Words from the Heart - Kevin Harker

Updated:Oct 6,2015

Passion Title
Honestly, I came to the American Heart Association because I needed a job. But then I fell in love with the organization after having the opportunity to work with the finest and most passionate staff and volunteers around. The American Heart Association has the most outstanding people working with, and for, it. And, like many others, I care about the work we do because my family has been affected by heart disease and stroke.

Growth Title
I have had so many professional development opportunities that it would be difficult to narrow the list to the one or two that have had the greatest impact on my career here. I’ve attended countless training courses. I’ve heard incredible national speakers, such as Stephen Covey and Ram Charan, and learned coaching, presentation and sales skills from some of the leading experts in the field. The American Heart Association has helped me to hone my strengths and to be a better manager, leader and professional.

Pulse Title
I love the people with whom I work — they are like a family. I have a huge holiday card list because of all the connections I’ve made working for the American Heart Association. Additionally, the American Heart Association understands and values family time. If I need to attend one of my kids’ events in the middle of the day, that’s okay. My supervisors and coworkers know the work will get done, and I really appreciate that flexibility. I also love the energy and momentum that comes from collaborating and brainstorming with leaders and professionals from other organizations and industries.

Rhythm Title
I see my primary responsibility as talent development — attracting and retaining the right team. From there, my job is to develop high-impact strategies — be it for partnerships, quality initiatives or fund raising — to help hospitals, schools and other support organizations change, and save, lives in our communities.

Career Progression Title
Kevin has been with the American Heart Association since 1988:
Area Director, Kansas
Development Director, Kansas
Development Director, Chicago, IL
Deputy Executive Director, Chicago, IL
Senior Vice President, Midwest Affiliate
Chief Operating Officer, Greater Midwest Affiliate
Executive Vice President, Midwest Affiliate