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February 04 2015

Operation HOPE Bestows Awards for Service during the 2015 HOPE Global Forum

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On the heels of the 2015 HOPE Global Forum, Operation HOPE published the names of all those recognized by the financial dignity nonprofit during its annual meeting, January 15-17th.  Chairman Awards are given to those who provide exceptional leadership and who best exemplify its mission for empowerment, or "silver rights," to under-resourced communities.   

"Our success could not be possible without the leadership, compassion and support of our esteemed partners," said John Hope Bryant Operation HOPE founder, chairman and CEO. "It is our honor to recognize these great individuals for their work and support to help us carry out our mission to empower the underserved."

During the course the Forum both Bill Clinton and Andrew Young were distinguished for their longtime service with the prestigious HOPE Founding Civil Rights to Silver Rights Award, which is only presented to those who have had a profound impact nationally or globally. Listed below is the complete list of awardees and their honors as outlined by Chairman Bryant:

HOPE Founding Civil Rights to Silver Rights Award

President Bill Clinton
Your leadership in economic public policy to uplift the poor spans from the New Market Tax Credits, significant increases in EITC, creation of the CDFI Fund, active support of financial literacy, to even the global recognition of micro-finance and micro-credit. Your vision of corporate responsibility and call to action of the private sector has ignited a spirit of global community engagement. You continue to generate thoughtful solutions to both national and global challenges and inspire the world to strive for positive, impactful change.

Ambassador Andrew Young
In recognition of your life's work and its positive effect on both basic human dignity, and global economic growth. From a Civil Rights leader working alongside Dr. King, to a political career as a U.S. Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations and Mayor of Atlanta, chairing the Atlanta Olympic Games, to your more than 100 Honorary Doctorate Degrees, and your role in silver rights as the HOPE Global Spokesman, you have truly changed the course of history.

HOPE Forum Leadership Award
Philippe Bourguignon
To an extraordinary global innovator and leader. The gift of your time, counsel and expertise as Chairman of the 2015 HOPE Global Forum and the Annual Meeting of Operation HOPE, has elevated not only the Global Forum, but also Operation HOPE as a whole.

HOPE Entrepreneurial Spirit
Jim Clifton
Thanks to your leadership in the creation of the Gallup-HOPE Index we now have an innovative tool to measure economic energy among America's youth. The Gallup-HOPE Index inspired the HOPE Business In A Box intervention and its mission to close the gap between entrepreneurial aspirations and economic opportunities.  HOPE recognizes this partnership for its efforts to identify and affect radically positive and sustainable economic energy for many generations to come.

HOPE International Leadership Award
Sean Cleary
In recognition of your invaluable international leadership in the areas of financial literacy, inclusion and dignity to promote a thriving world economy. It is because of your leadership that Operation HOPE operates, and continues to gain momentum in effecting positive economic change, in South Africa, and has educated more than 56,000 individuals to date.

HOPE Silver Rights Vision Award
Richard Cordray
Presented with honor to the Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for your vision to provide broad consumer financial protection opportunities for all Americans. Your call to action to create a unique outreach alliance with Operation HOPE to promote consumer financial protection through our Project 5117 Campaign of HOPE Inside, and HOPE program offices across the nation, is truly historic.

HOPE Silver Rights Vision Award
William "Bill" Rogers
In recognition of your continuous effort in promoting financial literacy, inclusion and dignity, and 'lighting the way to financial well-being' for the banking and financial industry. You have been instrumental in making the HOPE Inside model a reality across the nation with already six HOPE Inside and one HOPE Inside Certified Plus locations opened. Pioneers, such as you, are bridging the gap making it possible for all Americans to achieve their aspirations.

The following honors were received, but not presented on stage during the event.

HOPE Silver Rights Award
J. Michael Shepherd
In recognition of both your service to Operation HOPE and your passion for financial literacy, inclusion and dignity for all. It is thanks to your leadership that the Bank of the West inspired HOPE Inside is now the model for all HOPE Inside locations nationwide.

HOPE Legacy Partner Award
Wells Fargo
In honor of Wells Fargo's consistent and impactful support of Operation HOPE.  Wells Fargo is one of HOPE's largest national partners, one of the founding partners of HOPE Inside Ebenezer in Atlanta, whose support has enable HOPE to empower over 100,000 youth and adults through financial literacy, inclusion and dignity. Wells Fargo is a true corporate role model for creating a world where equity and participation are a priority.

HOPE Pioneer Award
Union Bank
In recognition of Union Bank's early and consistent support, committing more than $2.5 million in support of HOPE Inside locations serving Long Beach and South Gate, the first ever ten HOPE Inside Certified Plus locations and a commitment to launch up to ten more in 2015.  Union Bank has established itself as a true pioneer of the Silver Rights Movement. Their ongoing commitment to the empowerment of underserved communities is critical to the success of our future generations.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since its founding in 1992, Operation HOPE's mission has been to promote "silver rights" and make free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. The social investment banking nonprofit has provided financial literacy and economic empowerment services to more than 2.2 million people, raised nearly $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised. Follow Operation HOPE at, on, and