Alumni Profiles is an ongoing series highlighting successful graduates who, with a SUNY education, achieved interesting and influential careers.
Richard L. Gelfond is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IMAX Corporation. He has been a senior executive at IMAX since he and his partner Bradley J. Wechsler acquired the company in 1994. IMAX, the pioneer and leader of the giant-screen theater industry, provides projection technology, marketing and brand support, in addition to production and distribution, for large format films. In 1996, Mr. Gelfond and Mr. Wechsler accepted an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement on behalf of IMAX.
The company has created an international commercial market for the giant-screen medium and, thanks to its efforts, as of September 2012 there are 697 IMAX theaters in 52 countries. The recently developed technology, IMAX DMR, can be used to repurpose traditional Hollywood films into its giant screen format.
Richard started his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Max Rosenn of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Later, he was involved in retail management, investment banking, and worked as a corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Prior to acquiring IMAX, Richard specialized in leveraged buyouts and venture capital investments.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Richard has dedicated himself to public service and philanthropy. He serves as Chairman for the Board of Trustees of the Stony Brook Foundation, Inc., affiliated with Stony Brook University, and is on the Board of Directors for Brookhaven Science Associates, the management company of Brookhaven National Laboratories. Richard is also Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Historical Society. Most recently, he was named Chairman of the Columbia Shuttle Memorial Trust, established to raise funds for the families and legacy of the Columbia Shuttle Astronauts.
Richard earned his bachelor’s degree in the Arts and Sciences from Stony Brook University and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
Learn more about IMAX and Richard Gelfond in the video below.
Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.