WASHINGTON, DC (April 3, 2013)–As an African-American and a female small business owner in a highly competitive industry, Fiona Gathright has faced many obstacles since her company, Wellness Corporate Solutions, LLC (WCS), was founded in 2004. What distinguishes Gathright is her ability to face challenges with confidence and determination while also learning from them–converting every experience into a “teachable moment.” Based on her leadership, Gathright was the recipient of a 2013 Minority Business Leader Award from the Washington Business Journal.
The Washington Business Journal celebrated its sixth-annual Minority Business Leader Awards in March. This program recognizes the Washington region’s top 25 minority business leaders based on demonstrated business success over the past 12 to 18 months. From a pool of nearly 100 applicants from diverse industries, Gathright was among the honorees selected by the Washington Business Journal.
“I am more than honored to receive this award,” Gathright says, “and to be amongst a range of successful business leaders who are actively and positively influencing our American society.”
Gathright founded Wellness Corporate Solutions in 2004 in her kitchen. Although she and her business partner, Juliet Rodman, believed strongly in the mission of their company, they never imagined it would grow so quickly.
Rodman says, “Working with Fiona has been extraordinary; she is a true role model for everyone.”
Over the past nine years, the company has soared under Gathright’s leadership. Currently, Wellness Corporate Solutions has nearly 60 full-time employees, along with more than 4,000 health professionals nationwide who form the WCS subcontractor network. Despite its small stature, WCS works with more than 150 corporate clients nationwide and boasts a retention rate of more than 95 percent.
One aspect of Gathright’s vision for her company that has not changed since its founding is its commitment to diversity. WCS is proudly Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified, and in 2013 Gathright appointed Debbie Smith Rayford as vice president of business development & diversity strategy.
Before launching Wellness Corporate Solutions, Gathright founded a successful legal research company that served 99 of the top 100 law firms in the Washington metropolitan area, as well as numerous investment banks. As a businesswoman, she had first-hand knowledge of the burden rising health care costs place on an employer–especially on small businesses. After her legal research business was sold, Gathright was fortunate to be able to combine her formal education (a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Georgetown University) with her passion for health and wellness. Currently, she uses her popular blog, Corporate Wellness Insights, to promote wellness to a wider community, and she is consistently in demand as a public speaker on workplace wellness issues. Within WCS, internal methods of spreading her vision include company-wide wellness initiatives, employee fitness challenges, mini-exercise breaks throughout the day, and encouraging healthy behaviors outside the office.
For more information, visit www.wellnesscorporatesolutions.com.