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American Heart Association names Caitlin Brunell executive director of First Coast

December 6th, 2022 · Leave a Comment

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit committed to advancing heart and brain health for all, is pleased to announce that Caitlin Brunell is the new First Coast executive director.

In this role, Brunell will lead a staff of 12 who are responsible for the organization’s initiatives in the First Coast community, including advocating for healthier policies and laws, improving access to food and healthcare, promoting the Association‘s funded research, and increasing awareness of heart disease and stroke. Additionally, she will oversee revenue, field operations, board of director development, volunteer recruitment and fundraising and community engagement initiatives to reduce health disparities.

This new role aligns with Brunell’s personal mission to increase community awareness of heart and brain health and passion of working alongside the community to reduce health disparities through initiatives that address issues such as healthy food access, hypertension, maternal health and tobacco use.

Brunell has more than 15 years of communications, fundraising and leadership experience. She most recently served as vice president of development with the American Heart Association First Coast. In that role, she oversaw campaign management including market goals, quarter tracking and volunteer pipelines while managing a development staff and was successful in the assistance of securing new relationships and partnerships. She joined the American Heart Association as the Heart Ball director two years ago, running one of the largest campaigns on the First Coast after working as marketing and engagement coordinator for the Tim Tebow Foundation.

Brunell’s passion for nonprofit work started as a child through her family’s foundation, which served critically ill children and their families in the First Coast area. Inspired by her family’s work, she created the nonprofit Caitlin’s Closet in 2006, which provides young women without resources the opportunity to outfit themselves in donated clothes for proms, dances, academic ceremonies, and sports banquets. Also, Brunell was heavily involved in the Miss America Pageant, which advocates for women’s education and is the largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States. She was crowned Miss Alabama in 2014. A graduate from University of Alabama, Brunell received her Master of Nonprofit Management from The New School.

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