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A "heartfelt" Q&A with Anna Williams

We're congratulating Anna Williams today on being the recipient of PCMA Foundation's 2024 Humanitarian Scholarship, in partnership with Louisville Tourism.

PCMA Foundation describes this award as an "all-encompassing program looking to foster and promote those who are doing good in the business events industry."

As a 2024 recipient, Anna will be attending PCMA's 2024 Convening Leaders Conference in San Diego this January and will receive $1,000 to support a charity of her choice.

You can learn more about the award here, or read on to learn more about a cause that's (literally) close to Anna's heart.

Q: Anna, can you tell us more about the cause you'll be supporting with your Humanitarian Scholarship?

A: Over the past 4 years, my dedication to raising awareness about cardiovascular disease in women through the Go Red for Women campaign and fundraising for the American Heart Association has been unwavering. My primary goal has been to educate women about heart disease risks and empower them to prioritize their heart health.

Sharing a personal story can have a profound impact. I champion the cause of cardiovascular disease awareness in women, drawing from personal experiences with heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke and a pending heart transplant. My transformation from battling health challenges, to witnessing my own mother's successful heart transplant, offers hope and motivation to countless others.

Women of all backgrounds and ages benefit directly from awareness campaigns and initiatives. By simplifying complex medical information and fostering empathy, I love engaging a broad audience in meaningful conversations about heart health through social media, public speaking, and community workshops.

Q: Tell us a bit more about how you've been raising awareness so far.

A: Through social media awareness campaigns, educational initiatives in speaking on annual panels for Go Red for Women, interviews, podcasts, and organizing community CPR training events, women and their families are now equipped with vital knowledge about heart health. This awareness empowers them to make informed decisions, prioritize their cardiovascular health, and potentially reduce the incidence of heart-related issues.

My personal fundraising efforts have resulted in concrete financial support for the American Heart Association, enabling them to advance critical research, education, and prevention programs. Receiving recognition as the "Woman of Impact" in 2021 underscores the nature of fundraising achievements, demonstrating that efforts translate into substantial contributions toward combating heart disease.

I also proudly continued to fundraise ramping up for the 2023 Heart Walk earlier this year.

Q: What are you hoping to do next, and how can others in our industry get involved in helping champion your cause?

A: My vision centers on growth of knowledge, offering an expanded selection of CPR

classes, and achieving higher levels of fundraising participation from the hospitality

community as a whole.

I am committed to cultivating a culture of increased awareness and knowledge regarding cardiovascular health within our industry. This entails providing a wide range of CPR training programs that cater to the specific needs of professionals in hospitality settings.

Simultaneously, I envision a significant uptick in funds raised from the hospitality

community. By rallying collective support and resources, we can make a more substantial financial contribution to the American Heart Association. These contributions will directly impact research, education, and prevention initiatives, ultimately resulting in improved heart health outcomes.

Q: The DMC Network prides itself on being "there for you," with "you" meaning anyone connected with us: our own team, clients we serve, and for our DMC partners.

As you think about the next ten years, what excites you most about the future of business events and our industry’s social impact?

A: The prospect of our industry becoming a catalyst for positive change, not just in terms of knowledge dissemination, but also in terms of fostering a culture of preparedness and responsiveness to cardiac emergencies, is truly exciting.

As we expand our offering of CPR classes, we have the opportunity to equip a broader segment of the population with life-saving skills, potentially saving countless lives.

Furthermore, the potential for higher levels of fundraising from the hospitality community is a source of great anticipation. The growing commitment of businesses and individuals within our industry to support the fight against cardiovascular disease can have a substantial impact on research, education, and prevention programs. This, in turn, will lead to improved heart health outcomes and a tangible, positive social impact.

Our industry's strength is unmatched, and there is no greater, more relentless force in the world than a group united with passion and purpose!


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