This fund was established in 2003 by chairman and co-founder of the Stonewood Restaurant Group, L. Gale Lemerand. Born and raised in Michigan, Lemerand relocated to Illinois at the age of 40. There he began an insulation subcontracting firm out of a barn in Itasca. In 1979, he moved to Daytona Beach, FL, building his company into a $400 million business before retiring. His entrepreneurial skills and business acumen were recognized when he was named Florida Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995.
Lemerand devotes a great deal of time to local events and charities, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Boys and Girls Club of America and the March of Dimes. He was presented with the Humanitarian Award in 1996 by the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation in recognition of his true willingness to serve others. In addition, Lemerand serves on multiple boards, and in 1999 he was honored as one of UF’s Honorary Alumni. In 2003, Lemerand received an honorary degree. Perhaps his greatest achievement, though, comes at the home front. Lemerand is the proud father of three children: Gary, Dawn, and Rhond