Leading us into the future: An interview with the Board President

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With a bold new vision, you need a bold leader. The JDRF Greater Delaware Valley Chapter is pleased to officially announce the new board president Michael Block, Esquire. On August 20,2020 Michael Block accepted the board nomination for president of the newly formed Greater Delaware Valley Chapter Board.

In preparation for his year as President of the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter, Michael Block sat down for a virtual interview. Let’s get to know Michael “Mike” Block:


Q | Hi Mike! Congratulations on being elected JDRF Greater Delaware Valley Chapter Board President! You’ve been involved with JDRF for a while but for those who may not know you, tell us a little about you!

A | Thanks! Well, I am 62 years young and have been married for 37 wonderful years to Sandy.  We have 3 children, Michael, Jr. 35, Brian, 32, and Samantha, 30.  I have one grandson, Ryan, who is 2 years old with whom I love spending time.  I have been a lawyer for 36 years, with the concentration of my practice on civil litigation, focused mostly on toxic tort and product liability matters.  I played 2 years of division 3 college football during my time at Glassboro State College (now Rowan).

Q | Why did you get involved with JDRF?

A | Our son Brian developed type 1 diabetes on October 4, 1996, 3 weeks before his 9th birthday. In 2000, a friend and colleague, George Greatrex and I were discussing a legal matter when he advised that his daughter had recently been diagnosed with type 1, and how he started volunteering for JDRF.  When I advised [George]of my son, he invited me to be on the Golf committee.  From there I joined the South Jersey Chapter Board of Directors [and have been active in almost every program JDRF has to offer since]!

Here’s a bit of what Mike’s been involved with over the years.

  • Walk Chair and Committee
  • Gala Chair and Committee
  • Golf Committee
  • Major Gifts Chair
  • Nominating Committee
  • Stewardship Committee
  • Corporate committee
  • The first President Elect for the South Jersey Chapter from July 2005- June 2007 and then served as the South Jersey President from July 2007-June 2009.
  • In 2010 he took over the Parvin Walk which he chaired for 3 years, before the Chapter moved that Walk to Wildwood.
  • President of the South Jersey Board from 2019-2020.

Q | JDRF has a bold vision for the future: To accelerate the mission and become more volunteer powered then ever before. What does volunteer powered mean to you and why is it important in accelerating JDRF’s mission and funding?

A | Considering the pandemic, it’s now more important than ever to be volunteer powered. While it may feel  impossible to connect, because we are not having in person events, and everything is virtual, our volunteers have and will continue to make sure we can reach the broadest audience and provide them with something that they need.

Being Volunteer Powered means everything to JDRF. It’s the energy that is needed to fuel funding and progress Our volunteers touch every aspect of JDRF. Our volunteers have influenced the chapters success in many ways. Some of these ways are:

Our Outreach Volunteers are, many times, the first contact our newly diagnosed families have to JDRF. The relationship formed during these times help to foster connection between JDRF and the families we serve.  Our outreach volunteers also help to reconnect families and volunteers that have lapse in volunteer years. 

Our program partners and program committee members are crucial in recruiting the next generation of volunteers and increasing the number of people we engage at events and in Advocacy (and so many more areas) and help with our mission of raising dollars, engaging new donors, companies and partners.

It is now more than ever that our volunteers used their power, influence and passion to continue to move the JDRF mission forward. We need YOUR help to create a world without T1D.

 

Q | They say starting is the hardest part. How would encourage someone who wants to start volunteering for JDRF but doesn’t know how to start?

A | Our chapter staff is here to help you find the perfect fit when it comes to volunteeringThe Staff is there to be your partner, help support and guide you into what volunteer role makes the most sense for you as an individual.

 

Q | The Greater Delaware Valley chapter covers the State of Delaware, South New Jersey and the eastern most part of Pennsylvania.  With our chapter covering such a large geography how can people who want to get involved across the chapters footprint, get and stay connected with the JDRF Greater Delaware Valley chapter and its staff?

A | Staying connected is easier than ever! We all have smart phones today, stay connected via @JDRFGDV social media pages, join our email list and stay up-to-date or visit our website! Although the Greater Delaware Valley covers a large territory, JDRF has made it easy and fast to get and stay connected. Reach out any day and we are more than happy to personalize your JDRF experience.