FORT WORTH, Texas – In a recent 12-week period, some 239 Acme employees lost a total of 1,432.9 pounds, nearly three-quarters of a ton of weight, in the company’s Acme Weigh contest part of Acme Brick Company’s overall program to improve and maintain employee health. “Acme Brick’s most valuable resource is not the clay we dig from the earth to create hard-fired brick, but our over 2,000 associates,” said Dennis Knautz, Acme President and CEO.
The multiyear Acme Weigh program involves associates from across the Acme system including Acme’s affiliated companies of Featherlite Building Products, Texas Quarries Limestone, the IBP Glass Block Grid Systems, American Tile and Stone and Patina Floor Design Stores.
To assure privacy, each participant chooses a secret nickname (Fatty Acid, Butter Cup, Chop Chop, Mini Me and Jiggles, etc.) for the contest. Each location has a wellness champion who records the participants’ weights each week and forwards the information to the company’s Wellness Coordinator.
The top 35 losers/winners for 2013 were awarded a total of $6,450 in prize money on September 11. The top female loser Shannon “Ice Cube” Kaske (Elgin, Texas plant) and top male loser Trey “Boom” Atwood (Round Rock, Texas office) received awards of $500 each. Participants at every level of weight loss seem to have benefited from the program.
“Having so many of your co-workers involved in the Acme Weigh is a great motivator, like you were part of a team effort,” said participant Michael Canterbury of Acme’s Jenkins Brick division in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “I want to thank Acme for doing this. Losing the weight has made me feel so much more alive. I want to be around to watch my children become parents themselves one day. Congratulations to everyone who lost even one pound. It is a start.”
Trey Atwood, the winner in the men’s category with a 16.78 percent, 37 pound weight loss said, “ In addition to restricting calories, I started working out five days a week. I would do about 45 minutes on the treadmill, and I started lifting weights. People have been asking me, 'What are you going to do with the $500 prize?' I'm buying clothes - I don't have anything that fits anymore. I haven't felt this good in a long time, since I was 25 or 30. I've got so much energy now, and I've been able to cut my blood-pressure medicine by 75 percent!"
The multi-year program is designed to motivate associates not only to lose the initial weight, but also to continue to lose by participating in future Acme Weigh programs. Acme Brick Company also encourages associates to take advantage of health information through wellness webinars the company distributes on a regular basis. Individual locations also participate in activities such as Race for the Cure, and Heart Walk.
Acme Brick, the largest U.S. brick company, is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies headed by famed investor Warren Buffett. Other Acme companies include: Featherlite Building Products, Texas Quarries Limestone, IBP Glass Block Grid Systems, American Tile & Stone, and Patina Floor Design Stores. Acme celebrated its 122nd birthday on April 17, 2013.