October 31st marks Executive Director Dick Mattia’s final day in the Utica office of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. As he retires, he has these words for the community:
As I reflect back on the last 26+ years with the American Heart Association I realize I will miss the people who I have met and worked with during that time. When I talk about the people I’ve worked with I don’t mean just other AHA employees, but I am also referring to the many volunteers, the corporations that have stepped forward to support the AHA, the whole community who participate in our events and activities, and those who support us with their donations.
It doesn’t matter how hard we may work or how many hours we spend planning and working, the community has to believe in us and our mission for us to succeed. So our success is the community’s success. In the Greater Utica Area, we have an outstanding team of volunteers, corporate partners, and community support that has made us successful. I am just happy that I have been fortunate enough to have been a part of that success. Tom Gorman and Dan Benzo had the support of the community before I came to the AHA. I’ve been fortunate to have had that same community support and hope and think Jennifer Balog, the new executive director, will get the same support from the community.
The reason I’m not surprised by the continued success is because since day 1 the mission has always been the same. To quote Michael Weamer, Founders Affiliate Executive VP, “When you work or volunteer or support the American Heart Association you are saving lives. We at the American Heart Association are in the business of saving lives and that will never change.”