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Dan Cole ('87)

Running to fight cancer

Photo: Dan Cole

Vice president of sales and business for Consumer Electronics Association, Dan is an accomplished motivational speaker and sales trainer. He is also a runner with a purpose. In 2007, Dan became aware of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its Team in Training program for the Marine Corps Marathon. He sees a real need to raise awareness and garner support to find the cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. "We are all within two degrees of someone affected by cancer," Dan says. The idea of "two degrees" was the inspiration for his Two Degrees of Difference fundraising effort, part of the society's 2008 Man and Woman of the Year campaign. Hundreds of men and women in 41 cities throughout the nation vied for the title, conducting individual fundraising campaigns. Each dollar raised in the 10-week competition counted as a "vote." It was the perfect challenge for Dan. A natural leader, he knows how to assemble a team and keep everyone inspired. He says the secret to his fundraising success was "relentless e-mailing, a viral marketing approach." Dan encouraged folks to take on small goals, and they, in turn, would recruit others to join the effort. The results were impressive. He raised $146,000, breaking the record for the National Capital Area chapter's fundraising efforts in the campaign. Dan was the competition's first runner-up for the Washington, D.C., area, and second runner-up for the country, and his "two degrees" concept received the Hogan Hartson Volunteerism Award.

"Don't listen to any naysayer. Believe in yourself."