NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Blyth, Inc., Ropart Group
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Environment & Animals, Arts & Culture, Health
OVERVIEW: Bob Goergen, his wife Pamela, and family move their philanthropy through the Goergen Foundation, which gave away around $1.1 million in a recent year. Goergen strongly supports his alma maters, University of Rochester and Wharton. Education is a strong interest for the family, with support going to schools where they have a personal connection. Other interests include the arts and environmental organizations.
BACKGROUND: Robert B. Goergen graduated from University of Rochester in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in physics and later earned an MBA in finance from Wharton. He began his career at Procter & Gamble before moving to other firms, including McKinsey & Co. and the venture capital group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He became part owner of a small Brooklyn candle company, which he grew and took public in 1994. He renamed the company Blyth, Inc. He is also chairman of the Ropart Group, a private equity investment firm.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Goergen is strongly involved with his undergraduate alma mater, University of Rochester. Earlier in the decade, the couple committed $11 million to the University of Rochester’s Institute for Data Science, renaming it the Goergen Institute for Data Science. The family's $10 million gift in 2007 led the construction of the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics. In 2000, the Goergens provided $5 million for renovations to the River Campus athletic and fitness facility, now the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center. In 1997, the couple established the Goergen Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, presented annually to outstanding faculty members.
The Goergens steadily support University of Pennsylvania, home to the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, created with a $10 million gift. Other grantees include Grace Church School, Princeton University, Horatio Alger Association, Northwestern University, Choate Rosemary Hall, Waterside School, Wake Forest University, and Immaculata University, where Pamela graduated.
ENVIRONMENT & ANIMALS: Grantees include LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Wildlife Conservation Society (one of the couple's sons and his wife are on the WCS council), African Parks Foundation of America, Audubon Greenwich, and New York Botanical Garden.
ARTS & CULTURE: Pamela is an honorary trustee of Bruce Museum of Arts and Science in Greenwich. The Goergen foundation has supported Bruce Museum, as well as The Society of the Four Arts, Manhattan Theatre Club, Whitney Museum, and Norton Museum of Art.
OTHER: Pamela works with the Lost Tree Village Charitable Foundation in North Palm Beach, Florida, focused on strengthening the community and quality of life for residents. Funds have gone to health outfits Memorial Sloan Kettering Center, Breast Cancer Alliance, and Jupiter Medical Center Foundation.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Goergens to stick with their interests. The family has ties to several parts of the country, including Connecticut and Florida. The couple's kids and their spouses already appear to influence giving and should be watched carefully going forward.
The Goergen Foundation does not provide a clear avenue of contact, but below is an address:
Goergen Foundation Inc.
c/o Ropart, 3 Greenwich Office Park
Greenwich, CT 06931