Delt Alumnus Joins JDRF Cause
Two worlds came together when Ned Gustafson (University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1993) joined the JDRF International staff in Minneapolis last July. Gustafson was familiar with JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, even before Delta Tau Delta established its partnership with JDRF in 2012. His older brother lives with type 1 diabetes as does the son of a good friend. He already knew about the JDRF events and had taken an interest in Delta Tau Delta’s partnership with JDRF because he had crossed paths with Delta Tau Delta’s former International President Jim Selzer (Baker University, 1970) who was a JDRF advocate.
After Delta Tau Delta established its partnership with JDRF, the Fraternity established the James O. Selzer Award for chapter excellence in support of JDRF. Selzer was serving as the Fraternity’s 49th president when he died in 2010 following a 45-year battle with type 1 diabetes.
Gustafson met Selzer when he traveled as a Fraternity chapter consultant from 1993 to 1995. He then served as Delta Tau Delta’s director of expansion for two years before entering a partnership with his brother to run a manufacturers representation business. After 12 years, he left that partnership to stay home with his four kids. Once his kids were all in school six years later, he began looking to add a new chapter to his career. Mindful of the non-profit environment he had enjoyed when he worked for Delta Tau Delta, and his personal connections to JDRF, he was drawn to apply for a job with JDRF Minnesota.
Now as development manager for JDRF Minnesota, Gustafson focuses on corporate relations and sponsorship primarily working with the JDRF One Walk corporate teams. “The Minnesota JDRF One Walk is a huge event with more than 20,000 people participating in the Walk at the Mall of America,” Gustafson said. “We had a successful corporate turn-out and are in a great spot to build our efforts for future Walks. It is a great job with a great group of co-workers. Plus, it was nice to see the Delts from the University of Minnesota and surrounding schools pitch in and help out.”
A Fraering Award recipient who was recognized in 2014, Gustafson volunteered with the Beta Eta Chapter at Minnesota for five years. During that time, he served as recruitment advisor, co-chapter advisor and chapter advisor.
Gustafson said it was great to hear good things about the University of Minnesota Delts during his job interview with JDRF. “The Beta Eta Delts are a big help at the JDRF Gala and the One Walk at the Mall of America. Other area chapters help and participate in the Minnesota One Walk. The chapter from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and both North Dakota Chapters participate. In all the Delts have a great reputation of helping the JDRF events in our area,” Gustafson said.
Whether it is through work or volunteer service, Gustafson strives to make an organization better sharing his time, talent and treasure. He sees JDRF operating like an ambitious Delt Chapter tackling goals, charting success and making lives meaningful. “It is interesting being part of a group trying to accomplish something. Trying to get everyone excited and on the same page is always satisfying,” Gustafson said.
To learn more about JDRF and how to get involved in your area visit jdrf.org.