Two Highly Engaged Volunteer Leaders Elected to Head JDRF’s International Board of Directors 

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Lisa Fishbone Wallack, an attorney by training and long-time volunteer leader in the greater New England area, will serve as JDRF International Board of Directors (IBOD) Chair, succeeding current Chair Grant Beard. Matt Varey, a senior executive at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and dedicated volunteer leader in the greater Toronto, Canada, area, will serve as JDRF IBOD Vice Chair, succeeding current Vice Chair Michelle Griffin.   

Lisa’s and Matt’s terms as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, begin Monday, July 1, 2024. 

Lisa Fishbone Wallack Continues Family’s Legacy of Championing JDRF’s Mission 

Lisa is a long-time volunteer leader of JDRF’s Greater New England Chapter, first getting involved with JDRF when her parents Marilyn and Dr. Gerald Fishbone were among the founders of JDRF (then known as “JDF”) after her brother Scott was diagnosed with T1D in 1969 at the age of 18 months, and then increasing her involvement after her son Harris was diagnosed in 2001 at the age of 5.   

 Locally, Lisa has served as President of the Greater New England Chapter Board and remains active with the chapter. Nationally, she has been a member of the IBOD for nine years and has served as Vice Chair of the IBOD, as Chair of the Talent and Compensation Committee, and as Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee.     

Lisa is an attorney by training and is a volunteer leader at numerous other community organizations, leading annual, capital, and comprehensive campaigns and strategic committees.    

Lisa and her husband Neil are proud to be leadership donors to JDRF as well as donors to JDRF’s T1D Fund. She and her family participate in all JDRF programs, including the Walk and Gala, and she supports Neil’s participation in endurance events including the Boston Marathon, the JDRF Ride program, and Ironman Triathlons, which collectively have raised more than $1.4 million for JDRF.  

For their outstanding and continued support of JDRF, Lisa and Neil will be honored at the Greater New England Chapter’s Gala on Saturday, April 6.  

Lisa graduated with a B.A. in The Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and with a J.D., summa cum laude, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In addition to their son Harris, Lisa and Neil have a son Perry and a daughter Sydney. They live in Weston, Massachusetts.  

Matt Varey Leads and Engages JDRF’s T1D Community   

Matt Varey is currently a senior executive at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)—the largest financial institution in Canada and one of the largest and most trusted in the world.   

As Senior Vice President, Matt is responsible for national leadership of more than 4,500 Canada-based employees entrusted with important client life events including personal investments, mortgage financing and group benefits, totaling more than $100 billion of human trust annually. Prior to joining RBC in 1987 and taking on a wide range of senior management and executive positions within RBC, Matt was Vice President and General Manager of RBC Suisse, RBC’s Global Private Banking operations in Geneva, Switzerland.    

 Matt is an ardent supporter of JDRF’s commitment to improving the lives of every person living with T1D and driving breakthroughs to cure the condition. His association and commitment to JDRF started in 2001 and he currently serves on the JDRF International Board of Directors and JDRF Canada Board of Directors. His diverse international leadership experience will be instrumental in continuing JDRF’s purposeful global mission and navigating the organization’s path forward in partnership with his JDRF Board of Directors colleagues.  

 His previous Board responsibilities included Chair of the Board of JDRF Canada and Board member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada.   

Matt graduated from McMaster University and currently resides in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, with his wife, Dr. Andrea Jack.   

An Era of Unprecedented Breakthroughs 

This new leadership coincides with an era of unprecedented T1D breakthroughs championed by JDRF.  

“We are in a golden age of advanced medicine and continue to see incredible progress in T1D cures research—in both disease-modifying therapies and cell therapies,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF Chief Executive Officer. “As the leaders of our International Board of Directors, Lisa and Matt will ensure we will continue to drive cures and other life-changing breakthroughs forward through scientific advancements and advocacy.”   

“We thank Grant and Michelle, who amplified our global efforts to improve lives and accelerate cures. There has never been a more exciting time for our mission as cures are now a matter of when, not a matter of if,” Kowalski said. “The potential for transformation is nothing short of electrifying and we look forward to the progress to come during Lisa’s and Matt’s tenure.”    

About the JDRF International Board of Directors (IBOD)  

IBOD is the governing body for JDRF and is tasked with accelerating the organization’s mission progress toward life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. Learn more about JDRF’s volunteer and staff leadership.