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Winning Together

By February 27, 2020 April 23rd, 2020 No Comments

The American Cancer Society National Volunteer Leadership Summit brought together volunteers and leaders from across the county to Atlanta, GA to celebrate its victories and focus its mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

I can’t think of something that is more synonymous with Cerrell than winning. Ok … maybe amazing parties but those can be counted as wins as well.

Since our founding by Joe and Lee Cerrell, we’ve won countless political candidate and ballot measure campaigns throughout California, not to mention our decades of winning government relations, media relations and community engagement programs.

But something that you might not know about Cerrell is our relentless commitment to strengthening communities. It is a core principle and part of our DNA. From serving on the board of groups like local YMCA’s to the National Women’s Political Caucus, members of our team dedicate time and resources to creating opportunities for others to thrive.

As a former smoker (four years and going strong!), I’ve dedicated myself to working with the American Cancer Society in its mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

It is an amazing time to be part of the ACS. In January, the ACS reported that the death rate from cancer in the US declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded. Talk about winning.

As the Board Chair of the Los Angeles/Central Coast chapter, I was honored to attend the ACS’ National Volunteer Leadership Summit earlier this month in Atlanta. We celebrated what has been achieved so far and discussed how we do even better going forward.

I was completely blown away by the dedication, passion and skill of the ACS team members and volunteers from across the country. Everyone is on the same page, understanding what it will take to win this fight and how we need to attack cancer from every angle.

The ACS is approaching its mission like a political, public affairs or PR campaign. Amazing how the strategies and skills from the nonprofit and corporate worlds are so aligned! The same things that we preach for our programs are prevalent throughout everything the ACS does.

Here are some highlights:

Have a Plan

The mission priorities, operations focus and planned activities are all geared toward a primary goal, reducing cancer mortality by 40% by 2035 for the ACS.

Innovate to Move Forward

What is the “new” or “different” to break through the crowded digital landscape to keep people engaged and promoting the ACS and its focus on cancer prevention, detection and treatment.

Diversity + Inclusion = Stronger

Bringing together people from different backgrounds (race, gender, age, etc.) provides new and exciting perspectives that lead to stronger and more effective programming.

Relationships are Key

There is a value and art of authentic relationship building vs. transactional interactions; real relationships are the foundation for true partnerships, building consensus and coalitions, and leveraging people’s different skills and passions to work toward a shared goal.

In January, the ACS reported that the death rate from cancer in the US declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop ever recorded. Talk about winning.

The American Cancer Society mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer

Everyone like to win and I guess I’m attracted to organizations that are not only focused on winning but are really good at achieving wins. Some battles are more important than others (curing cancer is slightly more important than some of the work we do), but the way you decide to approach a problem no matter now big or small is exactly the same. And at the end of the day, when victory is achieved, there is always time for a good party.

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