Founded in 1986, by Dr. Richard E. Caruso, the Uncommon Individual Foundation (UIF) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit leader in mentor-based learning. A successful entrepreneur, and former CEO of Integra Life Sciences, Dr. Caruso attributes his entrepreneurial success to the mentors he encountered throughout his life. UIF is his way of ‘mentoring it forward,’ to help individuals and organization succeed through curated connections to mentors. The Foundation helps individuals and organizations through five mentoring programs: Corporate, Education, Entrepreneur, Media, and Technology.
The son of immigrant, working-class parents, Dr. Caruso achieved success in business through the influence of mentors he encountered throughout his life. The correlation between his success and the mentoring he received led Dr. Caruso to create UIF as a way to help individuals and organizations access experts, receive personal guidance, and utilize a comprehensive suite of mentoring tools and techniques to help ensure success.
In 1986, Dr. Caruso sat down with Co-Founder, Dr. John Crosby to discuss the naming of their new foundation. Caruso said he wanted to name his foundation The Uncommon Man, after a book by Crawford H. Greenewalt. The book is based on a series of lectures given by Greenewalt at Columbia University, and was the inspiration behind Caruso’s drive to create a foundation intended to help others succeed. Crosby responded to the idea “We can’t call it that. We have to change one word… we will call it the Uncommon Individual Foundation.”