Baker Boyer Bank employees have jobs worth doing well

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One secret to a healthy bottom line at Baker Boyer Bank? A dose of wellness, according to President and Chief Executive Officer Megan Clubb.

The bank has been recognized as a "Leader in Health Care" by Seattle Business magazine. Baker Boyer, honored for Outstanding Employer Achievement in Developing Wellness Programs, was one of 21 organizations feted during the annual Leaders in Health Care awards dinner late last month in Seattle.

The company's goal has been to change sedentary behaviors common to office environments, according to an article on Baker Boyer in the magazine's March edition. Employees are given access to fitness classes held up to six times a week, and the company shares the cost. Other efforts to encourage healthiness: staff members can be reimbursed for health club memberships, classes, races and other healthy lifestyle choices; an onsite breakfast and lunch vending program is offered to encourage nutritious choices; and the company gives employees punch cards for chair massages. Furthermore, Baker Boyer makes flu vaccinations available onsite; offers an annual wellness fair offering blood pressure and bone density tests; and offers workers a chance at fully funded health insurance.

In a prepared statement on the recognition, Melissa Hawes, Baker Boyer Human Resources officer and wellness coordinator said the result is an increase in productivity, innovation, job satisfaction, team collaboration and personal accountability.

Added Clubb: "Having a cultural set of values for exercise and healthy eating makes the Baker Boyer community a healthy community. Our wellness program is an investment in people today because they are so key to our long-term success."

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Some of the least expensive aviation fuel is being pumped right here in the Walla Walla Valley, according to a blog post early this week in General Aviation News.

Martin Field boasts some of the country's least expensive fuel in the form of lead-free, ethanol-free 91 AKI autogas.

In the piece, Doug Cheney, whose family owns the airport south of College Place, said he's not sure how long the airport can continue selling the fuel, which is around $2 per gallon cheaper than 100 Low Lead fuel that is inching up toward $6 per gallon at Northwest airports. Nevertheless, he said there's been a documented increase in people flying because of the more affordable fuel offering.

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The longtime branch manager for Milton-Freewater's U.S. Bank branch will be retiring at the end of this month.

Fran Anderson plans to retire March 30 after 23 years with the company. U.S. Bank District Manager Shawna Taylor invites the community to celebrate in a 3 p.m. reception that day at the branch, 610 E. Broadway Ave.

Anderson and husband Bob have been Milton-Freewater residents since 1980, but his work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes him 31/2 hours away. Anderson said the retirement will allow the two to be in one place. "We will certainly miss the community and hope to get back for regular visits," she said in a statement. "The community has been a special place to live and we have enjoyed our time here."

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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