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Ellen Kocher Interview

Ellen Kocher, Economist and Accredited Workplace Wellness Consultant

I am an Economist and Accredited Workplace Wellness Consultant. I hold a Master’s Degree in Health and Wellness Coaching (Nutrition and Corporate Health), ICF Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Certified Health Coach and licensed Mindful Eating Coach. Educated in the United States and in Switzerland for over 30 years, I spent 10 years as a Management Consultant in the Finance Industry and truly understand the challenges of a busy working lifestyle. In 2003 I lost 20 kilos through nutrition and lifestyle change and have dedicated the past 15 years to nutrition and workplace wellness. I promote a non-diet, weight-neutral, mindfulness-based approach to eating, physical activity, holistic health, and self-care. I have coached hundreds of individuals and groups in dozens of organizations to make sustainable lifestyle changes empowering others to go from knowing what to do to actually doing it! I live near Geneva with my (Swiss) husband of 34 years and my amazing 3 young adult kids.

Who are you in three words?
Dynamic, Authentic, Generous

What would you do differently if you could travel back in time?
I lost my dad at the age of 18. If I could travel back in time, I would get to know him as an adult and share as much as possible with him. My dream would be that my husband and children know my dad.

What advice would you give to the next generation of women entering the job market?
Be yourself and find a job that allows you to do that.

Do you have a particular skill?
I am an awesome cook! I grew up cooking and eating Italian-Mediterranean, which remains my instinctive culinary skillset. Today, however, I will venture into any type of cooking. I have fortunately had the opportunity to cook beside inspiring Michelin Star chefs and Italian Mamas!

Which skill(s) would you like to possess?
I would love to be a knowledgeable wine connoisseur and/or winemaker. I love wine and have done some wonderful oenology classes, but to pursue this would be a dream, especially given my love of food, cooking and gastronomy.

What is your perception about the benefits of networking?
For me, networking is relationship building and not just superficial exchange for business or benefits. Through relationship building, we can truly understand the essence of others and what they have to offer the world. Through authentic networking, the day we encounter a need for an offering, these relationships are top of mind.

Which hobby should we try or practice – and why?
Yoga! It can be done anywhere you can put down a mat. It recharges mind, body and spirit and helps create a grounded-ness for every other activity in our lives. Proven benefits of yoga include enhancing health, strength and flexibility as well as reducing symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety. Namaste!

What do you suggest to change/improve at the CWF?
I would love to see more activities taking place OUTDOORS. We are all professional women spending a majority of our time in offices. Bonding and connecting outdoors in nature – walks, hikes, picnics or winter adventures would be a great addition to our traditional CWF (indoor) events. Adding on an ecological and/or fund-raising notion could be an added plus.
I also think it would be great if the monthly luncheons switched rives to give the opportunity for different people to easily attend from their workplace.

What are the opportunities and challenges for the CWF?
Challenges: Today, most professional women function in a “hi-tech” world and more and more of our time is spent behind a laptop or phone. CWF faces the challenge of offering attractive “Hi touch vs Hi tech” opportunities to its members.
Opportunities that lure people out of their office space into a human space. Opportunities: The same! Understanding that so many women are “stuck to tech”, this is a great opportunity for CWF to grasp and inspire people to get out and mingle!

A final message?
I believe that in diversity there is beauty and strength. According to Malcom Forbes, diversity is the “art of thinking independently together”. I sincerely believe that CWF is an amazing opportunity for a huge diversity of women from a great diversity of backgrounds and professions to think independently together with beauty and strength!

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