Molly Edgington is on a mission to change the way we work. And she has the resume to back her up.
A former college athlete, half marathoner, boot camp instructor, and corporate wellness program founder, Molly knows a thing or two about working hard physically, so it’s no surprise that she brought this same mentality to her professional life when she entered into the sports management industry immediately after college.
Her first role was as the Sponsorship Services Manager with the Durham Bulls, a Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. She ran contract execution, corporate events, and game night activation. She pulled tarp more than 100 times and worked 72 games, plus special events, each season.
After four years in Durham, North Carolina, she took a Corporate Partnership Activation Manager position in Texas with the Houston Rockets, running corporate scripts on media day for twenty NBA players, managing road trips, and overseeing partnerships at the 2013 NBA Global Games in Taiwan and the Philippines. If you’d like to know what it’s like to execute a book signing for Jeremy Lin in Asia, she’s your girl. Despite her busy schedule, she was also able to revive her former athlete identity by working as a boot camp instructor for the Rockets’ wellness team.
After two years in Houston, she ended her career in sports management to start a new chapter in Washington, DC, with her now-husband, John, and a new career at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce as a Sales Manager. After a year Molly received a promotion to Senior Director of Operations, and she was able to incorporate a little of her former life by starting a wellness program at the Chamber. Success at her new role led to another promotion to Vice President of the department, but she declined.
Instead she enrolled in a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification program and began to lay the groundwork for her own company, MABE Wellness, a corporate wellness company focused on nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle change for the working professional, as well as professional entities. The acronym MABE would be used to highlight the steps in her consultation process: motivate, accelerate, believe, and empower.
“Looking back, I always found a way to incorporate wellness into both my personal and professional life. I enjoyed my time at the Chamber, but wellness was always tugging at me. I wanted to create change within the workplace to remove the stigma around the words wellness, health, and lifestyle. I wanted to create a healthier 9-5 and beyond.”
While everything appeared to be falling into place, there were unexpected side effects from leaving the safety net of the corporate world that caused Molly’s life to take a sharp downward spiral.
“When I left my corporate job, I was shocked to see the impact it had on my health and wellness. It was an incredible loss for me: I lost my routine, my salary, my titles, my purpose. As a result I faced serious health issues for the first time and entered into a state of extreme anxiety. Due to a previous injury, I could no longer run, which was my main form of exercise and stress relief, and it led me to a really negative place. My body couldn’t handle it, and I was hit with pneumonia and forced to go on bed rest for two months. I could not move forward with my school program or the founding of my company, so I tried to find a job to bring in income during the transition. I received no less than 50 “no’s” from companies across the DMV area, which increased my anxiety and loss of purpose.”
But Molly is a fighter, and her dark days did not keep her down. Experiencing illness, poor health, loss of purpose, and depleted self esteem actually solidified Molly’s resolve to create MABE Wellness, so that she could help prevent others from going down this path.
“After facing this and watching what it did to my body, I decided that this shouldn’t happen to other people. Corporate professionals should not allow their job to be their sole purpose in life or their identity. If they do, they will run into a scenario like mine that takes months or years to heal from. I really believe we can create a healthier corporate America, while still being Fortune XX companies and competing at the highest level. We need to make it a conversation that is taken as seriously as any other business decision—that is my job. I seek to better educate executives on how to promote a healthier environment without sacrificing revenue.”
And Molly is in the perfect place to do that.
“DC is a powerful and exciting city. We have diversity, business opportunity, a vibrant food scene, partnerships and community initiatives. While we have all of this opportunity, the downside to the city is that we have created a need to guard ourselves in our day-to-day lives. People in their personal and professional lives guard themselves so tightly due to the competition. People are afraid to trust. People are afraid to release control. Health and wellness is a bridge to bring people together.”
While there is limitless potential for growth in such a large professional landscape, Molly’s focus is not on the businesses; it’s on the people.
“The key to my business right now is building relationships. I love people. I am at my best when I am in a room full of people learning more about their lives and finding ways to assist them in their personal growth. I want people to see what I see when I look at them. Everyone has the ability to feel good. Everyone has the ability to be his or her best at work.”
With health and wellness gaining popularity and becoming more mainstream across the United States, it’s important to create a unique way to set her business apart, and Molly leans on her own personal experiences to do that.
“What I think sets me apart in the wellness world is that I truly know what it’s like to be in your shoes. I pushed for years to be the most successful executive at work, while also trying to be the best in every other area of life. For example, I shattered my ankle while working for the Bulls and went to work that day to prove that I could handle anything. I felt strong in the moment but learned this mentality will eventually catch up to you.”
Molly’s commitment to the individual health and success of each employee within a company also works toward personalizing her brand. MABE Wellness’s end goal is to bring the physical and mental health of each office into the business formula for professional success. This is stated in the tagline beneath the title of Molly’s company, which reads, “The Business of Body.” And she means that quite literally.
“I chose that tagline because I firmly believe that if companies start taking wellness programming as seriously as their marketing arm, they would see a huge return. Our business is only as good as the bodies running it…so what happens if the bodies break down?”
Molly in Ten:
- You May Be Seeing Double: She has an identical twin sister.
- Pet: Dog named Champ
- Drink of Choice: Craft Beer
- Secretly Hates: Cooking
- Favorite Team: Carolina Tar Heels
- Originally From: North Carolina
- Alumni Status: Elon University
- MABE’s Double Meaning: It also stands for the initials of her name (Molly Almarya Boyce Edgington)
- IF not MABE, then what?: Corporate partnerships for one of the national league offices (NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL)
- Favorite Quote: “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. She may avoid suffering and sorrow, but she simply cannot learn, feel, change ,grow, love, and live.” – Leo Buscaglia