Patti and John Gipson
30 May 2023

Making Innovation Happen: Patti and John Gipson

Patti and John Gipson’s generous spirit fuels HudsonAlpha’s Innovation Fund

 Supporting your local community can take many forms, from working hard for a company whose mission you believe in, to volunteering, and giving back through philanthropy. Patti and John Gipson have loved and supported the Huntsville community in each of these ways and more. Dedication to their local community led the couple to become steadfast supporters of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

 As a former Huntsville City Schools teacher and former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Penta Research, Patti and John respectively have diligently served the Rocket City through many years of hard work. Now that John has mostly retired, the Gipsons have continued to give back to the community by supporting non-profit organizations across North Alabama.

 “We feel that it is important to support organizations that help meet people’s needs, such as families and children who need care,” said John. “HudsonAlpha is not normally where we would direct our giving, but we were inspired to support the Institute because we are so impressed by what is going on.”

 As a business leader in Cummings Research Park, John had known of HudsonAlpha since the Institute was first built in 2008. When the Gipsons received a personal tour from Rick Myers, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and President Emeritus, they fell in love with the Institute.

 “Rick made us feel at home and gave us so much information about DNA research and genetic testing,” said Patti. “We saw the value of how people’s lives can be changed through scientific research.”

 Since making their first gift, the Gipsons have been loyal supporters of many HudsonAlpha programs, from research to Educational Outreach. John attended courses in the Biotech 101 and 201 series the precursor to HudsonAlpha U Nights, the Institute’s new public education programs.

 Patti and John GipsonWhen Patti and John learned about HudsonAlpha’s new Innovation Fund, they knew it was an initiative they wanted to be involved in. The Gipsons first learned about the Innovation Fund through their friend, Chris Russell, who is a member of the HudsonAlpha Foundation Board of Directors. Chris shared about the Innovation Fund and encouraged the Gipsons to consider supporting it through their donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville.

 “Genetics and genomics is so fast-paced, and technology and knowledge is constantly changing,” said John. “If HudsonAlpha wants to remain a leading center of research in those fields, the Institute needs resources to continue hiring top talent and working with state-of-the-art equipment. The Innovation Fund is the stimulus that makes that possible.”

 Patti and John are inspired by the breadth of areas that benefit from the Innovation Fund, from HudsonAlpha’s research on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, to research on developing sustainable biofuels and solving hunger worldwide. “It excites me that HudsonAlpha contributes to making people healthier in so many ways,” said Patti.

 When asked what words of advice the Gipsons have for people who may also be considering making a gift to the Innovation Fund, John replied: “When you have world class staff with the best tools available, those are the ingredients that make innovation happen. Philanthropy makes that possible, and I don’t see a limit to what HudsonAlpha can do given the resources.”

 If you are interested in joining Patti and John Gipson in supporting the Innovation Fund, you can learn more about the fund and make a gift by visiting this page.