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Committed to a cure

Meet Rosslyn employee and prospective LLS "Man of the Year" Michael Hartman

An employee at Targeted Victory in Rosslyn and a resident of nearby Clarendon, Michael Hartman is passionate about his current quest to be named Man of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Each year, the LLS National Capital Area Chapter hosts the Man & Woman of the Year Campaign, a 10-week fundraiser that kicks off March 22 and culminates in a gala on June 1, 2019. The title goes to the individual and his or her team who raise the most money for blood cancer research. Since 1949, LLS has raised $1.3 billion for cancer research, distributed over $323 million in co-pay assistance, and helped to advance 18 of 21 blood cancer therapies approved in 2018 alone. Leukemia is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among children.

The Rosslyn BID caught up with Michael at Targeted Victory's offices, which are located at the Rosslyn campus of Eastern Foundry.

Rosslynva.org: So how's it going with the Man of the Year campaign? How was the Red Tie Benefit your team hosted as a kick-off event in March?

Michael Hartman: It went really well! Our team's goal was to raise over $5,000 at the event, which we held at The Observation Deck at CEB Tower. That was a really lofty goal but with our community we were able to achieve it! We ended up having about 150 people attend and we raised $2,500 just with our silent auction alone. Our overall team goal is to raise $150,000 or more. We have a road-map to get there and are super excited about the second half of the campaign. 

Rosslynva.org: What compelled you to take this on?

MH: I was nominated by someone who's run before. I assembled a team of friends to help on this journey. One is a current colleague of mine from Targeted Victory and five are employees from Gartner [in Rosslyn], so there's a strong presence of neighborhood workers on our team. It was really through word of mouth that I brought them all together. Our team name is What's Your Tie because everyone has a tie to cancer. Not everyone has a direct tie to blood cancers, but LLS has had the most breakthroughs among cancer-research organizations. I recently read that there have been 41 patents and research grants that have been considered breakthroughs in cancer research. Of these, 36 have been funded by LLS, so that's a huge success rate. I myself have ties to cancer—not LLS, per se—but I've had people close to me with cancer and I've lost people to cancer. And I know they're finding that they can use a lot of the findings and research LLS has done for other cancers, as well, such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, etc. We're not going to beat each one individually, but we'll beat one and it will escalate to the rest of them. It's not going to happen overnight but all these little breakthroughs are huge moments.

Rosslynva.org: So how does a small team of millennials raise $150,000?

MH: Our campaign is ten weeks, so it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. We're hosting events and fundraisers and we have some corporate matches, too. We're hosting a Night at the Nats fundraiser April 26. We've also gotten a lot of support from the business community. Every team member has his or her own page and is responsible for contributing a certain portion of our total. I try to work fundraising into my day. If I go to a restaurant I'll ask to speak with the manager and see if they can donate an item for our silent auction. If I'm out in Georgetown, I'll go into a few shops and see if they can donate a percentage of sales for a day to our cause or other silent auction items. These quick, 5-10 minute conversations can pay off. Corporate sponsorships, which we need if we're going to achieve our goal, take more time. 

Rosslynva.org: Makes sense. So, tell us a little more about you and how you spend your time when you're not fundraising for LLS. Do you live in Arlington? Do you like working in Rosslyn?

MH: I live in Clarendon, right by Don Tito's, so I'm close by. I've worked here at Targeted Victory in Rosslyn for a little over a year. I love working in Rosslyn because there's so much going on and it definitely has the bigger city feel to it. There are some great places for happy hour and lunch and it's quick and easy to get into D.C. from here. The D.C. area can be so fast paced, but I feel everyone here is very friendly, nice and outgoing. 

Rosslynva.org: What do you do here at Targeted Victory?

MH: I work in the accounting and finance department, so numbers definitely have a tendency to stick with me. I have always seemed to understand the accounting and finance side of a project or business. My experience with numbers is very useful now that we're trying to create a plan to raise a certain amount of money for LLS and make sure we hit all of our goals. One of the first things LLS told us is that it's a numbers game and the more team members and individuals participating on your team, the more your team will raise.

Rosslynva.org: Are there particular spots in the neighborhood that you like?

MH: Ahra Café is my go-to breakfast spot. It's downstairs in this building. They're super friendly and it's very convenient. I also love walking over to Nando's and Bethesda Bagels but you can't go wrong with Chopt, sweetgreen or Wiseguy Pizza. I also like the food trucks here. There's an amazing BBQ truck I go to when they make it over this way. You can't go wrong with it, whatever you order. This is also a great neighborhood for meeting up with friends for drinks. For me, Rosslyn has been like a second home.

To learn more about Michael Hartman and his Man of the Year campaign to raise money for LLS, visit his website and follow his team on Instagram.


Photo at top: Michael Hartman poses with Grant, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 2019 Boy of the Year who is now cancer-free after being diagnosed in 2017 at the age of four.
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