Officers and Members
At an early age, Debbie Zimmerman vowed a lifestyle of prevention fearing she would face many of the debilitating diseases that plagued her family tree—heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Her commitment to an active lifestyle as an aerobic fitness instructor and personal trainer complimented her position as the Wellness Manager for Polk County Schools, the first school district in the nation to have an organized wellness program. During her 30-year career in corporate wellness, she was recognized and awarded on both state and national levels for her leadership in health care cost containment and disease management.
Debbie is the founder of PhytoFit, LLC; her mission is to teach the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle for optimal health and wellbeing. From the corporate client to individuals, Debbie motivates her audience to make lifestyle modifications to prevent and reverse chronic diseases.
Debbie holds certifications in Lifestyle Medicine and Health Coaching, Plant-Based Nutrition, Group Fitness and Personal Training. She is a licensed and certified Food for Life Instructor through the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She has a Bachelor of Science, Health Care Administration and Master of Business Administration from St. Leo University. Debbie co-founded Polk Wellness Professionals in 2011.
A 5th-generation Lakeland native, Michelle is passionate about sharing the gift of wellness with her beloved community.
Her areas of expertise include yoga, meditation and mindfulness, nutrition, and lifestyle medicine. Michelle brings her experience to her day job at Lakeland Regional Health as Manager of Employee Health & Wellness and to her plant-based food start-up, Cult Legume.
Michelle provides 1:1 coaching services to motivated clients who are ready to achieve optimal health and reach their wellness goals across all domains. She is a registered yoga teacher (RYT-500), Certified Health and Wellness Coach, and promotes the merging of ancient practices with modern, evidence-based lifestyle medicine modalities to enhance lives and better her community.
Michelle lives on a small farm in historic Kathleen with her husband, son, two dogs, five cats, and 12 goats. Contact her to schedule a visit - guests are always welcome!
Human Resources Manager & Health and Wellness Coordinator for Heartland for Children
Mid Florida SHRM VP of Administration
President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – Gamma Phi Zeta Polk County Chapter
Events Committee Chair
Liz has been an active member of Polk Wellness Professionals since 2014 and is a recent past Co-Chair.
Liz has been an Employee Benefits Advisor since 2010. After a few years of playing the status quo game which included delivering yearly premium increases to clients while providing no additional value, Liz knew there had to be a better way. Thus, she proactively enrolled in a Masters Degree Program out of the University of Lynchburg in Health Benefit Design & Health Informatics. It was through this program that Liz learned that there IS a better way and that she could be part of the solution and not part of the problem. It was also through the Master’s Degree program that Liz was introduced to the Health Rosetta, a blue-print for high-performing benefits built to reduce costs by 20-40%, improve the quality of care and provide a better care experience for the member and the provider. Liz applied and was accepted as a Health Rosetta Benefits Advisor where she commits to an industry-leading standard of transparency and fiduciary responsibility to her clients and their employees. Using data analytics and proven practices, she designs health benefit plans that can reduce health care spending while achieving BETTER health outcomes and providing richer plan designs. One of Liz’s clients was recently highlighted on an ABC Action News segment for the innovative and high-performing plan that was implemented under her direction.
Liz is also a Medicare specialist and helps individuals and group members navigate what can be a crazy and confusing space.
Liz is married and has two children. Her son, Adam, is currently attending Polk State University and recently earned his private Pilot’s license, the first of many hurdles to his dream of becoming an airline pilot. Her daughter, Carmen, is graduating from McKeel Academy of Technology and will be attending the University of Central Florida to study nursing starting in June. Liz loves to read, (especially fiction, as well as industry-related materials like The CEO's Guide to Restoring the American Dream, the Opioid Crisis Wake-up Call by Dave Chase, Never Pay the First Bill by Marshall Allen and The Price We Pay by Marty Makary), attend Pilates classes, play tennis and spend time with her family and new puppy, Stella.
Andrea Nikolai has a master’s in public health nutrition, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, loves traveling and blueberries, and works with the University of Florida in Polk County as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. She works to bring the latest food and nutrition research into practice and uses evidenced-based information to help individuals and families find solutions for their lives.
Donna Kay Dinkins
Outreach Committee Chair
Ms. Hand is the director of wellness at Florida Presbyterian Homes and has been there for almost ten years. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Health Promotion and has worked in the field of wellness for over twenty years. She has held positions as a Clinical Exercise Specialist in outpatient rehabilitation and in corporate wellness with Johnson & Johnson. She holds several certifications that include Certified Medical Exercise Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor, Aquatic Exercise, and is a Master Trainer for A Matter of Balance. She is also a member of the Coalition on Injury Prevention’s, Falls Task Force. Her areas of specialty are older adult exercise and the 7 dimensions of wellness. When she is not at work she enjoys running, outdoor activities, and spending time with her family.
Brittany is a Corporate Wellness Consultant with over ten years of wellness experience guiding others to a better lifestyle that meets their personal and professional needs. She has a passion for helping others gain equitable healthcare by forming a strategy to create and maintain a culture of health. She can bring a variety of wellness services onsite or virtually to your organization to include topics such as emotional wellbeing, physical activity, and balanced nutrition.
Sarah Betzer has been the VP/Human Resources Director at Bank of Central Florida for five years and has over ten years of management experience. Sarah worked in Human Services for almost ten years before switching careers to work in Human Resources in banking. Since she joined the bank, she implemented a wellness program, facilitated group team building exercises, and recommended and implemented policy changes. Sarah has received the United Way of Central Florida’s Employee Coordinator of the year award for medium sized business in 2020. Sarah received her MBA from Southeastern University in 2015 and received her SHRM-CP certification in 2017. Sarah volunteers her time with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and EMERGE Lakeland, a young professionals organization, and is serving as the 2021 Chair of the EMERGE Steering Committee.