21 Women Making An Impact: JoVal Wettlaufer, Wellness Advisor, Blue Cross Blue Shield Of North Dakota

Written by: Brady Drake
  • United Way Volunteer and Investor
  • United Way Campaign Cabinet Volunteer
  • United Way Emerging Leader
  • United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator

What is one lesson you have learned? How did you learn it?

I have learned that being involved in United Way is a true blessing to so many individuals in our community. Every year my BCBSND coworkers and I volunteer for the Day of Caring and some years the houses we are supposed to clean are already mostly clean because all the individual wants is a conversation so it warms my heart to be a part of something greater and to see their smile is priceless.

What advice do you have for women trying to build their professional careers?

My advice would be to get involved by volunteering in our community. Through United Way, there are opportunities such as Emerging Leaders where you can make so many connections with amazing individuals who provide advice and leadership that can only help your own professional journey. Those connections can also turn into lifelong friendships like they have for me.

You have been a key player in building the workplace culture at Blue Cross Blue Shield – what are some tips for companies looking to build their culture?

It has been an honor to be a part of our employee’s committee called BlueSquad at BCBSND. BCBSND listens to our employees on what they would like to see in our programs and services which changes the landscape. Our employees are always coming up with new ideas on how to give back and it continues to inspire me to be better and want better for everyone around me. There needs to be a balance of work and fun and I believe there is always something more we can be doing for our employees so they can be their best and feel cared for.

What are the benefits of a corporate volunteer program?

Having a corporate volunteer program provides our employees with the opportunity to make a difference in our communities across the state. We know how important it is for our employees to become engaged and socially interact with one another for their own well-being. United Way has so many different opportunities and we are always excited each year to find out what we get to do next.

How was being involved in your community impacted your career?

I grew up in a family that made it a priority to give back to the community we lived in and it has always been ingrained in me to seek out where I can make an impact. When I started at BCBSND I was so excited to know that I would have many opportunities to give back through volunteering and being a part of our employees’ committee. I have gained so much knowledge and leadership skills by taking part in the different United Way events that are provided. Volunteering has made me realize what is important and that you can make an impact wherever you go.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.