National Board of Directors
Honorary Board & Former Chairmen
Regional Boards of Directors
DRI Foundation Staff
National Board of Directors
Chairman - William J. Fishlinger
William J. Fishlinger, founder and former CEO & Chairman of The Wright Insurance Group and its subsidiary companies, is one of the leading entrepreneurs in the insurance industry, having created WRM and seen it through to consolidation with Brown and Brown in one of the industry’s largest transactions of 2014.
Bill revolutionized the financing of public sector risk in a partnership with public schools in 1989 with the formation of the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal. In 1992, in partnership with the New York Conference of Mayors, Association of Towns and the Association of Counties, Bill formed the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal. Currently both of those companies have received an A.M. Best A rating and are the predominant underwriters of public sector risk in the state of New York.
In October 2008, Bill teamed up with Aquiline Capital Partners LLC to form WRM America and capitalize WRM America Indemnity Company, Inc., a specialized property casualty insurance company. WRM America Indemnity served the insurance needs of the education market, particularly K-12 public and private schools as well as colleges and universities. Today, in partnership with Catlin Indemnity Company, the Wright program provides property and liability coverage to over 850 educational institutions in the United States. In 2010, Wright acquired the largest writer of Federal flood insurance from Fidelity Financial, rebranding the company as Wright Flood.
Before creating WRM, Bill led a top law firm with expertise in insurance, government and major corporate sectors, Congdon, Flaherty, O’Callaghan, Reid, Donlon, Travis and Fishlinger. As an attorney, he led the defense of many of the largest and most complex civil cases brought in the New York State and Federal Courts. A graduate of St. John’s University School of Law and the University of Maryland, he is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts of New York. Before law school, Bill served in the United States Air Force.
In June 2014, Bill announced the creation of Gramercy Risk Holdings, LLC to, among other things, provide financial, operational and legal resources for both domestic and foreign property and casualty insurance entities across the country. Bill serves as Chairman & CEO of Gramercy.
As a volunteer, Bill is deeply involved with not-for-profit organizations that support the educational needs of young people. He is a Trustee of the College of Mount St. Vincent and is a recipient of its highest award, The St. Vincent DePaul Medal for service to fellow man. He has been honored by the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami where he sits on the National Board and has been a landmark contributor.
Together with his wife, Joan, the Fishlingers founded the Future Leadership Foundation, whose mission is to help young people hurdle health and education obstacles that block their paths to becoming future leaders. Today he is deeply involved in the Fishlinger Family Foundation, which has a similar mission.
Bill Fishlinger shares with Henry Ford, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, Donald Trump and thirty leaders of America’s top companies the IFNY’s prestigious Free Enterprise Award.
Bill and Joan Fishlinger reside in Manhasset, NY, and they have two grown children, Matthew and Alexandra, who are involved in the family’s charitable and corporate ventures. Watch the video here to learn more about his passionate commitment to find a cure.
Immediate Past Chairman - Harold G. Doran, Jr.
Harold G. Doran, Jr., is a veteran of the banking industry with over 30 years of experience. Though retired from the business, he continues to serve on several corporate and philanthropic boards and is a strong supporter of his community.
Mr. Doran served as President and CEO of the Peoples Bank of Murray in Murray, KY, from 1988 to 2000. He started his career at the bank in 1977. He currently serves on several boards of directors, including Investors Heritage Capital Corporation, Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co., Murray State University Foundation and the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation.
Additionally, he has held various leadership positions with several organizations, including Chairman of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority and the Bank of Lyon County; President of the Murray State University Alumni Association and the Four Rivers Scout Council, Boy Scouts of America; Vice Chairman of the Dees Bank of Hazel; Director of the Bank of Livingston County; Trustee of the National Scouting Museum; Boy Scouts of America; and member of the Leadership Kentucky Class 1988.
Mr. Doran received a Bachelor of Science in Business at Murray State University in 1975 and earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1977.
Mr. Doran is married to Kelly Williams Doran, a retired mathematics instructor at Murray State University. The couple has two children, Sarah and Will, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1994 at the age of two.
Vice Chair - John C. Doscas
John Doscas has been on Wall Street for over 30 years and is Managing Partner of Axios Capital. Previously, John was Co-Founder and President of Hudson Bay Capital. He has served on many financial industry panels and committees. Mr. Doscas also invests and is active in the commercial real estate market globally.
The Doscas family has supported the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation since 1999. In 2009, at the age of 20, John’s son, Christopher, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. At that time, John began a world-wide search to identify an organization that he believed was best equipped to find a cure for diabetes. The DRI became John’s organization of choice. In 2012, he was chosen to serve as the honoree for the Crystal Ball and joined the DRIF National Board of Directors.
John holds a BS in finance from Fordham University and has returned to lecture there. He has served on the executive committee of Fordham University’s President Council, the Parents Leadership Committee of Vanderbilt University, and the Board of Visitors of The Wake Forest Schools of Business. He established the Doscas Family Foundation to support leading scientific, education and medical research institutions, including St. Francis Hospital, the Diabetes Research Institute and others.
Vice Chair - Bonnie Inserra
Bonnie Inserra has worked relentlessly on behalf of a multitude of charitable organizations, filling many different roles as board member, fundraiser, facilitator and often, caregiver. She is an angel within her community. Bonnie possesses an ability to find people’s strengths, which helps guide innovative conversation and forward progress with whomever she might be engaging at the time. Bonnie believes in the power of collective intelligence.
Most people never discover their purpose in life, yet if you know Bonnie, you quickly realize that she, in fact, has discovered hers. She has a definite aim, vision and purpose, no matter what the result may be. She is an ardent proponent and champion for medical research. Bonnie is especially knowledgeable in the fields of diabetes and cancer.
Bonnie’s son, Lawrence, is a 22-year cancer survivor due to the diligence of a mother. Her commitment to the Diabetes Research Institute began after her daughter, Lindsey, was diagnosed with a difficult-to- manage form of type 1 diabetes 19 years ago at the age of 11. Due to Bonnie’s tireless pursuit of a revolutionary medical treatment to save her child’s life, Lindsey has directly benefited from groundbreaking research and development, which allowed her to be the first child in the world to use the MiniMed Intraperitoneal Implanted Pump.
In addition to her role as Vice Chair of the DRI Foundation’s National Board, Bonnie also serves on the National Board’s Executive Committee. She is a member of the Foundation’s Northeast Board and its Executive Committee, and acts as the current co-chair for the Foundation’s annual DREAMS in the City fundraiser in New York. The event has raised more than $7 million to date for the DRI’s cure focused research.
She also currently sits on the Board of Converge Biotech, Hackensack University Medical Center’s Special Events Committee and The Colleen Giblin Foundation, which supports childhood neurological and cancer research. Bonnie has had the distinguished honor of being that foundation’s first recipient of their “Woman of the Millennium Award”.
Bonnie’s greatest honor however, is her role as representative and staunch supporter of the Inserra Family Foundation, where she can directly affect change in the lives of others. Bonnie has committed her life to the pursuit of peace, health and purpose for so many. She is an inspiration.
Treasurer - Richard Tonkinson
Rick Tonkinson, MBA, MPA, CFP®, CLU, AIF®, has been passionately committed to the Diabetes Research Institute for over 10 years. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in December 2006 and has been a patient at the DRI’s Eleanor and Joseph Kosow Diabetes Treatment Center since then. Rick has been a member of the Florida Board for six years. He and his wife, Margarita, are Distinguished Humanitarians of the DRI Foundation and members of the DRI Heritage Society.
In June 2017, they donated $50,000 to support the #MultiplyCellSupply Match Challenge campaign in support of the stem cell research conducted by Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala. Rick and Margarita, through The Tonkinson Foundation, have just made a five-year pledge of $250,000 and are now at the Governors’ Society donor level.
Rick and Margarita currently financially support 46 charities and they believe in tithing.
Rick is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Florida International University (FIU) College of Communication, Architecture and the Arts (CARTA) and a board member of the University of Miami (UM) School of Business Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. For five years, he was a board member of the Miami Music Association (MMA) which financially supported the Cleveland Orchestra residency in Miami.
Rick is the founder and President of Tonkinson Financial that has provided money management services for 25 years.
Rick has a master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and a master’s in Public Health (MPA) with a focus on budgets and cash flow.
Secretary - Bruce A. Siegel
Bruce A. Siegel is executive vice president and general counsel with First Long Island Investors and also is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Bruce has been employed by FLI since 1989.
His responsibilities at FLI include wealth management, estate panning, insurance evaluation and acquisition, and real estate advisory services. Bruce began his career as an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He worked in private practice with a New York City law firm, was assistant general counsel for a public company, and managed the Partnership Review Group for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner and Smith. Bruce was a senior vice president of W.P. Stewart Asset Management (N.A.) from 1998 to 2003.
Bruce graduated from Cornell University in 1970 and received a J.D. degree from New York University Law School in 1974. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1975. Bruce currently serves as co-chairman of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation Northeast Region and is a member of its executive committee, as well as a member of DRI’s National Planned Giving Committee.
He previously served on the board of directors of the New York Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRFI) for 10 years, as vice president of government relations, and was government relations New York State leader – downstate. Bruce also served on the investment committee of JDRFI from 2001-2002 and served on the Board of Directors of JDRFI’s Westchester Chapter for over 20 years, including serving as chairman of the nominating and major gifts committees.
Bruce and his wife, Rachel, are parents of two adult children, Jason and Sara.
Marlene Berg is the chief development officer at Miami Heart Research Institute and has been a loyal member of the MHRI fundraising team since 1992.
Marlene has served her community for more than 35 years as a leader, innovator and ultimate volunteer.
With the skills of a professional and the heart of a volunteer, she has served on the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s (DRIF) Love and Hope committee for many years and has been involved with the organization since her daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Ron Maurice Darling, Jr.
Ronald Maurice Darling, Jr., is an American former right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the New York Mets, Oakland Athletics and Montreal Expos. Ron currently works as a color commentator for national baseball coverage on TBS, as well as for the Mets on both SNY and WPIX. In addition to serving on the DRIF’s National Board, he is the founder of the Ron Darling Foundation, which raises funds for diabetes research and other charities, and is a member of the board for Habitat for Humanity.
Born in Honolulu to a Hawaiian-Chinese mother and a French-Canadian father, Ron is a fluent speaker of both Chinese and French. He attended Yale University, managing a dual major in French and Southeast Asian history. Ron was set to graduate in December 1982 but was drafted in June 1981. He compiled the most prolific major league career of any Yale alumnus since 19th century pitcher Bill Hutchison.
During his 13-year career, Ron amassed a 136-116 win-loss record, including 1,590 strikeouts and a 3.87 ERA. He was selected to the 1985 All-Star team and also won a Gold Glove Award in 1989.
Post retirement in 2006, Ron was hired by SportsNet New York joining veteran Gary Cohen and former Mets teammate Keith Hernandez. He also appears on some of the SNY-produced WPIX broadcasts in the New York Metropolitan Area. He won an Emmy Award as “Best Sports Analyst” for his work on the Mets broadcasts.
Ron is married to Joanna Last and has two children, Tyler and Jordan, and currently lives in Manhattan.
Ron found himself personally affected by diabetes when his youngest son was diagnosed with type 1 at age 11, and has since dedicated himself to making a difference. He has teamed with the DRI to fight diabetes, find a cure and find it now.
Marc S. Goldfarb
Marc S. Goldfarb currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., one of the world’s most recognized fashion companies. Marc previously served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for FULLBEAUTY Brands, Inc., the leading brand portfolio of women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, lingerie and swimwear dedicated exclusively to plus sizes; Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Kid Brands, Inc. (f/k/a Russ Berrie & Company), a NYSE-listed manufacturer of infant and juvenile products (2005-2013); and Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Journal Register Company, a NYSE-listed newspaper publishing company (2003-2005). Prior to that, he served as Managing Director and General Counsel of The Vertical Group, an international private equity firm, and as a partner with a New York City law firm.
Marc graduated from Cornell University in 1985 and received a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1988. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Northeast Region, since 2006; as a member of the DRIF Northeast Region Executive Committee since 2012, and as Co-Chair of the Northeast Region Board of Directors since 2013, and currently serves on the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s National Board of Directors Audit Committee. He also served as Co-Chair and/or a member of the Event Committee for the DRIF’s Carnival for a Cure from 2006 – 2011, along with his wife, Carolyn.
Marc and Carolyn are parents of 13 year old twin girls, Brooke and Isabelle. Brooke has type 1 diabetes.
Esther Goodman is a co-Founder and Managing Director of Conyers Consulting Group, a consulting firm for asset management companies.
From July-1986 until April- 2014, she was the Global Chief Operating Officer and Senior Executive Vice President of the The Kenmar Group (which became The Kenmar Olympia Group in April-2012). For the three years prior to joining the Kenmar Group, Esther was a marketing executive at Commodities Corporation in Princeton, NJ. From 1979 to 1983, she was a founder and principal of Westchester Commodity Management, an alternative investment management firm. Prior to that Esther worked in various capacities in the commodity futures industry.
Esther graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. degree in Child Psychology.
She is also a founder and Board Member of the Stacy Joy Goodman Memorial Foundation, a non-profit charity committed to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes.
Marc S. Goodman
Marc Goodman is a co-Founder and Managing Director of Conyers Consulting Group,LLC, a consulting firm for asset management companies.
Until March 31, 2014 he was Co-Executive Chairman and Global Co-Chief Investment Officer of the Kenmar Olympia Group. Prior to that Marc was the President, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer of The Kenmar Group. Prior to Co-founding The Kenmar Group in 1983, Marc was a Vice President and Director of Pasternak, Baum and Co., Inc., a global dealer of cash commodities.
Marc graduated from the Bernard M. Baruch School of Business of the City University of New York with a B.B.A. degree and an M.B.A. in Finance and Investments. He was awarded an Economics and Finance Department Fellowship during his studies.
Marc is the Chairman of the Board of the Stacy Joy Goodman Memorial Foundation, a non-profit charity committed to finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. In addition to his role on the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s National Board, he is a member of the Foundation’s Northeast Board and its Executive Committee.
Lindsey Inserra attended New York University (NYU) and graduated from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. She began her career as a social worker before joining Inserra Supermarkets, her family’s business.
She serves as Young Professional Chair of the DRIF’s Northeast Board, Young Professional Co-chair at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Hospital and on the children’s Hospital Advisory Committee at Hackensack Meridian Health, board member of Table to Table, and on the board of Pony Power.
Lindsey was named 2018 Women of Influence in the Food Industry by the Griffin Report and was the recipient of the 2018 Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey Chair’s Award. Lindsey was previously named Progressive Grocer 2017 Top Women in Grocery and was the recipient of NJBIZ 2017 40 Under 40 award.
Lindsey started working in the ShopRite stores at 16 before joining the Donations Department at Inserra Supermarkets at the age of 21. She then went on to establish a Health and Wellness Department and retail registered dietitian team at Inserra Supermarkets. Currently, she is the Vice President of Health and Wellness and Marketing, where she oversees health service programs across 19 stores offering nutritional education to the surrounding communities on a variety of health issues. As Lindsey’s role in her family business continues to expand, she has learned that she loves all facets of the grocery industry with her newest role overseeing customer engagement training for all associates. Lindsey also works closely with her family members to determine the philanthropic direction of The Inserra Family Foundation. The Foundation supports large-scale organizations and locally based groups in the communities they serve.
Philanthropist Eleanor Kosow is a member of the Leadership Council of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), and is a member of the Love and Hope executive committee.
Born in Boston, Eleanor has lived in South Florida for more than 30 years. She has three children and five grandchildren.
In addition to the DRI, she is a Platinum Angel of Jackson Memorial Hospital, and is involved with the Ovarian Cancer Center, The Eleanor and Joseph Kosow Bio-Chemistry Center for Cancer Research at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, The North Pavilion at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Founder, The Eleanor and Joseph Kosow Laboratory at the City of Hope, Duarte, California.
Eleanor is a Member of the Merrick Society at the University of Miami, Founder at Mt. Sinai, Recipient of the Helping Hands Award from the University of Miami School of Medicine.
She has also volunteered at the DRI’s Kosow Diabetes Treatment Center, which was named in honor of a landmark gift by her and her late husband.
Passionate about finding a solution for blood sugar management that was both natural and accessible, Scarlett tapped her belief in Herbal Medicine to lead the way when formulating Sugarbreak’s product line. Having witnessed a close friend struggling with Type 1 diabetes, she was motivated to join forces with Sugarbreak’s co-founders to create a contemporary, end-to-end solution for blood sugar management. Scarlett is emphatically driven by the human experience, having led successful businesses across fashion, grocery, and fertility with the common ground of consumer-oriented strategy.
Ramon Poo is president of Miami-based Altira, Inc., a plastic container manufacturer.
Born in Spain and raised in Cuba, he came to Miami in 1961 and earned a degree in engineering from the University of Miami in 1967.
Ramon became personally aware of the tragedy of living with diabetes when his four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1. Working with the DRI’s Scientific Director, Dr. Camillo Ricordi, he has designed and built a device used in islet cell transplantation. Known as the Ricordi Chamber, this vital piece of equipment makes islet transplantation possible and is being used by researchers worldwide. Ramon’s company produces this life-saving instrument and distributes it to diabetes centers around the globe.
He continues to work closely with the scientists at the DRI to design and manufacture other pieces of equipment that will help to improve the processes needed to further diabetes research.
With his wife, Cristina, the couple are Distinguished Humanitarians of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF), and the entire Poo family continues to support many of the organization’s fundraising efforts.
Charles Rizzo is president of Rizzo Group, Building and Zoning Law Consultants in New York City. Considered by many in his field as a leading expert in building and zoning law, his clients include some of the largest architectural firms, commercial real estate owners and Fortune 500 companies in New York City.
Charlie studied in the architectural program at Pratt Institute in New York and worked in several architectural firms prior to founding CR&A. He is chairman of the subcommittee on the Americans with Disabilities Act of the Building Owners and Managers Association and a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, where he sits on the Building Management Committee.
He was also an adjunct professor at the Real Estate Institute of New York University and sat on the Mayor’s Committee for Service Improvement and on the Joint Fire and Building Department Task Force on High-rise Building Fire Prevention Law in New York City.
Charlie has authored many articles featured in Real Estate Weekly, Better Buildings Magazine and other technical journals.
In addition to his role on the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s National Board, Charlie is a member of the Foundation’s Northeast Board and its Executive Committee. He began his relationship with the Foundation after his daughter Andrea was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. He and his wife, Marie, have given their time and resources to further the research devoted to finding a cure for the disease.
Stephen is a Principal at RizzoGroup, the leading building code and zoning consultancy in New York City. RizzoGroup obtains construction and development approvals with municipal agencies for many of the largest real estate occupiers, from the Empire State Building to JP Morgan, Facebook and Google. Stephen also founded Codegreen Solutions, the leader in sustainability and energy consulting for Real Estate nationwide. Codegreen is a pioneer in reaching the zero carbon building and works toward that mission for over 200 million square feet of buildings nationwide, from the State of California (General Services) CalPers Funds, Tishman Speyer, Vornado and Kilroy Realty.
Stephen is involved in the real estate community, being an active member of BOMA, REBNY and the United States Green Building Council. He is an adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute and supports many charitable causes including the Diabetes Research Institute, Wellness in Schools, and the Urban Air Foundation. Stephen is a graduate of Bucknell University and Fordham Law School. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Agnes and their children Emilia, Max and Luca.
Ricardo Salmon is a Founding Partner of Silver River Capital Advisors. Prior to founding Silver River, he was a Partner and Senior Managing Director at Eton Park Capital Management where he was responsible for public markets investments in Emerging Markets. Before Eton Park, Ricardo was a Director at Deutsche Bank Capital Partners. He started his professional career in Mergers & Acquisition at James D. Wolfensohn, Inc.
Ricardo graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Finance and Accounting.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Huntsman Program of the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Wharton Executive Board for Latin America. Ricardo is the Chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of ReachingU. He is also a member of the Investment Committee of Catterton Latin America.
Ricardo and his wife, Leslie, have a daughter, Eliana, and a son, Mathias, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 3 ½ years old. Originally from Uruguay, he came to the United States in 1989.
Matthew Stubbs is a co-Founder and Managing Partner of Duncan Stubbs, PLLC a national law firm focusing on complex litigation. Duncan Stubbs has changed business practices to protect the public and has secured justice for victims of dangerous products. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the firm’s day-to-day activities.
Prior to co-founding Duncan Stubbs, Matt was a trial lawyer with a national law firm and a boutique where he litigated cases throughout Texas and Florida. Matt’s practice has always focused on trial work, and he has served as first-chair lead trial counsel in more than forty jury trials and bench trials to verdict.
Prior to that, Matt served in management at J.P. Morgan Chase where he led a team of analysts responsible for mitigating losses stemming from the 2008 financial crisis. He worked closely with the Obama Administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and several of the world’s largest banks in the design and implementation of lending policy. After leaving J.P. Morgan Chase, his relationship with the firm continued as outside legal counsel.
He is Chairman of the Duncan Stubbs Foundation, a non-profit charity committed to ending human trafficking, investing in education in communities under-served by banks, and finding a cure for juvenile diabetes. Matt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 12 years old. Living with diabetes has shaped his approach to life. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University and his Juris Doctorate from Barry Law.
Sam Talbot, a semi-finalist on season two of Top Chef, joins the DRIF’s National Board with a deep understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. Talbot’s experience as a chef, author, philanthropist, and television personality allows for his genuine approachability and natural charisma to draw in key audiences and increase awareness.
Diagnosed at a young age with type 1 diabetes, Talbot lives with a unique perspective that has become the driving force in all of his projects. He is at the forefront of the sustainable living movement, seeking to break down walls between the way we eat and live.
Talbot has worked on many endeavors while championing his philanthropic causes. In 2015, he launched Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization focusing on inspiring the diabetes community. Talbot is also the founding executive chef of The Surf Lodge in Montauk, which has become a nationally acclaimed culinary destination.
Talbot is currently working on his third book and new television and restaurant concepts. He is living in Venice, California, where he recently appeared as a celebrity judge on the television game show series Chopped
Jill Viner’s personal connection to the Diabetes Research Institute dates back several decades. She is a graduate of the University of Miami and during her years in college she attended the Love and Hope Ball with her parents. The family’s interest in supporting type 1 diabetes research was sparked when Jill’s brother, Craig Silver, was diagnosed with the disease as a child.
Jill has continued to champion the cause and finding a cure for diabetes has become her top priority. She has become a major supporter of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF).
Not only is Jill a contributor, she has helped steer other donations to the DRI. A few years ago, she was honored by Chanel and Saks Fifth Avenue at an elegant luncheon and fashion show held at the Boca Raton Resort. Jill was instrumental in having the Diabetes Research Institute named as the beneficiary of this successful event. She also underwrote all of the expenses, to channel the maximum proceeds to the organization.
Jill also hosted more than 300 people in her Hamptons home to raise awareness and funds for the DRI. She engaged top Miami event planner, Barton G., to produce a spectacular evening of food and drink, complete with a concert by Patti LaBelle. Jill Viner and her good friend, Barton G., underwrote the entire cost so that all of the money raised would benefit the DRI. The following summer, they hosted another “Evening Under the Stars,” and this time Diana Ross performed.
Jill is also involved with Love and Hope. She has served as an honoree of the Ball for the past few years.
Bruce Waller is the president of Gold Coast Properties and Development, LTD., and is an officer of a variety of real estate entitites. He is involved in private real estate development, operation and management. Prior to this, he served as an executive of a large private manufacturing and import/export conglomerate and as president of Décor, Inc.
Bruce joined the DRIF’s Long Island Regional Board in 2008 and is actively involved in the annual Crystal Ball. He currently serves on the Foundation’s Northeast Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Congregation Tifereth Israel, Glen Cove, NY.
He and his wife, Northeast Board member Roberta Waller, have been dedicated supporters of the DRI ever since their daughter, Dara, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 20 years ago at age 8. At that time, Roberta’s father, Rowland Schaefer, who is a member of the DRI Foundation’s Honorary Board and a Visionary of the organization, ensured them that the DRI was the best hope for a cure. The DRI building at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is named in honor of Roberta’s parents, Rowland and Sylvia Schaefer.
Bruce and Roberta reside in Upper Brookville, NY, and also have two sons, Andrew and Skylor.