Mary in South Africa

Just wanted to take a moment to commend our own Mrs. Mary Hagerty-Ehrsam, Chief Executive Officer, Operation HOPE, New York, and Division President, HOPE Youth Empowerment Group. Operation HOPE, Inc., who has now served this proud organization for 15 incredible years.

Mary has been with me from the beginning of the strongest parts of our growth cycle, beginning with the original vision and construction of our first HOPE Center (then called an Operation HOPE Banking Center), where she came to work with us from Habitat for Humanity.  Mary had single-handedly walked right into Watts, California and built 30 plus homes for low-wealth families.   I knew I had an incredible leader at that very point. 

Since that time, Mary has played a key role in almost every area of HOPE's development, expansion, reach and impact.  Most notably have been her leadership and impact around growing and stabilizing Banking on Our Future, which has now served more than 700,000 young bright lights, our HOPE Corps, which numbers 20,000 strong, and our global work beyond the U.S. borders.  Fact of the matter is, she has now been to South Africa, as an example, more often than I have.

On this 15th anniversary of leadership, legacy and service — we salute one Mary Hagerty-Ehrsam.


Read Mary's full biography and background here in the Executive Management section of and for Operation HOPE.

I and we salute you Mary Hagerty-Ehrsam.  You are the definition of good people.


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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