Ross Mortgage News

Ross Mortgage Employees Walk More Than 23,000 Miles

August 30, 2013

Earlier this summer, we started a corporate wellness competition called “The March to Mackinac Challenge” to empower our employees to lead healthier, more active lifestyles. Their task: walk a total of 280 miles (the distance from Royal Oak, MI to Mackinac Island) within eight weeks. To help our employees reach this goal and qualify for weekly giveaways, as well as a grand prize trip to Mackinac Island, we provided everyone with a Fitbit® to track the number of steps they took each day.

I’m proud to announce that after only eight weeks, our team of employees walked a total of 46,603,581 steps—approximately 23,302 miles. That’s almost far enough to walk around the world (we were only 1,557 miles short)!

To top it all off, 37 people reached the 280-mile goal and qualified to be entered in a drawing for a free stay at the Grand Hotel. While I’m proud of everyone who participated and wish everyone could have won, only one lucky winner’s name would be drawn.


Congratulations, Josette Shindak! You worked hard to qualify for the trip, and we hope you enjoy your stay at the Grand Hotel!

While I knew our team of exceptional employees would rise to the occasion and exceed my expectations, I’m amazed at how many employees continued to find new ways to stay active after the competition ended.

Three of our employees, Katie Ceci, Laura Soderberg and Chuck Hubbert, used their fitness goals to help spread awareness and raise money for charitable causes.

Chuck Hubbert

Chuck, a member of our IT department, participated in the Wheels Over Michigan Bike-A-Thon (WOMBAT). This event raises money to build vision and dental clinics in Haiti. In the process, he lost more than 50 pounds and can now bike more than 75 miles a day.


Laura, one of our regional operations managers, also participated in a biking event called Mind Over Matter. The event benefits the Alzheimer’s Association, and this year her family raised more than $21,000 to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. She’ll also be participating in the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society’s 5K Pooch Prance this fall. The event raises money to help rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for abused, abandoned and/or stray pets.


Katie joined the fight to end breast cancer and participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day event, walking 60 miles over the course of three days.

Reflecting on the event, Katie said, “It was absolutely incredible! There were tons of positive people sharing inspirational and uplifting messages.”


Jade Lawson, a member of our post-closing department in Royal Oak, used the Fitbit to help her prepare for the Miss Michigan pageant.

“The March to Mackinac Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Jade. “While preparing for Miss Michigan USA, the Fitbit made me conscious of the amount of cardio I was doing. It motivated me to push myself harder and get my body pageant ready. I think it was a great idea to not only get myself, but the entire company, more physically active.”

Making the commitment to live a healthy, active lifestyle begins by taking the first step. Whatever your health and fitness goals are, I encourage you to march toward them with confidence.

Does your employer do anything to encourage a healthy lifestyle?