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Monthly Luncheon: "The Worth and Worry of Worksite Wellness Programs" presented by Elise Thorpe of Lovitt & Touche and Jennifer Sellers of The Cavanagh Law Firm

  • 05 Mar 2015
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Phoenix Country Club (at 7th Street and Thomas)


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The Worth and Worry of Worksite Wellness Programs
Thursday, March 5, 2015

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Phoenix Country Club
7th Street and Thomas Road


Presented by

Elise J. Thorpe, MBA, GBA of Lovitt & Touche and Jennifer L. Sellers of The Cavanagh Law Firm



In the past it has been the HR and Benefits staff that have led the wellness programs for organizations.  Many Executives thought it was a nice benefit to offer employees.  Those programs consisted of perks such as discounts at gyms, incentives for participating in Lunch and Learns, or other group community activities.  Wellness programs are evolving as employers are beginning to understand how healthier employees can give them a competitive edge.  Now executive teams are becoming more involved and driving strategic wellness initiatives.  These programs are just one component of the overall business strategy. 


On the other hand, although there is much positive found in wellness programs and the ACA encourages employers to implement wellness programs, employers need to be aware of the legal implications surrounding them.  Government policy has provided conflicting messages, most notably the recent  challenges by the EEOC to several companies’ wellness programs.


Please join us as we discuss why wellness initiatives are important to an organization and the positive impact they can make.  We will also discuss the legal aspects an employer must be aware of and the changing legal landscape that may impact their future wellness strategies.


Elise J. Thorpe, MBA, GBA


Elise has been with Lovitt & Touché for seven years.  Before joining Lovitt & Touché she was with Willis and Aon for over 10 years combined, preceeded by working at Aetna and Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals.  With over 20 years of experience in health and welfare, Elise has worked with companies from 50 employees to 4,000, both fully insured and self-funded. 

Elise has worked with many companies to develop long-term strategic direction for their employee benefits plans incorporating cost containment programs.  Some of the long-term cost reduction programs include corporate directives to attract and retain quality employees, improve employee engagement and consumerism, corporate wellness initiatives, financial analysis, risk tolerance, and Lovitt & Touché’s private exchange. 

She has been a leader in the community with speaking engagements on the impact of healthcare reform, corporate wellness initiatives and employee benefit program trends at various groups such as SHRM, State Bar Conference, EBN Conference, Western Pension & Benefits Conference, etc. She also co-leads an HR Leadership Forum with Ralph Aufheimer at Leathers Milligan for Senior HR Professionals.

Due to her passion for wellness, both personally and professionally, Elise has been leading an HR Wellness Roundtable for three years now exposing employers in the Valley to various wellness vendors, new wellness concepts, and resources to create a culture of health for their organization.


Elise is involved in several Valley organizations including Association for Corporate Growth (Membership Committee), Construction Finance Management Association (on the Board, Membership Committee and Golf Committee), Central Phoenix Women’s Organization and more.  She was a past Board and Executive Team member of The Wellness Community, now the Cancer Support Community.

Elise has a dual B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of New Mexico and received her M.B.A. in Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona.  She lives in Chandler with her husband and two teenage sons, Dalton and Connor, and three dogs.  She loves to exercise, travel, and read (although there’s not much time for that!)


Jennifer L. Sellers

Jennifer Sellers is a member with The Cavanagh Law Firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Her practice focuses on employment and labor law. Ms. Sellers provides counseling to employers in both the transactional and litigation arenas of employment and labor law. She offers advice on hiring, employment contracts, covenants not to compete, severance agreements, employee manuals, compensation, benefits and terminations. She also represents clients in a wide variety of employment litigation matters which involve the ADA, ADEA, Title VII, FLSA, FMLA, the Davis-Bacon Act and the NLRA. Ms. Sellers also handles issues involving the Affordable Health Care Act and addresses the changes and options it presents to companies. Her Davis-Bacon and prevailing wage practice includes counseling and training on state and federal prevailing wages and benefits requirements, coverage and applicability of prevailing wage laws, coverage exemptions, worker classification and pay issues, addressing wage determinations, wage surveys, and representation of employers before the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and similar state agencies. 


Ms. Sellers has particular experience in matters involving ERISA. Her employment and labor background, as well as her Master of Science in Taxation, allows her to advise clients on both the IRS rules and the U.S. Department of Labor rules that govern ERISA plans. Ms. Sellers is a frequent speaker on a number of employment law topics, including FMLA compliance, NLRA employer requirements, reduction in force planning, hiring and termination best practices, and employer obligations under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Her audiences include both business and legal professionals. Ms. Sellers is an active member of the Arizona legal community. She is member of both the Employment and Labor Section of the Arizona State Bar and the Employment Law Section of the Maricopa County Bar Association. For the Employment Law Section of the Maricopa County Bar Association, Ms. Sellers currently serves on the Board of Directors. Ms. Sellers received her J.D. from St. Louis University in 2006. While at Saint Louis University, she was member of the school’s National Moot Court Team, recipient of the Judge Robert G. Dowd, Sr. Award for Appellate Advocacy, and a faculty fellow for Joel K. Goldstein, Professor of Constitutional Law. Ms. Sellers earned a M.S. degree in Taxation from the University of Illinois in 2003. Ms. Sellers earned a B.B.A. degree in accounting and a B.A. degree in public policy, magna cum laude, with honors in business and liberal arts, from Southern Methodist University in 2002. Ms. Sellers can be reached at 602-322-4003 or 




The statements and materials presented at WP&BC Phoenix Chapter events are solely the opinions of the speakers and do not represent the opinions or positions of WP&BC Phoenix Chapter. In addition, WP&BC Phoenix Chapter assumes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the statements and materials presented by speakers at WP&BC Phoenix Chapter events

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