Each year at Rockin’ for Research, the Vancouver Chapter of JDRF pays tribute to an individual or corporation that has demonstrated an outstanding degree of support to JDRF.
We are so pleased to announce our 2017 Honourees: Mary Jane Devine and Mike Cyr.
Honourees Mary Jane Devine and Mike Cyr have been devoted members of JDRF’s Vancouver Chapter for the past 17 years. They joined the organization when their son Stephen, now 24, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of seven.
Like all parents of a newly diagnosed child, Mary Jane and Mike were initially devastated by the news. However, they quickly realized that the best way to deal with their family’s new reality was to get involved and JDRF provided the perfect opportunity to do that.
Both are accomplished and connected members of the Vancouver business community and have been fortunate to be able to use their business contacts to help further the goals of JDRF, as well as give of their time to the organization.
Mary Jane is a prominent executive in the Vancouver tech industry and currently leads Mio Global, a health and wellness technology company. She also serves on JDRF’s Board of Directors and chairs the Vancouver Chapter’s Rockin’ for Research Gala – a key fundraising event with which she has been involved since 2001.
A well-respected volunteer with a strong work ethic, Mary Jane has been instrumental in raising a total of $14 million to help JDRF accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of advances to cure, better treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. Held last October, the 2016 Vancouver Gala raised more than $1.3 million!
In addition, Mary Jane played a major role in bringing TELUS on board as JDRF’s Title Walk sponsor – a partnership that resulted in a 10-year, $10 million dollar contribution through the We give where we live program.
At the time of Stephen’s diagnosis, Mike was Director of Marketing for Boston Pizza and received an outpouring of support from the company and its franchisees. Through his efforts, Boston Pizza has become a long-term corporate supporter sponsor of JDRF through the Boston Pizza Foundation.
As President of PH Restaurants LP, which owns Pizza Huts throughout British Columbia, Mike has continued his fundraising efforts for JDRF, raising $85,000 this year alone through his locations. Mike also served in a number of volunteer positions with JDRF, first as the Corporate Walk Chair for the Vancouver JDRF TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes and then as a member of JDRF’s national Board of Directors for nine years (2002 to 2011).
Despite their busy lives, full-time jobs and numerous personal and professional obligations, Mary Jane and Mike continue to invest their time and energy to help JDRF succeed in its mission. Their personal commitment to the cause exemplifies the true Canadian spirit of generosity.
As outstanding ambassadors for JDRF who believe that great strength lies in unity, the dynamic couple is grateful to be part of the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research in 18 countries with the goal of finding a cure.
Mary Jane and Mike have lived in North Vancouver since 1988. When they are not working or volunteering, they can be found at Whistler – a place they have enjoyed with Stephen and their two daughters, Karly, 28, and Jessica, 27, since the children were young.
2016 – Mills Office Productivity
2015 – The Stuart Family
2014 – Carol and Larry Hagan
2013 – Boston Pizza Foundation
2012 – Black Press, CTV, Canada Wide Media, Global BC and The Georgia Straight
2011 – TD Bank Group
2010 – London Drugs Ltd.
2009 – LOVERBOY
2008 – Kyle Balagno
2007 – TELUS
2006 – RBC Financial Group
2005 – Sun-Rype Products Ltd.
2004 – LifeScan Canada Ltd.
2003 – Boston Pizza International
2002 – Dan McLeod & Yolanda Stepien
2001 – Ike & Jean Barber