(Los Angeles) Friday, March 10, 2006 — John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc., announced today that Mark Ernst, chairman and CEO of H&R Block; Jeff Fendler, president and CEO of Primerica Life Insurance; and Craig I. DeRoy, president of The First American Corporation, have been appointed to Operation HOPE’s National Board, making them the organization’s newest national ambassadors in support of HOPE’s “Silver Rights
Movement”—a national campaign to eradicate poverty through financial literacy and economic empowerment.
“Operation HOPE has established itself as a leading driver behind establishing financial literacy and economic opportunity for the under-served in this country,” said DeRoy. “The development of the HOPE Center program under the leadership of John Bryant is one shining example of what can be done to bring practical reality to these efforts. First American is deeply committed to expanding homeownership opportunity for all Americans, and we see our partnership with Operation HOPE as vital to this objective. It is a true privilege to serve on the Board of this remarkable organization, and I look forward to working with all of its members.”
For the past 14 years as America’s first nonprofit, social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs, HOPE has worked to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America’s inner-city communities. At the core of HOPE’s mission to eradicate poverty and empower the wealthless is a movement to establish “silver rights” or the right to financial literacy, access to capital, and equality of opportunity for the underserved.
“It is an honor to be named to serve on the Board of Directors of Operation HOPE and to work with John Bryant and the rest of the Board in fulfilling its Mission to eradicate poverty in our lifetime through the "Silver Rights Movement. Primerica and our parent company, Citigroup, are excited to strengthen our partnership with Operation HOPE, as part of Citigroup’s 10-year, $200 million commitment to assist organizations that aspire to enhance the financial literacy of those who most need help,” said Jeff Fendler, President and CEO of Primerica Life Insurance Company. “Beyond our financial commitment, many of our employees are active volunteers, helping to teach Operation HOPE’s award-winning financial literacy program, “Banking on our Future”
Bryant also announced the following executives who have joined the regional board durin the past 12 months, who include:
“I am pleased to welcome each new member to the board. The National Board and Regional Boards play an important role in the key development and success of the HOPE’s goal to eradicate poverty that we call ‘silver rights’” Bryant stated. “Their input will be of great value to our mission.”
Elaborating on HOPE’s mission, H&R Block CEO and President Mark Ernst said, "Making our free market system work for the benefit of all Americans is our greatest hope for eradicating poverty in 21st century America. I’m excited to be working with Operation HOPE in making this movement become a reality."
The HOPE board is comprised of some of the nation’s most powerful executives, decision-makers, bankers and economists. It is made up of six regional boards and a national board, which play an essential role providing insight and guidance to the organization’s direction. A complete 2006 board listing may be viewed at www.operationhope.org .
• Mid-Atlantic Regional Board
Dana Bryson – Government of the District of Columbia, Chief of Staff
Mary Beth Rooney – Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., Senior Vice President
Lionel Savage – First American Corp., Group Vice President
Ed Stucky – Republic Risk Management, LLC, Managing Director
Bernard Wilson – H&R Block, Senior Vice President
• North-Eastern Regional Board
Trooper Sanders – Domestic Policy Advisor to former President Bill Clinton
Gregg Walker – Goldman Sachs & Company, Vice President
• South-West Regional Board
Karen A. Clark – U.S. Bank, Community Development Manager
Landon V. Taylor – The First American Corporation, Vice President
• Mid-West Regional Board
Dan Roth – National Futures Association, President and CEO
Colleen Tunney – TransUnion, Vice President Corporate Affairs & Communications