Audrey Butvay Gruss is Founder and Chairman of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF), which she established in 2006 in memory of her late mother Hope, who battled clinical depression for decades. HDRF’s mission is to fund pioneering international scientific research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and its related mood and other emotional disorders, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. HDRF distinguishes itself as the only significantly-funded research program, public or private, based on “affective neuroscience”, which integrates the fields of neuroscience (the biology of the brain) and affect (the mind and emotions). Audrey Gruss was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, from the University of Haifa, for her courage and perseverance in creating a research foundation to support this visionary mission.
Audrey Gruss is also President of The Audrey and Martin Gruss Foundation, which she and her husband established twenty years ago as a private philanthropic foundation to support a wide range of charitable activities, especially focusing on the cultural arts, education and medical research. Mrs. Gruss brought the skills of her executive experience in the fields of international marketing and advertising to the non-profit arena. She was the former co-owner and President of Terme di Saturnia, Inc., an international scientifically–focused skincare firm. She established the marketing tie-in between the Terme di Saturnia Spa in Italy with the Doral Hotels, to create the Doral Saturnia Spa Resort in Miami. She previously served as a marketing and advertising executive at J.P. Stevens, Revlon and as Director of Advertising and Creative Services Worldwide for Elizabeth Arden. Mrs. Gruss graduated with honors from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. A Fellow of Tufts University, she established the Audrey Butvay Gruss Science Award for women.
Audrey Gruss’ fund-raising and philanthropic efforts have both a U.S and international dimension. In the U.S., Mrs. Gruss is an active board member and patron of numerous charitable and cultural organizations in New York and Palm Beach, Florida. In New York, she is a Board member of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. She is on the Chairman’s Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mrs. Gruss is a major Benefactor of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund and is on the Advisory Council of Literacy Partners. She is a patron of The New York Botanical Garden, The Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Theater, The Frick Museum and is on the International Advisory Council of the Guggenheim Museum. She is a former board member of The Public Theater/NY Shakespeare Festival and the President’s Council of the New York Public Library. Mrs. Gruss was the recipient of the 2005 Casita Maria’s Gold Medal of Honor for her philanthropic activities.
In Palm Beach, Mrs.Gruss served on the Executive Committee of The Intracoastal Health Foundation Board and, as Co-Chair, raised $34 million in one year for St. Mary’s/Good Samaritan Hospitals, for which she received the 1998 Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce Charitable Achievement Award. She is a Board member of The Hospice Guild and The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. She has been a three- time Gala Chair of the opening night of the Palm Beach International Fine Art and Antique Fair, benefitting the Community Foundation. She has also been a three-time Chair of The Preservation Foundation’s annual fund-raising dinner. She was Chairman of the 2000 Bicentennial Gala of the Norton Museum and Chairman of ORBIS International’s annual Gala, and Co-Chairman of annual fund-raising benefits for Saint Mary’s/Good Samaritan Hospitals, the Hospice Guild and the Community Foundation. Mrs. Gruss is a Founder of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and a member of the Benefactor‘s Council of the Society of the Four Arts.
Internationally, Mrs. Gruss is on the Advisory Board of FAI: Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano, the premier architectural preservation group in Italy and is a member of the International Council of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. She is a Board member of the American Friends of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Mrs. Gruss is a former Benefactor of the American Academy in Rome and former International Benefactor Co-Chairman of the American Friends of the London Symphony Orchestra. Audrey Gruss is a native Lithuanian who has supported numerous charitable efforts in the Baltics, ranging from cultural to social services to democratic educational training. She is a founding Board member of the US-Baltic Foundation where she created the Gruss Fellows, an exchange program which provided grass-roots democracy training in the U.S. for Baltic municipal government employees. The US-Baltic Foundation honored her with a Founder’s Award in December 2002 for her leadership on behalf of the Baltic cause. She actively supports numerous charities in the Baltic countries, including Lithuanian Orphan Care and Lithuanian Religious Aid. She was one of the key underwriters of the first U.S.-Baltic Art Tour in 2000. Mrs. Gruss is a founding Board Member of the Lithuanian Ambassador’s American Lithuanian Economic Development Advisory Council (ALEDAC). In July 2002 the President of Lithuania awarded Mrs. Gruss the “Gediminas Medal” – one of the nation’s highest honors.