Sandy Vassiadis, VP Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Saputo, is a daughter of immigrants who grew up in a fairly sedentary environment. She didn’t begin engaging in regular physical activity until she was an adult.
However, Sandy is now an enthusiast, and she also has the privilege of working for a company that considers healthy lifestyles a core value. Saputo, a founding partner of FitSpirit, believes deeply in our organization’s mission of promoting girls’ wellness by organizing programs and events that bring girls together. “Our partnership with FitSpirit allows us to convey Saputo’s social mission with conviction and authenticity,” says Sandy.
This year, Sandy Vassiadis served as copresident of the second FitSpirit Mother/Daughter Relay on September 15 and 16 in Quebec City. “The Relay sets an example that is more powerful than words or awareness messages. I myself began running 18 months ago and I love it. In the spring I also introduced my 13-year-old daughter Justine to running and got her involved in the Relay,” Sandy explains. She admits it was hard at first for both of them but they stuck with it and it gave them a deep sense of personal accomplishment and shared pride.
It was a marvelous experience for Sandy: “What I love about the Relay is its welcoming nature. It’s not for the elite or for Olympians. It’s all about participation and accessibility, which makes the feeling of pride and achievement even more powerful when you cross the finish line.” “I don’t think I would have started running or gotten involved in the Relay if Saputo wasn’t so determined to make a difference in the community by supporting initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles,” she adds.
Since community begins at home, Saputo has made it a point of honor to match words with deeds by offering its employees an array of activities including cycling, running and triathlon clubs, a gym in the workplace, and reserved time at the neighborhood pool. “This program extends beyond the borders of Quebec,” Sandy notes. “We’ve also taken these initiatives to Australia, where Saputo has been doing business for six years.”
Sandy points out that a number of Saputo employees have become personally involved in supporting FitSpirit’s mission, some by providing their professional expertise, others by volunteering at organized sporting activities and working directly with the girls. Saputo’s unwavering support for FitSpirit takes many forms, including its donation to the major fundraising campaign and its partnership in events such as the Relay and the Father-Daughter Ball.
Sandy Vassiadis has been on cloud nine in the months since the Relay and is still excited about the experience. She was energized by the copresident of the event, Isabelle Verreault of Hill & Knowlton Strategies, by Saputo’s 40 participants, and by all the teams of friends and daughters who took part in the Relay. She’s certain that it was a memorable event for everyone and that the precious mother/daughter moments experienced in Quebec City will long be treasured.
Watch our “thank you Saputo” video here.
Thanks to Mélanie Dugré for writing this article.