Reena Vokoun’s passion for health and wellness has been a constant throughout her life. She was a dancer growing up, taught fitness classes on campus all four years at UW–Madison, and has always loved learning about healthy lifestyles and teaching others. But with a blossoming corporate career in marketing and management, Reena didn’t go all in on her passion until she started questioning her successful life as a Silicon Valley business professional.
Today Reena is an entrepreneur and CEO of the company Passion Fit, where she brings fitness, health, and wellness tools to companies and individuals.
Reena started her business career at GE in a leadership development program after attending the Wisconsin School of Business. She credits WSB and GE for jumpstarting her entrepreneurial instincts and desire to build her own company.
“I did a lot of negotiating of contracts in sales and business development and now, as an entrepreneur, I do a lot of that as I partner with companies. It was helpful to have had all of that training all of those years,” says Reena.
After GE, Reena landed closer to her passion with a role at Reebok in Boston. That was when she knew she could truly make a difference in business, leading on a subject matter close to her heart.
“That was the first time that the lightbulb came on: Like ‘wow, I’ve had this lifelong passion for health and fitness, and I have this background in marketing, and I work on a lot of products to help women’s running.’ That’s really where I got a first taste of how I could combine my passions with my professional business training,” says Reena.
With a desire to move to California, Reena sidetracked career opportunities in the athletics space and carved out a great career at companies like CNET, Yahoo, and Google. She was becoming an incredibly successful professional in Silicon Valley working for some of the world’s most impactful technology companies.
Even though her last employer, Google, was a dream job and an amazing company to work for, Reena hit a point of burnout. She sought a better work-life balance and also knew that there were many other women and parents that were going through the same things, despite being very ambitious, hardworking people.
“When you’re trying to be hands-on parents and a hands-on professional, it can be difficult sometimes to manage both,” says Reena. “So then I came back to my passions, and after experiencing burnout and trying to figure out a better way to manage my career, I decided to create Passion Fit and start this company.”
Her approach at Passion Fit is very holistic in nature. She’s certified and trained in fitness, nutrition, and behavioral change coaching and works with individuals, companies, nonprofits, universities, and schools to help people build good habits and become mentally and physically healthy.
The company’s motto is ‘pursue your passions, be fit, and the rest will follow.’ To Reena, if you are pursuing your passions and doing things that you really feel strongly about, you can leverage your gifts and talents to make an impact on the world. If you are fit mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, you will fully be able to make a difference—just as Reena is doing with her passion-driven career.