Leo Q & A

Prioritizing Heart Health Q&A with Senior Producer, Colleen Capola

Leo Burnett’s Colleen Capola reflects on her experience as an American Heart Association Leaders of Impact Class nominee.

Colleen Capola, Senior Producer at Leo Burnett, is an American Heart Association Leaders of Impact Class nominee who has dedicated generous amounts of her time supporting charitable and social causes.

Every year on World Heart Day, the American Heart Association launches their Leader of Impact Campaign where they tap diverse community leaders to help share the AHA mission and raise funds for research and fieldwork. Nominated by leadership to represent Leo Burnett as a Leader of Impact nominee, Colleen has spent the past several weeks campaigning on behalf of AHA to support innovative research, improve her local community and bring awareness of key health issues. Having witnessed the grave effects of heart disease through loved ones, she felt empowered to spread AHA’s mission of driving equitable health for all communities.

Below, Colleen answers our questions and details her personal campaign with AHA to make a difference in the health of the Chicago community.

Tell us a little bit about your experience as a Leaders of Impact nominee. How did you learn that you were selected as an American Heart Association’s Leaders of Impact nominee?

I received an email from Andrew Swinand asking if I would consider representing Leo Burnett and Publicis as a Leader of Impact. As I was honored that he thought of me, I took on the challenge.

The toughest part was trying to find time to reach out to my friends, family, and work while carrying a heavy workload. There were times where I felt I was letting myself, Andrew and the AHA down when I just didn’t have the time to get out some sort of communication that day but did my best to stay in front of people with reminders, emails, posts, raffles and even a few posters around the office.

But in the end, I’m very proud of both the money and awareness I was able to raise during the campaign.

How has your experience at Leo Burnett shaped your views on emotional, mental and physical health? What drives you to champion this kind of work?

I do a lot of charity work on the side, so even though I knew this would take some work, it was something very important as I have many families and friends deeply affected by heart disease, heart attacks – myself included. As recently as a few months ago, my cousin went through a very difficult heart surgery to correct a genetic disorder within her valves. She’s finally up and walking after weeks of bedrest in the hospital.

This is real – this is all of us, we are all affected in some way.

What is the status of the campaign? Any future plans that you can share?

The campaign recently ended, and I came in second place. AHA will announce the nominee that raised the most funds locally will be named the National Leaders of Impact Winner sometime next year. I’m not going to lie – really wanted to come in first but knowing that the money I raised is going toward education, research and people who need the monetary assistance – I sort of feel like I came in first place anyway

It was truly a wonderful experience, and I will continue to keep up with the new friends I’ve met through my AHA campaign while I still continue working with other organizations such as Sarah’s Circle and Off the Street Club. There is nothing better than giving your time to someone who needs it.