Meet a Health Hero: Ryan Oelkers

>> You can vote for Ryan on our Facebook page September 17-23. Mark your calendar!

Name: Ryan Oelkers

Occupation: Co-founder and Senior Director of Operations for Cadence Cycling Foundation

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Since 2007, I’ve been fortunate enough to help over 600 kids get involved in the sport of cycling as the co-founder of the Cadence Cycling Foundation. Part of the mission of the foundation is to use cycling as a tool to help Philadelphia youth grow into healthy, happy and responsible adults. A couple of youth in the program have even lost over 100 pounds! The participants in the program continue to inspire me with their amazing hard work and dedication. Additionally, I’m the father of four kids and I want to be around a long time to see them grow up.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
Being a professional cyclist offered me the opportunity to meet amazing people, travel the world and learn valuable life skills. Now I get to pass on these great experiences and skills to the kids in the Cadence Cycling Foundation. It’s great to be able to combine my love of cycling and help youth in the Philadelphia area.

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Meet a Health Hero: Mark Spann

>> You can vote for Mark on our Facebook page September 17-23. Mark your calendar!

Name: Mark Spann

Occupation: Tennis Coach and Owner of Upper Dublin Sports Center

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Mental health is my passion. The young mind is like a rubber band. It stretches in many directions.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
In the early days of coaching, it alarmed me how many young people fell out of sport. The one-cap-fits-all philosophy was not working for everyone.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
Meeting people where they are at. Adopting approaches to attract the multitudes.

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Meet a Health Hero: Leslie Marant

>> You can vote for Leslie on our Facebook page September 17-23. Mark your calendar!

Name: Leslie Marant

Occupation: Co-ambassador for Black Girls RUN! Philadelphia and Owner of Temple Building Fitness

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Three things motivate me to be healthy: the mental and physical benefits I receive from living a healthy lifestyle; the example I set for my children and family; and my desire to inspire others (clients, running group members, Black Girls Run! Philadelphia, coworkers) to change and live healthier lives. I get a great sense of accomplishment from seeing lower blood-pressure numbers at each annual physical, lifting heavier weights, improving my endurance and running faster. I also want to give my children a legacy of healthy living so they don’t have to care for me because I made poor lifestyle choices. As a personal trainer and coach it’s important for me to practice what I preach, be an example and set a standard.  I enjoy demonstrating that it’s possible to be healthy and active in spite of the many demands on our time.

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Birds 24/7 Is Looking For an Intern

Birds 24/7 is seeking an intern to start immediately and work through the 2013 NFL season.

The candidate will help Sheil and Tim update the site, work on special projects and assist with social media. Motivated interns may have opportunities to produce original content, but this is not a writing internship.

Getting McManus coffee from Wawa and helping Kapadia jump-start the old Civic may be required as well.

The ideal candidate will be extremely detail-oriented and have experience in online journalism. Deep knowledge of the Eagles and the NFL is a must. Knowledge of SEO, web headline writing, Photoshop, WordPress and other content management systems, and professional use of social media is a plus, but not required.

Candidates must be enrolled in school (at an undergraduate or graduate level) to participate in our internship program and must be local to the Philadelphia area. Internships are unpaid, but may be used to receive academic credit.

Please note that we require interns to put in a minimum of three days a week at our Center City office.

To apply, please e-mail a cover letter and resume to research editor Malcolm Burnley at mburnley@phillymag.com.

Meet a Health Hero: Sue Daugherty

>> You can vote for Sue on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Sue Daugherty

Occupation: Executive director of Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA)

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Life motivates me. In the grand scheme of things we have such a small amount of time—there are so many memories to create, people to meet, places to visit, opportunities to do good and folks to love. I truly believe if you have your health you have everything—good health is a gift every day. Unfortunately in my line of work I see folks fighting for their health, battling serious illness, and it makes me so very aware of what it takes to fight back from a crippling disease. I will never take my health for granted!

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Meet a Health Hero: Phyllis Sudman

>> You can vote for Phyllis on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Phyllis Sudman

Occupation: Co-founder of Simon’s Fund

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I know that being healthy is smart living. I’ve always followed a healthy lifestyle, but after losing my son and being diagnosed with a heart condition, I needed to share my knowledge with other parents.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
My son died when I was 34. At the same time, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. This was a turning point in every part of my life.

What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
People need information and incentives to live healthy lives. These incentives could come from their workplace, insurer or township, but they need a reason to think long term and make good choices.

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Meet a Health Hero: Kiera Smalls

>> You can vote for Kiera on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Kiera Smalls

Occupation: Personal trainer and founder/blogger at City Fit Girls

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I am motivated to be healthy by my experiences growing up in a household where health and fitness was not a priority. My immediate family wasn’t physically active and they didn’t know much about fitness or nutrition. Meals were often unhealthy, processed junk foods and frozen vegetables. My school lunch was mostly composed of chips, soda and candy from the corner store. I battled with obesity and asthma throughout my childhood and much of my young adult life due to my family’s unhealthy eating and smoking habits. As an adult, I learned that I could take charge of my health by changing my diet, choosing not to smoke, and making fitness a part of my daily life. I then realized that by changing my habits, I could inspire my family and friends to do the same.

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Meet a Health Hero: Bruce Hopper Jr.

>> You can vote for Dr. Hopper on our Facebook page September 10-16. Mark your calendar!

Name: Bruce Hopper Jr., MD

Occupation: Physician for the Restaurant Worker Referral Program, Philadelphia Chapter

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Longevity. I want to be able to participate in any activity with my family and offspring forever.

Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
I was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition as a medical student, and I further discovered that nutrition gave me far better results than medication.

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Meet a Health Hero: Nicky Uy

>> You can vote for Nicky on our Facebook page September 3-9. Mark your calendar!

Name: Nicky Uy

Occupation: Senior Associate at the Food Trust

Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
Part of enjoying life for me is to be able to participate and contribute to efforts happening within my family, work and various communities I’m fortunate to be a part of in Philadelphia and elsewhere. It motivates me to be healthy so that I have the energy and focus to contribute, participate and enjoy all the amazing things going on. It’s possible, but harder to appreciate the good things in life when I’m not healthy.

Describe a health- or fitness-related turning point in your life.
When I was in between jobs, I started cooking at home more both to save money and out of interest. I definitely saved money and the skills I learned then still serve me now when I have to pull a quick weekday meal together. More importantly, cooking at home also made me more energetic and I felt and looked healthier. I became aware of the many unnecessary things added to foods I was eating and still eat (in moderation) outside the house.

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