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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Nationally Recognized Executives Named to MCSF Board

(BIRMINGHAM, AL) – Two nationally prominent executives, Carmen J. Smith, vice president of Creative Development Inclusive Strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering, and Rick Schostek, executive vice president of Honda North America, Inc., have been named to The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation’s (MCSF) Board of Directors.

A New York native, Carmen J. Smith is responsible for developing a diverse pipeline of product and people to enhance Walt Disney Imagineering’s consultant talent and its creative processes. Over more than 30 years at The Walt Disney Company and ABC, Carmen has played a key role in shaping the creative development process to expand the relevance and diversity of its products and experiences. In doing so, she has received a number of awards and honors in the television and entertainment industry as well as in national diversity and cultural leadership.

Rick Schostek has overall strategic planning, support and governance responsibilities for Honda North America. He is a member of the Honda North American Regional Operating Board and is the company’s risk management officer. He joined Honda in 1987 in Ohio as an attorney, and then assumed levels of increasing responsibility, including leadership of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in 2004 and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana in 2008, and he was promoted to senior vice president in Ohio in 2012. Schostek is a member of the board of directors of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association and the National Association of Manufacturers.

“We are thrilled to have Carmen Smith and Rick Schostek join the board as they bring a wealth of experience from the business world and the realm of service to humanity. We at the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation welcome them with open arms to our leadership ranks, and we believe their additions will add invaluable positive impact to our society,” said MCSF Founder and President Dr. Shelley Stewart.

“These board additions help ensure the nation’s children, their parents and our communities will keep receiving the right instruction to never quit on education. Our leadership lights the way for a more successful future for America’s youth,” said MCSF Executive Director Sherri Stewart. The new members join senior Board members Stan Lawler, president of Lawler Foundry Corporation, and Matthew Dent, president and chief operating officer of Buffalo Rock Company.

Stewart founded the MCSF in 2007 in honor of his late mother, Mattie C. Stewart. The Birmingham-based nonprofit has since reached some 17 million students, teachers, parents and community leaders in 49 states and Canada through tools such as The Choice Bus, the InsideOut documentary and toolkit, and the Learn2Earn financial curriculum. The recently published book Mattie C.’s Boy – the Shelley Stewart Story covers Stewart’s amazing life story, with proceeds going to the foundation (www.mattiecsboy.com).

About The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation

The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate. The foundation was established in honor of Dr. Shelley Stewart’s late mother, Mattie C. Stewart, in the summer of 2007 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. The mission of the foundation is to create tools and resources to help educators, community leaders and parents effectively address the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The foundation also partners with America’s Promise Alliance, Communities In Schools, Jobs for Alabama’s Graduates, the National Dropout Prevention Center, PepsiCo, Shelby County, State Farm and Verizon Wireless. For more information, visit www.mattiecstewart.org.

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Gotham Chamber Opera and the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation award David Hertzberg the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music

Gotham Chamber Opera and the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation are proud to announce that David Hertzberg will be the inaugural winner of the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music, a competitive prize awarded to a composer to support the creation of a new concert work for voice and chamber ensemble. For more information on the award and its requirements, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org/registration. The Prize Jury found Mr. Hertzberg’s music to offer “an extraordinarily beautiful sound world with a unique and distinguishing vocabulary,” containing “deeply affecting emotional content,” and felt that Mr. Hertzberg has the potential to contribute a new work of substance to the concert repertoire for voice.

The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music is a new award of $15,000 to a composer for the creation of a new concert work for solo voice and chamber ensemble of between 3 and 10 acoustic instruments and between 15 and 30 minutes in length. Given the inherent challenges of writing idiomatically for the human voice, a goal of the competition is to successfully enlarge the repertoire of concert works for voice and instruments. Mr. Hertzberg’s completed work will be premiered in a concert presented under the aegis of Gotham Chamber Opera. Additional funding for the premiere is generously provided by the Hegardt Foundation.

David Hertzberg was born in 1990 and holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Samuel Adler. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Jennifer Higdon, and has also studied at the the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, the Freie Universität, Berlin, and the Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with George Tsontakis. He was also a fellow at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris and The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala, where he studied with Anders Hillborg and Steven Stucky. In the summer of 2013 he completed a residency at Yaddo and was an inaugural participant in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s Young Composer Program. In the summer of 2014 he will be a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. In 2011, David received the Arthur Friedman Prize from The Juilliard School for composing the score deemed most outstanding in their annual competition for orchestral works. Shortly afterwards, he received the 2011 William Schuman Prize from BMI, another prize awarded to the most distinguished submission in their annual composer awards. In 2012, he was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, an Aaron Copland Award from Copland House, and a Jerome Fund Commission from the American Composers Forum. He was also named Composer-In-Residence for Young Concert Artists, a post which he will hold through 2014.

Jury for the inaugural round of the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music:

Yves Abel: conductor; Chief Conductor Designate 2015, Nordwest Deutsche Philharmonie; Music Director, L’Opéra Français de New York; Former Principal Guest Conductor, Deutsche Oper Berlin

David Bennett: Executive Director, Gotham Chamber Opera; Vice-Chair, Opera America Board of Directors

Kevin Burdette: bass; principal artist (Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Teatro Colón) and soloist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra), world premieres with Santa Fe Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

Neal Goren: conductor; Founding Artistic Director, Gotham Chamber Opera

Nancy Allen Lundy: soprano; New York City Opera; Houston, Netherlands, La Scala, Lyon, English National, Vancouver Opera companies; soloist, Montreal Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Tokyo.

Sato Moughalian: flutist; Principal Flute, Gotham Chamber Opera, Perspectives Ensemble, L’Opéra Français de New York American Modern Ensemble; Artistic Director, Perspectives Ensemble; consultant, Gotham Chamber Opera

Alan Pierson: conductor; Artistic Director, Alarm Will Sound; former Artistic Director, Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Catherine Doctorow was a serious and prolific painter whose work, in a contemporary idiom, flourished in the 1950s and ’60s. The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music is the third of three major recurring prizes to be established by her family and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation to honor and perpetuate Doctorow’s love of innovative literary fiction, the visual arts, and music.

Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation

The Mission of the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation is to nurture individuals and communities through the support of arts and mental health programs. The Foundation’s Funding Philosophy is to support projects that focus on the provision of mental health services as well as organizations focused on performance, literary, and visual arts. JCDFF funds organizations that maintain a standard of excellence throughout the range of their work.

Gotham Chamber Opera is the nation’s leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.

Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 with the American premiere of W.A. Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, the company has produced many more local and world premieres, including Bohuslav Martinu’s Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa (U.S. premiere 2002); Heinrich Sutermeister’s Die schwarze Spinne (U.S. premiere 2004); G.F. Handel’s Arianna in Creta (U.S. stage premiere 2005); Ottorino Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco (U.S. premiere 2005); Ariadne Unhinged, with music by Claudio Monteverdi, Joseph Haydn, and Arnold Schoenberg (World premiere 2008); Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata (New York stage premiere 2009); Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas (U.S. stage premiere 2010); Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters (World premiere 2011); Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You (World premiere 2014); and Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven (U.S. premiere 2014).

Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA (La bella dormente nel bosco) in 2005; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák) in 2008; the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for Hadyn’s Il mondo della luna (2010); Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Broad Stage, Los Angeles for Daniel Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter, 2013); Trinity Church Wall Street for Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d’Orpheé aux enfers (2013); The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You (2014); and the New York Philharmonic for Hosokawa’s The Raven (2014).

Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola’s tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella dormente nel bosco), Robin Guarino (Gioachino Rossini’s Il signor Bruschino and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda/I Have No Stories to Tell You), Christopher Alden (Il sogno di Scipione and Arianna in Creta), Diane Paulus (Il mondo della luna), Moisés Kaufmann (El gato con botas), and Rebecca Taichman (Dark Sisters and La hija de Rappaccini.)

In recent years, Gotham Chamber Opera has been recognized as a pioneer in creating opera productions in alternative venues, beginning in 2010 with its production of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna at the Hayden Planetarium, followed in 2013 with the U.S. professional stage premiere of Francesco Cavalli’s Eliogabalo at New York’s notorious late night club The Box, Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini on the Cherry Esplanade of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills, and the double-bill of Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Bloomberg Arms and Armor Gallery and Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You in the Medieval Court.

For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.

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Legendary New York City Restaurateurs Join Forces To Partner With The Bob Woodruff Foundation For The First Annual ‘Dine Out For Heroes’ Event To Support Our Injured Veterans

One-Day-Only Dining Fundraiser Extends Mission of the Bob Woodruff Foundation to Rally the New York City Restaurant Community and Its Patrons

New York, N.Y. (August 4, 2014) — Legendary New York City restaurateurs Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini, Jeffrey Lefcourt, Drew Nieporent, Simon Oren, Eric Ripert and Jeff Zalaznick, with Bob Grimes and Lockhart Steele, today announced that they will join forces to partner with the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to launch the first annual “Dine Out for Heroes,” a one-day-only event on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Each participating restaurant will donate $1 per cover served to the BWF to help in the organization’s efforts to tackle the serious issues of long-term rehabilitation, care and support of our injured veterans.

Dine Out for Heroes (#Dine4Heroes) a new partnership of the BWF, will take place the day of the annual Stand Up for Heroes event in NYC. Stand Up for Heroes, a collaboration between the BWF and the New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) has raised more than $21 million to date to support injured service members and their families. Since 2007, Stand Up for Heroes has featured such performers as Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert, Bill Cosby, Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais, John Mayer, Conan O’Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Robin Williams and more. Now in its eighth year, the Stand Up for Heroes event will kick off the 2014 NYCF this November.

“We’ve always been so proud of Stand Up for Heroes, and I am looking forward to the inaugural year of Dine Out for Heroes. We have seen what can happen when a movement of generosity inspires thousands more to act, and we know the New York community will come together to salute our injured service members and their families yet again,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News journalist who co-founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation after he was critically injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle while reporting from Iraq.

It is anticipated that hundreds of New York–area restaurants will join the Dine Out for Heroes initiative. By pledging to donate $1 per cover, participating restaurants will be part of an industry-wide movement to support the injured and their families as they integrate back into society. In addition, participating restaurants will encourage diners to donate to the BWF by visiting the organization’s website—at bobwoodrufffoundation.org. The first year goal of ‘Dine Out for Heroes’ is, as its mission states, to “Dine. Donate. Honor. Heal.” by raising money and awareness for this worthy cause, as Stand Up for Heroes has done over the last seven years.

‘Dine Out for Heroes’ is spearheaded by Peter and Penny Glazier, founders of The Glazier Group of restaurants; Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox, founders of the New York Comedy Festival;

Cristyne Nicholas, CEO of Nicholas & Lence Communications and John Cahill, CEO of McCann Health. McCann Health, part of McCann Worldgroup, has generously committed senior level creative services and campaign tactics to support, advertise and promote the program on a pro-bono basis.

“Dine Out for Heroes offers the New York restaurant community a way to say thank you to the brave service men and women who have given us so much,” said Penny Glazier, of The Glazier Group of restaurants. “Partnering with the BWF has allowed us to create an opportunity to collectively raise funds and awareness for the BWF, as exemplified by the success of Stand Up for Heroes. We are excited to launch this new initiative with Caroline and Andrew and be joined by so many legends of the restaurant industry.”

“When we conceived Stand Up for Heroes seven years ago, we had high hopes for raising awareness and funds for the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The outpouring of support has far exceeded our greatest expectations, and we can only anticipate ‘Dine Out for Heroes’ being just as successful,” said, Caroline Hirsch BWF board member and founder of the New York Comedy Festival.

Together, these efforts will continue to honor the sacrifice of returning service members, veterans and their families by offering support in the effort to heal the physical and psychological wounds of war. To date, the BWF has invested more than $21 million in more than 100 organizations nationwide.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation

The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) is the nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that post-9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families thrive long after they return home. A national organization with grassroots reach, the Bob Woodruff Foundation complements the work of the federal government—diligently navigating the maze of more than 40,000 nonprofits providing services to veterans—to find, fund and shape innovative programs and hold them accountable for results. To date, BWF has invested more than $21 million in solutions, reaching more than 1 million service members, support personnel, veterans and their families. The Bob Woodruff Foundation was co-founded in 2006 by award-winning ABC news anchor Bob Woodruff and his family, whose experiences when Woodruff was injured while embedded in Iraq inspired them to help make sure the nation’s heroes have access to the highest level of support and resources they deserve, for as long as they need them.

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Gotham Chamber Opera And The Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation Award David Hertzberg The Catherine Doctorow Prize For Music

GOTHAM CHAMBER OPERA and the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation are proud to announce that David Hertzberg will be the inaugural winner of the CATHERINE DOCTOROW PRIZE FOR MUSIC, a competitive prize awarded to a composer to support the creation of a new concert work for voice and chamber ensemble. For more information on the award and its requirements, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org/registration. The Prize Jury found Mr. Hertzberg’s music to offer “an extraordinarily beautiful sound world with a unique and distinguishing vocabulary,” containing “deeply affecting emotional content,” and felt that Mr. Hertzberg has the potential to contribute a new work of substance to the concert repertoire for voice.

The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music is a new award of $15,000 to a composer for the creation of a new concert work for solo voice and chamber ensemble of between 3 and 10 acoustic instruments and between 15 and 30 minutes in length. Given the inherent challenges of writing idiomatically for the human voice, a goal of the competition is to successfully enlarge the repertoire of concert works for voice and instruments. Mr. Hertzberg’s completed work will be premiered in a concert presented under the aegis of Gotham Chamber Opera. Additional funding for the premiere is generously provided by the Hegardt Foundation.

David Hertzberg was born in 1990 and holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Samuel Adler. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Jennifer Higdon, and has also studied at the the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, the Freie Universität, Berlin, and the Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with George Tsontakis. He was also a fellow at the European American Musical Alliance in Paris and The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in Uppsala, where he studied with Anders Hillborg and Steven Stucky. In the summer of 2013 he completed a residency at Yaddo and was an inaugural participant in the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s Young Composer Program. In the summer of 2014 he will be a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. In 2011, David received the Arthur Friedman Prize from The Juilliard School for composing the score deemed most outstanding in their annual competition for orchestral works. Shortly afterwards, he received the 2011 William Schuman Prize from BMI, another prize awarded to the most distinguished submission in their annual composer awards. In 2012, he was awarded a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, an Aaron Copland Award from Copland House, and a Jerome Fund Commission from the American Composers Forum. He was also named Composer-In-Residence for Young Concert Artists, a post which he will hold through 2014.

Jury for the inaugural round of the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music:

Yves Abel: conductor; Chief Conductor Designate 2015, Nordwest Deutsche Philharmonie; Music Director, L’Opéra Français de New York; Former Principal Guest Conductor, Deutsche Oper Berlin

David Bennett: Executive Director, Gotham Chamber Opera; Vice-Chair, Opera America Board of Directors

Kevin Burdette: bass; principal artist (Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Teatro Colón) and soloist (Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra), world premieres with Santa Fe Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

Neal Goren: conductor; Founding Artistic Director, Gotham Chamber Opera

Nancy Allen Lundy: soprano; New York City Opera; Houston, Netherlands, La Scala, Lyon, English National, Vancouver Opera companies; soloist, Montreal Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony, Tokyo.

Sato Moughalian: flutist; Principal Flute, Gotham Chamber Opera, Perspectives Ensemble, L’Opéra Français de New York American Modern Ensemble; Artistic Director, Perspectives Ensemble; consultant, Gotham Chamber Opera

Alan Pierson: conductor; Artistic Director, Alarm Will Sound; former Artistic Director, Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Catherine Doctorow was a serious and prolific painter whose work, in a contemporary idiom, flourished in the 1950s and ‘60s. The Catherine Doctorow Prize for Music is the third of three major recurring prizes to be established by her family and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation to honor and perpetuate Doctorow’s love of innovative literary fiction, the visual arts, and music.

Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation

The Mission of the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation is to nurture individuals and communities through the support of arts and mental health programs. The Foundation’s Funding Philosophy is to support projects that focus on the provision of mental health services as well as organizations focused on performance, literary, and visual arts. JCDFF funds organizations that maintain a standard of excellence throughout the range of their work.

Gotham Chamber Opera is the nation’s leading opera company dedicated to vibrant, fully staged productions of works intended for intimate venues. Its high quality presentations of small-scale rarities from the Baroque era to the present have earned Gotham an international reputation and unanimous critical praise.

Founded by conductor and Artistic Director Neal Goren, Gotham debuted in 2001 with the American premiere of W.A. Mozart’s Il sogno di Scipione. In subsequent seasons, the company has produced many more local and world premieres, including Bohuslav Martinu’s Les Larmes du Couteau and Hlas Lesa (U.S. premiere 2002); Heinrich Sutermeister’s Die schwarze Spinne (U.S. premiere 2004); G.F. Handel’s Arianna in Creta (U.S. stage premiere 2005); Ottorino Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco (U.S. premiere 2005); Ariadne Unhinged, with music by Claudio Monteverdi, Joseph Haydn, and Arnold Schoenberg (World premiere 2008); Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata (New York stage premiere 2009); Xavier Montsalvatge’s El Gato con Botas (U.S. stage premiere 2010); Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters (World premiere 2011); Lembit Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You (World premiere 2014); and Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven (U.S. premiere 2014).

Gotham has partnered with notable New York and national institutions, including Lincoln Center Festival and Spoleto USA (La bella dormente nel bosco) in 2005; the Morgan Library and Museum for Scenes of Gypsy Life (an evening of song cycles by Janáček and Dvořák) in 2008; the American Museum of Natural History and the American Repertory Theater for Hadyn’s Il mondo della luna (2010); Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Broad Stage, Los Angeles for Daniel Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini (Rappaccini’s Daughter, 2013); Trinity Church Wall Street for Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La descente d’Orpheé aux enfers (2013); The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Beecher’s I Have No Stories To Tell You (2014); and the New York Philharmonic for Hosokawa’s The Raven (2014).

Gotham has earned a reputation for showcasing outstanding young singers alongside established directors and choreographers such as Mark Morris (the 2009 production of Hadyn’s L’isola disabitata), David Parsons (the New York stage premiere of Astor Piazzola’s tango opera, María di Buenos Aires), Karole Armitage (the world premiere of Ariadne Unhinged), Basil Twist (La bella dormente nel bosco), Robin Guarino (Gioachino Rossini’s Il signor Bruschino and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda/I Have No Stories to Tell You), Christopher Alden (Il sogno di Scipione and Arianna in Creta), Diane Paulus (Il mondo della luna), Moisés Kaufmann (El gato con botas), and Rebecca Taichman (Dark Sisters and La hija de Rappaccini.)

In recent years, Gotham Chamber Opera has been recognized as a pioneer in creating opera productions in alternative venues, beginning in 2010 with its production of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna at the Hayden Planetarium, followed in 2013 with the U.S. professional stage premiere of Francesco Cavalli’s Eliogabalo at New York’s notorious late night club The Box, Catán’s La hija de Rappaccini on the Cherry Esplanade of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and at the Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills, and the double-bill of Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Bloomberg Arms and Armor Gallery and Beecher’s I Have No Stories to Tell You in the Medieval Court.

For more information, visit www.gothamchamberopera.org.

Impact Makers Honored as ‘Best for the World’ and ‘Best for Community,’ Creating Most Overall Positive Social, Environmental and Community Impact

Richmond, Virginia, July 31, 2014 — Impact Makers was named ‘Best for the World,’ and ‘Best for Community’ for the second consecutive year. Ninety-three companies worldwide were recognized for creating the most positive, overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the third annual ‘B Corp Best for the World’ list. The impact economy is global and diverse: 93 companies from 15 countries and 31 industries recognized as leaders in redefining success in business.

The ‘B Corp Best for the World’ lists honor businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small, and mid-sized businesses.

The ‘Best for the World’ companies come from 31 different industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and real estate. A majority operate in a service industry, including 17 honorees in financial services and 15 in environmental consulting. 30% of honorees are based outside the US with 15 companies operating in emerging markets, such as Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia. (Full list of 2014 honorees below and at bestfortheworld.bcorporation.net.)

“Locally, Virginia had five companies recognized,” said Michael Pirron, CEO and Founder of Impact Makers. “We are proud to be in a community where social enterprise is valued and growing.” The other Virginia-based companies include Greater Richmond Grid, Virginia Community Capital, Acorn Sign Graphics and Rivanna Natural Designs.

“Employees, consumers, investors, and policy makers increasingly want to support companies that create a positive impact in the world and the Best for the World honorees are the best of the best,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations and governs the independent third party standard used to generate the comparable assessment of corporate impact. “It’s particularly inspiring that 21% of the 2014 honorees are first time winners but long time B Corps. They’re winning the race to the top.”

Each honored company is a Certified B Corporation. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are over 1,060 certified B Corporations, across 60 industries and 32 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.

About Impact Makers

Impact Makers is a management and technology consulting company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide Management Consulting, Information Technology Services, Project and Portfolio Management, Digital Services and Governance, Risk and Compliance Services. We are a for profit company whose corporate charter requires us to contribute 100% our net profits to local nonprofits. Impact Makers ranked 514th on the 2013 Inc. 500|5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, visit www.impactmakers.com.

About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiative: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing (20 states have already passed benefit corporation legislation); 3) developing B Analytics, a customizable platform for investors to benchmark and report the impact of their global private equity portfolios; and 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 16,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment). For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net.

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Best for the World 2014 Honorees

10 Midsize Businesses Honorees (50+ Employees)

Co2 Bambu (Granada, Nicaragua) – CO2 Bambu designs, manufactures and assembles ecologically sound structures for homes, schools, and clinics.

Cooperative Home Care Associates (NY) – CHCA is the nation’s largest worker-owned cooperative, providing high-quality home care services to elders and individuals living with disabilities—primarily African-American and Hispanic residents of the South Bronx, Harlem, and Washington Heights.

d.light design (CA, China, Kenya) – d.light manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products providing access to reliable, affordable, renewable energy for nearly 30 million people in 60 countries.

Echale a tu casa (Mexico City, Mexico) – Echale is a social housing production company that delivers affordable homes to communities through the implementation of innovations in construction technology and finance, streamlining the self-build process and strengthening social inclusion.

Give Something Back, Inc (CA) – Give Something Back Office Supplies (GSB) is California’s largest independent office supply company, with giving back to communities integral to its core mission and purpose.

Home Care Associates (PA) – Home Care Associates of Philadelphia (HCA) has dedicated itself to a quality care through quality jobs mission. By providing quality home care jobs, HCA works to ensure quality care across the Philadelphia metropolitan area for elders and people with disabilities.

Namaste Solar (CO) – Namasté Solar is an employee-owned cooperative that designs, installs, and maintains solar electric systems for homes, businesses, non-profits, and government entities. One PacificCoast Bank (CA) – One PacificCoast Bank is an innovative, triple-bottom line, community development financial institution.

Roshan -Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd. (Kabul, Afghanistan) – Roshan is Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications provider.

Sunrise Banks (MN) – Sunrise Community Banks is in the business of developing strong communities that provide homes and jobs to their residents.

26 Small Businesses Honorees (10-49 Employees)

Advanced Home Energy (CA) – Advanced Home Energy partners with homeowners who are interested in going green and offer a wide range of home energy efficiency solutions.

Bay Area Medical Academy (CA) – Bay Area Medical Academy offers job-oriented training in high-growth, high-demand, specialized areas of the healthcare field and prepares individuals for successful long term careers.

Channel Islands Outfitters (CA) – Channel Islands Outfitters is a Santa Barbara and Channel Islands based paddle sports outfitter and fitness center.

Community Wealth Partners (DC) – Community Wealth Partners offers strategy and implementation services to nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations, partnering with them to design and implement innovative approaches to growth and sustainability.

Delight Co, Ltd (Seoul, South Korea) – Delight manufactures and distributes hearing aids at affordable prices.

FINAE SAPI DE CV SOFOM ENR (Mexico City, Mexico) – FINAE is a social impact financial institution created to give more students access to private university education.

Green Living Enterprises (ON, Canada) – Green Living Enterprises is a full-service media, marketing, custom content provider and events company that has increased public awareness of environmental issues and inspired personal action through print publications and www.greenlivingonline.com.

Highland Craftsmen, Inc (NC) – Highland Craftsmen Inc designs, manufactures and sells all- natural Bark House® brand architectural elements to building, design and furniture professionals as well as individuals.

Hybrytec Solar (Antioquia, Colombia) – Hybrytec Solar designs and installs solar energy systems for health centers, fishing villages, schools, hotels, and private customers.

Impact Makers, Inc. (VA) – Impact Makers delivers information technology and management consulting professional services, focused on government and the healthcare industry.

Imprint Capital (CA) – Imprint Capital is an impact investment firm that creates and manages high performing impact investment portfolios for foundations, families, and financial institutions.

Indigenous Designs Corporation (CA) – Indigenous Designs is a leader in organic and fairtrade clothing. Their clothing supports thousands of artisans in the most remote and impoverished regions of the world.

Ingage Partners, LLC (OH) – Ingage Partners delivers Information Technology and Management Consulting services to help their clients successfully navigate business and technology change.

Juhudi Kilimo (Nairobi, Kenya) – Juhudi Kilimo finances targeted agricultural assets for smallholder farmers and rural enterprises across Kenya. Operating exclusively in very rural areas, they give smallholder farmers access to the tools they need to scale up and succeed.

Mal Warwick Associates (CA) – Mal Warwick Associates help nonprofits and political organizations build long-term, mutually rewarding relationships with individual donors through integrated fundraising and marketing programs.

Metropolitan Group (OR) – Metropolitan Group is a national strategic and creative services firm increasing impact for socially responsible businesses.

Moving Forward Education (CA) – Moving Forward Education provides tutoring and mentoring services for underserved students in the Bay Area.

New Resource Bank (CA) – New Resource Bank supports businesses, nonprofits, and people that are pursuing innovative solutions to environmental, economic, and social challenges.

Quetsol (Guatemala City, Guatemala) – Quetsol provides affordable solar power to off-grid communities.

Re:Vision Architecture (PA) – Re:Vision Architecture is an architecture, planning, and consulting firm specializing in sustainable design and development.

South Mountain Company, Inc (MA) – South Mountain Company is an employee-owned design, build, and renewable energy company on Martha’s Vineyard. The company plans and develops residential and commercial buildings, as well as designing and installing solar & wind energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.

TAS (ON, Canada) – TAS is a real estate development company with a commitment to Shaping Beautiful Cities™.

The Paradigm Project (CO) – The Paradigm Project is a low-profit limited liability company operating in cooperation with The Paradigm Foundation, whose collective mission is to create sustainable economic, social and environmental value within developing world communities.

Trillium Asset Management (MA) – Trillium Asset Management, LLC is the oldest independent investment advisor devoted exclusively to sustainable and responsible investing (SRI).

Veris Wealth Partners (NY) – Veris Wealth Partners, LLC is a wealth management firm committed to helping align wealth with a customer’s mission.

VIF International Education (NC) – VIF International Education is the nation’s largest J-1 teacher exchange sponsor and a provider of language immersion and global literacy programs.

W.S. Badger Co, Inc (NH) – W.S. Badger Co manufactures Badger Balm and other USDA organic body care products.

56 Micro-Enterprises Honorees (<10 Employees)

Alter Eco (CA) – Alter Eco works with dozens of small scale agricultural cooperatives in the Global South to provide a fairer deal and market access for small farmers. Alter Eco offers a large range of exquisite Fair Trade, Organic and Carbon Neutral foods.

Andean Naturals (CA) – Andean Naturals acts as a bridge between South American quinoa farmers and US food companies. It facilitates the growth of the organic and fair-trade quinoa market while improving the lives of over 4,500 small family farmers through increased income, technical assistance and sustained demand.

Animal Experience International (ON, Canada) – Animal Experience International (AEI) has a mission to help animals around the globe by matching clients with animal-related volunteer opportunities at sanctuaries, wildlife hospitals, animal clinics and conservation projects.

Atayne, LLC (ME) – Atayne makes high-performing outdoor and athletic apparel from 100% recycled materials.

Beartooth Capital (MT) – Beartooth Capital is a leading impact investment fund manager whose mission is to generate strong investment returns, real conservation results, and community benefits.

Blue Garnet (CA) – Blue Garnet is a strategy and management consulting firm that works with organizations to create lasting social change by harnessing the combined power of business acumen and social impact.

BluPlanet Recycling Inc (AB, Canada) – BluPlanet Recycling Inc. is a Calgary based multi- family residential and commercial recycling collection service provider.

Buy the Change (MI) – Buy The Change works with NGO’s and small craft co-operatives throughout the developing world to source fairly-traded, woman-made accessories, jewelry and home décor products, many of which are made from eco-friendly, up-cycled materials.

Byoearth (Guatemala City, Guatamala) – Byoearth’s goal is to have all degradable waste be transformed into benefit for people, the environment, and earth through vermiculture and vermicomposting.

CAP Global (CA) – CAP Global develops and commercializes novel pharmaceuticals for global populations through local partnerships.

CDI Lan (São Paulo, Brazil) – CDI Lan generates income & employability through education & training in low income communities by providing access to high social impact solutions through internet cafes.

ChangeIt (ON, Canada) – ChangeIt is a giving program that enables users to support their favourite causes with every electronic purchase.

Climatesmart Business, Inc (BC, Canada) – Climate Smart is a social enterprise that trains businesses and provides them with software tools to track and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Council Fire, LLC (MD) – Council Fire is a world-class management consulting firm working with clients to “operationalize” sustainability and harness the power of information to drive competitive advantage and success in both the public and private sectors.

Dolphin Blue, Inc (TX) – Dolphin Blue is an online retailer of ecologically sustainable products for use in commercial and home offices.

Down to Earth Markets (NY) – Down to Earth Markets curates and manages approximately 20 farmers markets in Westchester County, Rockland County, and four of the five boroughs of New York City.

Ecotrust Forest Management (OR) – Ecotrust Forest Management is a forestland investment management and advisory services company that generates long term value for both investors and society by facilitating positive environmental outcomes and supporting job creation in rural communities.

Education Funding Partners (CO) – Education Funding Partners provides Fortune 500 corporate marketing sponsorships exclusively for major public school districts.

Emerge Financial Wellness (TN) – Emerge Financial Wellness is workplace-based financial wellness program that partner with employers to help their workers plan their financial futures.

Enviro-Stewards (ON, Canada) – Enviro-Stewards Inc’s engineers & scientists serve as sustainability catalysts for industrial, commercial and institutional facilities. As such, they stimulate increased margin on sales while reducing environmental footprints and improving social conditions.

Fans Without Footprints (NY) – Fans Without Footprints leverages the power of sports and the passion of its fans to benefit the environment by offering the opportunity to join with their favorite team to support local green projects in the community.

Farmland LP (CA) – Farmland LP acquires conventional farmland and converts it to organic, sustainable farmland.

FlipGive (ON, Canada) – FlipGive provides a digital platform that connects brands to the $200+ billion fundraising market, converting customers into a sales force to raise money.

FutureProof, LLC (CA) – FutureProof is a nationally recognized interdisciplinary firm which provides full-service sustainability masterplanning, green infrastructure design and development, integrated water management landscapes, LEED and technical consulting.

Greater Richmond Grid (VA) – Free magazine providing upbeat news and resources to the greater Richmond area.

Green Retirement Plans, Inc (CA) – Green Retirement Plans helps businesses, nonprofits and their employees harness the power of their retirement plan assets for good.

Grounds for Change (WA) – Grounds for Change is a certified organic coffee roaster specializing in 100% fair trade coffee. They roast organic fair trade coffee that is grown in shaded conditions and offer comprehensive wholesale and fundraising programs.

Impact First Investments (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Impact First invests in early stage healthcare, edtech, agritech, and cleantech social enterprises.

L. International (CA) – L. is a condom company with a cause: to support women globally by focusing on their sexual empowerment. L. International creates the highest quality condoms for the modern consumer in safety, comfort, and design.

Little Pickle Press (CA) – Little Pickle Pressis a publisher of high quality, high impact media for children, dedicated to helping parents and educators cultivate conscious, responsible little people by stimulating explorations of the meaningful topics of their generation.

Manzimvula Ventures, Inc (BC, Canada) – Manzimvula Ventures is a values-based consulting firm whose purpose is to support organizations who choose to build socially responsible and profitable enterprises that profoundly impact their organizational communities and the individuals they affect in a compassionate and sustainable manner.

Mikado Consulting (Istanbul, Turkey) – Mikado is a social enterprise committed to serving sustainable development and yielding social impact. They craft innovative models and solutions by creating partnerships among the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and international organizations.

Ned Schaub Consulting — Social Change Strategy (CA) – Ned Schaub Consulting Social Change Strategy (NSC SCS) facilitates and supports sustainability planning, philanthropic strategy, retreats and workshops, particularly for organizations in the healthcare and social service sectors.

New Avenue (CA) – New Avenue is an online platform that sells architecture services, loans and construction to homeowners who want to add a second unit to their single family home.

One Earth Designs (Hong Kong and China) – One Earth Designs develops and markets technology solutions, including solar ovens and generators, for those who lack access to clean and affordable energy.

Pacific Northwest Kale Chips (OR) – Pacific Northwest Kale Chips is a small-batch chip maker founded on the principles of delivering locally-sourced, organic, and sustainable food to all sectors of society.

Palmetto Ventures (London, United Kingdom) – Palmetto offers a fully integrated service to lead organizations towards cost-effective and sustainable solutions. Through customized planning and efforts to deliver tangible investment opportunities, they have delivered over $10 billion towards a clean energy future.

Piedmont Biofuels (NC) – Piedmont Biofuels is a community scale biodiesel operation which collects used cooking oil from area food service establishments and converts it into a clean burning renewable fuel.

Project Repat (MA) – Project Repat upcycles t-shirts into more fun and fashionable clothing accessories while creating jobs.

PwrdBy (CA) – PwrdBy develops community, awareness, and support for charity through photo-sharing apps on iPhone & Android.

Renewal Funds (Vancouver, Canada) – Renewal Funds is a social venture fund dedicated to delivering financial returns by investing in leading environmental and social mission businesses in Canada and the USA.

RSF Capital Management, Inc. (CA) – RSF offers investing, lending, and giving services that generate positive social and environmental impact while fostering community and collaboration among participants.

Sechler CPA PC (AZ) – Sechler CPA PC is a completely virtual accounting firm serving the tax and consulting needs of approximately 350 local, national and international nonprofit organizations.

Seeds Printing (PA) – SEEDS is a green printing company comprised of environmentally conscious, creative professionals with years of experience in the fields of printing, design, marketing, writing and editing, and world-class customer service.

SEQUIL Systems, Inc (FL) – SEQUIL Systems, Inc. is a professional services firm which provides highly technical building commissioning, LEED program management, energy modeling and sustainability consulting services to the architecture, engineering and construction industry.

SLOWCOLOR (CA) – SLOWCOLOR is an integrated bottom line high impact clothing enterprise committed to revitalizing the use of age-old traditions to dramatically reduce the social, environmental and health impacts of textile manufacturing.

Social Enterprise Associates (NM) – Social Enterprise Associates is a consulting firm offering business acumen, managerial experience, financing opportunities, and practical research to business and community efforts seeking social good.

Social Good Network (ID) – Social Good Network works at the confluence of cause and commerce, using its innovative software to create and measure the success of digital cause marketing campaigns for brands.

Sustainability Advantage (ON, Canada) – Sustainability Advantage provides educational talks and resources to help lead a transformation toward a sustainable global society.

Sustainable Law Group, PC (CA) – The Sustainable Law Group, PC serves as corporate counsel to nonprofits, businesses and estates. Attorneys Cecily Jackson-Zapata and Becki Ueno provide organizations and businesses in California with comprehensive legal counsel.

The Arnold Development Group (MO) – The Arnold Development Group is a purpose-driven real estate investment and development firm that creates sustainable mixed-use projects.

The EarthKeeper Alliance (CA) – EarthKeeper Alliance is dedicated to the conservation, preservation, restoration and thoughtful development of large tracts of land previously slated for large‐scale development.

The Majora Carter Group (NY) – The Majora Carter Group offers pioneering solutions to concentrated environmental problems through economic development by way of public speaking engagements, workshops, and consulting services.

Water Power Group LP (ON, Canada) – Water Power Group is a private power producer working in partnership with local and Aboriginal communities to develop small run-of-river hydroelectric projects in markets across North America, primarily in Ontario, Canada.

X-runner Venture GmbH (Lima, Peru) – x-runner provides waterless toilets and waste management services to families that do not have standard toilets.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks (CA) – Yellow Leaf Hammocks are 100% hand-woven, customizable hammocks that offer customers supreme comfort, strength and durability, along with a commitment to cultivating a sustainable economic opportunity for marginalized ethnic groups like the endangered Mlabri Tribe.

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Trusted Choice® Raises Money for Make-A-Wish® with Social Media Campaign

Each “share” from the Trusted Choice® Facebook page during August will send $10 to Make-A-Wish.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 1, 2014 –- Trusted Choice®, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers, is proud to announce the fourth annual summer social media campaign to raise money for Make-A-Wish®. For every “share” from the Trusted Choice® Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TrustedChoice) during the month of August, Trusted Choice® will donate $10 to Make-A-Wish.

“As our fourth annual social media campaign launches, Trusted Choice® is excited to use Facebook in such a positive way to raise money and awareness for Make-A-Wish,” says Dave Evans, Trusted Choice® executive director. “We are pleased to have sponsored wishes for 29 children with life-threatening medical conditions since our first social media campaign in 2011. In addition, Trusted Choice® will have sponsored 71 grants for Make-A-Wish chapters through a $532,500 local sponsorship initiative before year’s end. Independent insurance agents and brokers have a strong track record of active participation and charitable giving in their communities and this annual project is an important opportunity for our entire membership to join forces for a very worthy, national campaign.”

Trusted Choice® is committed to donating a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $150,000 with this campaign. This is the fourth year Trusted Choice® has held a social media campaign to benefit Make-A-Wish. The social media campaigns have raised more than $320,000 and an additional $532,500 through the local grant sponsorships. Collectively, Trusted Choice® has raised more than $1.5 million for Make-A-Wish since 2011.

“We are proud to continue our relationship with our adopted charitable organization, Make-A-Wish,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Trusted Choice® president and Big “I” president & CEO. “Independent agents instill confidence and hope in their clients and customers, and that’s what Make-A-Wish does. Make-A-Wish is there for wish kids and their families in their greatest time of need, just like Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents.”

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.

Trusted Choice® educates consumers about the benefits of using independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for almost 25,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 70 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.

Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million independent insurance agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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Launch of AEIF 2.0: Accelerating Social Impact Through Crowdfunding

The Department of State and RocketHub, an online crowdfunding platform, are pleased to announce the launch of Alumni Engagement and Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2.0. This initiative supports innovative solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges by accelerating public service projects created by past participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs based on the skills and knowledge gained through their exchange experiences. Both exchange program alumni from abroad who were past winners of AEIF from 2011-2013 and exchange program alumni from the United States will participate in AEIF 2.0.

Alumni teams will be able to find alternative funding and investment options beyond the U.S. government to maximize their projects’ potential to tell their stories, build the capacity of their organizations, engage local communities, and develop sustainable solutions through RocketHub’s crowdfunding platform, a space where large numbers of people donate small amounts of money to projects that are promoted online. Examples of the alumni projects now posted include:

  • Women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in rural Tanzania
  • Access to education for indigenous children in Malaysia
  • Women’s empowerment and civic engagement in Pakistan
  • Youth empowerment in Bolivia
  • Social entrepreneurship for inner-city youth in Detroit, Michigan
  • Crowdfunding platform in local languages in Macedonia
  • Youth entrepreneurship program in Morocco

The full list of projects can be found here. Projects will continue to be posted online until September 14, 2014. AEIF awards up to $25,000 to winning teams of exchange program alumni to fund projects on issues such as education, gender, the environment, development, women’s training, entrepreneurship, and interfaith understanding, among others. Through the annual AEIF competition, the U.S. Department of State has supported more than 150 alumni initiatives in more than 80 countries.

Potential funders, industry leaders, and other supporters can follow the initiative at #impactideas. For more information on AEIF 2.0, please visit http://eca.state.gov/highlight/innovative-support-innovative-solutions.

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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network to Air 10-Part Documentary Series “Operation Change” Premiering Monday, June 23

Celebrities and Philanthropists Including President Bill Clinton, Sir Elton John, Sir Richard Branson, Donna Karan, Harry Connick, Jr., Ray Lewis and Many More Tackle Some Of The World’s Most Challenging Issues

President Bill Clinton in Colombia (left) and Elton John in Malaysia (right) Photos Courtesy of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

Los Angeles, CA – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will air the 10-part documentary series “Operation Change” premiering on Monday, June 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series follows Bill & Tani Austin and their son Steven Sawalich from the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a global non-profit organization that gives free hearing aids to those in need, as they are joined by celebrities and philanthropists to tackle some of the most challenging issues plaguing our world today.

“Operation Change” gives viewers unprecedented access to some of the world’s most dangerous, desolate and poverty-stricken places. The series features former President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Elton John, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Donna Karan, and Harry Connick, Jr. among many others, each working to benefit a different region and local organization. From the West Bank of Palestine to the wilds of Papua New Guinea, this documentary series reveals the untold stories of some of the world’s seemingly insurmountable challenges, as well as its greatest heroes.

“Hearing loss is a global epidemic, impacting more than 360 million people worldwide, yet it can often be helped. Hearing aids empower people to better connect with their families, communities, and the larger world,” said President Bill Clinton. “I have seen first-hand the amazing impact that the Starkey Hearing Foundation and Starkey Hearing Technologies are having on people all around the world. I am lucky to call Bill and Tani Austin as well as Steven Sawalich my friends. And I am proud of the Clinton Foundation’s relationship with them and this work. It’s empowering people to live more independent, prosperous, joyful lives.”

“Working with this family, and supporting their efforts through the Starkey Hearing Foundation, has been an incredibly uplifting experience for me,” said Sir Elton John. “When people are cared for and not forgotten, their human spirit comes alive, and that’s why when they approached me, I had to be a part of ‘Operation Change.’ I know everyone who watches this series will want to be a part of it as well. My friend Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN, is the perfect vehicle for this groundbreaking series.”

“Our family has always found fulfillment in helping others,” said Steven Sawalich, of Starkey Hearing Foundation and CEO/President of Articulus Entertainment. “Through our charitable efforts, we have seen firsthand the needs and challenges people face all over the world. With the help of some of our celebrity supporters and local partners, “Operation Change” chronicles how together we can make a difference in the lives of people around the globe. We are thrilled to share this emotionally-compelling series with OWN viewers.”

Each week, Bill Austin, his family, volunteers and a different celebrity/philanthropist will partner with local organizations that are working to empower their community. Throughout the hour, they work together to complete a sustainable project that will help enhance the lives of people in need. The family will immerse themselves in local cultures and experience firsthand what life is like for people in that region.

The series is produced by Articulus Entertainment. Executive produced by Steven Sawalich, Natalee Watts and Teri Weinberg. Melinda Cea is co-executive producer.

Click here for a sneak peek of the series (with embed code): http://qa.teaser.starkey.possible.com/#video

Below is an overview of the regions featured in the documentary series:

Operation Change: Haiti

Three years after one of the most horrific earthquakes ever recorded, the team comes face to face with a nation struggling to survive. In the tent cities of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, lives a man who ties himself to his children at night because he fears they will be kidnapped. In Jacmel, a woman is still reeling from the death of her son, whom she lost shortly after the earthquake. The team works with fashion designer Donna Karan, actress Maria Bello, entrepreneur Bill Rancic, and non-profit organizations including World Wide Village, We Advance (co-founded by Bello) and Karan’s Urban Zen.

Operation Change: Colombia

The team immerses themselves in one of the most dangerous slums in Bogota, Colombia. They focus their efforts on building a community center out of plastic bottles for displaced refugees, who fear for their lives at the hands of guerrilla militia. Here, the team works with former President Bill Clinton, actress Marlee Matlin and the non-profit organization Nukanti Foundation for Children.

Operation Change: India

This episode explores the millions of orphans who face abusive households and flock to India’s large cities, only to become victims of sex trafficking and child slavery. While these children beg, borrow, and steal for survival, the team struggles to educate them before they become prey to the ruthless life of the streets. The team works with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the non – profit organization Salaam Baalak Trust.

Operation Change: South Africa

Beyond bringing HIV/AIDS medication to the wild bush lands, the team travels out to aid local clinics that work to provide much-needed food, water and education before the epidemic claims another life. The team works with Sir Richard Branson and non-profit organizations including Virgin Unite, Bhubezi Health Centre and Ulusaba Pride ‘N Purpose.

Operation Change: Lebanon

Beneath the bombed-out shell that hides the ‘Paris of the Middle East,’ thousands fear that tomorrow will never come. As the team fights for sustainability, they join local activists to build a skate park and save an endangered community outlet on the brink of being shut down. The team works with non-profit organizations including Ayadina and Lebanese Skateboarding Association.

Operation Change: Malaysia

In a booming Asian metropolis, one segment of the population has been deemed a burden by society, and the team fights to change perceptions and create opportunities, while discovering just how able the disabled really are. Here, the teamworks with Sir Elton John, World Champion Boxer Manny Pacquiao and the non-profit organization The Beautiful Gate Foundation.

Operation Change: Israel and Palestine

Trapped on the border of two warring territories, volunteers experience firsthand the tension between Israel and Palestine. With the help of peace activists from both sides, they strive to cultivate understanding among children and those whose lives are constrained by a wall. The team works with singer/musician/actor Harry Connick, Jr. and the non-profit organization The Parents Circle Families Forum.

Operation Change: Tanzania

The last remaining traditional tribe of Africa, the Maasai, is battling lions and hyenas for one resource: water. Far removed from modern-day conveniences, volunteers work to obtain a sustainable supply of water and are supported there by football players Greg Jennings, Tommie Harris, Larry Fitzgerald, Ray Lewis and the non-profit organization WorldServe.

Operation Change: Ethiopia

More than one million Ethiopians suffer from an unsightly, yet preventable condition, Mossy Foot disease, which renders them outcasts from society. Providing assistance and education, Bill, Tani and Steven work with the non-profit organization Mossy Foot Foundation to overcome the fear and prejudice surrounding this disease.

Operation Change: Papua New Guinea

In the land of the unexpected, the team travels into a jungle to help a village plagued by tribal warfare fueled by the drug trade. They work with the non-profit organization Touching The Untouchables.

ABOUT OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand – and the magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge Heart Star power Connection And endless possibilities. OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own and www.press.discovery.com/us/own.

ABOUT ARTICULUS ENTERTAINMENT

Articulus Entertainment, Inc. is a film and television production company founded in 2004 by Steven Sawalich. As a filmmaker, Sawalich gives artistic expression to the conviction that individuals can make a difference in our world. His signature film, “Music Within,” illuminates the journey of Richard Pimentel. Articulus recently wrapped a television documentary series event that forges new ground, “Operation Change” bringing firsthand, grassroots international aid experiences to a wide audience in an entirely new cinematic format. Articulus is committed to provide commercially successful and critically acclaimed movies, television and original programming events to audiences worldwide.

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Michael Reichmann, Founder of the Luminous Landscape, Creates the Luminous Endowment for Photographers

Endowment Will Offer Grants to Support Photography Projects Worldwide

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INDIANAPOLIS, August 1, 2014 — Michael Reichmann, founder of The Luminous Landscape, Inc., the world’s largest web site devoted to the fine art and craft of photography, today formally announced The Luminous Endowment for Photographers. Its mission is to support photography projects worldwide through merit-based grants.

“In creating the Luminous Endowment, I was inspired by a ‘Pay it Forward’ philosophy,” said Michael Reichmann. “While we may not be able to repay those who’ve helped us to achieve personal and professional success, we can find a way to share our good fortune with those who need help both now and in the future.”

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Michael Reichmann, founder of The Luminous Endowment for Photographers

The Endowment, a USA-based not-for-profit charitable organization, will provide a variety of specific grants to support non-commercial photographic projects such as: fine art landscape photography; documentary photography; publishing photographic work; travel related to a photographic project; and others. Also there are plans to publish an annual book of grantees’ work, plus possible traveling exhibitions of that work. Applications for a limited number of grants are now open for submission via the Endowment web site at: www.luminous-endowment.org.

A panel of judges, including some of the world’s leading photographers and educators, will review all project proposals. The panel includes John Paul Caponigro, Joe Cornish, Eric Meola, Peter Cox, Mikkel Aaland, Ctein, Katrin Eismann, Alain Briot, Tim Wolcott, Sean Reid, William Neill, Andy Biggs, Nick Rains and Ken Duncan.

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A copy of his book: Michael Reichmann — a 20-Year Photography Retrospective.

The Luminous Endowment for Photographers’ Board of Directors comprises respected individuals with backgrounds in business, law, and academia, including Michael Reichmann, David Vaskevitch, Brooks Jensen, Dr. Arye Carmon, Nick Devlin, Kevin Raber, Chris Sanderson and Jonathan Wolch. Their responsibilities include guidance to assure that the Endowment adheres to its philanthropic goals as well as fiduciary oversight.

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Donations to the Endowment are a way to “pay it forward.” Plans are now underway to raise one million dollars in the first year. Michael is donating to the Endowment all proceeds from his new limited edition book, Michael Reichmann – a 20-Year Photography Retrospective. This masterful collaboration between Michael and Arturo Chapa, one of the world’s top book designers, has produced a 400-page large-format book that is available only through donations to The Luminous Endowment.

All contributions can be made via the Endowment’s web site www.luminous-endowment.org. In addition, individuals and corporations who donate $35,000 or more may create “named” grants which will be administered by the Endowment.

About the Luminous Endowment for Photographers

The Luminous Endowment for Photographers has been created as a 501(c)(3) USA-based not-for-profit charitable organization. It was established in 2014 by Michael Reichmann, the founder of The Luminous Landscape, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest web site devoted to the fine art and craft of photography. The Endowment’s mission is to provide financial support through outright financial grants to photographers for merit-based projects. The Endowment is guided by a ‘Pay it Forward’ philosophy; namely, that while we may not be able to repay those who’ve helped us to achieve personal and professional success, we can find a way to share our good fortune with those who need help both now and in the future. On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lulaendow

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NFIB Jobs Statement: Job Creation Fades Slightly but Stats Remain Positive

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 31, 2014Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) William C. Dunkelberg, issued the following statement on July’s job numbers, based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Tuesday, August 12, 2014. The survey was conducted in July and reflects the responses of 1,645 sampled NFIB members:

THIS REPORT COMPARES JULY FINDINGS TO JUNE FIGURES.

“NFIB owners increased employment by an average of 0.01 workers per firm in July (seasonally adjusted), the tenth positive month in a row and the best string of gains since 2006. Seasonally adjusted, 13 percent of the owners (up 1 point) reported adding an average of 2.9 workers per firm over the past few months. Offsetting that, 12 percent reduced employment (down 1 point) an average of 2.7 workers, producing the seasonally adjusted net gain of 0.01 workers per firm overall, hardly different from flat, but still positive.

“The remaining 75 percent of owners made no net change in employment. Fifty-three percent of the owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months and 42 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

“Twenty-four percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period (down 2 points) but a solid reading. Fifteen percent reported using temporary workers, up a point.

“Job creation plans continued to strengthen and rose 1 percentage points to a seasonally adjusted net 13 percent, the best reading since September, 2007. Not seasonally adjusted, 16 percent plan to increase employment at their firm (down 2 points), and 6 percent plan reductions (up 1 point).

“On a seasonally adjusted basis, job creation plans improved and job openings held at a solid level. Actual job creation remained positive, although modestly so. Job gains will be less than June, likely in the 200,000 neighborhood. And the unemployment rate should remain steady based on job creation, not changes in labor force participation.”

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