Among more than a million supporters, they stand out. Four volunteers who have made a lasting, positive impact on JDRF and the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community. For their work, their dedication and commitment, JDRF is honoring them with awards of recognition and thanks.
“We are grateful to every single one of our JDRF supporters and volunteers because their work propels critical research forward and improves the lives of so many people living with T1D today,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF President and CEO. “Today’s award winners are beyond exceptional as their work has changed and improved JDRF in richly meaningful ways.”
Join us in celebrating the four who rose way above:
Jim Tyree Chairman’s Award Presented to Lisa Wallack
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. 2019 award recipient, Lisa Wallack’s contributions as a volunteer leader, both nationally and in New England, personifies invaluable commitment necessary to continue the push to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Lisa’s first involvement with JDRF came 47 years ago through her parents, Marilyn and Gerald Fishbone, who were among the founders of JDRF (which was then known as “JDF”) after her brother Scott was diagnosed with T1D. She increased her involvement with the New England Chapter after her son Harris was diagnosed with T1D in 2001. Lisa currently serves as a member of the International Board of Directors and on the Advocacy & Impact and Talent & Compensation Committees. She is actively involved in the New England Chapter, where she served two full terms on the Board of Directors and as Chapter Board President. FY19 was a year of change for JDRF’s governance model, and as Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee, Lisa was the driving force behind its transformation. Her leadership was essential in realigning the framework to ensure that JDRF is positioned with best-in-class governance in order to effectively and rapidly advance our shared mission to cure T1D.
John Brady Award for Innovation Presented to Karen Jordan
The Award for Innovation is named for long-time JDRF volunteer and former JDRF International Board of Directors Chair John Brady. Each year the award will honor a volunteer with inspiring vision and dedication to improving the lives of people with T1D. It will recognize individuals breaking barriers and pioneering new ways of thinking that accelerate JDRF’s mission to cure, prevent, and treat T1D. The award recognizes that bold and visionary ideas often come from JDRF’s network of exceptional volunteers. JDRF celebrates Karen Jordan’s noteworthy contributions as a volunteer supporter with the John Brady Award for Innovation.
Karen wears many hats within the Greater Bay Area Chapter. She is the immediate past Chapter Board President, Nominating & Board Development Committee member and lead volunteer for both the Silicon Valley Donor Circle and JDRF Northern California Center of Excellence at Stanford & UCSF. She was a member of the International Board of Directors for three years and is currently serving on the T1D Fund Board and Research and Audit & Risk committees.
During her tenure as Chapter Board President, Karen identified a pro-bono consulting group from the Stanford School of Business and enlisted their aid to create a multi-year strategic plan for achieving a $12M sustainable revenue base. Her ingenuity and outside-the-box thinking allowed the chapter to benefit from the input of respected business leaders who conducted an independent and objective evaluation of current processes. The evaluation took a data driven approach and led to a transformative improvement in operational efficiencies.
Karen’s innovative spirit was never clearer than when she played a pivotal role in the establishment of the JDRF Center of Excellence at Stanford & UCSF (a cure accelerator project). Karen’s influence, tenacity and guidance united these competing institutions to come together for a single shared purpose, attracting the support of many high-level donors. Under Karen’s Board Presidency, the Greater Bay Area Chapter achieved $10M in gross revenue two years in a row. During that time, the board’s engagement increased significantly through her transformation of the board meeting structure. With her support, the chapter also laid the groundwork for JDRF’s Game2Give initiative, paving the way for new revenue to be raised through the video game industry.
Erwin Lurie Award Presented to Paul Vaden
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. This year’s recipient, Paul Vaden’s 15 years of service to the JDRF San Diego Chapter, exemplifies his unwavering commitment to the T1D community.
Paul is an active member of the Chapter’s Board of Directors and is currently serving as Chapter Board President. Under his leadership, the San Diego Chapter saw one of their best financial years in FY19, raising over $3M and exceeding the budgeted goal by 20%.
As a retired professional boxer and World Boxing Champion, Paul “The Ultimate” Vaden uses his celebrity status to forge new partnerships, gain personal meetings with congress and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for T1D research. Paul has devoted countless hours to the San Diego One Walk, serving in different roles, including committee member, kickoff speaker and celebrity chair. He plays an integral role in the San Diego Chapter Gala, helping to engage the honorees and is a role model for advocacy. Paul builds authentic, long-lasting relationships which has enabled him to engage JDRF partners and community leaders in the fight against T1D.
Huntsman Family Community Engagement Award Presented to Elizabeth Caswell
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 broader JDRF community and empowering people to make a difference in their own lives. 2019 recipient Elizabeth Caswell’s community engagement work, both with the Michigan and Northwestern Ohio Chapter and nationally, exemplifies her passion for connecting with and educating individuals impacted by T1D.
Elizabeth’s involvement began in 2008 when the Caswell family created a walk team. Since then, they have continued their generosity and involvement with JDRF. She later went on to chair the Ann Arbor One Walk for four years. Within her local chapter, Elizabeth serves as a member of the Board of Directors on the Executive Committee, is Chair of the Journey for T1D event, contributes as a Research Information Volunteer and is a Champion for the JDRF Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan.
At the national level, Elizabeth is a member of the JDRF International Research Committee and Speakers Bureau. In FY19, Elizabeth was instrumental in the creation of the Journey for T1D event, expanding JDRF’s reach and tapping into new audiences in the Ann Arbor market. The new event was hugely successful, raising more than $390,000 for T1D research since its inception. She has a wealth of information when it comes to research and is committed to ensuring that JDRF’s constituents have access to information on the research we fund. Under her extraordinary leadership, a number of Research Information Volunteers have been trained to spread the message about JDRF’s research through Research Road Shows, exponentially increasing the impact on the community.
JDRF recognizes and appreciates all of the dedicated volunteers and supporters who commit their lives to the worldwide effort to end T1D. Volunteer Award recipients were honored at the 2019 JDRF One Conference.