Meet Candy Duncan, Managing Partner for the Washington area, KPMG LLP and 2012 Greater Washington Region Heart Ball Chair. She started her career at KPMG more than 30 years ago, and became the firm’s first female partner in Virginia. Duncan is getting ready for the 2012 Heart Ball and this year she was selected to the be the chairwoman of the the event.
WashingtonExec recently had an opportunity to speak with Duncan about the upcoming Heart Ball and asked her what the American Heart Association means to her. She says that even though heart disease can be prevented, it continues to be a major cause of death in our country and across the world.
WashingtonExec: What made you want to become involved with the American Heart Association?
Candy Duncan: There are so many reasons to support the American Heart Association. KPMG has been involved with the American Heart Association for many years.. Their mission is focused on preventing heart disease, rather than treating it, which in turns builds healthier lives. When you consider that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the nation, the work of the American Heart Association benefits everyone affected – men, women and children.
“From a local point of view, when the American Heart Association funds research, it brings jobs here and leads to some incredible advances in science.”
WashingtonExec: Why is the issue of heart disease important to the Washington, D.C. area?
Candy Duncan: Heart disease kills more people annually than the next five causes of death combined. This is a shocking statistic. The key is to raise awareness that although 1 in 31 women will die of breast cancer, almost one in three will die from a cardiovascular disease. We need to help our community to understand the importance of prevention and living a healthy lifestyle. In fact, statistics show that up to 80% of heart attacks can be prevented through changes to your lifestyle such as quitting smoking, eating healthier and exercising more.
From a local point of view, when the American Heart Association funds research, it brings jobs here and leads to some incredible advances in science. Thanks to funding from the American Heart Association, some of those medical breakthroughs include: artificial valves, CPR, Pacemakers, and medicines to control high blood pressure and cholesterol.
The funds also go toward local community outreach efforts to educate the public about heart disease and the effects of childhood obesity. For example, the American Heart Association works with many local organizations to provide fitness programs for children of communities in need. The District has some of the highest levels of childhood obesity, and tackling that problem is an important priority for the American Heart Association.
WashingtonExec: How much money do you hope to raise from the event this year? Where will the money raised go for this event?
Candy Duncan: Our goal is to raise $1.25 million for the Greater Washington Region American Heart Association through the Heart Ball.
I’m very proud to be leading this effort because the dollars raised through the Heart Ball will fund local and national life-saving medical research, advocacy, and community education. For example, the American Heart Association has a program called Recess that works through DC Parks and Recreation to encourage healthier behaviors in children in our community. As I said earlier, the District has some of the highest levels of childhood obesity, so funds from the Heart Ball are directed to address this specific local issue.
WashingtonExec: What aspect of the event are you most looking forward to?
Candy Duncan: The DC Heart Ball is a celebration of life bringing together more than 600 of Virginia, Maryland and the District’s most prominent corporate, philanthropist, health care and community leaders. I’m looking forward to an inspirational evening as we honor survivors of heart disease and stroke and hear their stories first hand. Children, teenagers, men and women will share their inspirational stories of survival and recovery. We will also be honoring members of the military – specifically military doctors who have helped to save the lives of our men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
WashingtonExec: How can you register for the event? Are spots still available?
Candy Duncan: Absolutely. The Ball will be held on February 25 at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner. Please visit www.DCHeartBall.com for ticket information and partnership opportunities. Or you can call 703-248-1717 for more information.