UM team finishes healthy challenge

Published 12:00 pm Monday, March 7, 2016

The Ole Miss Human Resources Department was one of more than 377 groups around the country that pledged to get healthy by participating in the Leadercast Healthy Team Challenge.

The four-week challenge, from Jan. 18 to Feb. 8, included team-building and physical activities that could be done at the office. It was all part of the nationwide initiative by Atlanta-based Leadercast for organizations to grow in relational and physical health.

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Audrey Floyd, 36, works as a payroll manager at the University of Mississippi, and Jessica Hughes, 29, works as a human resources generalist.

They were two participants in the Healthy Team Challenge, a nationwide movement to create healthy teams and stronger organizations. The pair were part of a five-member team called Hotty Toddy HR Almighty.

Floyd said teams across the country committed to spending time each week locking in, engaging and making opportunities to be physically active.

“We met weekly and really tried to focus on our ‘why’ and how we can contribute to a culture of collegiality within our department and throughout the UM community,” Floyd said. “Each meeting included a group fitness activity, such as wall sits, planks, wall push-ups, and shoulder shrugs, which we also incorporated into our days throughout the week.

“We show up each day, regardless of distractions, and reach a little deeper to do the things that matter in order to inspire and encourage others to personal and professional fulfillment,” Floyd said.

Leadercast CEO Keith Wilmot said “we rise and fall on good leadership.”

“When 80 percent of us leave our jobs because of poor leadership, you know there’s a problem,” he said. “We want to give teams the necessary tools to grow in areas that affect performance, customer and employee satisfaction, productivity and enjoyment. We think, after these four weeks, participating teams will experience more growth and more team engagement than they’ve experienced in the past.”

At the conclusion of the Leadercast Healthy Team Challenge, one team will win a trip for four to Atlanta to experience Leadercast Live on May 6. The winners were not posted yet.

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is

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