Meet our 2021 Power of Us Award Winners

At AstraZeneca are proud to celebrate our US-based colleagues who go above and beyond to serve their local communities and who have made an exceptional impact through their commitment to volunteerism through our annual Power of Us Awards. This year six winners have been selected, from 23 nominations, for their commitment to volunteerism, community leadership, and personal integrity – all amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

These well-deserved winners were selected by a cross-functional review committee and received a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice through the Power of Us program.

Learn more about our winners and the impact that they made within their communities below. Congratulations to our winners!

Christine Clark, Senior Executive Renal Hospital Sales Specialist

Christine has served as a volunteer for over 10 years at The Dwelling Place and Missionaries of Charity in New York City, which focus on providing housing and support for women in need. Christine has compassion, patience and love for those at The Dwelling Place and looks for ways not only to raise funds, but to raise awareness of the needs of this community of women. In 2019, she became a board member at The Dwelling Place, where she spearheads a fundraising committee and activities to provide the women with educational and financial support to get back on their feet. Recently, she is also in the process of creating a junior board to facilitate the younger generation's involvement with the organization.

Christine began her work with Missionaries of Charity in India and has continued her support of this organization in New York City since returning to the United States. She stays engaged with the community by listening to their needs. Recently for example, she has been working to provide residents in Greenwich Village with new beds to help ensure they are able to get a comfortable night’s sleep. Her commitment to serving her community during her time in India, Japan, Indonesia, Nepal, and now New York City, is something she will continue for the rest of her life.

Chris Federico, Senior Medical Science Liaison

Chris is a dedicated volunteer at vaccination clinics to help provide thousands of vaccines to the people of Rhode Island (RI) through the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team's Medical Reserve Corps Program, Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), Community and regional clinics. From providing oversight at the clinics and helping people with vaccine questions, to administering COVID-19 tests and vaccines (more than 15,000 to date), Chris has been essential to the success of vaccination clinics in Rhode Island.

In addition to immunization, Chris supported clinics as a medical lead, assisting with the overall operations of the clinics, medical consultation, training and oversight in vaccine storage and preparation. His volunteerism at the Central Falls high-density clinic was captured in the NY Times, and illustrated the state and city’s goal to vaccinate all adult residents and employees in the city regardless of priority level, to slow the rate of infection and ease the burden on the health system, a unique approach at the time.

Additionally, as the President-Elect of the Rhode Island Pharmacist Association (RIPA), Chris continues to make an impact in his community through strong advocacy alongside RIPA and URI College of pharmacy to ensure access, reimbursement and medical treatment to the people of Rhode Island.

Cathy Hayes, Senior Director, Oncology Customer Experience & Digital Strategy

Cathy volunteers much of her time each year with Canine Partners for Life (CPL), an organization that works to increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities by providing professionally trained service and companion dogs. In 2021, she has logged almost 900 volunteer hours with this organization!

Her love for animals and desire to support the mission of CPL led her to take on more responsibility with the organization, providing around-the-clock care for moms and their puppies during the first 4-8 weeks of life. Through her dedication to the organization, CPL also gave her the opportunity to name a puppy, Hayes, who completed training with the program. In addition, Cathy is on CPL’s Board of Directors and also serves on the Chair of the Board Governance Committee.

Mark Massi, Senior PSS, Respiratory Specialty

Mark is a leader in the local chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, an organization that seeks to help the less fortunate, including those who are impacted by homelessness and food insecurity. He has impacted many lives through his service to the organization, seeking opportunities to help others by volunteering his time each week to run the organization’s interview processes and going above and beyond to link individuals with services to support their ongoing success.

Mark has spent many years committed to this organization, as well as volunteering with Job Seekers, to assist people in reviewing their resumes, finding employment and encouraging them throughout the entire process. Mark is kind, reliable and knowledgeable and will always go out of his way to advocate for others. He doesn’t hesitate to jump in to cover an evening, even if it isn’t his scheduled night, and volunteers to deliver items to those in need when necessary. In addition, he always takes the time to follow up and check in to makes sure these individuals know they are not alone.

Jessica Pfennig, Global Compliance Business Partner

Jessica is a passionate supporter of Project Athena Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks achieve their adventurous dreams. In 2021, she met the Goddess sponsorship fundraising target and was a leader within the Zion National Park Adventure team. She trained with seven other participants in preparation for a this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, playing a key role to encourage her team members along the way and even supporting four participants to overcome medical setbacks.

Following the 20-week training plan, she supported her team both physically and emotionally as they completed a strenuous 42 mile hike in Zion National Park, which included an elevation change of 6,000 feet and took over 17 hours to complete. With her support, everyone successfully completed the adventure, leaving with a sense of pure accomplishment. Jessica has dedicated her time and resources to help guide others on their comeback journey, and through sponsorship has enabled others to experience an adventure. She approaches challenges with a “do whatever it takes” mentality to cross the finish line as a team and ultimately, a family.

Jesse Summers, Senior Project Manager, Project Management Office

Jesse Summers was exposed to the young adult cancer community first-hand when he became a caregiver to his late spouse in 2017 following her cancer diagnosis. During this time, he recognized that many young adults face a variety of unique challenges with a cancer diagnosis including social isolation, fertility preservation, insurance concerns, delayed diagnosis, and survivorship. Giving back to this community became an important mission to both Jesse and his wife and they became involved with The Ulman Foundation, an organization dedicated to changing lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer.

In 2019, Jesse participated in his first event with The Ulman Foundation, cycling from Baltimore to Key West to raise money for young adults impacted by cancer. He has since completed the NYC marathon in 2021 and raised more than $10,000 for the organization while also increasing awareness and visibility of the impact of cancer on affected young adults. With his team at AZ, Jesse has also organized an event to meet and cook dinner for the young adults at The Ulman House.

Following the passing of his spouse in 2020, Jesse became more committed to the cause, joining the board of directors to further his involvement with the organization. He also supports the foundation by carrying on a greeting card business that his spouse owned and operated, and investing the proceeds directly into the work of the charity and others like it.

About the Power of Us

Power of Us is AstraZeneca’s US employee giving and volunteerism program, which allows employees to connect with the charities of their choice and give back through time, talent and financial support.