Hidden just north of West Layton Avenue on South Fifth Street is the TOPS Club, Inc. headquarters. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is the short name for TOPS Club, Inc., the original nonprofit, noncommercial network of weight-loss support groups and wellness education organization. TOPS offers tools and programs for healthy living and weight management, with exceptional group fellowship and recognition. Established in 1948 to champion weight-loss support and success, they have helped millions of people live healthier lives. A network of thousands of weight-loss support groups (called chapters) in every U.S. state and Canadian province. TOPS is also on the forefront of obesity and metabolic research.
TOPS Club Inc. has been headquartered in The Gateway District since 1965. Throughout the years there have been several additions, making the current space a whopping 48,000 square feet. According to Facility & Production Manager, Donna Betchner, the organization “used to have an in-house print shop here many years ago, that is what the building was originally built for. We had two large presses, but then came the time to outsource or upgrade equipment…outsourcing won.” Now TOPS News magazine is printed and distributed to all 70,000 members through a third party print house. The old ‘print shop’ now serves as a warehouse for TOPS SWAG, merchandise and weight-loss support materials (all of which are available to members through purchase at the TOPS online storefront).
Currently, TOPS headquarters is home to 25 support staff/employees, and also hosts weekly meetings for four different TOPS chapters. Weekly meetings include private weigh-ins and professionally prepared, informational chapter programs, featuring up-to-date information on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Programs provide positive reinforcement and motivation to adhere to food and exercise programs.
Successful TOPS members have been featured in both People and Women’s World magazines, as well as interviews on FOX News.
Director of Communications, Michelle Ganley, believes “the members, and the success they have had, are what made TOPS successful throughout the years.” She adds that “TOPS is about more than just physical health, it is about emotional health and mental health. So often these things go hand in hand.”
As stated by Michelle, “we like to say that we are super science based, not just recommending fad diets.” The organization works in partnership with The Medical College of Wisconsin Obesity Studies to provide evidence-based lifestyle changes to aid in taking off (and keeping off) the pounds. TOPS is on the forefront of obesity and metabolic research and has donated more than $9 million toward research at the TOPS Center for Obesity and Metabolic Research. Learn more about their ongoing support of obesity research at TOPS Nutrition and Obesity Research Center.
The Esther Manz Memorial Garden, located at TOPS Headquarters, is a beautiful garden and winding pathway lined with engraved bricks honoring TOPS member’s both past and present. According to Donna, “the walking path was totally supported by members purchasing pavers, trees and benches.” The yellow rose bushes honor KOPS (Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly) members, while maple trees are a nod to the Canadian Chapters.
Thinking about implementing a Wellness Program at YOUR business?
TOPS provides the weight-management component to your employee wellness program in the form of on-site weight-loss support chapters. TOPS chapters are an affordable, flexible, and convenient way for employees to take charge of their health and weight. By participating in an on-site chapter, employees receive education and support for a healthy lifestyle, lowering their risk for serious and costly health problems. TOPS makes it easy to provide your employees with the tools and support they need to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle. TOPS provides volunteer meeting leaders with the educational resources they need for informative and engaging meetings. On-site meetings and weigh-ins help keep employees motivated to reach their healthy lifestyle goals.
To learn more about TOPS in the Workplace, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 414-482-4620.