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December 19 2016

Operation HOPE President and Chief Operating Officer Transitions as Global HQ Relocates to Atlanta

ATLANTA – Dec. 19, 2016 – Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Inc., announced today that William “Bill” Walbrecher, who has served as the organization’s president and chief operating officer for the past 10 years, will soon transition from his role as the organization’s global headquarters office relocates to Atlanta.

“Bill has made an enormous contribution to the mission of Operation HOPE through his expertise and dedicated service to elevate the organization,“ said John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE. “He will remain a trusted advisor, friend, and leader within the HOPE family.”

An accomplished banking executive who achieved extraordinary results in the world of business and finance, Walbrecher’s leadership has guided Operation HOPE into its current transformation. During his tenure, the organization’s reach and footprint has grown tremendously, with new strategic partnerships and the deployment of financial literacy and empowerment programming in underserved communities across the United States and around the world. In addition, the organization received two consecutive 4-star ratings for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency by the prestigious nonprofit evaluator, Charity Navigator. Receiving four out of a possible four stars indicates that Operation HOPE adheres to sound governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities, and consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

“Bill Walbrecher invested 10 years of his time and incredible passion into the mission of Operation HOPE,” said Rachael Doff, senior executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “He truly cares about the people who work for HOPE, and more importantly, for the people served by HOPE.  His contributions to the work will not be forgotten.”

Prior to joining Operation HOPE, Walbrecher served as CEO of three companies in the banking and securities investment industry, and as a professional consultant to financial institutions. Well known for banking innovations, Walbrecher was a White House Presidential Executive—the first bank industry executive ever nominated to receive the highest honor the White House bestows on outstanding individuals from the private sector. He also served as an advisory board member of the World Economic Forum.

In June 2009, Walbrecher was the recipient of the first-ever Chairman’s HOPE Award presented at the opening reception of Operation HOPE’s Global Financial Literacy Summit in Washington, D.C. “Never in the history of Operation HOPE has a president and/or chief operating officer been so recognized for his standout performance—Bill Walbrecher deserved this and more, for his outstanding leadership,” said Bryant at the award presentation.

Dr. Anita Ward, executive vice president and chief transformation officer, will manage the transition. A successor will be announced by the organization at a later date.


About Operation HOPE

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. Through its core programs, the nonprofit has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.6 million individuals worldwide, and $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers.  Project 5117 is HOPE’s multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth, and stabilize the American dream by boosting credit scores. Operation HOPE recently received its second consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator—further establishing it as a best-in-class organization. 

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