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American Cancer Society Honors the Winners of the Volunteer Staff Partnership Award
Mar 11, 2021

ATLANTA, March 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the American Cancer Society honors the winners of the 2020 American Cancer Society Volunteer Staff Partnership Award, a national honor in recognition of a volunteer and staff team that has positively impacted the American Cancer Society (ACS) mission. The recipients are Jeff McGreevy and Christine Trunick, West Region; Jeff Mader and The Twin Cities Market Team, North Region; Navkiran Shokar, M.D., M.P.H. and Martha Zepeda, South Region; Adam Schlesinger and Chris Way, North Central Region; Alice Lin Pomponio and Shalini Vallabhan, Northeast Region; Mike Moore and Celeste Pendarvis, Southeast Region; and Bryan Sherwood, Lindsey Pew and Sarah Hsi, Global Headquarters.

The partnerships between volunteers and staff are critical to achieving the ACS mission. Together they operate side-by-side in the community or across the globe. These teams collaborate on projects and are key to ACS success.

Nominees must have worked together for a minimum of one year. Each volunteer and staff partnership must show leadership in a project that successfully impacted the ACS mission in at least two ways by increasing community engagements, growing revenue, reaching underserved populations, embracing diversity, recruitment and retention of volunteers, enhancing stewardship, and/or creating new opportunities. The Volunteer Staff Partnership Award Selection Workgroup carefully reviews all nominations. 

Jeff McGreevy and Christine Trunick, West Region: Sergeant McGreevy and Christine worked together to expand Real Men Wear Pink by recruiting several police and fire departments to participate. They found ways to get out into the community and engage people in a safe way and fostered a friendly competition between different departments. As a result of Jeff and Christine's partnership, Jeff continues to be involved in Real Mean Wear Pink and is looking forward to the 2021 campaign.

Jeff Mader and The Twin Cities Market Team, North Region, North Region: Jeff's partnership with the Twin Cities Market Team has resulted in the recruitment of volunteers, partners and donors across numerous ACS platforms including Hope Lodge, Research, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Minnesota Made gala events. Jeff's leadership has also extended into CEO Chapter participant recruitment of his company's CEO as well as other CEOs in the Twin Cities community. He has recruited friends and family to join him in unique fundraising events he and his wife have hosted supporting the Twin Cities Hope Lodge. Jeff has recruited ResearcHERS ambassadors and committee members including his wife Judy who is serving as 2021 campaign co-chair.

Navkiran Shokar, M.D., M.P.H. and Martha Zepeda, South Region: Dr. Shokar and Martha have been working together since 2011 since the first CPRIT grant awarded for Colorectal Screening.  The 80% by 2018 initiative was implemented community wide and strategically planned with every hospital, FQHC and primary care physicians to increase screening in our community. Dr. Shokar utilizes ACS material to educate over 160 community organizations in El Paso and surrounding counties to help make screening more accessible. The partnership between the American Cancer Society and Dr. Shokar's CPRIT funded grants was a success due to the efforts put together to build a coalition and include community leaders in this effort.   

Adam Schlesinger and Chris Way, North Central Region: Since Chris Way started managing the Chicago Associate Board of Ambassadors in 2019, he has built a strong working relationship with Adam Schlesinger, President ABOA. Together they have worked tirelessly to build a strong group of young leaders in the Chicago community who are focused on increasing engagement with each other, impacting the ACS mission and creating new and innovative ways to keep members engaged and continue to raise funds in a global pandemic. In 2020 they exceeded their goal by getting creative with virtual ways members could raise funds.

Alice Lin Pomponio and Shalini Vallabhan, Northeast Region: The strength of a partnership can be measured by how well it stands up during difficult times. In Alice and Shalini's case, the strength of their partnership became evident during the pandemic. Originally, their plan was to leverage the success of the 2019 record-breaking ACS CAN Research Breakfast by moving the event to a larger venue and engaging even larger audiences and sponsors. However, as we know, the pandemic put an end to those plans. Instead, Alice and Shalani were able to pivot to a virtual format held in October. This is Alice and Shalini's second year working together on the ACS CAN Research Breakfast.

Mike Moore and Celeste Pendarvis, Southeast Region: Celeste came on board several months prior to the Hope Ball Gala, a few months after Mike had agreed to chair the event. They worked to build a million-dollar gala together in a few short years. There is an incredible amount of trust shared between Mike and Celeste. Celeste is a guiding hand to Mike's strategic vision. The speed with which success was achieved is attributed to the process created for vendor involvement, in addition to their working relationship. The professional relationship between Celeste and Mike is magnified by their camaraderie and friendship developed in the last two years.  

Bryan Sherwood, Lindsey Pew, and Sarah Hsi, Global Headquarters: Bryan and Lindsey worked together to create and implement the new Relay Connect with Sarah's help. Relay Connect is an online one-stop shop where volunteers can access critical resources, particularly to provided necessary tools for new volunteers to get up to speed quickly. Bryan not only helped save the Society tens of thousands of dollars annually, but also increased the quality of the product of what we were offering to Relay For Life volunteers. Bryan and Lindsey have quickly developed an excellent volunteer-staff partnership relationship as both entered their new roles earlier this year.

SOURCE American Cancer Society

For further information: Kathi Di Nicola, Kathi.dinicola@cancer.org