By Paul M. Neuberger; President

To be honest, I thought they made a mistake.

Why me? Compared to all these other people, I’m a nobody!

Those were the thoughts that went through my head when I was approached by the staff of The American Heart Association to be the Chairman of the 2019 AHA Milwaukee Heart Walk.

After all, my predecessors included Peter Feigin, the President of the Milwaukee Bucks and Cathy Buck, President of the Froedtert Hospital System.

Would I be able to live up to such prominent people in this role?

Although I was not 100% certain about that, what I was sure about was that I was extremely passionate about this cause, having lost both my father-in-law and maternal grandmother to heart disease over the past several years. My best friend, who is just about to turn 50, suffered a stroke a few years ago, as well.

I was determined to stand up, fight, and eradicate the world of these diseases.

It was a heavy lift over the course of the past 12 months, but there is nothing that will stand in the way of a dedicated collection of individuals hellbent on changing the world forever.

That’s exactly what me and my Executive Committee did this year.

I will forever consider it one of the blessings of my life to stand before 6,000 people and proudly proclaim that we set an all-time record fundraising amount for the Milwaukee area by generating over $1,400,000 in revenue to fund research for and create awareness of heart disease and stroke.

That dollar amount is a 45.1% increase over the all-time record year of 2017 when they generated $965,000 in revenue.

It’s been roughly one week since the Heart Walk and I still have not come down from my high. To be a part of a cause bigger than myself and surpass a record year by such a wide margin hits you at a deep and emotive level.

Although I led the effort, most of the credit goes to my Executive Committee, the staff of the AHA, and the thousands of volunteers, donors, and walkers who answered the call of duty.

Finally, we at The Starr Group should be exceptionally proud of all that we accomplished, as well. The support that you all showed Mary Starr and me during this time has been nothing short of remarkable.

Your donations, fundraising, advocacy, ideas, and kind words throughout this process has left a lasting impression on me that will not be soon be forgotten. What a blessing it is to serve alongside each and every one of you on a daily basis.

I could not dream up a better place to work!