We had the good fortune of connecting with Heidi Slansky and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heidi, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The overarching motivation behind starting my own nonprofit was “find a need and fill it.” I built the type of organization I wish I had access to when I was battling Stage 3 breast cancer and trying to rebuild after treatment. My biggest struggle post-treatment was in regaining and maintaining strength and a sense of health and wellbeing. Cancer StrongHER grew naturally from wanting to provide a place for my fellow female survivors to do just that in a fun and friendly atmosphere completely free of charge. Entrepreneurship also runs in my blood. I watched my father build his own company and was intrigued and motivated by the challenges and successes he faced. I always hoped someday to introduce something new, positive and beneficial to my community.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It was a tough decision to follow a career in communications and end up in the world of nonprofits. Growing up, I loved science, technology and writing equally (and pretty much every subject for that matter) but it really came down to which teacher made the biggest impact on me and fueled the fire within. Writing is where I saw I could make a difference and so I pursued a career that eventually led to creative work like writing, editing, design work and much more. I spent a decade working in the communications department at the PBS television station in Houston where we faced the triple challenge of being a nonprofit and public television station licensed by a state university. We all felt our work was important and it led to a deep love for the nonprofit sector. I utilize all the communications skills I have amassed over the years in building and promoting Cancer StrongHER. In my personal life, I get to be a techy super nerd, so I find balance in that regard. My family and friends know they don’t have to call the Geek Squad because I’ve got them covered.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I like to stay active, so my ideal of a good time probably looks quite different than many others. If you can peel me off the tennis court, I’d take visitors hiking at Mineral Wells State Park, swing some clubs at Top Golf, hang out at one of the many lakes in our area, or chill out at Shannon Brewing with some craft brews.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It was crucial to involve others in helping build the type of nonprofit I envisioned. It started with gathering a Board of Directors who believed in the vision for Cancer StrongHER and was willing to do the work to make it a reality. Next, was to involve my community. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our fitness partners like The Hook Fitness Boxing Studio, The Birch Racquet and Lawn Club, Club Pilates of Keller, Outlaw FitCamp of Keller, Keller ATA Martial Arts, and our yoga instructor Stephanie Mamantov. We have also forged some phenomenal relationships with other nonprofits, foundations and healthcare providers who care for the cancer community like the Me Squared Foundation, Cancer Support Community of North Texas, UNT HSC’s FitSteps program, Moncrief Cancer Center, Barbara Cares, KATCH (Keller Alliance Tennis Charter), and many more. We all provide services that are different from each other, but together we weave together a support system that is unlike anything I’ve experienced elsewhere. We are fortunate to live in the DFW area where so many organizations are willing to work together for a common good. One of the best decisions I ever made was to step foot in the door of the Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce. I decided to walk in one day just to see if nonprofits like mine had any business becoming a member of our local chamber. I was greeted with an enthusiastic “YES” and my membership with the chamber has been one of the most amazing partner relationships. Led by JoAnn Malone, they are one of the most creative, passionate and successful support organizations I’ve ever encountered. They have helped me make vital connections to ensure the success of Cancer StrongHER.

Website: www.cancerstrongher.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cancerstrongher

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cancerstrongher

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGfwI5vlrIg-sldEVrvdguQ

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