GE and CEO Maryrose Sylvester Team Up for $100,000 Donation to the Foundation

March 11, 2015

Maryrose Sylvester, president and CEO of GE Lighting, in partnership with GE and The Gordon and Llura Gund Family Challenge, recently donated $100,000 to the Foundation Fighting Blindness to accelerate pre-clinical, translational and clinical research for retinal degenerative diseases.

In recognition of outstanding performance and leadership in 2014, Sylvester and a small group of key GE leaders were recognized by Jeff Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric, at the company’s leadership meeting in January. Sylvester was selected to receive the award based on her commitment to one of the core GE beliefs, “Learn and Adapt to Win,” and in recognition of outstanding leadership. 

As part of the award, GE donated $25,000 to the Foundation Fighting Blindness on behalf of Sylvester, which was personally matched by Sylvester and her family. This total was then matched by The Gordon and Llura Gund Family Challenge, which provides an unlimited, dollar-for-dollar match for $25,000+ gifts donated as part of Envision 20/20, a transformative campaign that will run through 2020 to end blindness. 

The donation will be used to contribute to a new area of clinical trials for sight-saving and sight-restoring therapies. As the world’s largest private funder of inherited retinal degenerative disease research, the Foundation Fighting Blindness works with 50 local chapters, researchers and industry partners to find preventions, treatments and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases.

Sylvester has been engaged with the Foundation for many years, and is committed to raising awareness of retinal diseases. “I am thrilled to witness the extraordinary breakthroughs made by researchers to preserve and restore vision,” says Sylvester, who has served on the Foundation Fighting Blindness board for the past year. “The Foundation Fighting Blindness plays a critical role in supporting early-stage research for these scientific advancements, and I am proud to support the Foundation’s commitment to all those living with retinal diseases.”

Sylvester was instrumental in helping to launch the GE Women’s Network in 1997. She has more than 20 years of support for community efforts like the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This involvement spans professional, academic and community outreach, including positions on the boards for the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the United Way of Greater Cleveland.