Back in October of 2010, at the HOPE Financial Forum in Oakland, California, Tim Wennes, vice chairman, and Pierre Habis, senior executive vice president for Union Bank, joined me on stage in my role as founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, in signing a formal partnership agreement (over 5-years), tied to our national Framework Agreement promoting financial literacy empowerment with the Financial Services Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
More specifically, Union Bank made a "time, talent and treasure" leadership commitment, inclusive of a significant $500,000 financial commitment, to help HOPE tackle the high-school dropout crisis in America; supporting our 5 MILLION KIDS Initiative (5MK). This commitment makes Union Bank the first partner to back 5 MILLION KIDS with substantial financial support, and we are indeed honored to be associated. Read the complete statement around the Union Bank and Operation HOPE partnership and their commitment here.
I know both Tim and Pierre (who also serves on the HOPE national board of directors) personally, and I hold both men in extremely high regard. And if it is true that "you don't do business with companies, but rather people," then Union Bank is indeed a "better" institution because of the leadership provided by Tim and Pierre, and individuals such as Carl Ballton at the foundation, as well as other members of the Union Bank family that serve as HOPE Corps volunteers within Operation HOPE, and for those we serve.
A personal thank you to my friends at Union Bank, and a special congratulations to friend and board member Pierre Habis who next month will also be honored by West Angeles Church of God Christ CDC at their annual Gala in Los Angeles; receiving one of their highest awards given for corporate leadership. My friend Chris Tucker will also be honored on the same evening, and by friend and HOPE Partner, COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake. It seems that "good people" tend to hang together (smile).
Onward with HOPE
John Hope Bryant is founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, bestselling author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama.