ALBANY, NEW YORK, November 8, 2022 — During her time volunteering for the American Heart Association in the Capital Region, Theresa Petrone Butts, Principal and Senior Director of Global Vendor Management at Mercer; and Owner of the NY Knockout Women’s Tackle Football Team, lived the association’s mission of being a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
To honor the work she has done, the American Heart Association will present her with the Jane Golub Crystal Heart Award at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany. The Luncheon takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“Theresa’s commitment to the Heart Association always inspired me. I was in the BetterU under her leadership, which made me want to fully immerse myself in the program,” said Jackie Sheffer, vice president, senior financial advisor, the Wagner-Sheffer Group at Merrill, and co-chair of the 2022 Capital Region Go Red for Women Luncheon. “It changed my life, and I’m glad Theresa is receiving this award.”
“There’s a saying that you can’t change your genetics, but you can change other things,” said Nicole Leonard, wealth management advisor, first vice president, the Moloney-Leonard Group at Merrill, and co-chair of the 2022 Capital Region Go Red for Women Luncheon. “I’m involved with the American Heart Association because I lost my brother and grandmother to heart disease. Theresa’s own personal health journey is an example to all of us, that we can eat well and exercise so that we increase our chances of living better. She’s very deserving of this award.”
When Petrone first began working with the Heart Association, she led an event for young professionals called “Heart2Heart,” to engage young professionals in the Capital Region.
While working at CAP COM, Petrone Butts connected the credit union with the American Heart Association’s Youth Market program, providing gym equipment to schools and awards to top-fundraising students.
From 2011 – 2020, Petrone Butts served on the board of directors of the American Heart Association in the Capital Region, serving as chair-elect in 2017 and chair in 2018. She chaired the 2017 Go Red for Women Luncheon.
Family health has always mattered to Petrone Butts, who is married to Talent Acquisition Leader Lou Butts. They have two sons, Collin and Henry, and live in Rexford. Petrone Butts’ work with Go Red always encouraged women to put their health first to strengthen their families. She shared her own health journey on the Red Couch Tour, which she sometimes hosted during its eight stops of sharing stories of heart disease across the Capital Region.
Petrone Butts’ biggest legacy with the Heart Association will be the BetterU program, which she co-chaired for years. The BetterU is a 12-week heart-health improvement program that accepts 10 – 12 women each year. The women’s progress is a highlight of the Go Red for Women Luncheon each year.
As part of her work with program, Petrone Butts instituted an official opening of the application period for the BetterU program, with a media campaign, that increased applications to more than 100. During the 12 weeks, Petrone Butts led one weekly group workout, and followed it with a time for women to share struggles and triumphs. The introduction of the BetterU women at the Go Red for Women Luncheon is a highlight of the event, bringing the crowd to its feet and ending the event on a high note.
“Theresa really moved the mission of the American Heart Association forward,” said Kaweeda Adams, superintendent of the City School District of Albany and chair of the board of directors of the American Heart Association in the Capital Region. “She also helped us pass legislation around CPR, smoking and improved health. She has been a regular spokeswoman in the media – including more than one interview in the very early hours of the morning. Theresa truly walks the talk when it comes to health. The American Heart Association has benefitted from her dedication, and so has our entire community.”
“I am beyond humbled to have been chosen for this award, one that has been bestowed upon remarkable women like Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, Kathy Lanni and Maria Decker,” Petrone Butts said. “I’ve spent the better part of my adult life working with the American Heart Association, simply because it’s an organization whose mission supports and advocates for everyone I love; everyone with a heart, regardless of age, gender or race.”
Jane Golub was a staunch volunteer for the American Heart Association, and had a particular passion for women’s health. The award is given at the Capital Region Go Red for Women Luncheon to a woman who continues that legacy.