Leslie Holland: 40 Under 40 2015

Senior communications manager, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Under Leslie Holland’s careful stewardship, the American Heart Association and its Go Red For Women campaign has broken into the national conversation about women’s heart health.

In the last eight years, she has led the organization and the award-winning campaign’s national PR strategy and activities, including all activations and media relations.

She also manages the relationship with several stakeholders, such as its PR agency, Edelman; Macy’s, which is the single largest sponsor of the organization; and dozens of other Go Red sponsor relationships.

"Her opinions and insights are constantly sought by leadership in and outside of the association," says Catherine Helean, VP of communications at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

In the last two years, she’s overseen new high-profile and global events for Go Red, including a tie-in with New York Fashion Week where celebrities walked the runway in the signature Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection.

It offered a unique opportunity to showcase and share the stories of those impacted by cardiovascular disease or stroke and drive home the campaign’s message: "It’s not just a man’s disease."

Go Red For Women activities in 2015 have already garnered more media attention than before, including top-tier coverage from CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Yahoo, and The Huffington Post.

Holland’s career began with a Dallas-based PR firm, Sunwest Communications, where she worked for four years before joining the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Holland doesn’t just work for the association as she truly believes in her work to create healthier communities and educate women about good heart health.

She takes the time to connect with the nonprofit’s real women ambassadors as they share stories on Facebook and elsewhere. 

"Leslie continually drives awareness and truly puts her whole heart and soul into her position at the organization, the people she works with, and the women the Go Red For Women campaign touches," continues Helean. "She builds this sense of trust in everything she does and all the people she connects with on her journey to help women live longer, healthier lives."

- She continues to hold her alma mater, Oklahoma State University, close to her heart, particularly during college football season

- Holland is a fitness enthusiast, entering and completing competitions such as the Spartan Trifecta

- She is also a fitness instructor, which further demonstrates her commitment to a healthy life. Look for her in the gym nearly every morning

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