rooms throughout Kaiser’s Kern County medical office buildings. You won’t find a candy bar or high calorie chips in these machines, only healthful snack options, such as dried fruit, whole wheat crackers and nuts. “One to two snacks per day can keep your energy level steady and prevent blood sugar crashes that lead to those afternoon munchies” says Janelle Webb, a lifestyle educator for Kaiser Permanente. These vending machines provide employees the opportunity to make better choices, put healthy snacks at their finger-tips and help power them through their busy days. Two local business entrepreneurs, Matt Silvius and Daryn Embry, are the duo that recently brought Kaiser’s vision of healthy snacks into the workplace. Silvius and Embry are developmentally disabled adults who started their own business ventures with the assistance of Kern Regional Center and Business Builders. Embry is a local businessman who hasn’t let his disability slow him down. Beginning with one small vending machine, his Home Run Vending has strategically positioned over a dozen different vending machines throughout the Bakersfield area. Matt Silvius Enterprise began small, but Silvius’ perseverance and ingenuity has led what was once a modest vending machine route to a successful provider of emergency preparedness kits, as well. Working with Business Builders has been a rewarding partnership for Kaiser Permanente. Silvius and Embry were eager to meet Kaiser’s request for healthful snacks that met its standards.
Photo courtesy of Kaiser Permanente
Local vending machine operators Matt Silvius, left, and Daryn Embry provide “healthy options” for Kaiser Permanente customers in Kern County.
They installed and maintain their vending machines themselves. Employees enjoy seeing them come into the medical centers with their friendly attitudes and the desire to do their very best. “At KP we want everyone and every business in our community to thrive” says Executive Director David Womack. “When we had the opportunity to support these young men starting their own business, it was a natural fit and our staff takes great pride in their success.” Bringing healthful snack options to employees and physicians demonstrates Kaiser’s desire to live what it promotes to members and the community every day. Healthy eating and active living are cornerstones to a life full of thrive! Leslie Golich is Kaiser Permanente’s director of public affairs and brand communications.
Banks, utility company award funds to local organizations Three companies recently announced the awarding of funds to support local community organizations: Wells Fargo and Co. announced a $10,000 grant to Taft College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program’s Young Innovators Club, whose members attend schools on Kern County’s westside and engage in STEMbased after-school programs, with an emphasis in engineering and robotics. Another Wells Fargo $10,000 grant was presented to the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra for its Young People’s Concerts, which enables the symphony to perform for various school districts within Kern County. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has awarded a $25,000 grant to Bakersfield ARC, a nonprofit that provides job training, employment and support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The grant is part of the San Francisco-based utility’s Economic Vitality Grant Program, which is expected to give up to $250,000 in shareholder money to organizations that help small business creation and workforce development this year. Bank of the Sierra has awarded a Sierra Grant in the amount of $2,000 to Junior Achievement of Bakersfield. The grant funds were intended to be used for the 5th annual JA DAY at College Heights Elementary School. JA DAY is a presentation of Junior Achievement’s elementary business and economic programs. Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young people to own their own economic success through volunteer-led, classroom based, hands-on lessons and activities in work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy for grades K-12. — Kern Business Journal
Kern Business Journal December 2013