Sprinkled among our shops and eateries are a myriad of businesses dedicated to health and wellness. Edina’s Chamber of Commerce has taken notice, realizing an opportunity with immense potential.
Along with Allina, Fairview Clinics and countless medical offices, Edina is also replete with spas, fitness centers, chiropractors and health and wellness centers. The chamber recognized Edina could become a hub for well-being and vitality. This idea, well-being and vitality in Edina, became the official tagline of Edina’s new initiative: GreenUmbrella.
The goal of GreenUmbrella is to transform Edina into a well-being destination.
“What we can do isn’t just about medical but something that drives the whole economic wheel of the community,” says Edina Chamber of Commerce president Lori Syverson. “A well-being destination is about how we help not only residents in Edina, but our businesses, our employees and people who are visiting the community, lead a happier, healthier and more purposeful life.”
GreenUmbrella will address more than just the physical well-being of residents. Through a six-pronged approach the initiative encompasses all aspects of health including social and emotional health, mental health, and occupational and financial health.
One component of GreenUmbrella focuses on education. Through a collaboration with Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) which has an Edina campus, and Edina Public Schools, the initiative will introduce students to well-being careers and healthy lifestyles at a young age.
Another component is a business accelerator program. GreenUmbrella is partnering with Microsoft Technology Center and MSU, Mankato to support new businesses centered around well-being. Chosen start-ups will connect with CEOs, COOs and other mentors to help take their business to the next level and get their products or services to market.
GreenUmbrella is looking to implement new and innovative pilot programs that can serve and support a community of 50,000 people in all aspects of their lives. The chamber launched one program with author and life coach Richard Leider to teach residents how to find their purpose in life. And once you answer that tricky question, the Edina chamber can provide tactical resources to help achieve those goals in the real world.
Residents will also have access to an online portal called GreenUmbrella Community, a one-stop shop where people can explore everything going on in Edina and find well-being services like where to take a yoga class or a comprehensive list of nutritionists.
GreenUmbrella has sparked interest beyond Edina. The city of Buffalo, N.Y. reached out to Syverson to discuss how to design its own well-being initiative.
“We want to be part of the bigger picture of what makes Minnesota successful,” says Syverson. “So, when you think about a community that really supports the well-being of its residents and their businesses, we want people to think of Edina as the place that does that, and does it well.”