Jeff Wilson, 37 

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Director of Business Development

For 24 hours in May 2006, Jeff Wilson thought life as he knew it was over. Kidney failure brought him to MCV Hospital, where he often volunteered. But Wilson chose not to let the disease dictate his life. He continued to work and volunteer through months of dialysis. Now, against all odds, he no longer needs treatment. Although he remains on the national kidney transplant list, you might find Wilson decorating a Salvation Army float for the Ukrop's Christmas Parade.

His work at CRT/tanaka public relations firm has gotten him noticed. He recently accepted the 2006 Silver Anvil, one of the most prestigious awards in the public relations industry, for his work on Housing Virginia, presented by the National Public Relations Society of America.

As chairperson of the Diversity Committee of the Richmond chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Wilson strives to involve more people of color in his field. "I used to be in journalism," he says. "There is so much power in words. And doing P.R. work, I've always been drawn to projects that have a greater good to them."

A lot of the greater good Wilson does is pro bono. He's a founder and steering committee member of Go Read, a book-discussion group designed to build community that involves Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico. He also serves on the public relations committee for the Salvation Army and is a volunteer for the VCU Health System, the Boys and Girls Club, the Southside Child Development Center and the Coalition for a Greater Richmond.

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