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Exploring Life & Business with Denise O’Malley of You Define Wellness

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise O’Malley.

Hi Denise, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I call myself a Reformed Insurance Agent. In 2015, after 34 years in the insurance industry – as an agent, executive, and sales director – I’d had enough. I guess you can say I’d seen how the sausage was made and just couldn’t be part of it any more. I had an idea years before about creating an employee benefit program for healthy living and it occurred to me the time was right to launch the idea. Possessing the skillset to create a product, price it, build the administrative platform, recruit providers and launch it in the market, I set out to do just that.

My initial goal was to focus only on massage therapy – giving clients the ability to pay for monthly services from their paycheck. After meeting with the founder of one of the nation’s largest massage franchise chains, she said “Absolutely, you MUST do this… but you’re setting your sights too low.” That was the moment that I decided to include any service that an individual deemed as ‘wellness’ for themselves.

Today, we have built a network of hundreds of independent health & wellness professionals representing more than 130 modalities and in 2021 launched an employee benefit plan for healthy living.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh heavens, NO! It has not always been smooth. Recruiting providers to join our network has been the easy part as ours is the program they’ve always wished existed!

Bumps we’ve encountered:
1. Finding independent contractors to join our sales team. This boggles my mind as I would have jumped at the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a hot product in a new niche industry!
2. Building market awareness on a shoestring budget. We rely on word of mouth advertising/referrals as we don’t have the capitalization of a large company.

As you know, we’re big fans of You Define Wellness. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
You Define Wellness is at its essence an employee benefit program for healthy living. To put this into perspective, traditional employee benefit programs are for sickness. Using a vetted network of independent healthy living professionals, we are able to provide education and affordable access to the services an individual deems as ‘wellness.’

We are known for the community we’ve built with independent health & wellness professionals who represent more than 130 modalities. We need them in order to have a product to sell in the marketplace, so we focus on building community, connections and collaboration with them in addition to creating opportunities for them to share their expertise and get business exposure. Those opportunities include weekly Facebook lives, wellness summits for the public, and education talks in the workplace.

We are also known for our vast Wellness Center on our website at Here the community can access the provider stores, watch videos, download materials, and even search by condition/illness for people who can support their needs.

In 2021, we launched a monthly talk for human resource professionals called “Conversations in the Workplace” as communications at work is another form of wellness… we just don’t think of it as such. In this monthly event we tackle key workplace issues such as managing policies, not politics; having difficult conversations when working from home, and gossip.

We fall into the arena of corporate wellness, yet that’s not what we do. Corporate wellness tends to focus on one to three dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, and/or financial. We encompass all eight including social, spiritual, intellectual, occupational, and environmental. Our employee benefit plan starts with an individual wellbeing assessment and coaching session where we ask questions in all eight dimensions of wellness to help guide and support an employee in their journey to attain and maintain optimal wellness.

To meet the individual needs – those who are not on the employee benefit plan – we’ve created discount savings cards, the individual wellbeing assessment, and opportunities for education.

What I’m most proud of brand wise is the collaboration we’ve manifested by working with both consumers, employers and caregivers to create solutions that matter to them.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
I’ve learned how very small our world really is as we’re all in the same storm, albeit different boats. Needs are universal no matter where you live.


  • Healthy Living Savings Card: $59
  • Pathways: Wellness@Work Option employee benefit plan: $146 per enrolled employee, per month
  • Custom employee benefit plans start at $28..53 per employee, per month
  • Provider Joining Fee: $497 (one time fee; no monthly or annual fees)

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