Tastemaker Profile Allison Courtney of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
treatments that have been discovered. LLS was actually one of the founding investors in immunotherapies through Dr. Carl June. I feel like immunotherapies, like precision, are going to open up the realm of possibility for different types of treatments. I envision us having a treatment option such as taking a pill from the convenience of your home. How can our readers get involved? Student of the Year kicks off in January, so the public can support a local student who is fundraising for this cause. Corporate sponsors may partner with us, and we’re always looking for student volunteers. Volunteering at our walks or any of our events is always a great option as well. Outside of this work, what do you spend your free time doing? I have a one and a half year old baby named Claire, and I am a founder and on the Board of Directors of a small nonprofit in my hometown of Massachusetts called Pembroke Titans Against Drugs. We work with the local community to implement educational tools and resources for Substance Abuse Prevention Awareness.
The Leukemia anLymphoma Society is a global charitable organization fighting to cure cancer, one initiative at a time. The organization connects over 100,000 volunteers with a fundraising challenge for students, called “Student of the Year.” For this profile, our Contributing Editor Aishani Satia sat down with Allison Courtney, the campaign director overseeing The Student of the Year in the Mid Atlantic Region for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. As the campaign manager of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, what does a day of your work life look like? It changes throughout the year, but it’s a lot of meeting with students and their parents to see if they want to be part of a campaign. I also help our campaigns with a big, grand finale celebration. I have a great team of about six or seven people. I also work with my other senior staff members to make sure all of the campaigns in the region kind of go smoothly. What part are you most passionate about? The biggest and best part of my day to day job is working with volunteers who’ve been affected by blood cancers, and seeing their passion and their drive to make a change so that other families don’t have to be impacted by diseases like cancer. What skills do you feel are crucial to being successful in this role? Staying organized, working in a fast paced environment, responding quickly, adapting to different challenging situations, being personable while talking to volunteers, and supporting my team members. How do you predict that the medical research industry will progress in the next decade? In 2016, we heard about FDA treatment approvals about once or twice a year. In 2020, we’ve had 17 new blood cancer treatments and LLS funded 14 of them, it’s really incredible. And a lot of that is to be said about the research and the different types of 16
What’s a good book on your shelf right now? How to potty train your baby in three days haha! Also James M. Kouzes’ The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. . What music do you prefer to listen to? That’s a tricky one. I like all types of music. Probably, Dave Matthews Band and whatever is on the radio. So whatever is trending, I’m jammin to. What’s your dream destination? Turks and Caicos. I would also just go back to Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s my favorite. After a long day as a Campaign Manager, how do you like to unwind? I like to go for a walk around the street with my daughter and talk to my friends even though I talk to people all day, haha! What’s your favorite dish to cook? I really don’t like cooking. My husband cooks. He prepares the food and I just start the oven. And that’s the extent of my cooking. What is your North Star, or what philosophy do you live by? Super cliche but I like to repeat to myself how everything happens for a reason. Finally, what advice would you give to future generations who want to be in the same place you are? Move outside your comfort zone. In my previous job, I needed to call people randomly. The sooner I got comfortable making calls, then the more calls I would make and the more successful I became in that role. So, work hard, and get comfortable being outside your comfort zone. The earlier you can do that, the more successful you will be. Article by Aishani Sadia