Story by Jefferson City Magazine Staff | Dec 28, 2015
Corporate Events Director for the American Heart Association
DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME?
Becki is what I have always been called, but my real name is Rebecca.
YOUR CURRENT JOB TITLE AND NUMBER OF YEARS/MONTHS IN THAT POSITION:
In addition to being corporate events director for Jefferson City, I am also interim director for Columbia. I was with American Heart Association for seven years, left for one year and then returned three months ago.
PLEASE LIST YOUR FORMER JOBS AND NUMBER OF YEARS/MONTHS IN THOSE POSITIONS:
Marketing/communications consultant, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, July 2014 – August 2015 Admissions director, Metro Business College, June 2005 – July 2006 Vice president of sales, Marceline Mapping, December 2003 – June 2005
WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK TO THE AHA?
I learned so much over the last year and feel fortunate for the opportunity to have worked at St. Mary’s. However, what I realized is that the American Heart Association is home. When the opportunity came available for me to return to an organization that I love so much and to have career growth as well, I couldn’t pass it up. My position is more than just a job I do every day; it is my passion. It’s enjoyable to wake up every morning knowing that money raised to help fund research could save a life of someone I know, someone that I love. That is an incredible feeling.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY:
My husband, Matt, and I have been together for 13 years and are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year. We have four amazing children who keep each day exciting and busy. Jacob is 18 and just recently graduated high school. He is now serving our country in the United States Air Force. We couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments and the path he has chosen for his future. Hayden is 17 and is a junior at California High School. He eats, sleeps and breathes Pinto football. Emilia is 8 years old and in 3rd grade at California Elementary School. She enjoys soccer and is a budding artist. Henry, our big “little” man, age 2, keeps us wondering what is coming next. My family is my world, and I have been blessed with an amazing one.
FAVORITE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION AND WHY:
The American Heart Association has always been a passion of mine. Even as a child, I recall jumping rope for the AMA. Each day I have the privilege of working with survivors in our community who have been touched by this disease, and their stories inspire me. Personally, I have been touched by the tragedy that this disease can cause in a number of ways. I have family members, very close to me, who are still living because of the work we do. After my Uncle, who I am very close to, had open-heart surgery a few years ago and he told me to tell my team, “Thank you. You saved my life.” That is a moment I will never forget.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM GOALS NOW THAT YOU ARE BACK WITH THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION?
Immediately, I look forward to breaking new records with this year’s Heart Ball. This is our 25th anniversary, and I am excited to work with our many volunteers to make it an unforgettable
event. Long term, I want to continue to reach out to more individuals and companies to spread awareness about our mission. Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 4 killers of Americans. In fact, someone dies of these diseases every 39 seconds. That means that one in three people will be affected. Awareness has to continue so that we are empowered to change the future for our children and all of our loved ones.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO IMPACT THE JEFFERSON CITY COMMUNITY?
I am grateful to be a part of such an amazing community. I hope that I can help to spread awareness and encourage people take control of their health.
BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME:
Fundraising is certainly not an easy job, yet it is very rewarding. It can be challenging to come up with new ways to approach raising money. Fortunately, we are blessed with a giving community.
GREATEST PERSONAL CHALLENGE WHERE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED SUCCESS:
Just last year we had a child with major health issues, and that was definitely the greatest personal challenge of my life. There is no worse feeling than being unable to fix your child’s pain. Thankfully, he is fine now and that scare is behind us, but juggling the needs of one child while taking care of the rest of the family and a career was challenging. I hope to never go through that situation again.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? WEAKNESSES?
My greatest strengths are my ability to build relationships and my desire to attain goals. These strengths allow for success in my line of work. Whether with volunteers, sponsors or survivors, relationships are key. I could not do what I do without a lot of support from others. My greatest weakness goes along with my best strength. I enjoy working toward and attaining goals that are set for me or that I set for myself. I often am quite hard on myself trying to reach those goals and won’t stop until they are accomplished.
ACCOMPLISHMENT THAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD:
Personally, being a mom makes me most proud. There is nothing harder or more rewarding than helping to shape the lives of our children. Professionally, over the tenure of my AHA career, we have raised more than $2 million to change and save lives. The satisfaction of this accomplishment is beyond what words can convey.
FAVORITE PLACE TO SPEND A SATURDAY AFTERNOON:
Without a doubt, it’s with my family. My favorite Saturdays are spent going to Vigil Mass, enjoying dinner together at home and then watching movies or enjoying conversation and s’mores over the fire pit.
LAST BOOK READ:
Honestly, I am reading the “Spiderwick Chronicles with Emilia,” and it’s a Dr. Seuss book with Henry every night.
FAVORITE TV SHOW:
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD:
Pasta of any kind.
I love the beach. I would love to take my family to the Caribbean at some point.
As a youngster and teen, I dreamt of being a professional singer. I participated in every singing activity I could during school and traveled to talent competitions throughout the state during the summers.
SOURCE OF INSPIRATION:
My family. They teach me something new every day about what is important in life. I am blessed beyond words to have each of them. I also get to work with amazing volunteers and supporters that inspire me daily. The time, effort and heart that they pour into their passion for this cause are awe inspiring. It is what keeps me going every day.
Cooking, being with my family and shopping.
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW?
I love music and am often singing and dancing when I think no one is watching.