Cintas First Aid & Safety’s Midwest Sales Director earned American Heart Association’s top regional honor in annual corporate fundraising challenge
CINCINNATI – Cintas Corporation’s Katie Gough-Edwards, a longtime advocate for heart health and the American Heart Association (AHA), won a seven-week fundraising challenge to become the AHA’s 2022 Leader of Impact for Greater Cincinnati.
Gough-Edwards, Cintas First Aid & Safety’s Midwest Director of Sales, will be honored for her passion and drive to make a difference at the 2023 Greater Cincinnati Heart Ball, Feb. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. The celebration follows a national competition that started Sept. 29 on World Heart Day and inspired $1.8 million in fundraising for the AHA.
Gough-Edwards is among six area changemakers who raised a combined $114,727 in a campaign that ranked fourth in the country and first in its market size. Gough-Edwards raised nearly $37,000, or over a third of that total, in support of the AHA’s life-saving work.
She was surprised to learn she’d won when the Cincinnati leaders gathered for a November conference call.
“Because it was a blind competition, nobody knew what you were raising. It wasn’t posted anywhere, which made it more competitive and fun and really brought it back to raising money for a good cause,” Gough-Edwards said. “It was awesome to see that all the efforts of Cintas and our partners were so successful that we took first place.”
The AHA’s challenge encouraged local leaders to promote heart health awareness and combat health inequities in their communities. This year, 209 local leaders across 150 cities created unique fundraising campaigns.
Mark Carter, Cintas First Aid & Safety President and COO, nominated Gough-Edwards. As a supporter of the AHA personally and professionally for 13 years, he regarded her as an ideal ambassador.
“Katie is a game-changer for the First Aid & Safety Division, as well as Cintas,” Carter said. “Her personal connections to heart disease and cardiovascular events, in addition to her influence and reach in our business, gave her the potential to be a tremendous force in this year’s Leaders of Impact campaign. I thought she was a natural choice to represent Cintas this year, and I’m so proud she represented Cintas and the American Heart Association so successfully.”
Gough-Edwards credited the longstanding relationship between Cintas and the AHA for fostering awareness about heart disease, strokes, cardiac events and cardiovascular health. Not only is Cintas the AHA’s largest provider of CPR, first aid and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training in the United States, but the company has trained and certified more than 900,000 people in lifesaving CPR and first aid since 2016.
By participating in or donating to annual campaigns for the Heart Mini-Marathon & Walk and Go Red for Women, thousands of Cintas partners have helped raise funds to support the AHA’s education and awareness programs and fund important research to improve the outcomes of cardiac events.
Gough-Edwards launched her Leader of Impact fundraising campaign on social media, where she shared that heart disease and cardiac events have affected her family members and loved ones – and even herself. Gough-Edwards had heart-related complications with the births of her three children.
She was treated for preeclampsia, a high blood pressure disorder that can lead to life-threatening complications for mother and baby, with her first birth. Gough-Edwards thought she was in the clear after her second baby but was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia, a rare and serious condition that can occur up to six weeks after delivery.
Even she didn’t know much about postpartum preeclampsia at the time.
“There’s not a ton of education around it out in the community. We just don’t talk about it enough,” Gough-Edwards said.
Although she did not have to be readmitted to the hospital following her third birth, she showed symptoms for postpartum preeclampsia and was properly treated by her physicians.
Gough-Edwards continues to be a proponent of creating healthier communities through education that features AHA guidelines. The AHA trains 22 million people in CPR each year, has helped over 19 million patients with high blood pressure and has funded more than $5 billion in research.
With help from her Cintas team, partners, friends, family and the community, Gough-Edwards is confident that the collective 2022 Greater Cincinnati Leaders of Impact campaign funds will help the AHA assist even more people while saving lives.
“We’re investing in the American Heart Association so that they can continue to provide world-class research and education to our communities – how to live healthier, how to take care of your heart and how to make sure you’re getting the training you need,” Gough-Edwards said.
About Cintas Corporation
Cintas Corporation helps more than one million businesses of all types and sizes get Ready™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing products and services that help keep their customers’ facilities and employees clean, safe, and looking their best. With offerings including uniforms, mats, mops, towels, restroom supplies, workplace water services, first aid and safety products, eye-wash stations, safety training, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and alarm service, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday®. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas is a publicly held Fortune 500 Company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of both the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Nasdaq-100 index.