TONY PETRELLO’S RISE TO PHILANTROPY

That there is a silver lining in every dark cloud is an adage well embodied in the life of Tony Petrello. Well concealed in the haze of hopelessness and frustration is a ray of light that with persistence serves to give hope and encouragement. Tony has defied the common portrayal of the rich as greedy, to rise as one of the celebrated philanthropists. He is famed for his giving towards medical research geared to developing a cure for neurological disorders common to new-borns.

Tony, as he is commonly referred to in his inner circle, is the President and CEO of Nabors Industries Limited. He joined Nabors in 1991 after resigning from a managerial position in Baker & McKenzie law firm. He has worked his way to the upper echelons of the World’s largest drilling company.

With a demanding career, Tony derives his strength from his disabled daughter. In 1997, Carena was prematurely born with Periventricular Leukomalacia. A disorder common among premature babies. The disorder’s characteristic of cutting oxygen supply to the baby’s brain led to Cerebral Palsy which inhibited Carena’s development. Consequently, Carena has had to put in extraordinary effort to perform tasks normal to other children such as eating, walking and speaking. Tony and his wife, Cynthia describe their daughter’s condition as a constant inspiration to them.

In the course of seeking medication for Carena, Tony realised a gap existed in medical research on such neurological disorders. This prompted him to explore the possibility of having a medical centre dedicated to research of childhood neurological disorders. The search led Tony to a neurological research facility in Texas, Texas Children’s Hospital. Tony has over the years made donations to the research facility that has seen the medical team make significant progress in managing the conditions.

Tony holds two degrees in Mathematics from Yale University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard school of law. In further philanthropism, Tony has been key in developing an annual prize at Yale University in remembrance of his late lecturer and friend, Professor Serge Lane. With his $ 150,000 initial gift and promising more, he envisions to set up an endowment fund to serve as a memorial to the Professor of Mathematics.

Tony is evidently a firm believer in getting elusive opportunities from challenges. His stint at Nabors Industries Limited has seen the drilling firm the grow to run over 500 oil rigs in 25 countries.

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