Gwen Sedler is a corporate businesswoman who is giving new meaning to the term working out. By day, Gwen is an Operations Manager at Microsoft. During her off-time, however, you will most likely find the professional pushing weight. Gwen weight trains intensely for her other passion - fitness competitions. "For me to sit for eight to 10 hours a day, if not longer, I really had to find an alternative outlet to stay active and busy." The bikini competitor has consistently placed in the Top 5 of her last several fitness competitions. She credits hard work and discipline for her success; discipline in the kitchen – both at home and at work.
Gwen helped launch the Wellness Team at Microsoft, where over the past few years it has added healthier food options to the Microsoft Café. From salmon, broccoli and brown rice to freshly grilled veggies and lean meat kabobs. "In our community, it's a lot of fast food, so having something internal available is huge,” says Gwen. She adds it is especially convenient for the employees who work 10 to 12 hour days.
Microsoft management jumped right on board. Mark Creighton is the General Manager of World Wide Credit Services at Microsoft. Fitness has long been a priority for the cross-fitter, too. So it did not take much convincing to bring in experts to cook-up clean meals. "We've seen a real benefit in our workplace and in morale from launching these initiatives." While he acknowledges the entire menu has not been overhauled, "There are unhealthy options available, too, but just giving people that choice is really important."
Based on the lunch lines we found at the crowded café, employees appreciate the options. Gwen is glad to have been a small, but fit, force behind the improvements. "I feel very fortunate to work for a company that allows so many healthy alternatives for us and the convenience of it here."
Microsoft Café is open to the public Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It is located at 6840 Sierra Center Parkway in south Reno.