Mission Impact: Recognizing Mountain West Board Members’ Service


JDRF’s Mountain West Chapter is powered by remarkable volunteers who serve on community boards and give generously of their time, talent and treasure. With the end of the fiscal year on June 30, four board members in Colorado will formally retire from the board after six years of service.

Tamara Brown joined JDRF not long after her daughter was diagnosed with T1D, and served as an Honoree and Chair for the Denver Gala. She is passionate about creating meaningful experiences for JDRF supporters to generate critical funds for the mission. She’s also been instrumental in connecting others newly diagnosed to JDRF, offering them the same support she, her husband Scott and her family have appreciated.

After many years of service to one of JDRF’s Ohio chapters, Dick Cohen, together with his wife Terri, has been actively engaged in the Denver Gala on behalf of his now-adult son who lives with T1D. Procuring valuable and valued auction items, Dick has influenced the raising of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years. He’s also served as the chair of the Leadership Committee, ensuring donors know that JDRF is grateful for every gift. Dick is especially passionate about the intersections between JDRF-funded research and other autoimmune disease research.

Marshall Garner has also been active with the Gala, and along with his wife Kristi, has participated in JDRF One Walk and many other JDRF fundraising activities after his daughter Lindsay was diagnosed with T1D. Marshall has also served for the past two years as the Advocacy Team Chair, supporting legislative and policy priorities set forth by JDRF. Engaging and growing the local base of advocates, Marshall has taken action on alerts and built important relationship with members of Congress and their staff that have advanced JDRF’s legislative goals.

Whether offering support through her work as an Outreach Volunteer or leading one of the top JDRF One Walk Denver teams, Antoinette Taranto knows the value of every dollar raised supporting JDRF’s mission. When her son Luciano was diagnosed with T1D,  Antoinette and her husband Bryan committed themselves to finding a cure, and they expertly engage their community each year to join them in their cause.

The end of the fiscal year also brings to an end Chris German’s service as Utah Community Board President (though he continues his board term) Chris was diagnosed with T1D when he was six years old, and his family quickly became involved with JDRF in Pittsburgh, PA. After he relocated to Utah, Chris followed the family tradition and was integral to developing a Gala in Utah, serving as chair for Utah’s first JDRF Hope Gala. Through what will likely go down as one of the most challenging years ever for JDRF, Chris has in the past year guided the chapter through the global pandemic and was instrumental in the continued funding of T1D research. Said Mike Somers, Market Director in Utah, “Chris’ passion, dedication, and guided leadership make him an important volunteer leader in whatever way he chooses to support JDRF in the future.”

The thousands of adults and children who live with T1D and are served by amazing volunteers in the Mountain West Chapter are grateful for their willingness to step up and lead!