York College creates Weinstock Student Venture Investment Fund thanks to gift from YJC grad, York native Norm Weinstock
Norm Weinstock’s mantra in business and in life is simple: Do well by doing good things. “Much of my success is from doing exactly this,” he said. “I get satisfaction and enjoyment from watching others succeed.”
A 1968 graduate of York Junior College and native Yorker, Weinstock’s motto has served him well professionally. He enjoyed lengthy, successful careers at both Dentsply International and Henry Schein (worldwide distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies). He formed a partnership with Henry Schein in 1985 to purchase the Zahn Dental Company and served as its president and chairman, and a vice president of Henry Schein, until retiring in 2017.
Doing good things in his personal life has meant that Weinstock and his wife, Sheila, have been generous to organizations including York College. In the fall of 2011, they used a charitable gift annuity and pledge of cash to fund the Weinstock Lecture Hall in the Willman Business Center. In addition, Weinstock facilitated York College’s $500,000 proposal to the NASDAQ Foundation, which resulted in the creation of the NASDAQ Trading Laboratory. More recently, Weinstock decided he wanted to do something additional for the College after meeting with Dr. James Norrie, dean of the Graham School of Business. “Through conversations, I learned of his vision and a shared belief in helping young people through mentoring and encouraging entrepreneurial enterprises,” he said.
Weinstock now lives near Boston, and a friend of his is involved with the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, which provides the expertise, support, and connections MIT students need to become effective entrepreneurs. “The program mentors and helps students go into start-ups,” he said. “It sounded very intriguing to me, something that would bring income and a higher profile to York College.”
Weinstock provided a $100,000 gift to create the Weinstock Student Venture Investment Fund (SVIF) at York College. SVIF will provide micro-investments up to $5,000 for selected student or alumni-led start-ups. Each year, a competitive process will be used, including the involvement of an external investment board of established entrepreneurs, to select winning ideas. Funds are advanced as a loan with expectations of future returns and are associated with access to entrepreneurial coaching, mentoring and business development support.
“The support and generosity of donors like Norm Weinstock continues to help set the Graham School apart,” said Norrie. “He clearly supports the business school’s vision to become a regional powerhouse. His active sponsorship and mentorship of students with entrepreneurial aspirations is another ingredient that helps set the York College experience apart for students looking to accelerate their careers and impact on the world.”
This is a special time in Weinstock’s life. He celebrates his 80th birthday in March, and he and Sheila recently marked their 55th wedding anniversary. (Sheila has earned international recognition as a senior tennis player and is ranked #2 in the United States for her age group. She has been inducted into the New England Tennis Hall of Fame, has served as captain and team member of the USTA team, representing the United States at International Tennis Federation Senior World Team Championships five times, and is past president of the National Senior Women’s Tennis Association.)
Weinstock has chosen to remember York College as he celebrates his 80th birthday in March, asking family and friends to donate to the SVIF rather than purchase a gift. “I plan to encourage people I know and those I don’t know to put money into this fund to help encourage students to come up with ideas,” he said. “Throughout my lifetime, I have been very involved in start-ups that came to my attention through relationships and contacts. I have watched ideas grow to multi-million businesses and have seen success come from basic ideas. I would like to see that happen at York College through this fund.”