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

Mon May 12, 2008 5:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

 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
eradicate poverty.

    "It is 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
that she will bring those same skills to further our organization's ambitious
goals and objectives."

    With a professional career spanning almost three decades of sales,
servicesand 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,
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 cafes 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
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

    "Gerri is a world class leader, working for a world class organization which
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
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."

    "For the past 16 years as America's first non-profit, social investment bank
and a
national provider of economic empowerment programs, Operation HOPE has
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
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
towardsidentifying ways to ensure equality, access to capital, and opportunities
for all."

    About Operation HOPE, Inc.

    Operation HOPE (HOPE) is a leading non-profit, social investment, banking
financial literacy empowerment organization dedicated to poverty eradication
worldwide. Through several global initiatives and its three principal programs:
Banking on Our Future (teaching youth about becoming financially empowered),
Coalition America (financial emergency preparedness and recovery), and the HOPE
Center Banking Network (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding
principles), HOPE is at the forefront of a silver rights movement to make
free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. To
learn more, visit us at www.operationhope.org.

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For more information contact:
Sherry John

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