August 16, 2012


An Open Letter to Leaders

For 20 years Operation HOPE has been about progress for the underserved here in America and around the world.  Now, on our 20th anniversary in 2012, we have hit the internal and external 'reset' button with respect to our strategic focus, our approach, operations, and even the results we seek for those we serve.  What comes next sets us up for the next 20 years. 

For 20 years HOPE was structured around a triangle approach to leadership, where my senior leadership team and I issued directives and the rest of the organization responded, or worse, simply waited for direction.  This approach was actually appropriate for a start-up trying to forge and frame its culture and way of operating.  In June, 2012, we completed an internal restructure around a diamond approach to leadership, where my senior team and I are at the bottom of the triangle, supporting our newly minted group of top-line division presidents, portfolio leaders, local CEOs, market presidents and others who now take 'ownership' of the HOPE brand wherever they live, work and operate.  Accordingly, it is with great pleasure that I announce the following promotions and key appointments:

  • Rachael Doff to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff, Office of the Chairman
  • Lance Triggs to Division President, HOPE Financial Dignity Centers and CEO, HOPE, Los Angeles
  • Mary Hagerty-Ersham to Division President, HOPE Youth Empowerment Group and CEO, HOPE, New York City
  • Key Portfolio Leaders
    • Jena Roscoe, First SVP, Chief of Government Affairs
    • Kevin Fleming, First SVP, Director of Global Field Operations
    • David Bell, Managing Director of HOPE Corps
    • Elaine Fischer, Managing Director of HOPE FILE Program
    • Michele Burton, National Program Manager of HOPE Business-In-A-Box.
  • HOPE Local CEO’s
    • James Bailey, Atlanta Market
    • Oliver Bell, New Orleans Market
  • Key Market Presidents
    • Tyrone Cosey, Oakland Market
    • Jahi Davis, D.C. Market
    • Jackie Starr, Baltimore Market

Rounding out our new approach is a HOPE commitment to serve as an incubator of emerging leadership talent through our HOPE FILE Program (HOPE Fellows, HOPE Interns and Loaned Executives).  Already we have more than 40 HOPE Fellows and HOPE Interns engaged in our work on the ground, and, a waiting list of more than 500 college applicants for future posts within HOPE.

With respect to what we do, HOPE has streamlined our 'product line,' so to speak, focusing on four divisions, namely: HOPE Financial Dignity Centers (powered by HOPE 700 Credit Score Communities); HOPE Youth Empowerment Group; HOPE Coalition America (our national partnership with DHS/FEMA); and our newest division, HOPE Business-In-A-Box, powered by the Gallup-HOPE Index.  In association with our newest HOPE Business-In-A-Box division and the Gallup-HOPE Index, we have recently opened a HOPE Washington, D.C. Regional Office located at the Gallup Building, 901 F Street, in Washington, D.C.  A special thank you to the Gallup Organization and its chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, who recently made a 100-year commitment to our work through the Gallup-HOPE Index.  

Fueling the growth of HOPE Business-In-A-Box and the Gallup-HOPE Index, the recently announced America 2020 Campaign is a national campaign to crush the high-school dropout rate and unlock the entrepreneurial energy residing dormant among the 30 million middle and high-school students in the U.S.  The campaign will be led by America 2020 Campaign Chairman, Landon V. Taylor, Vice President of Business Development for CoreLogic Dorado and Co-Chairman of the Gallup-HOPE Index Advisory Board.

Next up, Operation HOPE will formally announce the opening of our new NYC Regional Office at 55 Water Street in the Financial District of Manhattan, thanks to a generous commitment from Chubb Insurance, a long-time HOPE partner.

Looking forward, we are excited to host the HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit on November 14-15, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, which will feature U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as a lead keynote speaker.  

On November 14, we will cut the ribbon to the long anticipated new HOPE Financial Dignity Center at Ebenezer, located within the new Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resource Complex.  Partners such as FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE members SunTrust, State Farm Insurance, LPL Financial, Wells Fargo, MasterCard and BMO Harris Bank, along with other corporate partners such as the Coca-Cola Company, Equifax and the United Way of Metro Atlanta, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration have already helped us secure more than $5 million in commitments for this new Center at Ebenezer. 

More to come over the next 20 years, but our commitment to action continues.

Okay, let's go….

With HOPE,


John Hope Bryant

Founder, Chairman and CEO


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 serves on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation, an NYSE Euronext publicly traded company, and a division of $54 billion Ares Capital. 

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