DRIF Appoints Bernadette Toomey Director of Northeast Region

HOLLYWOOD, Florida (March 1, 2011) – The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Bernadette Toomey as Director of its Northeast Region.  As the region’s chief development officer, Ms. Toomey will be responsible for planning, directing and managing all fundraising and external affairs activities in New York City, Westchester County, New Jersey, Connecticut and other Northeast states, from the Manhattan-based office.

Ms. Toomey has an extensive background as a senior-level nonprofit professional with a proven track record for identifying strategic opportunities, increasing fundraising results, developing branding opportunities and driving communications.  She has worked extensively with volunteer boards and has successfully built and branded numerous high-profile programs and special events.  Prior to leading her own consulting firm, Ms. Toomey served as president and CEO of the American Lung Association, the first female appointed to head the nation’s oldest voluntary healthcare organization. As the executive vice president for strategic partnerships for the American Legacy Foundation, one of the nation’s largest health foundations, she created the award-winning Circle of Friends© initiative. 

Ms. Toomey began her career in Washington, D.C., working in public policy and education. At the Brookings Institution, she directed education programs for policy makers, corporate leaders and government officials.   She served as vice president of the National Academy Foundation, which forged strong partnerships with business, government, education and labor to create systemic change in public secondary education.  She also was a consultant on national post-secondary education issues during the Clinton administration.   

As vice president of the Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Fragrance Association, a trade association for a multi-billion dollar industry, she created the national public service program Look Good…Feel Better, designed to help women recovering from chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

In the private sector, Ms. Toomey was the vice president, special programs at International Management Group, directing the international event, entertainment, marketing and media corporation’s Washington, D.C., office. 

“We’re very excited that Bernadette is joining the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.  I am confident that her skills and expertise will advance the cure-focused mission of the DRI and Foundation in the Northeast Region, which has significant potential for growth in both fundraising and awareness,” stated Robert A. Pearlman, president and CEO of the DRI Foundation.

“Right now, it is important that the critical work of the scientists at the DRI has increased funding to help accelerate their efforts to find a cure for diabetes.  I am happy to be a part of this extraordinary group of people who are the best hope to soon find a cure,” remarked Ms. Toomey, a New York City resident, who received a master’s degree in education from American University and a bachelor’s degree from Marymount Manhattan College. 

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now. The Diabetes Research Institute leads the world in cure-focused research. Having already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, the DRI is building upon these promising outcomes by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies. Since its inception, DRI scientists have made significant contributions to the field of diabetes, pioneering many of the techniques used in laboratories worldwide. As the only organization solely dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI continues to develop and test new approaches to restore natural insulin production. With a relentless commitment to cure those now living with diabetes, along with its unique spirit of collaboration and notable accomplishments, the DRI is leading the international effort to eradicate this disease. For the millions of people affected by diabetes, the DRI is the best hope for a cure.


Media Contact:
Lauren Schreier

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