About the MFC
Mayor Joe Adame created the Mayor’s Fitness Council in May 2010 in response to alarmingly high and increasing rates of reported cases and deaths caused by chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc; the award of a grant from the Governor’s Fitness Council to create programs addressing diabetes and obesity; and an article published in Men’s Health dubbing Corpus Christi the Fattest City in America. The original charge of the MFC was to advise city officials regarding the promotion of healthy living through increased activity, organized sports, events and programs and balanced nutrition.
Initially a thirteen member board, the MFC was composed of a cross section of community advocates in the health and wellness, social and family services, educational and business industries. Staff members from the Parks & Recreation and Health Departments and the Mayor’s Office serve as liaisons and ex-officio members. In order to eliminate redundancy and give the council the ability to streamline initiatives, the MFC was reduced to nine members representing the same industries listed above in 2013.
The MFC has leveraged its resources to win three grants to further its efforts to increase opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods:
- Governor’s Fitness Grant for approximately $80,000
- ACHIEVE Grant for $40,000 from the Center for Disease Control and National Recreation and Park Association
- Smart Gro Grant for $25,000 from the US Conference of Mayors and Miracle Gro.
These grants have allowed the MFC to fund programs addressing chronic disease and encouraging residents to exercise and eat healthy, advocate for policy improvements, increase public infrastructure for physical activity (hike and bike trails, parks, pools, etc) and create a web of community gardens throughout Corpus Christi. In addition the Council has encouraged residents to become involved in local events such as the ADA Walk, the HEB Community Challenge and its own Corpus Christi Paddle Prix and Rally.
The Mayor’s Fitness Council meets on the second Thursday of each month in the Staff Conference Room across from the Mayor’s Office on the first floor of City Hall (1201Leopard Street, 78401). Meetings begin at noon. A copy of each month’s agenda can be accessed on the City’s website at http://www.citynet.cc/government/city-secretary/boards-commissions/index
To advise the City Council, City Manager, Parks and Recreation Department and Health District regarding the promotion of healthy living.
Community Action Plan:
Vision: Living Health through physical activity, balanced nutrition and elimination of tobacco use will be a way of life for all residents in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Mission: The Mayor’s Fitness Council will collaborate with community leaders in all sectors to develop and implement policy and environmental improvement
Learn more about our Community Action Plan.
Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council Toolkit:
Interested in starting a Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council for your area? Start with this Webinar and Presentation offered Monday, November 14, 2016 by the It’s Time Texas Organization.
Webinar: Hear Full Presentation
Learn more about It’s Time Texas.
Kimberly Cook, Chairperson at Large
Name: Kimberly Cook
Business/Company: Access Curriculum
Reason for joining MFC: I am interested in promoting wellness for all members of our community.
What you do for exercise: Body Pump, kayaking, conditioning for and hiking Colorado fourteeners, swimming laps, yardwork.
Favorite healthy meal: Grilled salmon, steamed brussel sprouts, brown rice and red wine.
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: Take one day at a time. Wellness is a journey. It is a journey of the body, mind and spirit.
Dr. Ana Maria Paez, Health and Wellness Representative
Name: Ana Maria Paez, MD
Business/Company: Driscoll Children’s Hospital
Position/Title: Pediatric Endocrinologist
Reason for joining MFC: Helping make Corpus Christi a more vibrant and healthy community.
What you do for exercise: Long walks on the beach and swimming.
Favorite healthy meal: Asian lettuce wraps.
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: Just take the changes one day at a time.
Dr. Misty Kesterson, Worksite Wellness Initiatives
Name: Misty Kesterson
Company: Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Position/Title: Assistant Clinical Professor/Internship Coordinator
Reason for joining the MFC: I want to see a healthy Corpus Christi and hope that I can use what I learn with my service in my teaching for those who want to go into the health and wellness field.
What you do for exercise: Any and everything – I love movement, so am a self-professed gym rat, lifting weights, doing cardio, running, biking and fitness classes. I do all of that so that I can do things outside of the gym – wake boarding, paddle boarding (newest sport), snow skiing, snorkeling, etc.
Favorite healthy meal: Grilled salmon, spinach salad with vegetables, fruit, nuts and feta.
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: Start slow, set a plan, and work towards that plan every day. Look for the outcomes, but don’t lose sight of the process. Enjoy the process, make it fun, get the whole family involved, and model the behaviors you want to share.
Victor Betancourt, At-Large Representative
Name: Victor Betancourt
Company: V Fit Training Center, V Fit Productions, Kids Get Fit Nonprofit
Reason for joining the MFC: I am here to help promote an all around healthier lifestyle for the mind, body, and spirit, to all the citizens.
What you do for exercise: I do a number of things, such as weight training, running, hiking and mountaineering.
Favorite healthy meal: Viva La French toast (Eating For Life cookbook).
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: My advice would be to go out there and have fun trying new things. You never know, you might come across something you really enjoy.
Dr. Jacqueline Hamilton, Senior Initiatives Representative
Name: Jacqueline Hamilton
Company: Retired (from TAMUCC)
Position/Title: Retired (previously Recreational Sports Director at TAMUCC)
Reason for joining the MFC: Lifelong interest in helping people improve their well-being.
What you do for exercise: Walk/jog, lift weights, kayak, bike, yoga – almost anything.
Favorite healthy meal: Home-made salmon burger with asparagus, spinach salad and raspberries.
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: Find something you like and find someone to encourage you and enjoy it with you.
Tiffany Ann Montemayor, Community Outreach/Special Events
Name: Tiffany Ann Montemayor
Business/Company: The Council on Alcohol + Drug Abuse Coastal Bend
Position/Title: Director of Communications + Development
Reason for joining MFC: I care about the future of our community and the people who live here. I know that health and fitness are often times an overlooked piece of that future. So I wanted to be part of something that would make a positive impact on that piece and spread my love of having a healthy lifestyle to all of Corpus Christi.
What you do for exercise: I am a runner who competes in half- marathons, 10ks, and 5ks. I also bike and do strength/conditioning work outs for cross training.
Favorite healthy meal: Burrito Bowl from Chipotle with brown rice, pinto beans, steak, hot salsa, and cheese.
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: Don’t take on too many changes at once, sometimes focusing on one aspect of your fitness journey and mastering that makes starting the other changes easier. Find someone to keep you accountable and motivated but remember that you are your biggest motivator. Celebrate every goal you reach and never compare your journey to fitness to anyone else’s.
Stephen McMains, At-large
Name: Stephen McMains
Business/Company: Attorney at Law and Owner of CrossFit DownTown Corpus
Position/Title: Attorney and CrossFit Coach
Reason for joining MFC: I hope to help educate the public about health issues so that the people of this community can make conscious health decisions. I hope that we can educate people about health and food myths.
What you do for exercise: CrossFit.
Favorite healthy meal: Grilled Chicken and Baked Sweet Potato with Greek Yogurt.
Advice for someone just beginning on their journey to wellness: Trust the process. Your life won’t change in a day, in a week, or in a month. Be patient it takes time. Fitness is a lifestyle not a fad.