Helping marketers engage communities through healthy food, fitness and outdoor fun.

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Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge Launch Event
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Local Flavor from Local and National Talent

Food is something we all share in common. It has the power to bring us together… as families, communities and even cultures. That’s what makes food and food-related events such a powerful platform for brands looking to engage consumers and communities.

Thanks to the universal appeal of cooking shows on cable TV, chefs have become our new pop/rock stars. Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batalle, Cat Cora and Todd English are now household names. At Wellcom, we leverage this popular appeal to engage both food enthusiasts and the general public for education and entertainment.

Our access to culinary talent and venues is unmatched, both nationally and regionally. We’ve demonstrated this by orchestrating successful programs with Chefs such as Cat Cora, Todd English and Influencer’s like Bon Appetit’s Barbara Fairchild. We’ve utilized some of Georgia’s most coveted venues, from The Governor’s Mansion and Wolf Mountain Vineyards to the rooftop of the St. Regis Hotel (which we converted into a picnic field) and the famed Smithgall fishing retreat.

We are particularly proud of the network of Georgia farm to table chefs, which includes the most respected names in Atlanta fine dining scene. Through them, we’ve also developed close ties to Georgia Growers who produce the highest quality, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Walk & Roll
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Georgia State Parks
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The North Face Endurance Challenge
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A Social Convergence

I started my marketing career over 25 years ago, when “new technology” meant a self-correcting typewriter. Over the past two decades, I've worked on regional, national and global brands, consumer and B2B. I crossed the digital divide with client Google, and witnessed – close up – the explosion of online behavior and the technology that enables it. There aren’t many challenges or channels I haven’t approached successfully.

But the convergence I’m focused on now is even bigger than bandwidth. It’s a social convergence, a growing awareness and appreciation for the environment as well as sustainable practices and holistic health.

At the center of this convergence is an informed consumer perspective that shapes decisions about food, clothing, home furnishings, travel and recreation. These go beyond personal expressions. They represent value judgments about public policy and a desire to feel connected to the larger, defining social issues.

These consumers are more resourced and influential than ever. They expect transparency and demand authentic experiences. They care less about what you say, more about what you do. 

This is the context in which Wellcom offers guidance to brands, organizations and communities.

We help them define relevance, articulate value and engage more effectively. We also help them align strategy and tactics, set goals and measure outcomes. (We avoid using the three-letter acronym that starts with R and ends with I, because it’s become an overused, empty promise in marketing.)

We're focused on wellness as a category and on consumers that benefit from a lifestyle of health and sustainability. We are as interested in helping the underserved as we are the affluent. We excel at building partnerships between public, private and community stakeholders... the kind that last. 

More than just money, our goal is to make a difference. And have a hell of a lot of fun dong it.

Gross National Product

One of my environmental heros is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who I had the pleasure to meet at a public green space and energy policy discussion at Emory University.


Below is a quote from his father, Robert F. Kennedy, on what the Gross National Product means and, more importantly, what it does not mean.

Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product ... if we should judge America by that – counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

Farm Fresh
Tons of Fun Fitness Challenge
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Celebrity Chef Todd English
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Pets RXercise
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Southern Bites Done Lite

The traditional model for promoting fresh and packaged food goods involves the manufacturer offering incentives to the distributor and retailers.

We recognized that this model left the chefs and their restaurants out of the equation. Worse yet, it left them out of the relationship with the brand completely.

But today’s most popular chefs do more than delight our palates. They are reconnecting us to our food system by carefully sourcing their ingredients from local farmers and ranchers. They are educating us through menus, many of which list their agricultural partners.

In the case of Springer Mountain Farms all-natural chicken, we had a premium product with a unique story to tell. The people in the best position to tell that story -- while sampling the product under ideal conditions -- are chefs.

So we developed the Chefs of Distinction program, a true partnership that rewards the chefs for selecting fresh, natural ingredients, including Springer Mountain Farms. Promotional support for the chefs includes a fully produced commercial with a heavy paid media schedule that lasts 6 weeks.

In addition, Springer recognizes eachs chef’s connection and commitment to the community by supporting their favorite, fundraising events.

The program has achieved success beyond our projected goals. In addition to recruiting the city’s most talented chefs, (Asha Gomez, Todd Richards, Drew Belline, Ron Eyester, Carvel Gould, Stephen Herman and Matt swickerath) we have seen an increase in food sales above 20% YOY. Both the product and the program are well known and often discussed in the culinary community, which has opened doors to partnerships with other premium brands such as Big Green Egg.

Fitness Trails in Georgia State Parks
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Muddy Spokes Club
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An Inalienable Birthright

While much debate rages over how we, as a nation, became so completely detached from our food system. There is no arguing against the data that shows we aren’t consuming enough fresh fruits and vegetables.

When asked where food comes from, far too many children answer fast food restaurants gand convenience stores. The only family farm they’ve seen is the idealized image on the label of processed foods. It’s ironic that the rural (read agricultural) regions of the country are some of the most access-challenged in terms fresh, wholesome vegetables and fruits.

It’s become popular to blame the producers, distributors and retailers of highly processed foods for our present predicament. While it’s true that technology has made processed foods more affordable (and profitable) than fresh foods, no single industry… certainly no single company… is to blame for the disproportionate percentage of these foods consumed.

But blame never provided a sustainable solution to a problem. The situation we find ourselves in is the result of decades of policies and priorities whose consequences weren’t fully understood.

We believe the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle, without causing long-term negative consequences to the environment, is everyone’s right. It’s just that business decisions are rarely weighed on the scale of social justice.

It will take economic factors like consumer demand and the ability to charge more instead of less for products to create change on a system-wide level. And it’s going to take time. But history has proven, without exception, that the consumer has the last word. The fact that companies like Walmart are offering more fresh and all-natural food products is a testament to this.

First Lady Michelle has raised awareness of obesity and the need to eat more fresh foods. There is a slow and steady increase in food education programs being offered in schools and communities. Parents are pressuring schools to participate in Farm to School programs, for which the USDA is now offering guidance and support. Organizations from the Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA to senior community centers are offering garden-based education and access to farmers markets.

It’s our hope to see these initiatives take hold and thrive. The more we can get them to work together, to integrate efforts and share resources at the community level, the better chance for these programs to be effective and sustainable.

Ultimately, we hope to see fresh food available and affordable for all who choose it. That’s more than just our goal, we believe it’s our fundamental right.

Color in the Kitchen
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Georgia Golf's PGA Giveaway
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Instant Recess with CJ the Workout Kid
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Georgia State Parks - Close to Home
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Full Plate
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Tractor Supply
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Transparency and Authenticity

If the digital age has taught us anything, it’s that every individual has access to the accumulation of knowledge and experience on the web. Between disappointed consumers and disgruntled employees, brands that reformulate with every fad or play fast and loose with the facts are exposed to ridicule and even boycotts.

Some never recover from the loss of consumer confidence.

That’s why the best advice we can offer our clients is to be true to be true to the values that built your brand. If you feel that a shift in the consumer market place warrants a change in your practices to stay relevant and appealing, be open and honest about it.

The food industry offers an interesting scenario – the best and the worst – of an industry in flux. Buzzwords abound, while accepted standards are hard to come by. The trend is toward more natural, less processed. But just because high fructose syrup is made from corn, doesn’t make products flavored with it “natural.” When you see health claims on bags of junk food, it’s time to back away from the snack aisle.

These days the consensus is that the closer the ingredients are sourced, the better. But just because your distributor is local, doesn’t mean that the products they deliver from across the country are, too. So don’t advertise as “local” if your ingredients aren’t.

And if you have steps have been taken to eliminate waste or contamination in the manufacturing process, bravo. But if your recycling program is actually increasing your carbon footprint, you’re not going to fool anyone… at least not for very long.

It’s important to remember that the “informed consumer” you are trying to satisfy is also likely to learn about corporate behavior that’s disingenuous. You run the risk of upsetting loyal customers with half-truths. You run the risk of losing them all together with lies.

No one expects a decadent luxury car to conform to austere measures of efficiency. If you want to promote the fact that its burled wood appointments did not deplete the rain forest, go for it. But don’t expect to earn environmental points because your three-ton SUV is available in a hybrid model. At best you’ll get snickers. And you may just be made an example of the problem, instead of the solution.


Envision Nutrition
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Farm to Preschool
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Local Food Local Fun Day
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Roosevelt Games
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Informed Consumers
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Southeastern Governor’s Chefs’ Table
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Big Green Giveaway
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