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January 01 2008

Operation HOPE Welcomes Respected, Proven Global Business Leader Gerri Elliott to Its Governing National Board

Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector Organization Joins HOPE’s “Silver Rights Movement” promoting financial literacy and economic empowerment

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 12, 2008 – Operation HOPE (HOPE) proudly announced today that Ms. Gerri Elliott has been appointed to Operation HOPE’s National Board, making her the newest “silver rights” ambassador in support of the non-profit organization’s global campaign to eradicate poverty.

“It is indeed an honor to have someone of Gerri Elliott’s caliber serving on our Board of Directors,” said HOPE President and COO Bill Walbrecher. “Known for her passion, delivering business value and executing quality service, we are thrilled that she will bring those same skills to further our company’s ambitious goals and objectives.”

With a professional career spanning almost three decades of sales, services and marketing expertise, Ms. Elliott currently leads Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector organization and the World Class Selling initiative across the entire company. She is responsible for strengthening Microsoft’s customer and partner outreach within government, education and non-privatized healthcare markets in more than 75 countries. Ms. Elliott focuses on creating innovative programs and solutions, such as advancing economic development, digital inclusion, lifelong learning and the general quality of life for all citizens, to address the unique needs of public sector customers.

As a member of the National Board of Directors, Ms. Elliott will play an integral part in helping to assess the efficiency at HOPE cyber cafés and corporate office. She will also be responsible for attending the quarterly board meetings that provide critical support to the organization.

Elliott received her Bachelor of Arts in international politics from New York University. She participates in the Women’s Senior Leadership Program at the Kellogg School of Management and recently served on the U.S. Commission on Higher Education appointed by the Secretary of Education. She is currently a member of the Catalyst Western Region Advisory Board, a women’s mentoring organization, and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Education Initiative.

“Gerri is a world class leader, working for a world class organization which has supported our mission and growing ‘silver rights’ movement with close to $1 million in resources for our cause. It is because of the internal leadership of individuals such as Gerri Elliott, and HOPE Mid-Atlantic board member Ed Ingle, also of Microsoft, that the Microsoft commitments have such a positive human face in communities around the globe,” said HOPE Founder and Chairman John Hope Bryant. "From our new abilities internally to effectively project manage, to managing my nonstop schedule, to our innovative new HOPE Virtual Volunteering Software, used by HOPE Coalition America following Hurricane Katrina, Operation HOPE is proud to say we are ‘powered by Microsoft solutions’. Our partnership proves that Microsoft not only provides solutions for business and government, but for communities in need too.”

Bryant countinued, “for the past 16 years as America's first nonprofit, social investment bank and a national provider of economic empowerment programs, Operation HOPE has established itself as a leading driver behind creating opportunities for the under-served in this country, said Ms. Elliott. “HOPE has worked to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America's inner-city communities, and I look forward to working with my esteemed fellow board members as we strive towards identifying ways to ensure equality, access to capital, and opportunities for all.”