Markel Corporate 5k

We’re excited to announce that Team Henrico is gearing up for the upcoming Markel Corporate Run, scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 6, right after work! This 5k run/walk event promises not only a chance to showcase our team spirit but also is an opportunity to network and enjoy some post-race festivities at the corporate office party.

Here are the key details:

  • Date: Thursday, June 6
  • Time: 6:30 pm Warm-Up with 7 pm event start
  • Location: Dominion Campus @ Innsbrook (5000 Dominion Blvd, Glen Allen, VA 23060)
  • Event: Markel Corporate Run – 5k run/walk
  • Post-Race: Corporate office party with food, drinks, and yard games for entertainment

We’re currently looking for enthusiastic runners and walkers to join us in representing Team Henrico. It’s not just about the run; it’s about coming together, having fun, and fostering team spirit.

Let’s lace up our sneakers, hit the pavement, and make Team Henrico proud at the Markel Corporate Run!

For more information, please contact Joey Pacelli @ PAC037

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Henrico’s Newest Fitness Trainer Talks Healthy Hearts and Black History Month

Every February, the United States honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who helped shape the nation. In our diverse, multicultural community here at Henrico, seeking to understand and support our peers goes a long way to promoting positive relationships and elevating respect for the experiences and insights of all cultures. 

This month, we encourage you to participate in celebrating the black community’s rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and adversities. In Henrico County, there are many opportunities to immerse yourself in Black History Month and engage our community through events and connections.

Building positive relationships with others has benefits beyond forging connections and deeper understanding. Studies show that having positive, close relationships with others can improve your ability to recover from stress, anxiety, and depression and can benefit your heart health. Each February, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and The Heart Truth celebrate American Heart Month by motivating Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease.  

To understand more about heart health, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Division team member interviewed Sydnei Douglas, a trainer and health enthusiast in the Department of Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division, to ask her thoughts about the importance of heart health. These are some of the highlights of the conversation:

 Why is heart health so important?

Sadly, cardiovascular disease is a public health crisis as it is the leading cause of death in the United States. About one person dies every 33 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease or related conditions. A big reason for this could most likely be hypertension—high blood pressure—which is the number one cause of cardiovascular disease. About 40-45% of the U.S. Adult population has hypertension. That’s almost half of our adult population! 

I think it’s important for our employees to be aware of this and to take steps towards prevention. It’s never too late for a change. Start with the small steps. 

What do you think people should know about heart health or heart disease?

When you think about our workplace setting, a good portion of our employees experience a high volume of sedentary activity because of sitting at our desks. Sedentary behavior and lack of physical activity can also play a huge role in cardiovascular disease. For employees, it’s important to note that we do sit down a lot of the time throughout the day, so one of the things we can do is be more intentional about moving more and getting more physical activity in our daily lives. 

What are three things one can do to be more intentional about heart health? What advice would you give?

The first thing would be to move more. The steps you take towards prevention don’t have to be super intense. Everybody is on a different journey and physical level, so start with what is capable for you. Perhaps start with taking the stairs or getting up to walk around at certain times during the day. Being more physically active in small increments over time is a great way to start being more intentional with your heart and overall health. 

We offer many classes throughout the day at the Training Center for employees to be active. It is also a great way to make connections with other employees! Exercising in groups brings about a sense of community, holds you accountable, and empowers you to overcome challenges. 

Changing your diet is a big one. A small step I recommend is cutting down on fried foods. Fried foods are filled with fat, which can cause plaque buildup in your arteries and blood vessels. We offer many classes and workshops—for both physical activity and nutritional knowledge—throughout the year that our employees participate in. 

Get involved with the programs we have available. You can find this information on the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint site

If you are a smoker, choose a quit date. There are good resources out there that provide knowledge and support throughout your journey, including Employee Health Services and our Anthem Employee Assistance Program (EAP). And if you aren’t a smoker, vow never to start!

Even if you have high blood pressure, which is a huge risk for cardiovascular disease, it can be reversed. Making healthier choices now can improve your heart health over time. 

How can employees celebrate American Heart Month and Black History Month in February?

A good way would be to attend our Heart Health Initiative program in February! I will be doing a bunch of different workshops and educational initiatives to help our employees understand how to improve our heart health. You can register online or email me at [email protected]

Week two of this initiative will be dedicated to health equity, where we will be talking about health disparities regarding cardiovascular health in the black community. This is a great opportunity to educate yourself about the history behind these disparities and the social determinants and recognize black healthcare professionals and clinicians who have impacted cardiovascular health. 

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Team Henrico Captures First Place in the Concept 2 Fall Team Challenge Rowing Competition

Every year, Concept 2 launches a Fall Team Rowing Challenge from September 15th through October 15th, and the goal is to create a team and collectively row as many meters as possible against hundreds of other teams worldwide (view Concept 2’s Challenges). Team Henrico has been conquering since their first 1st Place Corporate Division finishes in 2019 and then again in 2020. After a loss in 2021 and taking a year off in 2022, Team Henrico rejoined this year with a fresh new outlook.

Team Captain and Public Safety Fitness Trainer Joshua Gaskins began to recruit employees in a new way. He enlisted participation from the Division of Fire’s (DOF) 80th Recruit Academy, Henrico Police Division’s 78th and 79th Basic Recruit Academies, the Sheriff’s Office 66th Recruit Academy, the Public Safety Tactical Strength & Conditioning Class, the Fire Training Tower Fitness Class, the Fit Plus exercise group, and Senior Fitness Trainer Joey Pacelli’s Foundations class, to the many already individually registered employees from all public safety divisions and general government. Throughout the competition, participants completed Joshua’s uniquely designed rowing workouts to enhance adherence and enjoyment and increase the meters rowed.

After much diligence, Team Henrico completed a total of 4,164,729 meters and achieved 1st place in the Corporate Division for the 3rd time! They also placed 7th overall worldwide, excluding the virtual teams competition (view results here)! The DOF 80th Recruit Academy led the team with 759,962 meters, and Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Clevert achieved a new all-time individual participant record with 501,409 meters. 

Team Henrico celebrated with a pizza party hosted at the Woodman Road Fire Training Facility, where Joshua Gaskins gave kudos and well-earned calories to the team members (the number of calories burned rowing 4 million meters equals 109 large pepperoni pizzas). An achievement award was given by the Human Resources (HR) Department and can be seen above the check-in computer at the Henrico Training Center gym.

For 2024, Team Henrico is ready to strive for 1st place worldwide, but not without the help of more avid Henrico County employees. Although Joshua and the Fitness and Wellness Division of HR are still working on a game plan for 2024, their vision includes teams from each department that could designate at least once per week to utilize a Concept 2 Rower to add additional meters to the team total.


Go Team Henrico! “We Don’t Quit.”


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Tacky Light Run

Join Team Henrico and be part of RVA’s beloved holiday tradition, which is now being transformed into an unforgettable experience for those who love walking, running, having a soft spot for all things wintry, or carry the holiday spirit in their hearts!  Immerse yourself in a night brimming with festive joy as you explore Walton Park neighborhood, where you’ll encounter numerous homes adorned with delightfully over-the-top tacky light displays, including the renowned Dawnridge Court.  Gather your family and friends, as this evening promises to transport you straight into the enchanting atmosphere of the North Pole. Use the coupon code TLRHenrico2023 for a $21 discount.  If you have any questions, please contact Joey Pacelli @ PAC037

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Enhancing Health and Wellness: Empowering Positive Change 

Henrico County is making an effort to improve employee health and wellness by fostering sustainable behavior changes. From interactive lunch and learn sessions to in-service training for police officers and functional movement screens for fire personnel, these initiatives significantly impact the overall well-being of individuals and our community. 

Nourishing Body and Mind: The Healthy Eating Lunch and Learn Series 

Embarking on a journey towards better nutrition isn’t just about temporary diets; it’s about embracing long-lasting changes that fuel our bodies and minds. The monthly Healthy Eating Lunch and Learn series is a testament to this philosophy. These sessions provide a platform for participants to delve into the realm of sustainable behavior changes surrounding nutrition. 

By exploring the science behind food choices and understanding the connection between food and mood, participants gain valuable insights into how to make informed decisions about what they consume. This series emphasizes the importance of balanced eating, portion control, and mindful consumption. Through interactive discussions and expert guidance, attendees are equipped with the tools they need to make healthier food choices a part of their daily lives. 

Strengthening Protectors: Fit For Duty – Experiences and Strategies For Our Tactical Athletes 

Police officers are the backbone of community safety, and their physical and mental well-being are paramount. In-service training takes on a new dimension with weekly sessions to empower police officers with strategies and applications for enhancing their fitness, nutrition, and injury mitigation techniques. 

These tailored presentations delve into the unique challenges that law enforcement professionals face. By providing actionable tips for maintaining physical fitness and adopting a balanced diet, officers are better equipped to manage the demands of their jobs. Moreover, insights into injury prevention and recovery strategies serve as crucial tools to ensure officers can perform at their best while safeguarding their long-term health. 

Moving with Purpose: Functional Movement Screens for Fire Personnel 

The Division of Fire is no stranger to physically demanding tasks that require optimal movement quality. To mitigate injuries and improve the overall performance of fire personnel, the introduction of functional movement screens is a game-changer. These screens offer a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s movement patterns, identifying areas of strength and areas that need improvement. 

By pinpointing movement deficiencies, Fire personnel can work on targeted exercises to enhance their mobility, flexibility, and overall movement mechanics. This minimizes the risk of injuries during intense tasks and ensures that firefighters are better equipped to respond effectively to emergencies. Functional movement screenings empower Fire personnel to move purposefully, efficiently, and confidently. 

These health and wellness initiatives are more than just programs; they are pathways to positive change. From fostering sustainable eating habits to providing essential training for police officers and enhancing movement quality for Fire personnel, these initiatives reflect a commitment to holistic well-being. By empowering individuals to make informed choices and prioritize their health, these initiatives have a far-reaching impact that resonates throughout communities and professions. 

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Mastering Meal Planning

The Human Resources’ Fitness & Wellness Division has teamed up with Bon Secours Outpatient Nutrition to provide nutrition education programming to County employees in person and virtually. 

Visit the Fitness & Wellness SharePoint site for a complete list of upcoming sessions

You can attend in person or virtually and register by emailing [email protected].

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The 2023 Battle for the Throne

The Division of Fire earns top honor with firefighters Zachary Sayles’ and Nathan Beahm’s back-to-back wins.

The June 2nd battle for the “Fittest Public Safety Division of the Year” was like no other in history. The 2023 Public Safety Games teams series was quite the performance to watch, with seven very eager Division of Fire teams competing against one another throughout May in 3 qualifying events: A 60-minute Endurance Run-Row-Bike sequence, a 15-minute Dumbbell Work Capacity Event, and a Pentathlon for the Strength Event. Each team earned points based on their rank from the seven events, and the top 2 teams earned their spot in the Final Obstacle Course Event. After many years of participating in the Public Safety Games, Firefighter (FF) Tanner Kump, with his teammate FF Lam Le, claimed the 2nd place spot to enter into the Public Safety Games final event facing the 2022 defending champions FF Zachary Sayles and Lt. Natham Beahm!

The final event included an 8-stage indoor course that featured many “Strongman” implements like the Yoke, “Strongman” bags, rope climbs, kettlebells, and barbells mixed with echo bikes, rowers, and stair climbs. After completing the first four stages of the course, the firefighters had to finish the course in all of their gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). In its entirety, it was a consummation of many performance tasks a tactical athlete could endure that relied heavily on teamwork, communication, tactical awareness, mental acuity, and the overall ability to work for an extended period in a high-stress environment.

Congratulations to Station 6 B-Shift FF Zachary Sayles and Lt. Nathan Beahm for successfully defending their 2022 title and to the Division of Fire for claiming the Fittest Public Safety Division of the Year title for the fifth time! Their names have been added to the Public Safety Games “Fittest Public Safety Division” plaque inside the lobby of the Henrico Training Center.

Alongside the main competition, we had many other public safety personnel support their respective divisions (Police, Fire, and Sheriff) through individual competitions that included cardiovascular, work capacity, and strength events. There were also ten non-competitive, honor-system-based mini-events to give more participants the opportunity to join the fun and support their divisions without worrying about their age or fitness levels. Congratulations to the Division of Police for collecting the most points from the individual competitions. 

All in all, this year’s Public Safety Games were successful, and we hope participation continues to grow! We look forward to the 2024 Public Safety Games, the 8th anniversary of the Games, as our vision continues to unfold.

Head to the Fitness and Wellness SharePoint page to see all the details of the Public Safety Games events, including the preliminary events, final obstacle course, and mini events. There are also plenty of captured moments and videos of the action!

Once again, congratulations to all the winners!

If you are sworn public safety personnel and are interested in either the Public Safety Games or joining any of our sworn only fitness programs please contact Joshua Gaskins at [email protected] or 501-7218.

For more information about all of our programs, please view the Fitness and Wellness Division Sharepoint:


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