Donor Spotlight: Leo A. Guthart
Leo Guthart knows a thing or two about business: A Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School, he received an MBA and a Doctorate in Business Administration. Leo went on to serve as a Ford Foundation Fellow, where his research in corporate finance earned publication in such respected journals as the Harvard Business Review. Since that time, Leo’s business tenacity and hard work have earned him an illustrious career, spanning more than 30 years and earning him much recognition in the business world.
Leo’s leadership tenure includes having served as CEO of Ademco, Chairman of the Security and Fire Solutions Group of Honeywell International, Vice Chairman of Pittway Corporation, Chief Executive Officer of its Security Group of Companies, and Chairman of Cylink Corporation. Today, he manages Topspin Partners and Topspin Partners LBO, venture capital and buyout funds on Long Island.
In addition to his business success, Leo also knows a thing or two about philanthropy: As a member of the Board of Trustees of Hofstra University and former Board Chairman, overseer of the brand new Hofstra-NSLIJ Medical School, and Trustee of the Stony Brook Foundation, Leo gives back to the communities in which he lives and works. Most recently, he was inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame in recognition of his leadership contributions to advancing science and technology on Long Island.
In all of his endeavors, Leo Guthart is a man who plays to win.
So it was especially fitting to him to parlay his personal experience with pancreatic cancer into a personal commitment toward conquering this disease. “In 1970, I lost my father, Harry, to pancreatic cancer, so advancing the science related to this disease has always remained close to my heart,” says Leo. “But at the time of his death and for many years afterward, virtually nothing was being done in the research community to better understand this elusive killer.”
"...advancing the science related to this disease has always remained close to my heart."
Leo’s personal commitment to cancer research is nothing new. As a Founding Director of the Long Island Research Institute and current Trustee of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, he understands the vital role of medical research in conquering disease. In 2004, he learned of The Lustgarten Foundation and began generously supporting its work. Each year since, he has grown his support and to date, he has provided nearly $100,000 for various research initiatives of the Foundation.
Says Leo, “I know through my work with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory that today, there is much important research in the area of genomics that can be used as a basis to help shed light on pancreatic cancer. We’re going down the right track, one very worthy of support, and I’m proud to be a part of this venture.”