Leo Karl

Recent Articles

‘They Support the Community’: Local Businesspeople Recognized by New Canaan Chamber of Commerce at Annual Awards Luncheon

Local businesspeople in New Canaan work tirelessly year-round to serve the town of New Canaan and its residents—giving of their time and rolling up their sleeves to provide goods and services for those in need, coach youth sports and volunteer to support community events. On Tuesday, the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce recognized three businesses who have made a significant impact. “We do this every year—this is our way of honoring the businesses that support our town,” Tucker Murphy, the executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said during the organization’s Annual Awards Luncheon, held at Gates. “It’s always hard because there are so many that do so many great things.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Community Foundation Hires New President and CEO

A prominent nonprofit organization in New Canaan announced this week that it’s hired a veteran of Washington, D.C. area community philanthropy as its new president and CEO. Lauren Stillwell Patterson will take the helm at the New Canaan Community Foundation on Oct. 26, officials said. According to a press release issued by Leo Karl III, chairman of NCCF’s board of directors, Patterson most recently served as director of programs at Washington Area Women’s Foundation—which serves women and girls in poverty—and “brings a wealth of experience, talent and enthusiasm” to the organization. A hub of giving and needs assessments in town that had developed a number of successful programs under immediate past leader Cynthia Gorey, NCCF controls a little more than $16 million, and for the last several years has distributed more than $1 million in annual grants. Continue Reading →

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‘A Fairly Amazing Run’: Cynthia Gorey To Leave New Canaan Community Foundation After 14 Years

Though it isn’t measurable by any single data point, Cynthia Gorey’s influence in leading the New Canaan Community Foundation for 14-plus years as its executive director, later president and CEO, may be sketched in terms of numbers. NCCF was 25 years old when the organization’s Board of Directors hired Gorey as its first full-time employee, in 2002, and at the time the nonprofit oversaw about $3 million in assets in three or four separate funds, according to current board President Leo Karl III. Today, NCCF controls a little more than $16 million, and for the last several years it’s distributed more than $1 million in annual grants, Karl said. NCCF also now counts nearly 40 separate funds—they vary from board-directed to donor-advised or agency funds set aside for nonprofits’ capital or long-term endowments—and they’re pooled and invested together. In total, NCCF in Gorey’s tenure has distributed more than $11 million—touching people’s lives with a breadth and depth that defies calculation. Continue Reading →

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Faith, Family and Fierce on the Court: Rose Kelley Karl

[This is the second installment in a four-part series “Matriarchs of Main & Elm,” profiling the women behind New Canaan’s great business families.]

New Canaan’s Sara Schubert can remember walking through the woods as an 8-year-old girl to visit her grandmother, Rose Karl, at the Carter Street home that the family had built in 1926—the same year Rose’s own father, Henry Kelley, laid the cornerstone at the “new” New Canaan High School, now the police department. There, the woman whose leadership, wisdom and commitment to loved ones would make an indelible mark on an iconic New Canaan business and family, greeted young Sara with freshly baked cookies, milk and—characteristically—meaningful conversation. “I knew I wanted to be a school teacher, get married someday and have kids, and Grandma always told me that it should happen in that order,” Sara recalled on a recent afternoon. “She also told me to have a backup plan in case computers took over a teacher’s job, and this was back in the ‘70s. She was always so insightful, grounded and forward-thinking.”

One of 15 children born at the turn of the century to the prominent Kelley family of Carter Street, Rose would marry Leo Karl, Sr. at St. Continue Reading →

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High Praise for New Canaan’s Karl Chevrolet, ‘Volt’ Electric Vehicle from State Officials

State environmental and auto industry officials on Tuesday praised a longstanding New Canaan business for its vision and commitment by way of touting a recently launched rebate program that promotes low-emissions electric vehicles. Since it launched in June, the “Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Vehicle Purchase Rebate” or ‘CHEAPR’ program has seen more than $200,000 in rebates paid out, spurring the purchase or lease of more than 100 vehicles, state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee said during a press event held on the showroom floor of Karl Chevrolet on Elm Street. Standing beside a not-yet-available 2016 Chevy Volt model that was shipped in especially by GM, Klee—his own state-owned Volt charging at the dealership’s own station alongside the building—noted that Leo Karl III, president of Karl Chevrolet, has led efforts across a wide swath of lower Fairfield County to see electric vehicle charging stations installed. The CHEAPR program offers cash rebates of up to $3,000. “It is really this sort of visionary leadership at this level that we need around the state to really drive home” the advantages of driving electric vehicles, Klee said. Continue Reading →

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