CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2023 — The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, hosted a gathering of its most recent Leaders of Impact and Women of Impact nominees to celebrate their accomplishments during the 2022-2023 year. The event, dubbed an “Evening of Impact,” was a chance for the current pool of teams to not only honor their work to raise awareness about heart health in their communities, but also a space for Leaders of Impact and Women of Impact to connect and network with one another.

Every year, our Leaders and Women of Impact campaigns facilitate a huge level of progress toward healthier lives and greater heart health awareness. It was important for us as the organization they’re serving to use this event to celebrate and thank them, and to foster a sense of unity and oneness among these individuals who are all working toward a common good,” said Chicago development director Samantha Netluch.

The evening featured remarks from the American Heart Association’s leadership and staff. Select nominees from Leaders and Women of Impact also participated in a panel where they shared best practices for assembling impact teams, raising awareness, fundraising and mobilizing their networks in service of the Association’s mission.

“This work is important. We want to set our nominees up for success, in the hope that they’ll continue driving progress in heart health and overall healthy lives once their campaigns have concluded,” said Go Red for Women chair Diana Kunz, deputy national audit industry leader – banking & capital markets at KPMG.

“Having so many influential people in one room is truly a gift. These are phenomenal change agents in their communities who all have knowledge to share to advance the American Heart Association’s mission,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois president and Heart of Chicago chair Stephen Harris.

In November, Chicago’s Leaders of Impact campaign concluded after six nominees raised more than $219,000 toward heart health awareness. Chicago had the distinction of being the top Leaders of Impact market in the country. John Zachara, vice president at Integrated Facilities Solutions, Inc. and Heart of Chicago board member, was named the No. 1 nominee in the country. The Association is gearing up to start its Women of Impact campaign, which will begin on Wear Red Day, Feb. 3, and end on April 6, 2023.

“It’s so exciting to celebrate the great success we’ve seen so far in this year’s campaigns,” said Brittany Walsh, executive director of the American Heart Association in Chicago.

“The best part is we still have more to accomplish and that’s what this event represents —how far we’ve come and where we’re headed.”


About Go Red for Women® 
The American Heart Association’s signature initiative, Go Red for Women®, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. For 19 years, Go Red for Women has encouraged awareness. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. The Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721). 

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 or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries:
Jorie Goins: (312) 298-9335; Jorie.Goins@heart.or
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and