Katie Connolly: Executive Director, the American Heart Association, Southeast Wisconsin

Katie Connolly is the Executive Director of the American Heart Association (AHA), serving Southeast Wisconsin. A native of Illinois, Katie attended Illinois State University and began her professional career as a Health Educator at the Lake County Health Department in Waukegan, Illinois. During her time at the Health Department, Katie served on various coalitions to create a healthier Lake County, particularly focusing on drug prevention in youth residing in the northeastern part of the county. Katie also served as the advisor for BACCHAS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students) at the College of Lake County, empowering students and administrators to create a healthy campus environment.

In 2006, Katie joined the American Heart Association as a Heart and Stroke Initiatives Director for Southeast Wisconsin. Soon thereafter, she took on the role as a Community Strategies Manager covering the 11 states of the Midwest Affiliate and eventually led the Midwest in product sales and was instrumental in passing legislation across those 11 states that ensures every high school student will graduate knowing how to perform Hands-OnlyTM CPR. In 2015 when Katie took on the role as the Executive Director, she convened local business and community leaders in the mission of the AHA and leads a $1.7 million campaign. Katie has been recognized for Excellence in Revenue and Excellence in Leadership. In her spare time, Katie enjoys camping with her husband and two sons, assisting at local school activities and catching up with friends. Always an advocate for being a relentless force, Katie spends time with her family at various AHA events and activities and is determined to make volunteering part of her children’s lives.

My Goal of the Day: To ensure my team feels prepared and confident to accomplish their daily tasks/goals.

My Thought of the Day: Be thankful.

My Action of the Day: To be relentless.

What do you love most about Your City?

The people. Most have grown up here and would do anything for Milwaukee. When you hear “Midwest Nice”, think Milwaukee. And the Brewers.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Build a Breakfast. Build a Burger. It’s not real heart healthy, but it’s good. Staff are excellent. Great atmosphere. Easy to get to.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Checking email on my phone and getting ready for work while listening to a morning talk radio show. And, eventually waking my two boys up for the school day.

10:00 AM – Likely in a meeting.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

My desk? Not a great answer, but usually where I’m at during the lunch hour. I do like to get my steps in and run across to Fresh Thyme for a quick, healthy lunch!

7:00 PM -  At home with my husband and kids. Either doing homework, laundry, cleaning or watching some TV. I’m a big Dancing with the Stars fan. And of course, This is Us.

11:00 PM – Fast asleep. I aim to get eight hours of sleep a night. It’s good for the heart!

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I usually drink water throughout the day. Usually a diet soda. I do like a cup of coffee here and there, too.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I like to have national news at my fingertips and get alerts on any breaking news.

What should everyone try at least once?

And adjustable bed. Changed my life!

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

Usual a tabloid magazine.

My Deed of the Day: To assume good intent.

My Tip of the Day: The grass is not always greener on the other side.

My Pic of the Day: