On Wednesday, July 11, chapter volunteers and members of the JDRF staff gathered together for the annual One Conference in Washington, D.C. JDRF One Conference is part advocacy, part training, and part celebration as the organization honors local and national champions.
At this year’s One Conference Peer Networking session JDRF presented four recognition awards to five volunteers whose community and national based efforts have supported the organization’s mission of accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) and its complications.
Jim Tyree Chairman’s Award
Named for Jim Tyree, former JDRF Chairman and a lifetime member of the JDRF International Board of Directors who passed away in March 2011, the Jim Tyree Chairman’s Award is one of the highest awards the organization presents to recognize volunteer leaders. Sean Doherty’s work with JDRF exemplifies unwavering dedication to supporting the local and national T1D community.
Doherty currently works as a Managing Director and General Counsel of Bain Capital, one of the world’s largest private investment firms. He became an active member of the JDRF community after his son Finn was diagnosed with T1D at the age of two in 2002, making finding a cure for type one diabetes his life’s mission. Since 2003, he has served on the New England chapter board for two six-year terms, including two years as its president, revitalizing its board and laying a foundation for considerable gains in community engagement and fundraising. In 2015, Doherty led the design and creation of the JDRF T1D Fund and became the fund’s first Board Chair. He joined JDRF’s International Board of Directors in 2016 and is a member of its Executive Committee.
The Fund, launched in December 2016, is JDRF’s venture philanthropy fund dedicated to catalyzing an investment market in T1D so that essential commercial funding is attracted to opportunities in the space. Under Doherty’s tireless volunteer leadership as chairman from its inception, the fund has hired an investment staff and now manages about $70 million in donated capital. It has invested in ten exciting companies, with more to come, and is one of JDRF’s most innovative initiatives drawing new donors, champions and attention across the commercial spectrum to the mission of curing, treating and preventing T1D.
Distinction in Innovation Award
The Distinction in Innovation Award is presented to volunteers whose transformational philanthropic leadership has made a significant and positive impact in furthering T1D research. JDRF celebrates Sherry and Larry Benaroya’s noteworthy contributions as volunteer supporters with the Distinction in Innovation Award.
Following the diagnosis of their son, Michael, Sherry and Larry Benaroya dedicated themselves and rallied an entire community around raising funds for diabetes research and supporting other T1D families. As co-founders of the Seattle Guild and Dream Gala, the Benaroyas have been pivotal members of the JDRF community, on both the local and national levels, with Larry formerly serving on the International Board of Directors and Sherry previously serving as co-chair of The Only Remedy is a Cure Campaign.
Since its inception in 1988, the Seattle Dream Gala has become a model on which JDRF’s National Gala Program is built. In 1994 the Benaroyas introduced Fund A Cure, a meaningful, inspiring and impactful “mission moment” which has become the cornerstone of every JDRF gala. Thanks to the innovation and creativity of the Benaroyas, gala and Fund A Cure are at the forefront of JDRF’s Signature Events. To date, JDRF galas have raised more than $1 billion; and of that, Fund A Cure gifts have generated more than $400 million for research.
Erwin Lurie Award
Named after the late Erwin Lurie, who helped found JDRF in 1970 with his wife Carol and others, the Erwin Lurie Award is annually presented to chapter volunteers whose commitment to the volunteer/staff partnership has significantly advanced the mission and strategic priorities of JDRF over the past year. Kuckelman’s work with the JDRF Kansas City Chapter exemplifies his devotion to the local T1D community.
Kuckleman is an active member of the JDRF Kansas City Chapter board and co-chair of the corporate development committee for the chapter’s annual gala. Leading by example, he has an innate ability for sharing JDRF’s mission in a way that is compelling to others. As a strong advocate for the JDRF T1D Fund, Kuckleman’s support has been paramount in cultivating transformational gifts that yield a high impact to the T1D community.
Huntsman Family Community Engagement Award
The Huntsman Family Community Engagement Award recognizes volunteers who have made a positive impact in the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes, by creating connectivity to the larger JDRF community and empowering people to make a difference in their own lives. Rose’s highly impactful community engagement work, both with the Houston Gulf Coast Chapter and nationally, exemplifies an unwavering dedication to supporting JDRF’s vision of a world without T1D.
Rose has been active with JDRF since 1992, holding multiple national and local leadership roles. During her time as national chair of the JDRF Grassroots Leadership Team, Rose rallied hundreds of thousands of volunteers to secure hundreds of millions of dollars for T1D research through the Special Diabetes Program. Through her strong presence on social media, Rose has brought people together creating a sense of camaraderie and shared enthusiasm around our research progress and mobilization efforts. Rose has led by example using this powerful platform to advocate for the T1D community and empowering others to use their voices to do the same.
When hurricanes and severe flooding ravaged our Southern coastlines in the fall of 2017, Rose worked day and night to assess the needs of the community, and to reach out to her extensive network to develop timely solutions for transporting T1D provisions to unreachable places. With an understanding of the gravity of the situation, she urged the T1D community to send supplies and was a strong voice encouraging JDRF to do all it could to support Insulin for Life and other organizations that were coordinating rescue efforts. Rose’s thoughtfulness and quick actions, as well as her ability to motivate others into action, is widely admired at JDRF.
JDRF recognizes and appreciates all of the dedicated volunteers and supporters who commit their lives to the worldwide effort to end T1D.