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October 14 2013

Operation HOPE Announces Working Group Session Focused on Youth Entrepreneurship for Global Financial Dignity Summit in November


Financial Inclusion Working Group to be Co-Chaired by Executives from Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Union Bank and Revolution Places

Atlanta – October 15, 2013 – Today, Operation HOPE (HOPE), the leading global financial dignity nonprofit, announced that Curley Dossman of Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Tim Wennes of Union Bank and Phillippe Bourguignon of Revolution Places and Exclusive Resorts, will co-chair the upcoming HOPE Global Financial Dignity Summit (Summit) working group session titled, “Youth Economic Energy and Understanding the Entrepreneurship Paradigm.”

Dossman, Wennes and Bourguignon will lead the intimate group discussion with a dozen other industry leaders and experts about how to empower youth entrepreneurship and develop a list of recommendations on this important topic from the working group session that will be included in a post-event executive report for G20 leaders. 

This session is dedicated to activating this new category of young entrepreneurs who have the opportunity to "fix” our social and environmental problems by using business as a tool for change. This session is designed, in part, to identify which countries are implementing a good balance of government interaction and expanded access to diverse resources for entrepreneurship opportunities to help reduce poverty worldwide. 

“If we fail to empower and inspire our young, bold leaders in business and industry, our HOPE’s mission is stalled. That’s why we are thrilled to have this talented group of experts and entrepreneurs to engage in this important dialogue,” said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “We are grateful that Mr. Dossman, Mr. Wenness and Mr. Bourguignon have agreed to lend their considerable knowledge and skill to lead this discussion.” 

Dossman, who is also the chair of the 100 Black Men of America, is responsible for community relations program development for headquarters and local plant communities and administration of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and community programs department. In his role, he works closely with Georgia-Pacific’s executive leadership on Atlanta and Georgia-focused programs important to the company. In directing the activities of the GP Foundation, Curley is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s overall philanthropic strategies. A native of Louisiana, Curley served for several years as legislative assistant and special assistant for U.S. Senator Russell B. Long (Louisiana). 

Wennes is Vice Chairman and Chief Retail Banking Officer for UnionBanCal Corporation and its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A. Mr. Wennes, who has more than 20 years of retail, commercial and business banking experience, was appointed Vice Chairman in April 2010 after serving as Senior Executive Vice President since November 2009. In his current role, Mr. Wennes is a member of the bank’s Executive Committee, which serves as Union Bank’s primary policy-making body. In addition, he directs all aspects of Retail Banking, including Community Banking’s 403 branch offices in California, Oregon and Washington and has executive oversight of Business Banking, Consumer and Mortgage Lending, Retail Deposits and Products, Corporate Marketing, and Corporate Social Responsibility. Mr. Wennes is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He also earned an MBA degree in International Business from California State University at Fullerton. 

Bourguignon is Vice-Chairman, Revolution Places, CEO Exclusive Resorts. Exclusive Resorts was founded in 2002 and has grown to be the world's largest and best destination club. A native of France, Bourguignon serves on the Board of Directors for eBay and has served as the co-Chief Executive Officer of the World Economic Forum. Philippe Bourguignon has been named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and Officer in the Ordre national du Mérite in France, and received the Moroccan Wissam Al Alaoui Order. He has a Masters Degree in Economics from the Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III and holds a post-graduate diploma from the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises de Paris (IAE Paris) and is married with two children. 

In partnership with the City of Atlanta, the two-day Summit moderated by Soledad O’Brien focuses on “Global Economic Recovery: How the Poor Can Help Save Capitalism,” will frame the issue of financial inclusion, small business, entrepreneurship, jobs, and financial dignity as essential core ingredients to mid and long-term economic recovery and stability. It is expected to draw 1,000 of the most dynamic and influential financial industry professionals, government decision-makers and faith leaders from more than 50 countries around the world.  

The annual HOPE Summit will serve also as the staging area for the gathering of commitments for business role models, business internships, youth entrepreneurship business grants, and other commitments for action in underserved communities.

About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has promoted financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities. Through its three 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 two million individuals, families, and small business owners. Operation HOPE is driven by a “silver rights” mission fueled by vision and idealism, HOPE strives to empower the struggling middle class through financial literacy, dignity and capital enterprise.

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