Stefan Crooks - A Visionary Leader Combating Diabetes And Nurturing Health In Our Communities
In a transformative partnership aimed at raising awareness about the critical importance of reducing sugar consumption, VIBE and Diabetes New Zealand have forged a collaboration. As a key partner to Diabetes NZ, VIBE, under the leadership of Managing Director Stefan Crooks, is committed to driving awareness of how healthy lifestyle habits can play a crucial role in preventing and managing diabetes in New Zealand.
Diabetes NZ Chief Executive Heather Verry underscores the significance of limiting sugar intake, emphasizing its pivotal role in improving community health and reducing the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and long-term complications. With close to five percent of the New Zealand population diagnosed with diabetes, urgent action is essential to address this burgeoning health crisis.
The collaboration between VIBE and Diabetes NZ takes on a personal dimension with Stefan Crooks, who not only spearheads the partnership but also shares a personal connection to the cause. Crooks reveals, "I have type 2 diabetes myself, so it’s important to me that all the ingredients used have been signed off by Diabetes NZ." This authenticity adds a compelling layer to the initiative, highlighting a leader who not only advocates for change but has lived through the challenges posed by diabetes.
VIBE, born from a conversation about improving existing school food supply offerings, offers a flavorful and sugar-free alternative to traditional drinks. Stefan Crooks expresses his delight in working with Diabetes NZ, stating, "VIBE was created to provide a great tasting alternative to sugary drinks – one that allows kids to enjoy a carbonated drink full of flavor but with zero sugar."
The impact of VIBE is far-reaching, with its availability in schools and kura across Aotearoa creating opportunities for education on nutrition intervention. Heather Verry notes, "This allows for strong opportunities to educate school principals on the importance of nutrition intervention, as they have the power to influence children’s knowledge and behavior."
Highlighting the alarming rates of childhood obesity in New Zealand, Stefan Crooks emphasizes the importance of meeting evolving consumer needs. "Today’s consumers are looking for products like VIBE that support their emotional, indulgent, and physical health needs, ranging from relaxation to hydration. They want less sugar – no question. But they also don’t want to sacrifice taste."
Stefan's journey from personal health challenges to championing a healthier future is encapsulated in the reflection, "You go back to go forwards; you don’t drive around all day in reverse, but you have a mirror to look back to make sure you’re going in the right direction." Stefan's personal transformation from unhealthy eating habits to advocating for the right food for children exemplifies his commitment to nurturing a healthier future.
Beyond his role in the business realm, Stefan Crooks is deeply passionate about supporting kids' sports teams, particularly rugby and netball, in the outer Auckland region. His generous support stems from his own experiences, acknowledging the profound impact sports teams had on shaping his character during childhood.
As Stefan continues to drive change in combating diabetes and promoting healthier lifestyles, his story serves as an inspiration. From battling his own health challenges to imparting valuable lessons to the next generation, Stefan Crooks is not just a leader in business but a compassionate advocate for the well-being of communities.