Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009 - (Page 34)

[CASEBOOK] The American Heart Association: Learn and Live BY TIM SOSBE when he had the chance to create a new corporate university for the organization, the connection was obvious. “My father died of a heart attack at 51 years old,” Cunard said. “I had such a great impression of the American Heart Association already and was a big supporter including some of their gala black-tie events. I had never worked for a nonprofit before, so I was a little nervous about my ability to transition to the culture. However, when I pulled up in a taxi in front of their headquarters building in Dallas, I saw in giant letters the motto ‘Learn and Live,’ and I thought to myself, ‘I’m home.’” That “Learn and Live” motto is more than decorative; it’s the simple mission the American Heart Association and American Heart University seek to share. As dean of American Heart University, Cunard works closely with his staff, nationwide faculty, deans of 19 different schools in the university (including disciplines like leadership, volunteer engagement, advocacy and customer loyalty) and the organization’s Executive Council, made up of AHA CEO Nancy Brown and various other executives and leaders from different functional areas. American Heart University provides workforce development for the American Heart Association’s 3,400 employees, who in turn interface with millions of volunteers and supporters who T his year, according to the American Heart Association, approximately 935,000 people will have a heart attack. Those afflicted will be male, female, old, young, of all ethnic races, socio-economic classes and special interest groups. The heart is the greatest common denominator known to humanity. There’s a mission for every organization, and each mission is critical in its own way. But when you consider those introductory facts, and the sobering statistic that more Americans die from heart-related diseases than any other cause, it’s pretty easy to see that the American Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke is in a league of its own. Derek Cunard certainly knows that. In addition to being dean and director of American Heart University, the corporate learning center for the American Heart Association, Cunard is the 46year-old son of a man who died suddenly from a heart attack at 51. Cunard joined the American Heart Association two years ago, recruited from a position leading a corporate university in Asia for Prudential PLC for almost 50,000 employees. The tragic loss of his father didn’t exactly bring him to his role at the American Heart Association, but it’s never far from his thoughts either, and 34 Training Industry Quarterly, Spring 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009
The American Heart Association: Learn and Live
Winning Organizations Through People
The Business of Learning
Learning Technologies
Best Practices for Certification Training
7 Strategies for Employee Self-Development
Learning Today: Collaborative, Social and Learner-Driven
Driving Corporate Performance through Learning Partnerships
Meet Dale Towery
Meet Milynda Weis
The American Heart Association: Learn and Live
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2009