The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

178: Reimagining Wellness with Chuck Gillespie, CEO, National Wellness Institute

Chuck-bio pic

It would be nearly impossible for one wellness organization to be the expert on each of the many facets of whole person wellness. That’s why partnerships and collaborations are so important to Chuck Gillespie, CEO and executive director of the National Wellness Institute (NWI). 

Chuck is a former human resources executive whose work throughout the last 20 years has included developing workplace and community initiatives and evaluating and consulting with hundreds of organizations on wellness strategies. He has spent time teaching for Purdue University, IUIPUI, and Indian Wesleyan University. Chuck’s passion and dedication to furthering comprehensive wellness are impossible to miss.

In today’s interview, Chuck briefly discusses his background and where he thinks wellness is headed. He shares his ideas on technology’s role in wellness initiatives, and how he hopes it can be used to lessen administration time and increase person to person time. 

Chuck explains NWI’s new mission statement and the Institute’s dedication to creating and fostering more collaboration and partnerships. He expresses his view that more wellness research should be coming from academia rather than vendors and discusses some of the newest studies that have come out. 

Finally, Chuck tells us a bit about what we can expect at the 2020 National Wellness Conference in Orlando and leaves us with his tangible tip. 

Don’t forget to share this episode on LinkedIn and tag Jen and Chuck for a chance to win a membership to the National Wellness Institute.

This episode is sponsored by Realize Wellbeing. 

Realize Wellbeing is a corporate wellness consulting and training powerhouse on a mission to help companies understand how they’re impacting their own employees’ wellbeing. They are dedicated to transforming workplaces into businesses that exude energy and innovation through their vibrant, thriving people.

Owner, Maggie Gough gets a lot of requests from workplace wellness and HR practitioners who want a fresh perspective on their work and increased capacity for organizational change. In order for Maggie to reach more organizations, she is now offering a brand new Train the Trainer program. 

This 4-week course equips you to bring their innovative strategy to your workplace and also help you expand your efforts beyond health promotion. This course will help you develop new strategies for your company, using the science of self-determination theory and micro-influence. With this new offer, you’ll receive two trainings to deliver to your employees, two fully developed campaigns, a measurement tool, plus four 1:1 coaching sessions with Maggie to support you in implementation. 

The April session has limited availability, sign up today! Go to or contact Maggie directly at

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [7:45] How Chuck’s background influences his work
  • [10:00] Where wellness is and where it’s going
  • [12:40] Technology’s role in wellness
  • [20:52] NWI’s view on partnerships and collaborations
  • [25:52] Affecting diversity efforts
  • [28:31] NWI’s new vision and mission
  • [34:00] Chuck’s thoughts on the current research in the wellness industry
  • [50:10] What NWI means by reimagining wellness
  • [54:54] 2020 National Wellness Conference
  • [57:40] Chuck’s tangible tip
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Chuck Gillespie is the CEO of the National Wellness Institute.  He has seen firsthand the importance of connecting people, processes, and strategies. His work in the wellness industry has been recognized and utilized nationally and internationally.

Over the last 20 years, Chuck has developed numerous workplace and community initiatives, as well as evaluated and consulted with hundreds of organizations on wellness strategies.  He is a former human resources executive with responsibilities that included leading workplace wellness efforts that resulted in a substantial financial and cultural impact to the company. He has spent time in the classroom teaching for Purdue University, IUPUI, and Indiana Wesleyan University.

Chuck’s passion is hard to miss.  He has been recognized as a Friend of Wellness by the Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology and as a Beacon Community Champion.  Chuck was presented with the Hulman Health Achievement Award in 2016 and accepted the Heathy 10 award for the development of the Indiana Healthy Community Initiative from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2017.  

Chuck holds degrees from the University of Indianapolis (MBA) and Purdue University (BA).  He is happiest when spending quality time with his wife and daughter doing whatever they want to do – except shopping.