Visionaries of the Year Campaign Raises $864,902 for LLS in Savannah

Staff Report

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

The Visionaries of the Year campaign wrapped up last week with a Grand Finale Celebration at the Savannah Convention Center. The event celebrated the hard work of local business leaders and their teams. Collectively they raised $864,902 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) mission to find a cure for blood cancer and provide support to patients and their families.

Every dollar the candidates raised counted as one “vote” and the candidates with the most votes were awarded the titles Visionary of the Year. Team Engineering a Cure, led by Greg Coleman with Coleman Company, earned the title of Visionary of the Year. The Visionary of the Year Runner Up was Heather Baker, with ERA Realty. Her team, Team Kindness Matters raised $226,957. The Second Runner up for Visionary of the Year was awarded to Nancy Backus, with Midtown Medicine. Her team, Cures and Cadillacs, raised $73,481. All the candidates competed in honor of LLS’s Boy & Girl of the Year, Carson and Lily, local children who are blood cancer survivors and sources of inspiration to others. 

“We couldn’t be prouder of all our Candidates for their dedication and outstanding accomplishments. This class broke all of our Savannah records and set a new record. It is amazing to me what these Candidates can accomplish and raise in 10-weeks. The support of our community is truly remarkable, and that is evident by the extensive list of Sponsors this year.” said Jessie Melamed, Savannah Campaign Development Manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In addition, Citizenship Awards were presented to those candidates who incorporated the LLS mission into their campaign and went above and beyond to engage their community. The Mission Award for Policy and Advocacy was awarded to Katie Siplon, Team Notorious C.U.R.E. The Mission Award for Research was awarded to Jennifer McDaniel, Team Honoring Mike. The Mission Award for Patient Education and Support was awarded to Sarah Wesp, Team B+. Team Member of the Year was awarded to Nell Folkens, with Team Kindness Matters led by Candidate Heather Baker.

The candidates were selected by a Leadership Team co-chaired by Matt Usher, W. Ray Williams and Associates, and Caroline Gregory, Sterling Seacrest Pritchard, Inc.

To learn more about the campaign or nominate someone for 2024 go to