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‘Best’ efforts to better health
A personal health scare has inspired a healthier culture at an entire company.
Three years ago, Todd Best thought he had suffered a heart attack. After spending too much time in and out of hospital and recognizing he was overweight, Best – president and owner of Tsawwassen-based Best Builders – decided to do something about his own well-being as well as encourage a healthier lifestyle amongst his crews.
“Most of the builders spend so much time working and so little time stepping out of their truck and going for a walk, that I actually forgot how to do that stuff,” he said.
Best started by creating the opportunity to eat healthier lunches by providing microwaves and fridges at his construction sites.
“They’re not rushing off to McDonald’s or ordering a pizza, which is what most of us would do. So now I’m finding I can go to a site and the guys are having soup and salads and meals because we have the place to store it, “ he said, noting his son, who works with the company, has lost 22 pounds.
“Most of it is giving the guys a place to sit and enjoy lunch. They don’t have to feel rushed. They sit, talk, enjoy themselves, and because of that I’ve got a healthy, more productive crew.”
His family aims to be healthier at their Ladner home as well, where they have organic chickens, honeybees and fruit trees.
Best Builders also employs a no beer and no smoking policy on its sites, and rather than hosting a typical company party or barbecue they organize outdoor group activities such as golf and paintball.
“We give them the tools which make them better and more efficient workers … The crews are just happier,” Best said, noting some of his employees have been with him for 15 years.
Happier staff also translates to better work: this year Best Builders won four categories at the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association’s (GVHBA) Ovation Awards, including being the hands-down winner in the votes-based People’s Choice Award.
The company is the gold sponsor for an upcoming Men’s Health event for the Delta Hospital Foundation, hosted by The South Delta Leader at Illuminate Restorante on Nov. 26.
Best Builders already supports GVHBA’s Coats for Kids campaign by acting as a drop-off point for donations of warm clothing every November and December. They also salvage building materials in good condition for Habitat for Humanity’s Restores, which sell cabinetry, fixtures, flooring and other materials to raise funds for its operations.
But with a predominantly male staff, Best and his wife Jenn felt it was important to support a community event raising awareness of men’s health issues and funds for Delta Hospital.
His crews are also having fun with the Movember movement, which inspired the foundation fundraiser. The Movember campaign encourages men to grow mustaches during the month of November to bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer.
“All the guys are growing beards and mustaches. They’re growing as much facial hair as they can,” said Best with a laugh.
• For more information about the Men’s Health event, visit sdl.dhfoundation.ca