Sometimes, no most times, it takes people to make a difference in the lives of others. I have often said, "you don’t do business with companies, or governments or organizations, you do business with people," and Celie Niehaus, an executive at Operation HOPE partner E TRADE FINANCIAL and E TRADE BANK, is just that sort of special person.
While I and we within the larger Operation HOPE family enjoy a special relationship with most everyone at E TRADE, from the chairman Mitch Caplan to my friend Arlen Gelbard, president of the bank and a member of our national board (and the man responsible for driving the overall 10-year, $10 million commitment from the company to HOPE, and for the under-served communities we serve), to Matt Geary and Kelvin James and others, it is Celie who I would describe as the "relationship manager" for the partnership. We could not have asked for anyone more passionate, engaged, serious, intelligent, consistent and "considerate" of their partner, Operation HOPE.
In all the time we have been partners, now covering more than 5 years, E TRADE has never boasted, put itself first, asked for "credit," nor demanded that their names be plastered across the front of our signature HOPE Centers. In most cases, we have to push E TRADE to actually "get" the credit it so rightly deserves. Often, as they have done in the company’s most recent press announcement around HOPE, released at the opening of our new Harlem HOPE Center, where E TRADE is again the lead partner, the company and its senior management actually ENCOURAGES 1,000 OF THE NATION’S LARGEST COMPANIES TO JOIN OUR "SILVER RIGHTS" MOVEMENT. Now, it doesn’t get much better than this with respect a real partner, for community.
When I speak about a company or partner helping Operation HOPE to "make free enterprise and capitalism relevant to the poor, and work for the poor through a silver rights movement in the 21st century," I am talking about a company like this. E TRADE FINANCIAL is a prime example of company in America truly dedicated to "doing well by doing good."
Bravo E TRADE FINANCIAL, E TRADE BANK, and bravo one Celie Niehaus. We love you…all.
Onward, with HOPE
John Hope Bryant