I was honored to stand with my new friend Ms.Gail McGovern, a seasoned business executive who now runs the American Red Cross as their CEO, Ms. McGovern is both uniquely qualified, and especially appropriate.
The former is obvious from her bullet proof resume, but the latter you pick up when you meet her. She is simply, good people. Or as I said to her when we last were together, "it's abnormal, that you are so very normal, approachable, real."
Operation HOPE's division focused on emergency financial and economic disaster preparedness, response and recovery, HOPE Coalition America (HCA), is often referred to as the "economic Red Cross," given that we assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to repair and put back together their financial lives. HCA and the American Red Cross (ARC) have a national memorandum of agreement framed around joint disaster preparedness, response and recovery, leveraging our respective strengths. In this instance, we are actually partnering closely together around Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, supported financially by the American Red Cross. A special thank you to ARC for their $500,000 in funded support around our Sandy financial case management, emergency response efforts. See the joint press statement here. Additionally, you can find the three month progress report from ARC here.
The American Red Cross is a first class organization which gets little credit when things go well (their recovery work following disaster), and a good deal of blame when things go badly. I wanted to take a moment here to commend both Ms. McGovern and her team, along with the broader American Red Cross family. Find out more about the history and proud legacy of the American Red Cross here. Did you know that it was founded by a woman, more than 120 years ago?
We are one, are honored to be associated. We can do great things independently, but we can have a transformational impact working together. And that's the plan going forward.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum. Mr. Bryant is a thought leader represented by the Bright Sight Group for public speaking. Mr. Bryant serves on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE), a specialty finance company that is managed by an affiliate of Ares Management LLC, a global alternative asset manager with approximately $59 billion in committed capital under management as of December 31, 2012.