Five Volunteers Recognized for Outstanding Contributions that Save and Improve Lives

The American Heart Association recently announced the recipients of this year’s Eastern States Region Volunteer Awards. Five outstanding Greater Washington Region volunteer leaders were honored because of their commitment to the cause and extraordinary collaborative achievement to advance the organization’s mission to improve health and wellbeing for all.

David Jaffe, Association Dean of Students, American University Washington College of Law
Distinguished Achievement Award

The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes a volunteer’s regional impact on the organization and those who have demonstrated outstanding collaboration and commitment to advance the Association’s work.

As Co-Chair of the Lawyers Have Heart 10K Race, 5K Run, and Fun Walk from 2021-2023, Jaffe has helped the race achieve a nearly 50% growth in revenue in just 3 short years. The race reached its best year ever in 2022 raising over $1.20M and again in 2023 grossing over $1.45M.

Over the last two years, Jaffe has developed an annual tradition of running 30 days of 5K runs starting Thanksgiving Day and finishing on Christmas Day to raise money for the Association. Last year, he finished the year as the third-highest fundraiser out of the race’s more than 4000 participants!

Jaffe is a mental health advocate for law students and others in the industry who often struggle due to long hours and stressful caseloads. He is a believer that “positive mental health supports a strong heart.” He lives the mission by encouraging running as a conduit of self-care and organizes weekly 5K meetups in DC for Washington College of Law students, alumni, and friends, inspiring hundreds of people to get involved with the Lawyers Have Heart community.

Sander Mueller, Chief Strategy Office, Anybill
Leadership Legacy Award

This award recognizes incredible contributions in support of the Association’s mission and is annually presented to current and alumni volunteers for exceptional service to the organization over a significant time.

Mueller is the Chief Strategy Officer for Anybill and has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a deep understanding of strategic planning, which have been invaluable to the Association.

As the Gold Standard Board Chair, he has strengthened the board through his work on adherence to Gold Standard Board metrics. The market has witnessed remarkable progress in addressing health priorities, enhancing volunteer engagement, fostering effective partnerships between volunteers and staff, and generating vital resources to advance the Association’s mission. The Greater Washington Region Board of Directors has been recognized as a Gold Standard Board for a record seven years in a row, the only Association division board in the country to achieve that accolade.

As an active contributor to the Heart Ball, Mueller, and his company Anybill, have demonstrated a deep commitment to raising funds for the organization.

Brady Petrauskas, Youth Heart Ambassador and Kids Heart Challenge Participant
Young Hearts Award

This award recognizes a young person within the region for their outstanding contribution and exceptional support of the Association’s mission and goals.

Petrauskas was born with an Aortic Coarctation. In simple terms, he had a kink in his aorta, which was preventing proper blood flow, especially to the lower half of his body. Since his heart surgery, he’s an active, baseball-loving little boy.

Petrauskas received the Young Hearts Award due to his exceptional engagement with the Association and the Kids Heart Challenge.  His outstanding fundraising efforts as the top fundraiser for Victory Elementary’s Kids Heart Challenge demonstrate his dedication and passion for the cause. He has inspired students and staff, helping his school achieve a record-breaking fundraising milestone and becoming one of the top schools in Virginia.

As a Youth Heart Ambassador, Brady supports and encourages his peers, fostering a sense of belonging and enthusiasm. He goes above and beyond to share his story in the media, through videos to schools nationwide and at volunteer meetings for the Association. Ever since he could talk (and to this day) he has always said he wants to be a heart surgeon when he grows up. He truly is the future.

Vishal Tulsian, Senior Vice President; Health, State, Local, and Financial Management, SAIC
Distinguished Achievement Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes a volunteer’s regional impact on the organization and those who have demonstrated outstanding collaboration and commitment to advance the Association’s work.

Like so many, Tulsian has a personal history of heart disease – both his father and

grandfather were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease impacting him from a young age. He demonstrates his commitment to advancing cardiovascular health for all by emphasizing employee wellness in his leadership role at SAIC. Tulsian has led SAIC’s Heart Walk team for three years. In 2021 he stepped up to chair the Executives with Heart Campaign as part of the Walk, inspiring other leaders and companies to do the same.

Tulsian then went on to chair the Heart Ball campaign for 2022 and 2023, bringing guests back to the ballroom with great success! Under his leadership of three campaigns, over $2.5M was raised for the Association in 2 years! That success is in no small part attributable to Tulsian’s relentless spirit and his willingness to invite just about everyone he crosses paths with to engage in the mission of the Association!

A proud advocate of CPR readiness, Tulsian served as the keynote speaker for the 2023 Serve Day, which provided a virtual hands-only CPR demonstration to over 2,600 attendees.

Caroline Whittington, Head of Tax, Leonard Green & Partners
Formerly: M&A Tax Partner, International Tax, KPMG
Distinguished Achievement Award

The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes a volunteer’s regional impact on the organization and those who have demonstrated outstanding collaboration and commitment to advance the Association’s work.

As a driver of corporate sponsorship across multiple campaigns in the Greater Washington region, Whittington’s extensive support includes the Heart Challenge, Lawyers Have Heart, Heart Ball, and the Golf campaign.

Her dedication as a Heart Challenge Executive Leadership Team member and KPMG Executive Champion was crucial to the campaign’s success. She inspired her employees to make the Heart Walk an internal KPMG priority as they collectively raised $150,000 in 2021 and 2022 by spearheading fundraising challenges to encourage team involvement.

In 2022, Whittington assumed the Executives with Heart Chair role where she hosted a cross-campaign networking event that brought many key decision-makers to the table. Through her leadership, the campaign had its best year ever raising over $583,000 to support the Heart Walk in 2022. The Association wishes her well in her new role with Leonard Green & Partners in Los Angeles.

“The dedication of our volunteers is so inspiring, and I am grateful for all that they do,” said Soula Antoniou, Executive Director of the American Heart Association. “These individuals take our mission to hearts everywhere, across classrooms, throughout companies and into board rooms to save and improve lives.”

To learn more about the American Heart Association, Greater Washington Region’s work to save and improve lives., visit: