Jason Lauritsen - Crushing talent dogma to free human potential

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Words of Gratitude (#16) for Ryan Picarella and Sara Martin Rauch

Note: I’m writing a note of gratitude on the blog each day in November leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. My hope is that these posts will inspire you to do the same. Write an email, Facebook post, or a text to tell people they have made an impact on you. Gratitude is contagious. 


Today’s gratitude post is a twofer because the story of these two people for me is hard to separate.

If you’ve been following my work over the past year, you have noticed a number of references to WELCOA, the Wellness Council of America. It’s an organization devoted to the advancement of workplace wellness practice.

WELCOA’s headquarters is about ten miles from my home. Yet, until about two years ago, I couldn’t have told you much about them.

It was two years ago that, through a fortuitous introduction, I had the opportunity to meet Ryan Picarella and Sara Martin Rauch. The sparks started to fly immediately.

What I found in Ryan and Sara were two people as passionately committed to making work better for employees as I am. From our first conversation, we start planning and dreaming about how we might be able to do some work together to accelerate progress. Common purpose is a powerful thing.

Over the past year, they have allowed me into the WELCOA tribe and invited me to help them as they work to evolve the practice of wellness as a driver of employee engagement, performance, and wellbeing. This work has been incredibly fulfilling and important to me. I’m grateful they let me in.

But beyond the work, Ryan and Sara have both become great friends. They are amazing, caring people who practice what they preach. They truly and deeply care about people at work and beyond.

I feel incredibly lucky that WELCOA happens to be in Omaha to bring Ryan and Sara here as well. It was kismet that we meet.

Ryan and Sara, I’m so thankful to know you both. I have gotten so much out of our time together over the past two years and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together in the future. You are both great friends and I’m so grateful for our relationship. The world of work is and will be a better place because of you.  

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Jason Lauritsen