Apr 13, 2020 03:32PM
By Greg Jerrett
Julia McCarville, 33, is executive director of The American Lung Association in Nebraska. Born and raised in Omaha, she attended Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, majoring in mass communications.
She is active on the Duchesne Alumnae board and has served as a charity representative on the board of Community Health Charities (now CHAD) and as a member of the O-Pa Young Professionals Group. Prior to working for the American Lung Association, she worked for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She started in public relations as an intern at the YWCA in Chicago, working on the P.R. and special events teams.
McCarville credits much of her dedication to the formative years she spent at Duchesne Academy.
“Two of the schools’ foundational building blocks include the concept of the building of a community and social awareness, which impels to action,” said McCarville, who continued that her passion for engaging in the community matured and deepened during her time as a student and drove her desire for a career that could make a difference in the world. “The concept of volunteerism or giving back to the community in which we live was an intrinsic part of my upbringing. In our family, volunteering, giving back, was just the way we did things.”
The search for a career about which she could be passionate drove McCarville to explore the nonprofit sector, where she has worked since, from her first internship to her current position at the American Lung Association–an organization that she said she has been grateful to have worked with since 2011.
“I always say that I have the great fortune that the Lung Association found me at a time in my life and my career where I was hungry to evolve and to make a career, not just to have a job,” McCarville said. “The work we are doing is incredibly important. I have so much hope for the world and the impact that our organization is working to create.”
The American Lung Association’s work focuses on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer, to improve the air we breathe, to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals as well as their families, and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. It is a mission of great public, as well as personal, importance to McCarville.
“My grandma was a lifelong smoker, I have siblings with asthma, and my dad died of pancreatic cancer that metastasized to his lungs. Watching him struggle to breathe near the end of his life is something that has stuck with me,” she said. “In my time at the Lung Association, I have met countless patients and survivors who have left imprints on my heart. I am so motivated and impassioned by the mission of the American Lung Association and the volunteers that I get to work with. I feel like I’m home, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Visit lung.org to find out more about the American Lung Association in Nebraska.
This article was printed in the April/May 2020 issue of B2B Magazine.