Kevin Kann: “He’s on a Mission” for the American Cancer Society, Community Service | Monthly business

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HOLLY HUDSON HILL

CEDAR FALLS – When Kevin Kann, originally from Cedar Rapids, moved to Cedar Valley, he brought with him his passion and commitment to helping others.

Born out of a mix of personal tragedy and triumph, Kann, 39, has carved out a successful career with the American Cancer Society.

Both of Kann’s parents were diagnosed with cancer. Her father lost his three-year battle, but her mother has been a survivor of the disease for 25 years.

These experiences guided him towards his career with ACS.

“I’ve been involved with Relay For Life since high school,” said Kann, a 2000 Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School graduate.

“I would take my mother. It was amazing how much this meant to her and, being newly diagnosed, the hope it gave her to be surrounded by survivors. “

Kann majored in marketing at the University of Northern Iowa, graduating in 2004, and then earned a master’s degree in philanthropy and nonprofit development at the university.

He has worked with ACS for 15 years and now serves as the organization’s Iowa Director of Development.

“Kevin has worked with the American Cancer Society since 2006 in a variety of roles,” said Sarah Foster, Kann’s 20 under 40 nominator. “His current role allows him to manage a development team in the execution of a comprehensive revenue strategy, including corporate engagement, major gifts, network fundraising and events. He’s responsible for multi-million dollar revenue goals, community leadership for the Iowa market, and high-level volunteer engagement.

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“For Kevin, it’s more than a job, it’s personal, and he’s on a mission,” said Foster. “He knows the CAD is making a difference in the fight against cancer, and he’s proud to be a part of that mission. Kevin’s passion, dedication, and personal commitment to the American Cancer Society are powerful, and the volunteers, staff, and community are grateful for this personal commitment.

“Mum is doing great,” Kann said. “And although we lost my father to brain cancer, I am grateful for the three years we have had (following his diagnosis) and the progress that has been made since then. I really feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.

Kann said visiting the ACS Hope Lodge sites has been one of the most memorable parts of his job.

“It is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen,” he said. “It is very gratifying to see our mission in action.

“We currently have over 30 lodges across the country, including one here in Iowa City. They are a kind of home away from home for cancer patients who have to travel a good distance to seek treatment. They are 100 percent free for patients and a caregiver. It is one less thing for them to worry about.

“It’s a beautiful lodge. Seeing our volunteers and staff interact with patients, and patients interact with each other, is like a mini support group for people going through a similar journey at a similar time. “

Kann, now lives in Cedar Falls, and his wife, Laura, have two children, son Henry, 9, and daughter Lillian, 6.

“In my spare time, I like spending time with family and children. I try to get involved in their activities.

“Kevin is not only an extraordinary humanitarian who helps raise funds and awareness for cancer research, he also devotes his time and effort to helping train young athletes through (the Cedar Valley Rec Soccer program ), ”Said Stefanie Carter, who also named Kann for 20 under 40 honors.

“My son was fortunate to have him as a soccer coach for the 2020-2021 season. Kevin is selfless in many ways throughout his career, volunteering and parenting. He instills values ​​in his own children and the children he trains not only to help them succeed in the field but also in life. He is a caring human being who always thinks of others. Kevin is the embodiment of what this award symbolizes.

“I started to help my son’s team,” he said. “This is my fourth year and I really enjoyed coaching other kids and meeting other parents. It’s a chance to work on other things that go beyond the dashboard.

Kann is passionate about community service.

“We are very actively involved in ACS and Relay For Life, which is of course close to my heart,” he said. “We are the Carpe Diem team, in memory of my father and in honor of my mother.

“We have also worked with the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

For years, he and his family have participated in Cedar Valley Jaycees’ Gift of Giving program, which provides funds to children in need to purchase Christmas gifts for their family members.

“My wife and I were in charge of the wrapping paper every year,” Kann said with a laugh. “It might seem like a small thing, but we would involve our kids and make sure it was something we did as a family and something we could do for a big organization in Cedar Valley that is doing big things.”

Kann makes an effort to involve his children.

“We try to include them as much as possible,” he said. “I hope they develop this mindset as they grow older, and we have passed the torch to the next generation.”

Kann said both of his parents instilled in him the values ​​that are evident in all aspects of his life.

“From an early age they taught me the importance of integrity, the importance of giving back and being proud of everything you do,” he said. “I really thank them both for being fantastic parents.

“In addition, throughout my career, I have had very good bosses. They have all been absolutely fantastic and have all helped shape me and the community and statewide leaders and volunteers.

Kann encourages others to get involved.

“Start now instead of procrastinating,” he said. “Ask yourself what excites you, what affects you personally.

“There are so many great causes that need volunteers, that need people to get involved. “


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