Q&A: Sara Julius


Sara Julius.

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Sara Julius is a managing partner and the chief enforcer of New Year’s resolutions at Edify North, an employee benefits consulting firm.

She designs and implements health risk management programs for employers at the Holland-based firm.

She works to develop and maintain a culture of health and wellness through employee-engaged plan designs, contribution strategies that reward healthy behaviors and a variety of work site wellness programs.

Biggest career break?

My biggest career break was being asked to join the team that was starting Edify North. I knew that it was going to be a fantastic opportunity, and I didn’t hesitate to accept the offer.

Proudest moment?

I have many moments that I’m proud of, but sending my parents the Grand Rapids Business Journal 40 Under Forty announcement is at the top of the list.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Fake it till you make it. Although it may not sound like the best advice, I think it can be too easy to become intimidated and lack the confidence needed to succeed when you are just starting out. If you believe in yourself, your team and what you are doing, you can accomplish anything.

How did you make your first dollar?

My very first dollar earned was through babysitting. I had a nice little business going in our neighborhood when I was growing up, but I didn’t make anything compared to what most babysitters are getting today.

Most-treasured possession?

Not a possession at all, but I most treasure my family.

Dream job?

Other than my current job, I’d love to flip houses some day. I’m an HGTV junkie.

If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?

I would make many necessary changes to the Affordable Care Act. However, that would likely take much longer than a day!

Last book you’ve read?

Honestly, I just finished reading “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” to my son – five times in a row. The last professional book I read was “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.” Not surprising, everyone on our team has a slightly different preference, which we are now trying to incorporate into our daily interactions.

Last thing you Googled?

Being on maternity leave right now, my Google history is a list of all the typical questions parents of newborns have. It’s amazing how much you forget from one kid to the next!

Your worst habit?

There are many, but from a professional standpoint, I’m constantly working on the art of delegation and having patience when teaching others. My worst habit is to simply complete tasks myself as it is often easier and faster. However, that does nothing to help our business and team grow.

To unwind, I like to . . . ?

To unwind, I like to spend time with friends and family. If that’s not an option, I love to watch HGTV.

Dream vacation?

Right now I have two, one for our family and one for just my husband and me. For our family, I’m really looking forward to going on a Disney Cruise. It will be a few years though, as our youngest is only two months old right now. My husband and I are also hoping to take a second honeymoon next year. On either trip, the goal and dream will be to completely unplug and focus only on relaxing and enjoying our time together.

Favorite food?

Cheese. From fancy cheese plates to grilled cheese sandwiches, I’m a sucker for cheese.

Person you most admire?

There are many, many people I admire – too many to list. 

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