Blase Thomas Golisano (born 1942) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of Paychex, the second-largest payroll processor in the United States and co-owner (along with real estate developer Larry Quinn) of the Buffalo Sabres hockey team and of the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team. Golisano has an associate's degree from Alfred State College.
He is a founding member of the Independence Party of New York, and ran for governor of New York in 1994, 1998 and 2002 on its ticket. Although he lost each time, he increased his percentage of the vote. He spent a combined $93 million on the three campaigns. In 2002, Golisano challenged New York Governor George Pataki as the candidate of the Independence Party. By receiving more than 50,000 votes each time, Golisano brought the Independence Party an automatic ballot line for the succeeding four years. There was speculation that he would run for governor on the Republican ticket, but he announced on May 15, 2009 that he was moving to Florida to escape New York state taxes.
Golisano has become a major philanthropist, founding the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation in 1985, which awards grants to organizations dedicated to providing opportunities for those with disabilities and offering support to their families. Golisano has donated over 6% of his net worth ($1.3 billion) to charity. He has made major donations to fund health care and leading educational centers. He donated $14 million in February 2001 to the Rochester Institute of Technology to fund the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Golisano donated $14 million to the University of Rochester, which re-named their pediatric facility at Strong Memorial Hospital in his honor as the Golisano Children's Hospital in 2002. In October 2003, Golisano donated $5 million to Nazareth College, which named the new Golisano Academic Center in his honor. On March 6, 2006, Golisano donated $6 million to Bishop Kearney High School and Our Lady of Mercy High School. In September 2007, with a $10 million donation, Golisano launched the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. On October 8, 2008, Golisano donated $10 million to Niagara University for a new Center for Integrated Science building that will be named in his honor. On the list of contributors to the Clinton Foundation, which the foundation released in December 2008 as part of an arrangement with the Obama Administration, Golisano is listed as having given between $10 million and $25 million. In November 2009, Golisano donated $4 million to Ave Maria University for the construction of a new field house.