Matthew Mitchell, a Vancouver native and avid athlete has been a long-standing Team Fox member and mentor since 2010. While living in Finland to complete his master's degree in media and global communications, Matt catches up with fellow mentors to share their story of involvement with Team Fox.
Alison Urkowitz is Vice President of Research Operations at the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF) and remains one of its longest-standing employees with a tenure of nearly nine years. During her time at MJFF, Alison has played a pivotal role in its growth and evolution as an organization and today, oversees the operational aspects of all research activities at the Foundation. In this role, Alison manages a research team dedicated to identifying the most promising initiatives to support in order to drive progress forward and best serve the ultimate needs of patients.
Alison recalls first joining the Foundation because of the laser focus on efficiency and accountability. The mission to put an end to Parkinsonís was clear, powerful, and still drives the energy and work of the Foundationís current staff of 90 employees.†
When she talks about her research team, she relays how proud she is to be working with such high-performing teammates who are constantly pushing to increase the impact and efficiency of every donorís dollar. ďAs MJFF continues to grow increasingly more effective with our resources, I am more motivated than ever to help cure Parkinsonís,Ē she relays.
In addition to being involved with the Foundationís research initiatives, Alison has also played an active role in fundraising through her Team Fox yoga event, Posing for Parkinsonís! Having seen Team Foxís growth from inception in 2006 to its current size of 1,600 annual fundraising members, she remains inspired by the engagement opportunity that the program provides. †Being a part of the grassroots awareness-building has provided her with a new view to how the different facets and faces of the foundation all come together. Upon becoming a mentor in 2011, Alison had the opportunity to further connect with new Team Fox members by sharing her unique knowledge of the Foundationís work and how their efforts translated into research funding.
When we sat down in the MJFF offices to chat, much of our discussion kept coming back to engagement and all the ways available for people to get involved.† ďI continue to †appreciate how MJFF brings stakeholders together in every aspect of the PD community, consistently providing unique and innovative opportunities to be involved in the fight for a cure, ď Alison says.† From participating in research roundtables and clinical trials, to supporting or hosting Team Fox events, the opportunities are endless. She also admits that the more engaged she has become, the more inspired she becomes: ďitís invigorating to be a part of a community that pushes each other forward, beyond oneís own expectations.Ē
Interested in getting more involved in your community? Join Team Fox today!