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JDRF Appoints Game Industry Veteran Josh Larson to Oversee JDRF Game2Give Fundraising Initiative
SAN FRANCISCO - October 6, 2020 - JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, has hired former Kongregate executive Josh Larson as the Director of JDRF Game2Give, a growing initiative that pursues fundraising opportunities in the multibillion dollar video game industry.
Larson was most recently the Chief Business Officer at Kongregate, a leading cross-platform game publisher and developer, where he led strategy, business development, corporate development, and branding. His 20-year career in games has also included leadership roles with Mochi Media, Double Fusion, and GameSpot. He is the father of a nine-year-old daughter with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that affects up to 38 million people worldwide.
Started in 2019 by the charity's Northern California chapter, JDRF Game2Give has raised more than $700,000 for type 1 diabetes research in its first year of fundraising. Volunteer leads Dan Connors (Founder, Telltale Games) and Hans ten Cate (Chief Operating Officer, Tilt Five), who also have children with T1D, have been steering the initiative since its inception. Larson first joined the team as a volunteer earlier this year.
"We are so fortunate to have Josh Larson as the first Director for JDRF's Game2Give initiative. He brings incredible industry experience and a tremendous passion for our mission," says Nicole Friedland, Executive Director of JDRF's Northern California chapter. "Fifty years ago, JDRF was founded by T1D moms. Now this group of T1D dads, led by Josh Larson, Dan Connors, and Hans ten Cate, continue that legacy by launching this forward-thinking program to accelerate JDRF's progress toward cures for T1D."
One of Larson's responsibilities will be to oversee the newly formed JDRF Game2Give Advisory Council, which convened for the first time in September. The council is comprised of game industry veterans with T1D connections who are uniquely equipped to align game-related opportunities with the charity's mission to find cures for type 1 diabetes and improve the lives of people who live with the disease.
The JDRF Game2Give Advisory Council includes Jason Brush (Head of Innovation, Wunderman Thompson), Justin Graham (Senior Software Engineer, Unity), Brian Koenig (Principal Product Manager, Tapjoy), Steven Kovensky (Chief Business Officer, Humble Bundle), Jonathan Lai (Investment Partner, Andreessen Horowitz), Lisa Lang (Principal, Lisa Lang Consulting), Jeff Ryan (Chief People Officer, Zynga), and John Salter (Co-Founder, The Raine Group).
"JDRF is a fantastic organization and their support of families living with and managing T1D, including mine, is invaluable. Working with JDRF Game2Give will likely be the most important thing I do in my gaming career," says Larson. "Video games hold this great power to connect and mobilize, and I'm excited to harness this power for fundraising and community building around T1D, alongside the talented, driven members of this team and the Advisory Council."
JDRF Game2Give's next fundraising events will take place in November during National Diabetes Awareness Month. Game developers, publishers, and influencers with T1D connections and/or an interest in fundraising for JDRF are encouraged to reach out at [email protected].
About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and -- at present -- nothing you can do to get rid of it.
JDRF's mission is to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF
About JDRF Game2Give
Spearheaded by JDRF's Northern California chapter, JDRF Game2Give is an initiative that harnesses the fundraising potential of the multibillion-dollar video game industry. JDRF Game2Give brings together all types of people with T1D who work and play with video games, mobilizing this community to raise money and awareness for diabetes research. Visit jdrf.org/gaming to learn more or jdrf.org/stream to join our livestream fundraising team, or follow us on Twitter: @JDRFGame2Give
Public Relations for JDRF Game2Give
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