American Heart Association Enhances Communications / Marketing Organization to Adapt to Changing Media Landscape, Consumer Needs

Fresh emphasis on content marketing allows the Association to broaden its brand relevance

May 16, 2016

DALLAS, May 16, 2016 – The American Heart Association (AHA), one of the world’s leading voluntary health organization brands, has announced the addition of a pair of key marketing and communications senior executives to its nationwide leadership team. The veteran integrated marketer and corporate communications strategist will be tasked with driving the AHA brand to an even wider consumer audience. 

Sam Chadha joins the Association as Senior Vice President, Editor-in-Chief, Content Marketing and Syndication and Greg Donaldson joins the Association as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing.

“With these hires, the American Heart Association has acquired the best of all worlds. Sam is a transformative brand business strategy innovator and developer. Everywhere he’s gone he has created measurable value, by unlocking insights to connect the dots that orchestrate authentic consumer brand experiences”, said Meighan Girgus, AHA Chief Marketing and Programs Officer. “Greg is equally decorated and uniquely qualified as an experienced corporate communications veteran with a proven track record of understanding the singular complexities and communications challenges of the independent sector. I’m excited by the potential for this partnership between Sam and Greg, and how it will translate on behalf of the American Heart Association and its lifesaving mission.”

Sam Chadha will focus primarily on creating, implementing and leveraging a holistic content strategy across the association’s rich portfolio of intellectual property, mission delivery programs and fundraising initiatives.

Chadha is a global marketing executive with 18 years of experience in leading brand building for world-class brands and organizations. Most recently as founder of Chops Group, a bespoke strategy design studio, his work focused in re-imagining, re-mixing traditional business models with more contemporary customer experience design. He’s known for his innovative approach to marketing and has led many breakthrough content campaigns in an agile career spanning a variety of in-house corporate marketing leadership roles, as well as marketing services leadership roles for independent agency partners.

Previously, he was Chief Integration Officer for Moroch Partners in Dallas and Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Business Strategy and Development at Starcom MediaVest Group in Chicago. His marketing leadership experience in the private sector includes leading consumer brands such as Jose Cuervo Tequila , Axe, Degree, Dove and Suave, for Unilever, and KFC  for Yum!, as well as the AMC Network.

“So many people, communities and professionals respect and recognize the heart and torch as a symbol of authority on real health, credible and cardiovascular information and content”, said Chadha.  It’s a privilege to work with a legendary brand icon, entrusted with a rich portfolio of science-based trustworthy content that can meet people, communities and professionals where they are in a connected world, while impacting and saving lives.”

Greg Donaldson will guide the nationwide communications function in the execution and implementation of comprehensive, data driven, omni-channel communications strategies and initiatives. He will work closely with AHA business units and local market teams across the United States to lead seamlessly coordinated, data driven media relations, public relations, advertising, entertainment outreach strategies and brand asset management efforts. In addition, Donaldson will work to leverage the AHA brand internally through strategically enhanced organizational communications efforts. He comes to the American Heart Association with nearly three decades of experience in broadcast journalism, Fortune 100 and legacy non-profit corporate communications settings.

Most recently, he worked as an independent consultant providing strategic communications counsel to clients, including one of the nation’s largest investor-owned hospital corporations. For nearly 15 years prior, Donaldson served as National Vice President of Corporate Communications for the American Cancer Society where he managed that nonprofit’s award winning brand building efforts as “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays™”. Before joining the American Cancer Society, he served in a similar leadership capacity at the corporate headquarters for health benefits company Humana Inc., and also spent more than ten years as a broadcast journalist and television news executive.

“The American Heart Association has placed a premium on investing in transformational communications and marketing in order to make a difference,” said Donaldson. “Few nonprofits enjoy both the scale and vision to go to market in the most relevant and contemporary ways. It is a privilege for me to be able to practice my craft at such a high level while literally working to save lives.”

The two new senior vice presidents will collaborate closely with the other executives reporting directly  the Chief Marketing & Programs Officer to design and deliver seamlessly integrated marketing communications solutions in support of a new brand building focus through content creation, marketing and syndication while continuing to deliver lifesaving information to consumers through both existing and emerging channels and platforms. 

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About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — the two leading causes of death in the world.  We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Amit Chitre: (214) 706-2194; amit.chitre@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org

Life is why, science is how . . . we help people live longer, healthier lives.