Florida CPA firm has a gym, wellness fair, and Biggest Loser competition

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Kaufman Rossin & Co. (KRCO) in Miami, Florida has always offered healthy snacks in its employee lounge. When the company was formed in 1962, its goal was to be dynamic, young, innovative, and fun. Over time, the firm has continued to keep those goals in mind. Offering healthy snack options is just one part of it, and KRCO is continually willing to expand how it supports the health and wellness of their employees.

About 10 years ago, before "The Biggest Loser" TV show began, KRCO started a weight loss competition. An audit manager, Laz Escandel acts as the commissioner, conducting a confidential beginning weigh-in on the first workday in January. Throughout the competition there are three other weigh-ins, with the final weigh-in being on the last day of tax season. The $20 entry fee is applied to the prize awarded at the end with the majority going to the person who lost the greatest percentage of weight, the second place finisher receiving a smaller amount, and the loser, someone who lost the least or may have even gained weight, receiving his or her entry fee back. The contestants take the contest seriously yet treat it with humor, e-mailing each other regarding doughnut deliveries and other temptations.

The 10th annual Biggest Loser competition was held this year during tax season. Thirty-three contestants participated and this year's winner is Pat Gannon, a principal in the litigation department.

In 2005, the company built a gym. Joy A. Batteen, director of talent development at KRCO notes, “It has been used daily since (it was built). Around 25 percent of our employees use the gym on a regular basis. The gym belongs to the firm. It has five cardio machines, a universal fitness home gym, free weights, and two locker rooms with showers. It even has a sauna.”

Keeping that energy going, four years ago KRCO started offering on-site yoga classes. The classes are offered all year 'round except for a two- month break during the summer and they have a regular following.

Good health is not just promoted through healthy eating and workouts. Relaxation is needed as well,   so the firm also brings in massage therapists. “Our massage therapists are very popular. We have three therapists that come three days a week (four days during tax season),” said Batteen. “We have a massage therapy room in the gym, and they offer 15-minute or 30-minute table massages. We have a special e-mail group for those interested in massages. On a massage day, our receptionist sends out an e-mail to the group, and she takes appointments based on those who respond first. There are definitely days when the slots go fast. As a general rule, if you don’t respond within the first hour, you’re out of luck!”

Health is also supported in the little things. The firm annually sponsors a wellness fair that includes flu shots, health screening, nutritional seminars, and health-promoting door prizes. Being located in Miami, FL, the staff members have opportunities that people located in cooler climates can't enjoy. Some employees bike to work regularly, even during busy season.

Everyone gets older, even firms. KRCO is a company with a long history of keeping a fresh young attitude toward health and wellness.

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