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October 31 2017

Anita Ward named President of Operation HOPE

ATLANTA – Oct. 31, 2017 – Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Inc., announced today that Anita Ward has been named president, effective immediately. Ward has served as executive vice president and Chief Transformation Officer for the past two years, leading the organization’s focused renewal around people, partnerships, and programs; operational growth and efficiency; transition to the ‘new HOPE 2.0 business model’, and the relocation of its global headquarters from Los Angeles to Atlanta.

“Anita’s phenomenal leadership has positioned Operation HOPE to extend our presence through impactful work across the nation and around the world; engaging stakeholders, empowering lives, and uplifting whole communities,” Operation HOPE founder, chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, John Hope Bryant said. “She has realigned the organization to purpose and mission at a critical time in its history, and positioned it as an innovator for decades to come. A trusted advisor, I am appreciative of her commitment to serve and lead.”

To support this strategic executive appointment and finalize the organization’s headquarters relocation, Dave Matthews has transitioned to general counsel and advisor after serving as Chief Operating Officer since the start of 2017. Rachael Doff, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Staff to John Hope Bryant, will continue to head the Office of the Chairman and serve as the organization’s West Coast lead executive. Additional organizational announcements are forthcoming.

“I am grateful to Dave for his invaluable contribution of leadership over the past year, and to Rachael, a founding member of my executive team, for her unabating dedication to the success of HOPE,” Bryant said.

Ward is an acknowledged pioneer in the field of organizational transformation, technology, and change management. Her strategic work has spanned many industries including, financial services, banking, insurance, retail, technology, distribution, manufacturing, and healthcare. Often called an "organizational shaman", Ward has garnered praise for her innovative approach to organizations, incubation, and corporate problem-solving. Her results have been featured in business guru Jon Katzenbach’s books, Real Change Leaders, and Leading Outside the Lines; and in major magazines including Fast Company, Forbes ASAP, CIO Magazine, Information Week, and Computerworld.  Leveraging her anthropological training and her knowledge of technology, Ward garnered executive roles in respected organizations including Chase, Texas Commerce Bank, American General, Cambridge Technology Partners, Safelite Autoglass, and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. 

Earlier this year, Ward relocated to Atlanta and is based at the Operation HOPE global headquarters office in the city’s downtown business district.

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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—disrupting poverty for millions of low- and moderate-income families across the nation. Through our community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 2.8 million individuals and directed more than $2.7 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into ?nancially empowered disaster survivors. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve ?nancial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE recently received its third consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Stay in touch with Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope.