Alexander W. Dreyfoos
Alexander W. Dreyfoos, born in 1932, is Chairman and owner of ‘The Dreyfoos Group’, a private capital management firm, which grew out of the success of “Photo Electronics Corporation”, a company Mr. Dreyfoos formed in 1963 to manufacture electronic equipment for the photographic industry and from the sale of his controlling interest in television station “WPEC TV-12”, the CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida, which he owned for twenty-three years from 1973 to 1996.
Mr. Dreyfoos holds a B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) (1954) and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School (1958). He is an inventor, holding ten U.S. and numerous foreign patents in the fields of electronics and photography.
“Photo Electronics Corporation” was the designer and manufacturer of the digital image processing “Professional Video Analyzing Computer” (“PVAC”) - used by color laboratories for making high quality color photographs. An earlier version, invented in 1964 and still in use throughout the world, the “VCNA” (“Video Color Negative Analyzer”), was selected by the Smithsonian Institution in 1990 to be included in their permanent exhibit, “The Information Age: People, Information and Technology.”
In 1970, the Company received an Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its development of a motion picture video analyzer. The Company also invented the “LaserColor Printer”, which produced extremely high quality electronically generated color prints from color slides that were marketed as “LaserColor Prints”.
- The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
(Need to “Start Search” and then enter “Photo Electronics” as nominee.)
From 1977 until its sale in 2004, The Dreyfoos Group owned and operated “The Sailfish Marina”, a marina-restaurant-motel in Palm Beach Shores, docking one of the largest charter fishing fleets in South Florida.
Mr. Dreyfoos was instrumental in forming and served as first chairman of the “Palm Beach County Council of the Arts” (Now named the Palm Beach County Cultural Council). Beginning in 1978, he spearheaded efforts to build a world-class performing arts center in Palm Beach County and continues to serve as chairman of “The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts”, the $67 million (largely privately financed), 2,189-seat multipurpose facility that opened fully funded in September 1992. The Board named the Concert Hall in Mr. Dreyfoos’ honor. In the fall of 2003 the Kravis Center completed a $31 million expansion.
He is a lifetime trustee of the M.I.T. Corporation (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). He serves on the M.I.T. Visiting Committees for Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, and the Media Laboratory/Media Arts and Sciences where he served as chairman for nearly a decade. The “Alexander W. Dreyfoos Building” at M.I.T., designed by Frank Gehry, was dedicated in May 2004. William J. Mitchell, Academic Head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, Professor of Architecture and Media Arts and Sciences, holds the “Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Professorship at the Media Lab”.
- Webcast of the Stata Center Dedication Ceremony
(Mr. Dreyfoos’ remarks begin at 28:35)
- William J. Mitchell
In 1997, Mr. Dreyfoos made the largest private contribution ever made to a public school in Florida, when he pledged $1,000,000 to support Palm Beach County’s public arts magnet high school, which was subsequently named for him. The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts attracts artistically talented students from all walks of life and offers concentrations in communications, dance, music, theatre, visual arts and digital media. Admission to the school is by audition. Recent graduates have been accepted at Harvard, Juilliard, M.I.T., Princeton and Yale to name a few. In June 2011 Newsweek ranked Dreyfoos 40th on the list of America's best high schools. For the past 7 years Dreyfoos has been ranked in the top 60 schools in the nation.
In February 2004, Mr. Dreyfoos was elected to the Board of Trustees of the La Jolla, California-based Scripps Research Institute. Having received grants totaling more than $500 million from the state of Florida and Palm Beach County, Scripps will build a major bio-medical research campus in Palm Beach County.
In October 2004, Mr. Dreyfoos was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Select: “Search for a particular Fellow”, enter “Dreyfoos” then “Search”.
Mr. Dreyfoos formerly served as a Governor-appointee to the Florida Council of 100 and was a founding member, director and former chairman of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County. He is a founding member of The International SeaKeepers Society; an active member of the Chief Executives Organization and the World Presidents’ Organization; and a former member of YPO. Mr. Dreyfoos recently retired from the board of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE-FPL); he had served for 7 years.
- The Florida Council of 100
- Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Inc.
- The International SeaKeepers Society
- World Presidents' Organization
Mr. Dreyfoos has received numerous distinctions for community involvement. Among them, The Palm Beach Post: Business Leader of the Year (1980), Man of the Year (1992) and their centennial recognition of the 100 people who “changed the way we live” (1999); Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Special Award (1985) and One and Only Award (1992); Nova University’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award (1991); Florida Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch (1992); Palm Beach Atlantic University’s American Free Enterprise Award (1992); Northwood University’s Outstanding Business Leader Award (1994); Florida Atlantic University’s Entrepreneur of the Year (1996); Junior Achievement’s Inaugural Business Hall of Fame Award (2001); American Diabetes Association Valor Award (2005); M.I.T.’s Marshall B. Dalton Award (1997) and the Bronze Beaver Award (1997). In May 1999, Lynn University bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate of science degree. In January 2006 The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution presented Mr. Dreyfoos the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. In May 2006 the Kellogg School of Science and Technology of The Scripps Research Institute bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree on Mr. Dreyfoos.
At M.I.T. he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He and his wife, Renate, live in West Palm Beach, Florida. His daughter, Cathy is married and raising a family in Tampa. Son, Robert is married and raising a family in Seattle.
Mr. Dreyfoos’ interests include yachting (www.yachtsilvercloud.com), flying (he holds an ATP pilot certificate with jet aircraft and turbine helicopter ratings), photography, scuba diving, ham radio (K4BDM), freshwater and deep-sea fishing and ocean sailboat racing. His club memberships include the New York Yacht Club, the Harvard Club of New York City, the Beach Club (Palm Beach), and the Sailfish Club of Florida (Palm Beach). He is a member of the First Unitarian Church of Palm Beach County.