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For the Second Straight Year, IMPACT Employee Honored as the “Triangle’s Finest” by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Research Triangle Park, NC: 7 December 2015 – This fall, IMPACT’s Erica Allen participated in the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation’s annual “Triangle’s Finest” event (previously known as Top of the Triangle), a 10-week program for Triangle-area men and women committed to professional development and personal growth through fundraising and awareness.

On November 20, three individuals were honored at the Brewer’s Ball celebration where over 175 people gathered at the American Institute of Architects in Raleigh to celebrate the Triangle’s Finest and benefit the CF Foundation. In addition to Erica, Jhuma Das (University of North Carolina) and Casey Perriccio (Chiesi USA) were honored by the CF Foundation.

pic1 Erica (left) raised the most money, over $6,000, and was thus named this year’s “Triangle’s Finest”.

In addition to her email campaign, Erica raised funds through a Wine and Design event and an online auction.

Her hard work paid off!

This year’s honorees each received framed artwork (right) painted by Diana Wasserman, a 17-year old from Wilmington who lives with CF. Pic2

In addition to being honored at the Brewer’s Ball event, Erica was also recognized with the 2015 Leadership Award at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Carolina’s Chapter of the CF Foundation which was held on December 3rd.

Of her Triangle’s Finest accomplishment, Erica stated: “I am so happy to have been a part of Triangle’s Finest and to have had the opportunity to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The money I helped raise, along with the other nominees, will go to help amazing kids like our friend Addy – and hopefully lead to finding a cure for this horrible disease. I could not have done so well in the fundraising effort without the support and contributions from all of my coworkers at IMPACT and a HUGE thank you to our boss, Mark Cierpial, who always works tirelessly for this great cause.”


Erica (center) with IMPACT colleagues Nancy Smith, Lori Davis, Elaina Howard, and Ashley Godfrey

Erica is the third nominee that IMPACT has sponsored for the CF Foundation’s annual event. Jason Horn placed second in 2011 and Lori Davis won in 2014 (see last year’s press release here).

When asked about the Triangle’s Finest program, the Executive Director of the Carolina’s Chapter of the CF Foundation, Kay James, said “I love all of our events from Great Strides, Master Chefs, Pipeline, Cycle, Extreme Hike, Golf and our individual giving campaigns but who can top the Triangle’s Finest? Our young professionals take the challenge to learn more about cystic fibrosis and how the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is working to control and ultimately find a cure for CF. These young professionals work together and with their company to enhance their communication skills, teamwork, collaboration and fundraising skills as they, too, join the fight to cure CF. I am so impressed with the Honorees and the companies who have nominated them and championed them in this effort. I think we will have more who will want to participate next year to nominate their Honoree.”

At the Brewer’s Ball, two Triangle-area CF Ambassadors spoke.

Vince Stephens, an adult CF Ambassador, described his firsthand experience living with CF and receiving the benefits of the CF Foundation’s fundraising and research efforts. Vince was diagnosed at age 2 and his family was told he wouldn’t live to see 5 years. Vince has beaten those odds and has been doing well on Orkambi, a recently approved drug developed through the CF Foundation’s venture philanthropy model. Vince recently welcomed a new baby to his family and foresees a future where he can watch his baby grow up, something that was not likely possible 20 years ago.

Erica Dean, whose 8-year old daughter Sophie has CF, also spoke as a CF Ambassador. Sophie is different from other children her age only because she has CF. Sophie has dreams of becoming a ballerina or a doctor and the future development of CF drugs through fundraising events like Triangle’s Finest gives her the chance to truly be like other kids and live those dreams. Sophie will be eligible for Orkambi in 4 years.

By the end of the evening, over $46,000 was raised to support people like Vince and Sophie who live with CF, and to support research for new drugs in the development pipeline. The CF drugs Kalydeco and Orkambi only work in a fraction of the patient population due to the genetic nature of the disease; so continued development of drugs is critical to help improve the lives of people with CF.

Continuously inspired by stories like those heard at the Brewer’s Ball, IMPACT and its employees continue their support of the CF Foundation throughout the year through other events like Master Chefs and Great Strides.

For more information or to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, please visit or call (919) 845-2188 (toll-free: 1-800-822-9941). To nominate someone for the Top of the Triangle program or to get more information about the program, contact Colette Odom at

Media Contact:
Mark A. Cierpial, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (919) 899-9248
Fax: (919) 354-6090