It seems that Tony Petrello has been in a giving mood lately. He has just donated $5 million to a research initiative and plans to top it off with an extra $2 million in the future. The money will not be the only contribution he will make because he is also committed to leading fundraising efforts for the cause.
Tony’s Very Special Incentive
Tony Petrello is well aware of how miraculous life can be. The first miracle he witnesses every morning is when his eight-year-old daughter Carena eats breakfast. Just last September, Carena learned how to chew solid food. It required many hours of practice, but she mastered the task through sheer strength and determination.
Carena has other projects that she is preparing to master. One of them is walking and the other is talking. Carena is eight years old, so you may be wondering why these activities are miracles. The reason is because Carena has a neurological condition that makes it much harder for her to learn the things that all children learn as they grow.
Carena was born at 24 weeks and only weighed 20 ounces. The physicians eventually diagnosed her with periventricular leukomalacia. This disease is fairly common in premature babies and is caused when the brain does not receive a sufficient amount of blood flow. This results in a lack of oxygen, and it caused Carena to develop cerebral palsy and to experience developmental delays. Tony Petrello and his wife Cynthia are devoted to finding answers to the issues that Carena must now face.
Tony Petrello is the CEO of Nabors Industries, the largest drilling contractor in the world. He is also its Chief Operating Officer, but one of his most important activities is being a member of the Texas Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees. When he and his wife learned that they would be facing a difficult journey with their new baby, they set out to find a pediatric research institution that would be able to help them. It didn’t matter to them where they would have to go, so they investigated facilities overseas along with those at Harvard, UCLA and Johns Hopkins.
Tony came to a conclusion after he spent several months studying the issue. These kids needed transatlantic research, but it wasn’t being done on the scale that Tony thought it needed to be. What was missing was brain research that was being done on children, and Tony saw a great opportunity.
Texas Children’s Hospital
It turns out that the place Tony and his wife needed to go was right under their noses at their neighborhood Texas Children’s Hospital. Their mission is to ensure that Carena and all kids with her disorder will be able to grow up and be whatever they want to be. To make that dream a reality, Tony hopes that the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital will lead the way.
Over the years, Tony has cultivated many impressive contacts to help with his mission, and one of them was Dan Duncan. Dan Duncan was the Chairman and Director of Enterprise Products and the success he had with his company made it possible for him and his wife to be very generous with their philanthropic giving towards issues in healthcare. In 2007, the couple donated $50 million to the creation of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute that opened its doors in 2010. It currently sits on 300,000 square feet at Texas Children’s Hospital.
In 2006, Tony was determined to find out what causes neurological disorders in children, so he donated $7 million to Texas Children’s Hospital. He believes that the children who are being born today with neurological disorders will have a chance to have better lives because of his efforts.
An Endowment in the Memory of Serge Lang
Tony Petrello’s philanthropic giving does not end with the children’s hospital. He was motivated to contribute toward an annual prize at his alma mater Yale University to commemorate his friend and mentor Serge Lang, a Yale math professor who died last September. The initial gift would be $150,000, but he will also match any gifts the university receives toward the endowment up to the amount of $150,000.
Tony Petrello met Serge Lang in 1972 when he first arrived at Yale, and he soon discovered that Lang would be one of his closest friends. The prize is going to be designated toward an individual in the mathematics field although many people in other fields have recognized Serge Lang as the reason they are successful in their careers.
About Tony Petrello
Tony Petrello graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Yale University. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Yale as well. He also graduated from Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor.
His career started when he joined the law firm Baker & McKenzie. This firm’s focus was on general corporate law, taxation and international arbitration. After joining the firm in 1979, Tony became a Managing Partner in 1986. He resigned from that position in 1991 and moved on to his current company Nabors Industries that year.
In 1991, Tony Petrello entered the company as an elected member of the Nabors Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Board, and in 2003, he became the Deputy Chairman. He served as Chief Operating Officer until October of 2011 and became Deputy Chairman in 2003. Tony Petrello entered the Chief Executive Officer position in 2011 and has been President since 1991. Lastly, he has been Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board since 2012.