Team of the Week

Komen Greater NYC Young Professionals

Rising young executives join the fight against breast cancer

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Sandra Kozlowski, founder of the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) of Komen Greater NYC created the YPC Race team in 2007. This year, the team has three co-captains — John Petzold, Ashley Muchmore and Pablo Ogarrio.

Last year, the team had 25 members and raised over $26,000. This year, it hopes to raise $30,000 or more.

YPC was created to encourage rising young professionals and executives in the Greater New York City area to get involved with and become committed to the Komen vision of a world without breast cancer. “Since the Race is the major fundraiser of Komen Greater NYC,” said Kozlowski, “it seemed essential that YPC had a team and presence at the event.” The group holds two events annually, where it raises funds and awareness about Komen Greater NYC and the Race team. “The team is a culmination of all the work we do year-round, not only to get people involved in YPC, but also with Komen and its mission,” explained Petzold.

The YPC team is made up of group members, friends, family and colleagues and their friends, family and colleagues. “Our team is made up of not just members of the Young Professionals Committee, but also others who want to connect with, support and tap into the next generation of fundraisers and leaders in the fight against breast cancer,” said Kozlowski.

The overwhelming majority of team members have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another.  Some are survivors or have survivors in their families or survivor friends. Others race in honor of loved ones or friends who fell victim to the disease. Some are part of the event, because they are able to cherish time with loved ones who have benefited from advances in treatment. All are committed to reaching a cure. 

The team recruits new members in person at its bi-annual events. Last month, over 300 people attended Pink Rocks the Rock in Rockefeller Center. Information about the team was handled out on site and people could sign up on the spot. All online information for YPC events links back to its Race team page. YPC has a distribution list of close to 1,000 names, to which it sends blast emails about the Race team. In addition, co-captains use social media including Facebook and LinkedIn to reach potential new team members.

The team’s most successful fundraising technique is in-person contact. “It’s powerful when a person hears the story of why someone is involved in the Race,” said Petzold, “It inspires people to either donate or join the Race team.” In addition, YPC members are influential in the New York City business and philanthropic communities and reach out to their considerable networking lists for pledges.

This is Petzold’s first year as team co-captain, “I look forward to an incredible experience,” he said.