Meet Nate Checketts — Beyond Type 1 Chairman of the Board
Nate Checketts, CEO and Co-founder of Rhone, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors at Beyond Type 1 Summer 2019. We sat down with Nate to learn more about his diagnosis story, the importance of the diabetes community, and the vision for his leadership at Beyond Type 1.
That was before
For years following his diagnosis, Nate Checketts experienced much of his life with Type 1 in isolation. It wasn’t until he experienced serious issues with his management that he sought out T1D camaraderie and began to take better care of himself. One particularly scary experience saw Nate waking up in the hospital after not feeling a low and experiencing seizures in his sleep.
“That was my biggest diabetes wake up call. From that point, I really started taking much better care of my health, my nutrition. I researched it, I started using a pump then, and that incident is what caused me to start seeking out a sense of community — I just said to myself it’s not worth it. At the time, I had two kids, a young family, and it really woke me up to taking better care of myself,” he says.
For Nate, finding a community goes hand in hand with proper health and diabetes management. This is precisely why Beyond Type 1 appealed to him: “It’s really about connecting people, learning from each other, and building a sense of community, understanding what’s it like to live with the disease day in and day out. Beyond Type 1 has always had lofty ideals and a desire to have an impact.”
Nate’s entrepreneurial spirit has always been the driving force of his career path. The CEO and Co-Founder of Rhone, a men’s activewear brand, is no stranger to rolling up his sleeves and bringing his ideas to fruition. Starting a summer camp out of his parents backyard at age 15 (“It ran for about eight years, we had 50 kids a week”) was followed by the development of a business plan for a mobile software company in college (“We ended up selling that business to the San Francisco 49ers”). Shortly thereafter Nate was consulting for companies like FanVision, Cisco and Levi Restaurants, and ultimately the entrepreneur ended up working for the NFL.
It was during his time at the NFL that Nate first had the idea for Rhone, and he ended up launching the company in 2014. Rhone prides itself on being a motivational company first, committed to making quality clothing and inspiring excellence in all things. Behind everything that both Nate and his company do, there is an exceptional amount of heart and a commitment to constant improvement. He brings this same spirit to Beyond Type 1’s goals and initiatives, including not just the pathway to a cure but understanding the importance of benchmark advancements in technology.
“I’m absolutely excited for a time when we’re talking about not what diabetes is but what diabetes was. I think the ability to look back in hindsight and talk about it as something of the past is something that drives me and excites me, but I think I’m also excited for the incremental gains that we get every day. I’ve already been diagnosed for 10 years and seen monumental gains in the technology and I think that’s only going to continue to accelerate.”
Looking to the future
Nate did not anticipate his Chairman of the Board nomination, but it’s a role he has taken on with great excitement and humility. He says, “I know how hard it is on an intimate level to live with diabetes, I know diabetes not only impacts the person diagnosed but everyone in their orbit, and I know how much those surrounding people worry and care. And so I care deeply and I’m very energized about putting full focus and effort behind Beyond Type 1.”
Nate loves engaging with the Type 1 community online and in person, and feels there is real power in individuals coming together to unite for a common goal, especially after feeling alone with his own disease for some time.
“I’m so excited about encouraging everyone to realize that you don’t have to be alone, you really do not have to be isolated or suffer in silence. There are people who know what you’re going through in a very real way and no matter what challenge you have with the disease, you will find somebody else who’s gone through it. And I think it’s such a beautiful thing that Beyond Type 1 built, it’s this rallying cry and a center point for people to come to.”