Sometimes all you need is some leadership, and that is exactly what the victims of Katrina got last week in the form of U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision Director John M. Reich, the federal regulator of all thrift financial institutions in the country. Director Reich, a friend who is passionately concerned about the victims of Katrina and Rita, and what will come of them as well as the Gulf Coast economy and effected states in coming weeks and months, took the lead, along with Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan, regulator of all national banks, in authorizing for the first time "credit" for emergency disaster financial counseling under the federal CRA (Community Reinvestment Act), responding to a request by Operation HOPE. Thank you for your leadership here.
I also want to reserve a special thank you and leadership commendation to Arlen Gelbard, a national board member for Operation HOPE, president of E Trade Bank and chief administrative officer of E Trade Financial, who made a commitment of more than 100 volunteers to Project Restore HOPE, this done in addition to their recent pledge of $500,000 for victims in a new HOPE Fund for emergency disaster relief. Last but not least, my friend Bernie Wilson, senior vice president for H & R Block, and a new regional board member for Operation HOPE, announced a commitment of 500 employees nationwide to Project Restore HOPE.
Onward, with HOPE