ATLANTA, April 2, 2024 – Heart disease is a leading cause of death in metro Atlanta. Heather Ross, vice president of strategic communications for Genuine Parts Company, supports the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, to change that. Ross will serve as chairperson for the 2024 Atlanta Heart Challenge™, a community campaign focused on engaging local companies, corporations, employees and the community to join the fight against heart disease and stroke.

As chairperson of the Heart Challenge™, Ross will lead a team of 12 Atlanta executives to recruit companies and organizations to take part in various Heart Challenge™ initiatives including Heart Walk®, Hard Hats with Heart, and Executives with Heart campaigns. Through these initiatives, the leadership team and supporting organizations will raise funds for the American Heart Association while leading action-oriented conversations about employee health, corporate engagement, community health and community transformation.

“The work of the American Heart Association is critical to the health of our community, and I am honored to serve as the chairperson of this year’s Atlanta Heart Challenge,” said Ross. “Genuine Parts Company is a long-time supporter of the Association because their efforts to improve lives here in Atlanta closely align with our values as a company. Funds raised during the Heart Challenge will advance education and critical research that is directly helping our Atlanta community to be healthier for generations to come.”

Ross, who hails from Atlanta, has always been dedicated to empowering individuals to lead healthier lives. Her extensive background in corporate communications has made her a standout leader within the metro Atlanta community, where she has consistently demonstrated a passion to connect with diverse audiences and drive positive change.

“We look forward to working with Heather as this year’s chairperson to continue to raise awareness for heart disease and stroke,” said Carla Smith, region senior vice president and executive director of the American Heart Association in Metro Atlanta. “Through the various Heart Challenge initiatives, we drive maximum impact through employee engagement and corporate fundraising. Together, we can save more lives right here in Atlanta.”

This will be the 32nd anniversary of the Atlanta Heart Walk and it will take place on Saturday, September 21 at Lenox Square. For more information or to get involved, visit


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 a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

Media Contact: 
Erin Thomas;