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January 01 2006

Operation HOPE Exceeds Growth in 2006; Annual Board Meeting Highlights HOPE's Successes and Awards Board Members

Los Angeles, CA—Friday, December 29, 2006—  Operation HOPE (HOPE) helped individuals claim nearly $12 million in federal tax refunds and of that 7 million in EITC refunds for Hurricane Katrina victims, granted $500,000 to storm victims and reached an unprecedented $39,667,509 in approvals for small business and home loans, as reported by Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant during HOPE’s annual board meeting earlier this month.  HOPE also announced plans for 2007 which include strengthening volunteer participation, targeting national goals for Banking on Our Future, opening a HOPE Center in New York, and expanding financial literacy programs to Rwanda and South Africa.

Key directors and supporters were acknowledged with awards for their outstanding support of HOPE’s ongoing movement for “silver rights.” National and Regional Board members received the “Board Member of the Year” with the “Chairman’s HOPE Award” going to active longtime partners.
“Operation HOPE has achieved remarkable accomplishments this year assisting Katrina victims through HOPE Coalition America, expanding the Banking on Our Future program and generating more loans and financial education for our HOPE Center clientele,” said Bryant. “In doing this we have demonstrated our ability to bring “silver rights” to those individuals and to those areas where it is of the most benefit. Our achievements last year serve as a foundation for continued success in 2007.”
In 2006 the organization achieved growth in the following areas:
  • Helped individuals claim nearly $12 million in tax refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and assisted more
    than 16,000 Katrina victims through a partnership with the William J. Clinton Foundation and H&R Block
  • Granted $500,000 to hurricane victims through Project Restore HOPE funded by E*TRADE Financial
  • Reached $39,667,509 in approvals for small business and home loans through HOPE Center financial education and credit counseling services
  • Funded $6,295,000 in home loans and $730,132 in small business loans 
  • Educated 40,500 students through Banking on Our Future 
  • Opened 3 new Banking on Our Future offices in Dallas, Denver and Detroit
  • Launched a partnership with Global Dignity through HOPE Global Initiatives
  • Announced plans to expand into Rwanda and South Africa
  • Co-hosted the Anacostia Economic Summit with the District of Columbia, which brought attention to the under-served area and featured speakers Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz
The following national board members were honored with the "National Board Member of the Year Award":
Craig DeRoy, President
First American Corporation
Mark Ernst, Chief Executive Officer
H&R Block    
Jeff Fendler, President
Primerica Life Insurance Company
(a subsidiary of Citigroup)
Arlen Gelbard, President
Kraig Kitchin, President  & Chief Executive Officer
Premiere Radio Networks
Don McGrath, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Bank of the West
Regional board members who were acknowledged for their support include:

Natalie Abatemarco, Director Global Community Programs
Bernie Dan, President & Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Board of Trade
Art Shingleton, Senior Vice President & Community Affairs Manager
Bank of the West
Trooper Sanders, Domestic Policy Advisor
Office of President William J. Clinton          
Landon Taylor, Vice President
First American Corporation
Bernie Wilson, Sr. Vice President
H&R Block
In addition to board members, two longtime supporters were presented with the cherished “Chairman’s HOPE Award.” Robert Braun, Esq of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP received the award for his 14 years of pro bono legal service to Operation HOPE. Anand Nallathambi, Group President for First American Corporation was recognized for supporting HOPE in its continued emergency economic response to Hurricane Katrina survivors.
HOPE’s financial literacy and economic empowerment programs continue to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America\'s inner-city communities. The four key programs, which serve as the foundation for delivering HOPE’s financial literacy programs, are HOPE Corps, HOPE Coalition America, Banking on Our Future, and HOPE Centers. To date, HOPE has provided financial education and credit counseling to over 43,000 individuals, educated 203,000 youth, funded more than $135 million in mortgage loans, and more than $8 million in small business loans from some 250 bank and corporate partners.