By MICHELE GRAHAM
Throughout his career Dennis Hewitt has focused on numbers. As the President and CEO of Greenwich-headquartered Omnicom Capital Inc., a subsidiary of global advertising and communications giant Omnicom Group, Dennis works with millions of dollars and currencies across the world. But there is one number that he also focuses on these days: zero. That’s because if it was up to Dennis, zero would be how many women (and men) would succumb to breast cancer.
Throughout the past 11 years, Omnicom has been a staunch supporter of Breast Cancer Alliance (BCA). For nine of those years, and through Omnicom’s sponsorship, Dennis has been an active participant. Breast cancer is a personal issue to many within the Omnicom family and the statistics are disturbing: it is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall. As Dennis says, “Most of us have a sister, wife, mother, friend or coworker who has suffered from this awful form of cancer.” Cutting even closer to home, Dennis’ wife was a cancer survivor. “I have two daughters, two sisters and several nieces. So I have a personal stake in this fight.”
Organizations like BCA have made significant strides to help prevent, treat and cure breast cancer. Getting men involved in the BCA is something that the organization takes great strides to achieve. But for Dennis it didn’t take much to have him become a visible and active proponent. As he says, “Breast cancer is not a gender issue. It affects everyone, if not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. We have all faced the personal anguish upon learning that our loved ones and dear friends have become afflicted with breast cancer. It’s been gratifying to give back to the community in which we operate and live.”
As a global service organization, Omnicom has a rich heritage of social responsibility and a commitment to local community involvement. Supporting and becoming directly involved with BCA was a natural extension of the company’s culture. Over the years Dennis and those across the ranks at Omnicom have enjoyed watching BCA succeed in its mission through growth and national expansion.
Looking toward the future as BCA embarks on its next 20 years, Dennis has a clear goal in mind: to increase awareness about breast cancer risks, to encourage men as well as women to self-examine, and to encourage regular checkups particularly in families that have a history of breast cancer. “Over time,” Denis says, “we are confident in BCA’s ability to help reduce the incidences of breast cancer and eventually rid the world of this disease entirely.” This is one instance when having a zero would be the best news possible.