Kathleen Pingelski, president of MicroKnowledge and ProKnowledge, is the same age her father was when he had his first heart attack.
Cindy Applebaum, market president and publisher of The Albany Business Review, lost her best friend at the age of 39 to a heart attack.
These are the two main reasons that both women are chairing the 2019 Go Red for Women campaign, which culminates in the 15th annual Go Red for Women Luncheon on Thursday, May 16, at the Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany, on May 16, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The day features health screenings, an exclusive breakout session with past leaders of Go Red, the introduction of the 2019 BetterU class, the famous “Purse-Onality” auction, presentation of the Crystal Heart Award, a heart-healthy lunch and a moving survivor story.
Pingelski has been involved with the American Heart Association since she was a participant in the first BetterU class in 2011. She has been a member of the Circle of Red (a giving society), and part of the Capital Region Heart Walk and Run. She has served as a volunteer spokeswoman on a regular basis.
“I’m excited about this leadership role,” Pingelski said. “It’s an opportunity to dig in and make a real difference. Go Red is an opportunity for women – who are always on the go – to stop and take care of themselves. It’s a significant awareness movement, that encourages to know our numbers and be proactive, rather than reactive. And building a community based on that. As women, we often think just about the weight, but it’s more than that. It’s exercise and eating healthy, not just one and done, but forever.”
Applebaum thought of her friend Patty Hart when Pingelski asked her to co-chair the Go Red for Women movement.
“She was one of the most influential people in my life,” Applebaum said of her friend who passed away at 39. “Chairing this event lets me honor her, and most importantly, gets the message out that age is not a factor when it comes to heart disease.”
Applebaum, who grew up in North Albany, is glad to be giving back to her hometown community.
“This community has been very good to me, and I want to give back while also getting out a message that is so important,” Applebaum said.
Applebaum was diagnosed with multiple myeloma five years ago.
“I have an uncurable cancer, but I can get the message out that cancer doesn’t equal death,” Applebaum said. “I can manage through the cancer and the chemo, but if my heart stops, I can’t manage anything. You can’t avoid the diagnosis, but if you are practicing things are good lifestyle habits, you can move through a bad diagnosis.”
Applebaum is an avid tennis player, and works out daily with a personal trainer. She also incorporates small bursts of activity into her day – parking far from her destination, getting up every hour to stretch, walking around the Business Review office.
Pingelski, 50, grew up in Ulster County, received an associate’s degree from Ulster County Community College and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oneonta in elementary education. But an entrepreneurial flair led her to her current work. She joined MicroKnowledge in 1994 and has owned 50% of it since 2005. She started ProKnowledge in 2015. Pingelski was a Woman of Excellence, A Woman Who Means Business, one of the Times Union’s 10 Women to Watch, and MicroKnowledge has been named one of the area’s Best Places to Work. She is active with WERC (Women’s Employment and Resource Center), has been on the executive committee of the Tour De Cure, and is still active with Circles of Mercy, where she has served on the board. She and her husband Robert live in Clifton Park, and have three children, Emily, 19; Brendan, 18; and Sean, 15.
Applebaum, 64, is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy.
“I fell into sales in my 20s,” Applebaum said, “and became passionate about it. I like representing a company and its product, and helping individuals in companies find solutions to their problems. I’ve always believed strongly in giving my employer more than they ask for.”
Applebaum was the area manager for Nextel for Albany, Syracuse and Vermont before becoming the general manager for the media group at Time Warner Cable, where she worked for 11 years. She has been the market president and publisher at The Albany Business Review for two and a half years. Applebaum serves on the board of the Center for Economic Growth and the New York Press Association. A widow, she has two children, Zak, 26, and Jordyn, 25.
Since taking on the role of co-chair of Go Red for Women, Applebaum has worn something red every day – even if it’s just her manicure – as a reminder of the importance of the mission.
“The message of Go Red is to be in tune with your needs and take ownership of your long-term health,” Applebaum said. “Do the thing that gives you the probability of avoiding bad things.”
“The Go Red for Women Luncheon is It’s a great celebration of women coming together for heart-health awareness,” Pingelski said. “The BetterU is a great celebration There’s typically an educational component, too. You don’t want to not be there.”