Letter from the Board

Here at Affiliated Workers Association, we are excited about a new year and new opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

This edition highlights new benefits that have been added to AWA Dental Plus, one of our membership levels that include access to insured dental benefits. We have also partnered with Farmers GroupSelect® to help our members potentially save on auto, home and renter’s insurance. Learn more in the AWA Benefits section.

AWA is committed to providing resources for our small business and entrepreneur members. In our Business section, we’ve highlighted the SBE Council, who advocates on our behalf for the betterment of small business owners nationwide, as well as the upcoming Small Business Week in April with some ways that you can participate.

March was National Nutrition Month and provided a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and how to incorporate a “farm-to-fork” approach into your everyday life. The Health & Lifestyle section will give you some delicious recipes and ideas for quick meals that everyone can enjoy when you are heading into work.

Neil Peterson
AWA Board President

Members’ Corner

AWA Annual Members Meeting

AWA held its Annual Member Meeting on December 2nd. AWA Director Leslie Moore was re-elected for a two year term through a vote of members present and via proxy. AWA Board President Neil Peterson gave an update to the members about the status of the association, which can be found on the AWA Blog.

Membership Plan or Benefits Questions?

Be sure to check your Member Portal for the latest information on your membership..

For any questions- contact the AWA benefits administrator Premier Health Solutions at (214) 436-8881 or email at customerservice@premierhsllc.com.

Stay current on small business news, health trends and AWA benefits by visiting the AWA blog and other social media pages.  Be sure to check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest news!

Click below to follow AWA!

AWA Benefits

New Benefits for AWA Dental Plus

March is Oral Health Month and a great time to think about the dental benefits you have. The AWA Dental Plus membership includes a fully insured dental plan that pays for services and procedures based on a graduating scale of benefits percentages that increase over a period of three years.

New for 2024, the AWA Dental Plus membership now includes Teledentix, a convenient telemedicine service for when you need a quick consult about oral health needs, as well as a Cost Estimator Tool so you know the price of covered services before you go in for dental work.  And new discounts are now available on Sonicare, so you can save 20% off select Philips Sonicare products.

If you are currently on an AWA Dental Plus membership, visit your Member Portal to get all the details on these great new benefits.  And if you would like to add AWA Dental Plus to your current AWA membership, be sure to call (214) 436-8881 to speak with a Customer Service representative.

Members can Compare, Shop and Could Save on Auto, Home and Renters Insurance

Farmers GroupSelect® is working with Affiliated Workers Association to provide members access to policies with customizable coverage options and discounts that could help members save. Farmers GroupSelect offers a broad range of insurance products, including for homes, autos, motorcycles, boats, and more. Call 1-877-491-5089, or visit farmers.com/groupselect today to learn more.

Underwritten by Farmers Property and Casualty Insurance Company and certain of its affiliates all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI. Coverage, rates, discounts, and policy features vary by state and product and are available in most states to those who qualify. 


Advocacy for Small Business Owners

We recognize that small business owners and entrepreneurs might feel like no one is fighting in their corner when it comes to recent legislature and political moves. Our partnership with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council gives all AWA members a voice in Washington D.C.

Review the SBE Council’s latest updates for 2024 to find out how they are striving to make a difference this year.  You can review the letters they have distributed to Congress, as well as their testimony, as a champion to the Small Business agenda.

For regular updates on the progress against this agenda, all AWA members have access to the Small Business Insider updates, which are published on a regular basis.  To get involved and stay connected, opt in to the SBE Council’s weekly e-News and special alerts.

Small Business Week

Small Business Week is just around the corner on April 30 – May 1, 2024.   Visit the American Express website for marketing tools for social media, websites, flyers and more.

Be sure to Shop Small yourself by visiting this map to show you who is participating this year. There are also city-specific guides you can review for services and goods.

SCORE and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be hosting the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit. Check out the event details to register for this free event.

Health & Lifestyle

Focus on Your Nutrition!

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign established in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone was invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

This year’s theme was “Beyond the Table,” which addresses the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, from food production and distribution to navigating grocery stores and farmers markets — and even home food safety and storage practices. It also describes the various ways we eat — not only around a dinner table, but also on the go, in schools and restaurants, at games and events. This theme also includes sustainability, for instance, decreasing food waste from school and work to home and beyond.

You can stay nourished on any budget with tips for learning how to cook at home to save, including how to reduce food waste and use a slow cooker: https://www.eatright.org/CookatHome.

A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you create healthy habits that are sustainable and suit your unique needs! Dive into the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition, explore the various ways and places we eat, and learn about the great work RDNs and NDTRs do: https://www.eatright.org/

Check out videos on topics like how to prepare food safely, eating on a budget, as well as delicious, but healthy recipes.

Eating Healthy on the Run

You may eat out a lot – many Americans do. People are looking for fast, easy and good-tasting foods to fit a busy lifestyle. Whether it’s carry-out, food court, office cafeteria or sit-down restaurant, there are smart choices everywhere. Here are 31 tips to help you eat healthy when ordering out.

  1. Think ahead and plan where you will eat. Consider what meal options are available. Look for places with a wide range of menu items.
  2. Take time to look over the menu and make careful selections. Some restaurant menus may have a special section for “healthier” choices.
  3. Review and compare nutrition information if it’s available. Menu terms that may indicate an item is healthier include: baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, and steamed.
  4. Menu terms that usually mean a food is higher in saturated fat and calories include: batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy, breaded. Choose these foods only occasionally and in small portions.
  5. Think about your food choices for the entire day. If you’re planning a special restaurant meal in the evening, have a light breakfast and lunch.
  6. Hold the bread or chips until your meal is served. Hunger may drive you to fill up on these foods before your meal arrives.
  7. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink for women and two for men. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides calories without any nutrients.
  8. Order the regular or child-size portion. Mega-sized servings are probably more than you need. For a lighter meal, order an appetizer in place of a main course.
  9. Begin with soup or salad as a way to include more vegetables at mealtime. Follow up with a light main course.
  10. Or choose a salad with grilled chicken or seafood as your main course.
  11. It’s OK to make special requests, just keep them simple. For example, ask for a baked potato or side salad in place of French fries; no mayonnaise or bacon on your sandwich; sauces served on the side.
  12. Ask for sauces, dressings and toppings to be served “on the side.” Then you control how much you eat.
  13. Split your order. Share an extra large sandwich or main course with a friend or take half home for another meal (some restaurants may not permit this or will charge for an extra plate).
  14. Refrigerate carry-out or leftovers if the food won’t be eaten right away. Toss foods kept at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if warmer than 90 degrees).
  15. All-you-can-eat specials, buffets and unlimited salad bars make it difficult to follow recommended serving sizes. Pass these up if you find it difficult to listen to your hunger cues.
  16. If you do choose the buffet, fill up on salads and vegetables first. Use small plates, to encourage smaller portions, and limit your trips up to the buffet line.
  17. At the salad bar, pile on the dark leafy greens, carrots, peppers and other fresh vegetables. Lighten up on mayonnaise-based salads and high-fat toppings. Enjoy fresh fruit as your dessert.
  18. Load up your pizza with vegetable toppings. If you add meat, make it lean ham, Canadian bacon, chicken or shrimp.
  19. Enjoy a variety of healthful foods from different cultures. Focus on dishes that emphasize vegetables and lean meats, seafood or beans.
  20. Tempted by sweet, creamy desserts? Order a small portion or ask if it can be divided and shared with everyone at the table.
  21. At the sandwich shop, choose lean beef, ham, turkey or chicken on whole grain bread. Ask for mustard, ketchup, salsa or low-fat spreads. And, don’t forget the veggies.
  22. Boost the nutrition in all types of sandwiches by adding tomato, lettuce, peppers or other vegetables.
  23. Look for a sandwich wrap in a soft tortilla. Fillings such as rice mixed with seafood, chicken, or grilled vegetables can be healthier options.
  24. In place of fries or chips, choose a side salad, fruit or baked potato. Or, share a regular order of fries with a friend.
  25. Build a better breakfast sandwich: replace bacon or sausage with Canadian bacon or ham and order your sandwich on a whole grain English muffin or bagel.
  26. Be size-wise about muffins, bagels, croissants and biscuits. A jumbo muffin has more than twice the calories of the regular size.
  27. Try a smoothie made with 100% juice, fruit and low-fat yogurt for a light meal or snack.
  28. For desk-top dining, keep single-serve packages of whole grain crackers, fruit, peanut butter, soup, or tuna around for a quick lunch.
  29. Food items on your desk, like nuts or candy bowls, can lead to mindless eating. Keep all snacks and other food items in your desk to avoid the temptation to eat when you’re not hungry.
  30. Grabbing dinner at the supermarket deli? Select rotisserie chicken, salad-in-a-bag and freshly baked bread. Or, try sliced lean roast beef, onion rolls, salad and fresh fruit.
  31. Always eating on the go? Tuck portable, nonperishable foods in your purse, tote, briefcase or backpack for an on-the-run meal. Some suggestions are peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix, single serve packages of whole grain cereal.

Source: eatright.org/national-nutrition-month/resources

Healthy Recipes On the Go

As an entrepreneur, you may not give yourself a lot of time for healthy eating. Here are some recipes that pack a nutritional punch that you can easily pack for a working day.

Penne with Spinach Sauce – This light and fresh pasta dish is full of nutrients, thanks to a sauce made out of our favorite super veggie, spinach. Naturally low-fat goat cheese lends a creamy texture and tangy flavor. Click here for the recipe.

Caribbean Wrap – This spicy-sweet tropical sandwich is packed with lean, tasty and nutritious fillings like black beans, chicken breast, mango and macadamia nuts.  Check it out here.

Kale Buttermilk Caesar Salad with Chicken – This hearty salad is satisfying, thanks to a garlicky dressing and whole-wheat croutons. Kale is a nutrient powerhouse that won’t wilt – a good pack-ahead lunch. Recipe found here.

Deconstructed Wonton Soup – Both edamame and cabbage pack a lot of nutrients into this Asian chicken soup. Putting all the flavors of a wonton directly in the soup instead of wrapping dumplings speeds up this meal. Find out more here.

Inside the AWA Insights