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DeAnn Hazey, CFRE, is the Executive Director of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of South Florida, comprising Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Ms. Hazey is charged with insuring the continued vitality, growth and success of this Chapter by maximizing opportunities and securing sustainable support to increase community presence and access to free educational and financial resources for blood cancer patients, as well life-changing therapies and research for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Ms. Hazey has directed nonprofits and successfully executed fundraising campaigns for more than 25 years for organizations including 4KIDS of South Florida, Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, National Association of College Stores Foundation, The Cleveland Orchestra, TRW and the American Heart Association. She also managed her own fundraising consulting company, Innovative Resources, for nine years. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of Maryland University College Europe, is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and a graduate of Leadership Broward Class XXXVII. Passionate about helping at-risk children, Ms. Hazey is a foster parent, and is board president for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Broward/Fort Lauderdale Chapter.

Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? During my first year at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I closed a $1.1 million gap in the budget, re-engaged volunteers who had left the organization and restructured our Board of Trustees into two separate boards to better serve our three-county population. These efforts, along with building a fantastic team who are passionate about our mission, have allowed us to realize stronger partnerships with Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe County Hospitals and Comprehensive Cancer Centers. This equates to more cancer patients are receiving free services and much needed financial assistance. 

What do you enjoy the most about your work?

It is incredibly rewarding! I love that my team has the same passion for serving cancer patients as I do. We know that the work that we do impacts families right here in Broward County and we are bringing a light to the darkness of cancer.

Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input?

Peggy Calhoun, Miller Calhoun & Co., ACFRE, has been a tremendous mentor and friend for more than a decade. She is truly a gifted fundraiser and the most genuine person I’ve ever met. She has raised more than $1 billion for over 300 charities including health organizations, social service agencies, environmental groups, educational institutions, and religious organizations. She challenges me to stretch myself and holds me accountable.

Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year?

I love Junior Achievement’s Uncorked event – it is incredibly fun, it typically falls on my birthday and it serves such a great mission. We have a responsibility to teach our youth how to survive in life and the financial literacy skills that they learn through JA are never forgotten. I’m a JA kid (‘83). Financial acumen paired with a charitable heart can drive a person to accomplish greatness for humanity.

What is your greatest challenge at this time? 

The greatest challenge is that there are so many people being diagnosed with cancer that there aren’t always enough resources available to efficiently help everyone.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Spending time with all of my children together. They are all in various stages in life, so it’s special when they are under one roof with me and my husband Rick.

What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?

Everything we do that is significant in life is tied to relationships with people. Not jobs, money, status, but spending quality time with the people we love. Today, so many people are “time broke” trying to live the American Dream. My kids spell love: T-I-M-E.

How do you stay so motivated and committed?

We get calls every day from newly diagnosed cancer patients who need help and don’t know where to begin. We have an awesome responsibility and also a great opportunity to provide not only resources and financial assistance, but provide HOPE in what is sometimes the darkest time of a person’s life. Those calls are life-changing for me. As a grateful cancer survivor, I want people to know that they are never alone in this journey.

Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others? Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence Others. He knew that the core fundamental to success in life was having genuine and authentic relationships built upon trust, respect and integrity. Two others that I love to share with others is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden.

What do you still hope to accomplish?

After 27 years serving nonprofits, I want to teach people who are interested in fundraising to do it with passion and integrity. It is not an easy career choice, but immensely rewarding. I want to help pave the way for the next generation of fundraisers to not only learn the fundamentals, but how to earn respect of their donors by being authentic and transparent. If you can connect someone with their passion, the impact can be life-changing.

What is your most treasured possession? A red silk blouse that my mom bought me for my first professional job. It was the last time we shopped together before she was diagnosed with MS and wheelchair bound. My mom has been my rock and voice of reason for my entire life. I am blessed by her love and wisdom.

If your house was up for sale, and a potential buyer did a walk through, what would your home say about you? It is welcoming, comfortable, has a great lake view and makes you want to settle in with a good book.

Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life?  My mom’s words were simple, yet powerful: Do things right the first time, work hard and earn your way in this world. I hope that I’ve made her proud.