Board/Committee Involvement

Getting Involved: It Sometimes Means Grabbing the Reins

Good leadership skills are needed out there. We think sharing what we've got is a great way to give back. Every day in our communities, organizations are working tirelessly to help transform people’s lives through outreach and education, research, and fundraising. And we want to help them.

M3 staff often take leadership roles in causes they care deeply about. Getting involved and giving back to our communities isn’t an afterthought at M3. It’s just part of the way we do business. We’ve got great minds – and they have too much to offer to keep them all to ourselves!


Beyond the Office: Bringing Leadership to Vital Causes

So what’s at the heart of the American Heart Association? Volunteers. In fact, according to Carrie Nevins, executive director of the Madison chapter, the organization is largely “volunteer-led.” That means it relies heavily on community leaders to give their time and provide the kind of skills that help the American Heart Association carry out its mission: “To build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

Take for example the annual Heart Walk. M3’s Sean Laborde, executive vice president of sales and marketing, serves as chair of the Madison 2015 Heart Walk. And that’s hardly an honorary title. “Sean thinks big and works hard to make things happen – and he helps recruit other leaders who do the same,” says Carrie.

In fact, this year’s event is now expected to be the biggest Madison Heart Walk ever, with an estimated 2500 people participating in the walk and more than 80 companies contributing to the event. 

The Impact of Advocacy: Statewide Screening for Congenital Heart Defects

The American Heart Association advocates for public policies that help people live healthier lives. Senate Bill 523, which was passed into law last year in Wisconsin, is a great example. One major result of the law is that every newborn baby in Wisconsin is now screened for congenital heart defects through a simple, non-invasive procedure known as pulse oximetry (or “pulse ox” for short). Though congenital heart defects can range widely in severity, some can be life-threatening if not detected early.

The new law is a triumph for the American Heart Association, but more importantly, it’s a triumph for the thousands of families who now leave the hospital with newborns that have undergone this potentially life-saving test.

Sean and the other members of the Heart Walk planning team have set a goal of raising a half-million dollars. “Much of what we do here at M3 relates to helping employers and individuals manage their healthcare plans. Heart disease and stroke are obvious concerns. I see the American Heart Association’s positive impact locally, and giving my time to them feels like a natural extension of my professional life,” says Sean.

Other events of the year include the Heart Ball, an annual black tie dinner held to raise funds and raise awareness of the American Heart Association’s impact in the local community. Andrew Garner, an account executive at M3, has served on the Heart Ball’s executive leadership team, helping to get local businesses involved as well as spread the word on the amazing work that the American Heart Association does.

In recent years, the Heart Ball has focused on pediatric conditions such as congenital heart defects. Describing his experience, Andrew says, “It’s been an eye-opening gift for me to meet children who have benefitted directly from research funded by the American Heart Association.”

Sean, Andrew and many others from M3 donate their time and money to the American Heart Association because they believe in it – and they’ve seen firsthand how lives are transformed through the organization.

Says Carrie at the American Heart Association, “M3 staff are great partners because they’re easily accessible. We know they’re already busy. So, for them to take the time to meet with us and go above and beyond to help with our mission says a lot about how dedicated they are to helping others in the community. One of the most precious things that people can give is their personal time.”