GREATER CINCINNATI, September 14, 2023 —The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, is pleased to announce David Spaulding has been named chair of the 2024 Heart Ball campaign and Rodney McMullen will be honored with the Heart of the City Award, a special recognition for non-medical professionals for their outstanding community contributions. The momentous Heart Ball event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at the Duke Energy Convention Center and will celebrate the Association’s incredible milestone of 100 years of lifesaving work.

David Spaulding is president of Lithko Contracting and has previously served on the Heart Ball Executive Leadership Team. He is very engaged in the Greater Cincinnati community and volunteers with many organizations in addition to the American Heart Association.

Rodney McMullen is chairman and CEO of Kroger and a longtime supporter of the American Heart Association at both the local and national level. In 2018, McMullen was appointed to the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable, joining a leadership collaborative of the nation’s top CEOs, together committed to improving the health and well-being of their associates and communities.

“For nearly a century, the American Heart Association has had a transformative impact on countless lives,” Spaulding said. “As we look forward to the next 100 years, we recognize our collective and continued support of this phenomenal organization is of the highest importance to ensure healthier lives for all. The 2024 Heart Ball will be an extraordinary celebration. You do not want to miss it.”

“At Kroger, we believe access to affordable, fresh food is vital for thriving communities,” McMullen said. “So many preventable diseases, including those related to heart health, are linked directly to how we eat. By connecting customers with healthy food options and the resources to learn more about the ways their food choices impact their long-term health, we have an amazing opportunity to change the way America eats. Kroger is proud to collaborate with the American Heart Association, supporting its mission to save lives by improving heart health in Cincinnati and across the country. I am exceedingly honored to receive this recognition on behalf of our outstanding Kroger teams who counsel customers and patients every day.”

The Heart of Greater Cincinnati campaign is a year-round effort culminating at the annual Heart Ball. The initiative raises funds to support the Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

“We are thrilled to have two of our area’s most dedicated and passionate executives at the helm of the Heart Ball,” said Alyson Poling, executive director for the American Heart Association, Greater Cincinnati. “David’s leadership combined with Rodney’s support as a Heart Ball honoree will ensure this year’s Heart Ball will be successful in saving and improving lives in our city.”

The Greater Cincinnati Heart Ball is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. The annual event is a night to honor survivors, patrons and volunteers of the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health. To learn more, contact


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

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