President and COO Phil Agee Shares His Experience as Chair of the American Heart Association’s 2023 Triangle Heart Ball
The seven core values comprising The Attain Way guide every decision we make and every interaction we have with our clients and communities. Our values embody the character that we believe a trusted partner and a client advisor should possess, but we don’t just work by these values, we live by them. One of these values is to Obsess Externally by giving back to the communities in which we live and work.
Attain Partners President and COO, Phil Agee, is a wonderful example of what it means to Obsess Externally. Together with his wife Andrea, Phil is chair of the American Heart Association‘s (AHA) 2023 Triangle Heart Ball in Raleigh, NC, on Friday, March 3. Attain Partners is proud to support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association as a sponsor of the event.
For nearly 100 years, the AHA has been fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives. As the Nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, the AHA has been taking major steps toward creating a healthier community.
To learn more about his volunteer work and the AHA, we sat down with Phil to discuss his involvement in this year’s ball and his passion for heart health.
Attain Partners (AP): How did your involvement with the AHA begin?
Phil Agee (PA): It started with a network of friends, specifically one of my close family friends, who was the chair of the 2020 Triangle Heart Ball. Through his endorsement, I joined the executive leadership team in 2019 to prepare for the 2020 Heart Ball just as we were running into the pandemic.
When he asked me to join, I didn’t hesitate to help this important cause. Heart disease is an issue in my family. Unfortunately, I’ve had family members pass away because of the disease, so that’s what initially compelled me to become involved.
Then, I quickly realized that the AHA—especially the Triangle region’s chapter—really places an emphasis on the local community. The organization works hard to raise awareness about the food inequalities that exist within the community and spread information about how your diet contributes directly to heart health. They give large grants back to the research community based in Raleigh, NC, so it comes full circle. They also give money to many of Raleigh’s pharmaceutical companies that do research on medicines, which ultimately provides jobs to the local area.
So, it started as a family-focused endeavor, but I quickly realized it’s much more than that. It’s about promoting heart heath and serving the local community.
AP: So, the gateway to your involvement began with your role on the leadership team, but you’ve stepped up a bit more since then. What is your role now?
PA: My wife, Andrea, and I serve as the Event Chairs for the 2023 Triangle Heart Ball. This year, our role has been to chart the focus of the event and lead its fundraising efforts, in addition to helping raise awareness for the Heart Ball and the AHA in the Triangle region. We are going to raise well over $1,000,000 in funding for the organization as a result of the event, which exceeds our goals and expectations for what we hoped to raise. We are incredibly proud of how Raleigh is giving back.
AP: What is the focus of this year’s event?
PA: The focus of the 2023 Heart Ball will be on the local community and the direct community impact that the AHA has in the Triangle region. We’ll be highlighting the AHA’s work in the Triangle region, including its efforts around creating avenues for greater access to care, expanding healthy food access and education, building a network of first responders through CPR kits in schools, supporting blood pressure screenings and education, and educating on the dangers of tobacco and vaping.
AP: How has it been collaborating with your wife, Andrea, through this process?
PA: It has been a blast. It’s been fun to see how our leadership styles work together. I always say, she could sell her dirty socks! She can really work a room like no one else.
She is great at building relationships, and I come in to help close the deal. She came up with the idea for the ball’s post-event entertainment, Dueling Pianos, which we’re really excited about. It’s going to be another great way to help fundraise for this important cause.
AP: What long-term goals or ideas do you have regarding your involvement with the AHA in the Triangle Region?
PA: In the coming years, I want to work with the AHA, the local sports leagues, and the surrounding government bodies that help fund heart heath education initiatives to connect the dots so that coaches have CPR training and access to AEDs on the field.
For the Heart Ball, I will continue as a member on the executive leadership team for at least another year, if not for the foreseeable future.
Beyond the Heart Ball, another area that Andrea and I are equally passionate about and will probably devote as much energy to over the coming years is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Our daughter has Type I diabetes, so that will continue to be a major focus in our lives. We are excited to explore how can we help to raise awareness and give back to this community as well.
AP: How can someone who’s reading this get involved with the American Heart Association?
PA: When giving back, I believe we need to give not just treasure, but also time and talent, as I think they are equally as important to getting involved. First and foremost, get trained in CPR, because you never know when you’re going have to do it. Too many people die of cardiac arrest, and CPR training is an easy way we can all be more prepared to help.
Second, there are walks in all the local communities that the AHA puts on, so that’s another big initiative for people to get involved in to help raise awareness.
Third, becoming educated and helping spread awareness about food banks and food insecurity. Helping to get the right food in front of people will ultimately lead to better heart health.
AP: A lot of your career has been spent with working alongside Greg Baroni and at Attain, LLC, and Attain Partners. How have these factors influenced your desire to give back, and why is corporate social responsibility important to you?
PA: Growing up in this culture is all I’ve known. It’s a no-brainer—giving back is what you do. My personal beliefs exactly match the culture and the DNA of Attain Partners. Greg’s steadfast focus on the National Kidney Foundation is the perfect example of how Attain Partners is dedicated to Obsessing Externally and living The Attain Way. I have had such great examples of giving in Greg as well as in Manish Agarwal and Rich Roberts both at Attain. Giving back is just part of the fabric of who I am—Attain Partners is part of who I am.
There are so many people that are struggling in different ways. I’ve been so blessed in my life that I can and want to give my time, skills, and resources. If there’s a way for me to help somebody else live a little bit better for a little bit longer—it’s just a no-brainer for me.
AP: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about the AHA?
PA: What I’d like people to know about the AHA, and in particular the Triangle Chapter of the association, is that it’s not just necessarily a national brand. This organization does so much for the local community and makes such a profound impact. People sometimes think, “Oh, it’s a big national nonprofit organization, my donation is just going to go into vapor.” But, the AHA really does make a difference in the community where you live and work, which again is what Attain Partners is all about.
Learn more about Phil here.
Learn more about the American Heart Association Triangle Heart Ball here.