JDRF NorCal Presents Chapter Awards and Special Recognition at Annual Meeting

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On February 28 at The City Club of San Francisco, the JDRF NorCal Chapter held its Annual Meeting & Research Discussion. The evening included awards and special recognition presented to outstanding members of our type 1 diabetes (T1D) community.

JDRF NorCal Chapter Board President Dr. Jennifer Schneider was pleased to present three awards:

Paola Reynoso, Jennifer Schneider

Volunteer of the Year: Paola Reynoso

Paola Reynoso is inspired by her 10-year old son Damian who was diagnosed with T1D at the age of three. Paola has been integral in bringing together our Spanish-speaking community, not just here in Northern California but worldwide. She hosts a Spanish speaking E-Meet & Greet as well as a Facebook Group for Spanish Speakers. Paola’s innovative programs to reach the Spanish speaking community are so impressive that she was invited to partner with JDRF’s national Diversity & Inclusion team and help them create a Spanish Bag of Hope for newly diagnosed families. She also serves on our Chapter Board as Community Engagement Chair, and is always willing to share her family’s story and speak publicly to raise awareness about T1D and inspire others to join our mission.

Kim Fisher, Jennifer Schneider

JDRF Chapter Board Member of the Year: Kim Fisher

From the moment her daughter Nina was diagnosed with T1D in 2019, Kim Fisher was drawn to supporting JDRF’s research efforts and educating people about the importance of participating in clinical studies. Having Kim help guide and navigate the process of enrolling in clinical trials is incredibly impactful for those who live with T1D and especially those newly diagnosed with T1D. Kim’s efforts have been so successful in Northern California that she was asked to share her playbook with the Volunteers at the pilot programs throughout the US.  In additional to being a Clinical Trial Education Volunteer, Kim serves on our Chapter Board as Research Chair. In this role, she joins national monthly calls to learn about the latest research in order to present that research back to our community.

Patty Sue Mozart, Andy Ivarsson, Michelle Notkin Rosen, Kathi Rawnsley, Jennifer Schneider

Forward as 1 Award: The 2020/2022 Tee to Table Committee

The Forward as 1 Award goes to a group that embodies the philosophy and spirit of teamwork and perseverance in the fight against T1D. The very first Forward as 1 Award was presented to the 2020/2022 JDRF Tee to Table committee. Tee to Table is a fun golf, tennis and culinary event that takes place each Spring at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. Since day one, this group of volunteer committee members has worked together with a positive attitude to help move our mission forward  – and they quickly pivoted in stride more than once when the pandemic began. First in March 2020, just three weeks before Tee to Table was supposed to happen, the event was rescheduled for August of 2020 which was subsequently cancelled. In 2021, the Tee to Table Committee refused to give up and joined forces with the Hope Gala Committee to create a virtual event which they called Tee to Gala. In 2022, the committee came together yet again to finally put on the original 2020 event, raising $1.8 million.

The 2020/2021 Tee to Table Committee Members: Cathy Baldacci, Marla Birk, Jennifer Crum, Enrica D’Ettorre, Andy Ivarsson, Mia Mosher, Ashley Mozart, Forrest Mozart, Kimmy Mozart, Patty Sue Mozart, Matt Murrer, Eric Piziali, Kathi Rawnsley, Angie Robbiano, Michelle Notkin Rosen, Carol Sisney

Preetish Nijhawan, Michelle Griffin

JDRF Center of Excellence in Northern California: Visionary Donors 

The JDRF Center of Excellence in Northern California combines the scientific expertise of Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco. The Center formally unites these academic institutions to form a high-impact research partnership toward accelerating cures for T1D. Nearly 300 donors have contributed $9 million to fully fund the first 5 years of the Center. A group of visionary supporters led the way and is listed on a plaque which will be on display at UCSF. Michelle Griffin, Vice Chair, JDRF International Board of Directors, presented this plaque to Preetish Niihawan, one of those lead supporters.

The JDRF Center of Excellence in Northern California Lead Donors: Jeff Jordan and Karen Shishino Jordan, Michelle Griffin and Tom Parker, Preetish and Shirin Nijhawan, Marilyn and Steve Kraft, Lisa and Steve Altman, The Niehaus Family, Mary and Dick Allen, Alfred Mann Family Foundation

Congratulations to everyone recognized! The JDRF Northern California Chapter is incredibly grateful and inspired every day by the passion, support and commitment of our community members. 

The JDRF Northern California Chapter Annual Meeting & Research Discussion also included a Chapter Update, a JDRF International Update, and a Panel Research Discussion: Understanding Autoimmunity and Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells for T1D Cures. Click here to view the recording of this compelling and engaging discussion.