By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - An Indian River County business on the rise was recognized as a company to watch.
eMindful is a mind-body wellness company providing innovative online classes to employers to help their employees reduce stress, smoking, overeating and other behaviors that can be detrimental to a person's health and decrease their productivity.
The company, which was created nearly six years ago by Kelly McCabe, was recognized the Edward Lowe Foundation's companies to watch program. They are among the top 50 Florida companies to watch.
The foundation recognizes second-stage companies, or companies that are growing, not just surviving. They are significant job creators and are bringing money into their communities, Ms. McCabe said.
Helene Caseltine, economic development director for the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, nominated the company for the award. When word came that eMindful made the top 50 in the state, Ms. McCabe was very pleased.
Penny Chandler, executive director of the chamber, said whenever a business in the community receives accolades, the whole community benefits.
eMindful, located in Vero Beach, has grown quickly over the past three years, and serves thousands of clients, including Florida Power & Light and Kaiser Permanente.
Another big client of eMindful is Aetna, a national health care provider with about 32,000 employees.
eMindful's services include virtual classroom time with highly trained instructors in the various wellness areas. The classes are real-time and participants can interact with both the instructors and other class participants.
"You can do pretty much everything except shake someone's hand," Ms. McCabe said.
Studies on eMindful's techniques and methods have measured the productivity of employees pre- and post-online wellness classes, she said.
After classes from eMindful, employees show 95 minutes of increased productivity per week. During a 48-week period, the return on the employer's investment on the classes was 15 times higher than what they paid, Ms. McCabe said.
In addition to carrying out daily services, the company is also proud of its partnerships with Harvard Medical School and Duke Integrative Medicine for research projects, she said.
eMindful was approved for a local jobs grant of up to $500,000 by county commissioners in December 2009, but never reported job creation and has not received any payments from the jobs grant program, said Bill Schutt, Indian River County economic development senior planner.
Ms. McCabe said her company withdrew from the program when it became apparent that the economy was not going to permit them to make their projected employment levels for the grant, and instead pursued and received private funding.
"Now we are starting to see the growth that was projected in 2008. Before, all our targets were off," she said.
According to a report, the combined impact of the 50 companies is $355 million in total annual revenue and 1,576 full time equivalent employees. In 2012, the companies combined saw an overall 35 percent annual revenue growth and 37 percent annual growth in employees.
eMindful and the other companies will be recognized at a special ceremony on Oct. 19 in Orlando.
For more information about eMindful, visit www.emindful.com.