Valley couple to lead 2020 Tri-County Heart Ball
YOUNGSTOWN — Husband and wife Jeff Ryznar and Dr. Meredythe McNally are teaming up to co-chair the American Heart Association’s 2020 Tri-County Heart Ball.
Ryznar, who was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia when he was 19, and McNally, have seen the devastating impacts of heart disease on their loved ones. They’ve had friends and family die from heart disease, including Ryznar’s grandfather, the inspiration for his company’s name.
“898 Marketing celebrated its five-year anniversary this year. The company’s name was influenced by an encounter with my grandfather when I was just 3,” Ryznar explained.
“He had me point to three numbers, which happened to be 8-9-8, and he played them in the lottery every day for me. He set up a bank account in my name where he’d put the winnings and told me when I was 16, he was going to buy me a truck and my own lawn care company to remind me that God gave us gifts to share with others and that if we do it well enough, people will invest in you. My grandfather died of a heart attack four days before my 16th birthday on the front porch where he shared this story with me.”
Ryznar founded 898 Marketing, a strategic marketing and creative consultancy, in January 2014.
McNally is a gastroenterologist, medical staff board member and chief of staff at Salem Regional Medical Center. She joined the Gastroenterology Center of Salem in 2013 after training at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and being on staff at the Cleveland Clinic. Both Ryznar and McNally were born and raised in Youngstown.
“We were a part of the 2019 American Heart Association Northeast Ohio Golf Scramble last year and really appreciated the impact the organization was having locally. They’re not just looking for dollars. They’re approaching the needs of the community and asking people to be involved in that. We felt welcomed and that we were making a difference. So when we were asked to chair the 2020 Heart Ball, we both felt called to say, ‘yes,” said McNally.
The 2020 Tri-County Heart Ball will be held April 4 at the Waypoint 4180 at Kennsington, Canfield. The Heart Ball is the American Heart Association’s premier social event to celebrate survivors and the lifesaving achievements of local physicians, philanthropists and volunteers. Through events like the Heart Ball, the American Heart Association is funding local and national research, along with prevention and education programs.
“Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of all of us,” Ryznar concluded. “Risk factors like stress and blood pressure put all people at high risk. This disease has no prejudice. It has no barriers. It has no boundaries as to who it impacts, directly and indirectly.However, there are also no limitations as to how we can fight back and do our part as a community to help edcuate, heal and help prevent and reduce the impact it has in the Mahoning Valley.”