Today, Operation HOPE celebrates its 23rd birthday, and while I get a great deal of recognition associated with its growth and success over more than two decades now, Operation HOPE did not get to where it is today all by itself. There have been countless individuals that contributed to its legacy of service, empowerment, financial literacy, hope, dignity, love leadership, silver rights for all, and changed lives. And there have been an even smaller, more select group that helped fuel that movement; globally, nationally and locally. James Bailey is amongst this latter group of leaders.
Jay started with Operation HOPE more than 8 years ago, when the Atlanta office was nothing more than a modest outpost consisting of a loaned office at ING, outside of the city. Today, Operation HOPE in the Southeast consists of our HOPE Regional Office at the 191 Building in downtown Atlanta, the Flagship HOPE Inside location at Ebenezer Church, HOPE Inside locations opening in the city with the likes of SunTrust Banks, and a regional footprint which includes HOPE Insides stretching from Columbus, Georgia, to Birmingham, Alabama, to several cities throughout Florida. And more growth is coming.
HOPE originally hired Jay as program officer, and later I asked him to lead the Atlanta market for me, ultimately making him market CEO for Atlanta. Later, I asked Jay to oversea the entire southeast region for me, as Atlanta was my home and this region was and remains very important to me. Jay proved an excellent relationship manager and we have been honored to have him as part of the Operation HOPE family over these incredible years together.
Jay now leaves HOPE to spread his wings into further growth and opportunities for him, and we wish him nothing but the best on his journey. Jay Bailey will forever be considered an extended member of the HOPE family.
Jay will be around HOPE for a while longer, as he has agreed to help us identify and pre-screen solid candidates to build on his legacy in Atlanta and the southeast region. A class act, that Jay Bailey.
Join me in celebrating a leadership era with Operation HOPE on behalf of the silver rights movement, by one James Bailey. Wherever Jay goes next, he will add there as well. Much (personal) respect.
John Hope Bryant, Founder