GCPFS Website bio picture
  • Welcome to the VT Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports

    Who We Are
    The Governor's Council is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of approximately 20 volunteers, appointed by the Governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters.

    Our Mission
    To promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.

Take the Vermont Bike Challenge to Move More!

MAY 1 TO AUGUST 31, 2012


Challenge yourself, challenge your friends, challenge your co-workers or employees.  Get on your bike and win great prizes!

Registering for the Vermont Bike Challenge is FREE and doesn’t commit you to anything.  All it means is that, when your employees sign up for the Challenge and start earning points, those points count for your company too!



The Challenge is a great way to take your riding to the next level, get back in to bicycling, or bike for the first time!
Every kind of riding counts, from commuting to work a couple of times a week to doing a rail trail ride on the weekend with your kids to flying down a singletrack on your mountain bike.

Drawings for great prizes every month — including a grand prize of a free bicycling vacation!

The Vermont Bike Challenge is co-presented by Local Motion, the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition, and the Green Mountain Bicycle Club.

Many thanks to our local sponsors, Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness and Sojourn Bicycling and Active Vacations.  They are supporting our efforts AND providing great prizes for participants!


FAQ for the Vermont Bike Challenge

Here’s how the Vermont Bike Challenge works:

  • The Challenge all happens online, and it’s super-easy to get started! You set up a profile, start logging your miles, and in five minutes, you’re ready to go!  The Challenge uses an internationally known workout tracking system called Endomondo.com.
  • Every time you get on your bike, you automatically earn twenty points — plus an extra point for every mile you ride! So you don’t have to be a long-distance rider to score high — riding regularly is all it takes.  And the more points you earn, the higher your ranking and the better your chance of winning prizes!
  • You have two easy options for logging your rides! If you use the smartphone app, all you have to do is hit “start” when you start your ride and “finish” when you’re done — by the time you get back to your computer, the ride will be credited to your profile.  If you prefer, you can enter your ride info directly into your own personalized page on the Vermont Bike Challenge site.  In either case, it’s quick and easy!
  • The website shows how you’re doing in real time! There are leaderboards for individuals, workplaces, communities, and teams — and each of them updates every time someone rides. (There’s even a leaderboard that shows how Vermont as a whole is doing in the National Bike Challenge!)  Every point you earn automatically counts not only for you as an individual, but also for your workplace, your community, and any teams you start or join.
  • The more points you earn, the more prizes you can win! We’ll be giving out great prizes all summer long, plus special recognition for the people, workplaces, teams, and communities that come out on top.
  • Anyone can start or join a team. You can team up with co-workers in your department, friends in your neighborhood, your weekend riding buddies, or people anywhere across the country.  Teams top out at 10 members, and the more people you have on your team, the better you’ll do in the rankings — so recruit people and fill up your team!

For more information, please contact Jason Van Driesche at jason@localmotion.org.

2012 Worksite Wellness Award Winners

Congratulations to the 79 employers that received awards!

All worksite wellness efforts deserve praise. Governor Shumlin and Health Commissioner Chen  signed certificates recognizing the programs of all 79 applicants.

Each year, as the number of applicants grows and the competition becomes fiercer, we tweak the application and review process to make it more effective. We currently use a point system for objective questions that applicants answer online, and for subjective essays that our team of 20 wellness experts reviews. Worksites are separated by number of employees, so that small offices are compared to other small offices and large organizations face off with others their same size. Points totals determine which of six award levels a worksite receives.

The first level of Award is the Governor’s Recognition. It acknowledges employers who are experiencing rapid growth and interest in the area of health promotion.  These companies demonstrate an understanding of health management planning principals. In the interest of time, we ask Governor’s Recognition winners to get their certificate after the ceremony — we have them at the registration table.

 The second level of Award is the Governors Rising Star.  It recognizes employers who have created programs that encourage employees to take responsibility for their health with regular exercise, nutritious meals and wellness care. They show potential for developing strong wellness programs with measurable results.

The next level of award recognition is the Bronze Award Category.  Bronze recipients are implementing creative & successful worksite wellness initiatives.  These businesses and organizations have created successful programs that encourage and support their employees in developing a healthy lifestyle.  They demonstrate a solid foundation and understanding of key components for future program growth and success.

The next level of recognition is the Silver award.  Silver recognizes organizations and businesses that have expanded their wellness programs beyond awareness and education.  Silver recipients incorporate supportive policies into their business plan, demonstrate senior level support, dedicate resources to worksite wellness, and concentrate on individual behavior change.

The Gold award recognizes employers that have developed comprehensive, results-oriented health management programs. Their programs are strategic, connected to the employer’s mission, and demonstrate that planning, resource allocation, and outcome measurement are key to successful implementation.

 The Gold Standard is our highest level award. It is granted to worksites that have won Gold previously and continue to provide outstanding wellness initiatives based on ongoing assessments of employees’ wellness needs and goals, that engage a significant percentage of employees, with leadership support and measurable results.


1-10 Employees

Town of Berkshire

Town of Charleston

Village of Derby Center —Gold

Village of Derby Line —Silver

Town of Marshfield —Bronze

Town of Whittingham

11-50 Employees


Bogner of America

Chittenden Solid Waste District —Gold Standard

City of Vergennes

Hallam-ICS —Silver

Hickok & Boardman, Inc.

Hickok & Boardman Group Benefits and Financial Planning —Silver

Marathon Health

Northwest Vermont Solid Waste Management District

Rutland Housing Authority

Town of Castleton —Bronze

Town of Killington —Silver

Town of Lyndon —Bronze

Town of Richmond

Vermont Housing Finance Agency

Vermont League of Cities and Towns —Gold

51-150 Employees

Ben & Jerry’s  —Gold Standard

City of Barre

Dwight Asset Management Company —Bronze

Engelberth Construction, Inc.  —Silver

Hearthstone QHHP

Heritage Family Credit Union  —Gold

Northeast Kingdon Learning Services, Inc.


Sonnax Industries, Inc. – SILVER

The Richards Group

Town of Rockingham/Village of Bellows Falls

Vermont Gas Systems

151-500 Employees

Addison Central Supervisory Union

BioTek Instruments, Inc. —Silver

BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont —Gold Standard

City Market

Counseling Service of Addison County —Gold

FoodScience Corporation

Franklin County Home Health Agency, Inc.

Greater Burlington YMCA —Bronze

Green Mountain Power —Rising Star

HEI / The Equinox Resort & Spa

Husky Injection Molding Systems —Silver

Johnson State College

Lyndon State College SHAPE Facility

Merchants Bank —Bronze

Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center

New England Federal Credit Union

Northeast Kingdom Human Services, Inc. —Bronze

Northfield Savings Bank

Passumpsic Savings Bank

Plasan North America

Rutland Mental Health Services —Gold Standard

The Vermont Country Store —Gold Standard

Vermont Mutual Insurance Group —Rising Star

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation

501-999 Employees

Brattleboro Retreat

Central Vermont Public Service —Gold

Champlain College

Chittenden South Supervisory Union

City of Burlington —Gold

Dealer.com —Gold Standard

GE Healthcare

Goodrich Corporation —Gold Standard

National Life Group —Silver

Northwestern Medical Center  —Gold Standard

Norwich University

PC Construction Company

Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc. —Bronze

1000+ Employees

Central Vermont Medical Center —Rising Star

Fletcher Allen Health Care —Silver

HowardCenter —Rising Star

MVP Health Care —Gold Standard

Price Chopper/Golub Corporation —Gold

Rutland Regional Medical Center

State of Vermont —Gold

Stratton Mountain Resort —Bronze

“Healthy Employees Add to A Healthy Bottom Line” is Theme of Vermont Worksite Wellness Conference March 28th

Employers throughout Vermont are invited to attend a Vermont Worksite Wellness Conference on March 28, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington. The conference aims to engage business leaders, human resources professionals and wellness specialists in supporting health and wellbeing of Vermonters on the job.

Governor Peter Shumlin, state Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen and the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will present awards to 79 employers for their programs that support staff access to physical fitness activities and promote good health at work and beyond.

“Vermont employers have come to understand that physically fit workers are more productive and invested in their careers, so it’s in an employer’s best interest to foster a culture of wellness on and off the job,” said Janet Franz, chair of the Governor’s Council. “The awards and conference aim to encourage employers to share great ideas and best practices for promoting health and fitness.”

Keynote speaker Rosie Ward, President of Human Resources Institute, will speak about organizational health as a means to individual wellbeing. Concurrent workshops will engage participants in building cultures of productivity, fostering motivation and using ergonomic methods to solve physical ailments on the job. Representatives from Heritage Family Credit Union, Chittenden Solid Waste District, the Village of Derby Center and BlueCross and BlueShield of Vermont will present their best practices for implementing employee health and wellness programs at their worksites. During wellness breaks, fitness professionals will demonstrate fitness activities that can be done at workstations.

The conference is co-sponsored by the council with Vermont Department of Health, BlueCross and BlueShield of Vermont, MVP Health Care, Northwestern Medical Center, Invest EAP and Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Registration is $100, which includes a healthy lunch. Deadline to register is March 16. No walk-in registration is permitted. To register or more information call 802-863-7270  or go to: http://healthvermont.gov/family/fit/worksitewellness.aspx .

Emina Burak 1950-2011

Emina Maria Ibragic-Burak was a beautiful, strong and loving woman who brightened every room she entered and every life she touched. Her life was tragically cut short in a car accident on Aug. 9, 2011. She was born in Werfen, Austria, on March 30, 1950, to Idris Ibragic and Maria Herzog and spent her early years in Tenneck, Austria, before moving with her family to Chicago.

She earned her Bachelor of Science in health education, her Master of Science in community health education and did post-master’s doctoral course work at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. In 1983 she accepted the position of director of the Student Wellness Program at the University of Vermont, and from 1994 until last month, she directed and coordinated the university’s Faculty and Staff Wellness Program.

Beginning in 1984, Emina became an adjunct lecturer with the university’s Department of Education and Social Services. She was planning her fall courses at the time of her death. In connection with her teaching, she published a Peer Wellness Mentoring Workbook and developed a Healthy Workplace Culture Resource Manual.

Emina was the owner of Workplace Health Design: Integrated Health Management Services and a frequent presenter of workshops and seminars on a variety of wellness topics here in Vermont, nationally and internationally. She was a frequent and popular speaker at the annual National Wellness Conference in Stevens Point, Wis., and presented at the First African Wellness Conference in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She was the recipient of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Gold Worksite Wellness Award from 1997-2008. She also served as a hard-working member and chairwoman of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She was a member of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and co-chair of Get Moving Chittenden County for the United Way of Chittenden County and Get Moving Vermont for the Vermont Department of Health.

Most recently, Emina joined Children of the Earth in 2009, initially as a volunteer to coordinate volunteer projects such as Bear Hugs for Haiti and the annual International Day of Peace Youth Event and, most recently, as that organization’s director of administration and development.

The honors received by Emina and accolades accorded to her are too numerous to mention here. She lives on in the hearts and minds of all those who experienced her loving kindness and gentle guidance. She leaves her revered mother, Maria “Oma” Ibragic; two beloved children, Meghan and Gavin McCormick; a devoted and loving husband, Michael L. Burak; two beautiful stepchildren, Michael and Meredith Burak; four siblings, Christa, Tina, Nura and Kemi, and their respective families; and her former husband, Rodney McCormick.

No words can convey the love and appreciation and the loss that is felt by her family, legion of friends and her most devoted and loyal friend, Dexter. Her adventures and journeys to the far corners of the globe with her soul mate, Mike, will remain in his heart forever.

Most recently her passion, enthusiasm and intensely focused energy was harnessed on behalf of the international family established by Nina Meyerhoff as the Children of the Earth. Emina’s family asks that all those touched by Emina’s spirit and passion gather together for a time of love and remembrance at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, this Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, at her family home located at 31 Dunder Road in Burlington.

In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to Children of the Earth and mailed to 26 Baycrest Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403.

Published in Times Argus and Burlington Free Press from August 13 to August 14, 2011.

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