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March 14 2012

Operation HOPE Taps Vanessa Williams, Executive Director National Conference of Black Mayors for its Southeastern Board

Los Angeles –Operation HOPE announced today the addition of Vanessa R. Williams Executive Director National Conference of Black Mayors to the Southeastern Board of Directors.  As HOPE’s newest “Silver Rights Ambassador” Williams will help further the organization’s goal to empower the underserved.

As Executive Director for National Conference of Black Mayors, an organization dedicated to enhancing the management capacity of more than 662 African American Mayors across the nation, Williams’ is a visionary when it comes to municipal development and financing issues.

A native of Las Vegas, Williams began her community service and political advocacy at 13 years of age, by assisting with a local political campaign.  As a young adult, Williams founded two organizations, Positive Choices and the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Council. Over 500 students have participated in these programs, all of whom have since become college graduates. Her impressive work earned her a nomination for the Presidential Exemplary Award, by President William Jefferson Clinton.

She has received numerous awards, most recently the Womenetics 2012 POW! Award, for women who actively forge new paths while inspiring others.  Other awards include: 2008 Trumpet Award as recipient of the “High Heels in High Places; the Trailblazer Award for “An Up and Coming Leader” and the “Unity Globe Award” from Reverend Jesse Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. In 2007, Ms. Williams was one of 10 women that the Women Looking Ahead magazine named as “The Nation’s Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award.” Williams was also saluted in the 2007 edition of Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, the youngest of 25 women recognized as “Atlanta’s Female Powerhouses,” sharing the honor with legendary greats Ms. Xernona Clayton, Ms. Evelyn Lowery, Ms. Juanita Abernathy and Atlanta’s own mayor, the Honorable Shirley Franklin.

Internationally, Williams’ work as Ambassador of Good Will for the Country of Uganda led Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in 2008, to bestow the official title of “Princess” along with naming a lake in her honor, Lake Vanessa. This distinction has been given to only one other individual, Queen Victoria of England (Lake Victoria).

Williams’ two-year term of service will begin immediately. As a member of HOPE’s SE Board, Williams will join some of the nation’s most powerful executives, decision-makers, bankers and economists in providing insight and guidance to the organization’s Silver Rights Movement to empowerment the underserved.


About Operation HOPE
Headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities in more than 273 cities worldwide. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2 million individuals, families, and small business owners. In May 2012, HOPE will celebrate 20 years of making the free market system work for low-income communities in a Silver Rights Movement meant to help make free enterprise and capitalism work for the poor and undeserved.