David Tuttleman’s Highlands Roots

For more than four decades, David Tuttleman has been on the leading edge of global business across apparel, consumer goods, food & beverage, and philanthropy.

And he’s done so largely in the bucolic shadow of Rockford Tower.

On this week’s Highlands Live, the Red Oak resident (and resident entrepreneur) made a big commitment to the community, pledging Tuttleman Foundation support to the Delaware Art Museum.

Guided by the vision of David’s parents, Stanley and Edna Tuttleman, the Tuttleman Foundation endeavors to “be a source of enduring benefit to the populations it serve.” As such, it has bolstered the cultural efforts of Lincoln Center, The Franklin Institute (where this reporter was first dazzled by the cosmos in the the family’s namesake planetarium) and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

And, as of Tuesday night, the Delaware Arts Museum

During a lively question and answer session, Art Museum Executive Director (and Highlands Live‘s inaugural guest), Molly Giordano — noting the Keith Haring-like art behind David — inquired about his collection.

“My mother was a huge fan of of Lichtenstein and Calder,” David said. “She loved contemporary artists and — if you’ve been in my house, you know — it rubbed off on me; I have all sorts of art around my house.”

When Tuttleman invited Giordano to visit and see for herself, Community Association President, Denison Hatch, encouraged the collaboration. David quickly obliged.

“I’d be happy to lean into the Delaware Art Museum,” he said. “I could certainly do my neighborly part.”

“There’s my public commitment,” he continued to applause, laughter and smiles.

David helped build the Tuttleman empire, traveling with his father from Sri Lanka to Seoul and Shanghai to build what would become retail apparel juggernaut, The Limited. He established his Highlands beachhead in the mid-90, when he was an early mover on the now burgeoning Wilmington Riverfront. 

Kahunaville combined dining and entertainment in an outsized, tropical nightclub atmosphere, and attracted world-class talent as diverse as The Beach Boys, Dökken, REO Speedwagon and Green Day. (Ask him the one about Hall & Oates and Joan Kluger’s ironing board.)

With his latest endeavor, David is once again out front — this time as a seven-year veteran of the red-hot medical and adult use marijuana business. His fully licensed and operational growing and processing company, Matrix NV, is located in North Las Vegas. As CEO, David oversees every aspect of the company.

“I’m also lucky to have been awarded the opportunity to open a fully vertical medical marijuana company here in Delaware,” David said.

“I plan to be here a long, long time,” he finished. “You’ll be burying me in the backyard.”

“Well,” he reconsidered with a chuckle. “That might hurt resale. But I’ll be here until that time.”

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